Ever-Evolving, Figuring Things Out, and Reaching ‘Something Better’: A Conversation with Loose Buttons

Loose Buttons’ symbiosis proves to be their greatest asset; each member plays wholly complementarily to the other, excelling as a group on debut album ‘Something Better’.

New York City oft feels heavily saturated with an exorbitant amount of musical acts across its boroughs, making it difficult for up-and-comers of all genres and styles to truly penetrate the chasm of noise. Breaking through this sea of sound is NYC’s supreme rock-n’-roll offering, Loose Buttons, comprised of guitarist/vocalist Eric Nizgretsky, guitarist Zack Kantor, bassist Manny Silverstein, and drummer Adam Holtzberg. Since Atwood Magazine last chatted with Nizgretsky just over three years ago, the group has seen sweeping success for their exciting sound that melds together true rock-n’-roll instrumentation with emotive lyrical prowess, curating a sonic story that never feels insincere.

Loose Buttons expressly epitomize true musical talent; their knack for song-making feels nothing short of natural for the foursome.

The band’s debut full-length album, Something Betterwas released on February 7th via Moon Crawl Records, and has firmly placed Loose Buttons as a tour-de-force of rock music. Throughout the album, it becomes totally apparent that the band possesses an impressive ability to oscillate between songs while still curating a memorable and palatable narrative.

Something Better - Loose Buttons
Something Better – Loose Buttons

The eponymous album opener, “Something Better,” firmly establishes the way in which the album subsequently progresses, positing possibilities of, well, something better. The album then propels itself forward to proper headbangers like “Home Movies” and “Fell Into a Hole,” showing off the band’s culpability as holistic rockstars. Between “Home Movies” and “Fell Into a Hole” lies “Strangers in a Nightclub,” the album’s leading single, laced with wet guitar arpeggios and a cache of different characters to explore throughout its story.

The album continues from “Fell Into a Hole” with two more dance-worthy tunes, “You Looked So Cool” and “Hell is a Lonely Penthouse View,” providing the type of earworm riffs that simply makes one want to throw up their hands and let their hair down. The album then slows to its end with groovy guitar licks on “6:17” and impenetrable harmonies on the final track “I Don’t Really Know,” capping off a wonderfully diverse album with perfect panache. The album’s closer beautifully befits the band’s mindset: no matter where life has taken you thus far, you never really know what the future holds.

Loose Buttons’ Something Better delineates every kind of relationship one can have, and does so with impressive pervasiveness.

The eight-track record glides through its rock sensibilities with passionate fervor as the group’s symbiosis proves to be their greatest asset; each member plays wholly complementarily to the other.

“It’s the love the four of us have for each other,” Nizgretsky explains via email. “It’s such a cliche, I really wish there was a better way to articulate it, but truthfully we are a family.”

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:: stream/purchase Something Better here ::
Stream: ‘Something Better’ – Loose Buttons


Atwood Magazine: Since the last time we chatted for Atwood Magazine, you've had quite the growth! How do you feel you've evolved over the last three years, musically or otherwise?

Eric Nizgretsky: Wow it’s really been that long? Feels like it was just yesterday. I was recently sitting on a stalled subway, so naturally I flipped through some of my old photos. The only thing I noticed was a change in hair style and a couple different fashion choices. 

And of course, congrats on the new music! I'm so happy for you. It must be very exciting for you guys, especially with this being the debut full-length album. Was this recording process any different than the previous ones?

Eric: Thank you! It’s honestly hard to express how exciting this is for us, at least in any coherent way. It’s definitely taken us a minute to put out this record. We wrote and recorded for so long that inherently the entire process became unique from anything that came before it. Naturally we’ve always taken our sweet ol’ time writing, but this was a whole other beast; mostly just due to the fact we were creating a cohesive body of work for the first time, and wanted to make sure we really got it right. 

I think naturally I’ve always used music as a tool to work through some lingering issues; it helps me develop the clarity and perspective I need to really address some of those things.

Do you have a favorite song or songs on the new record?

Eric: This is always the toughest question, just because I do truthfully love them all. I guess the title track, “Something Better,” will always have a special place in my heart. It was definitely the lightbulb moment in my head, and looking back it dictated the sound of the album and the lyrical themes we went on to explore.

I know what I’m expected to say
I guess you like it best that way
Yet again I think I’m trying to find
Something Better
You were laying on a hospital bed
I knew what coulda been instead
Suddenly, another one just like me
What a nightmare
Shouting out something obscene
30 strangers had been staring at me
Cause I couldn’t even hide it at all
How pathetic
It’s like picking traits right out of a bag
Half of them I wish I’d give back
If you need me I’ll be trying to find
Something better
Listen: “Something Better” – Loose Buttons

During our last conversation, you mentioned that your songs at the time were like your medicine. Of course, the subject matter of that last EP was a very different place and time, but do you still feel like your music is medicine?

Eric: Haha – I’m sorry, I can’t help but roll my eyes at that one a bit! Looking back, I’d rephrase that answer 100%. Songwriting for me is more of an exercise to figure things out. Like the same way that someone goes to the gym to get stronger, I need to write songs to get stronger mentally. I think naturally I’ve always used music as a tool to work through some lingering issues; it helps me develop the clarity and perspective I need to really address some of those things. 

You're always incredibly evocative in your lyrical storytelling; how do you feel that your songwriting style has changed, if at all?

Eric: You are far, far too kind! I’ll try not to let all this praise get to my head. Since the Sundays EP, I feel like I’ve found more comfort in being vulnerable about the relationships in my life. Whether that be with my parents, my bandmates, the relationship I have with “success” or the concept of settling down. Until recently, I feel like I didn’t really have the road map to navigate all of that.

Were there any songs that didn't make the cut on the album that you still might consider putting out later down the line anyways?

Eric: Yeah, there were a few, and actually one of them is a bonus track on the vinyl. But when we’re writing the next record, I think it makes the most sense for us to start fresh with new ideas. We really do enjoy the challenge of doing something different, and the last thing we’d want is to make the same record again, so we’ll likely end up starting from scratch there. 

I wake up in the morning knowing that I’m the luckiest guy in the world because I get to make music with my best friends.

And now that the album is out, how do you want people to perceive you as a band? And do you think or hope that people will treat you in some sort of different way?

Eric: I don’t know how I’m gonna keep all the fame from getting to my head! Jokes aside, I hope no one treats us any differently. That’d be too strange for any of us to comprehend. Although I wouldn’t mind getting celebrity treatment for Rangers games at Madison Square Garden. 

It's been really, really cool to see you guys come into your own over the last few years. What do you think is something that will always remain the same for you, no matter what?

Eric: Cue the waterworks! It’s the love the four of us have for each other. It’s such a cliche, I really wish there was a better way to articulate it, but truthfully we are a family. We find any excuse to hang out with each other — I’m not lying when I say this. What we have is super special. I wake up in the morning knowing that I’m the luckiest guy in the world because I get to make music with my best friends.  

Loose Buttons
Loose Buttons © Josh Aronson

Looking back on your musical career thus far, what has been your proudest moment? Or your favorite moment? Or both, if they're separate?

Eric: A favorite moment for me was when we stumbled upon the song “Something Better.” Everything just clicked and we knew instantly what type of record we wanted to make. My proudest moment was at our album release show; playing that very same song and seeing a packed crowd sing along to every word. It’s the most surreal, gratifying experience I’ve had thus far. 

Now that you have a full-length album out, what are some new goals that you've set for yourselves? What's up next?

Eric: I say this all the time, but our constant goal is to keep evolving as a band. We’ve really only just scratched the surface. I’m beyond excited to see what the four of us can accomplish next.

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:: stream/purchase Something Better here ::

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Something Better - Loose Buttons

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Something Better

an album by Loose Buttons

A Conversation with Loose Buttons

:: 2017 INTERVIEW ::

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