Hello Modern Drummer readers! My name is Jordan Schneider, and I play drums in a rock band called Nghbrs (pronounced “neighbors”) from Long Island, New York. I used to sleep with Modern Drummer magazines under my pillow, so this is an absolute honor.
My interest for music really took shape when I was in elementary school and began listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was definitely drawn to the feel and rhythms of songs, and would constantly air drum or bang on tables while listening to music. When it came time to sign up for an instrument in school, I chose drums for my first option and drums for my second option. Apparently, there were too many drummers in my school, and I will never forget the day the music teacher examined my hands and said, “These are saxophone hands.”
Nghbrs has been together for about four years, and this past July we released our debut album, Twenty One Rooms. To record this album, we moved into an abandoned mansion on the North Shore of Long Island. The house once belonged to esteemed American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant and is on seven acres of land overlooking a beautiful lake. We lived in the house for two months without Internet or television. It was a surreal experience that allowed us to focus on the music we were creating and not much else. We decided to record the album live because we wanted to capture the organic chemistry of our band. It’s a really difficult undertaking to record live. We had to be really well rehearsed and confident in our understanding of the songs and in one another. One of the hardest things for me to overcome as a drummer was letting go and being able to live with imperfections. In past recording sessions, I’ve listened back to my takes with a fine-tooth comb, and this time around I’ve been able to take a step back and let things be what they are. We applied this approach throughout the entire record, even down to the vocals, and I think it really gave it a lot of character.
In addition to drumming, I am also a video editor. To promote our album, we made a DIY music video for our single “Hold Up Girl” by stitching together a bunch of self-made Instagram videos. The video takes place inside an iPhone that’s scrolling through videos we made that sync up to the song. It was a ton of work to create, but we have gotten some amazing press from the video, including the Wall Street Journal calling it “Probably the cleverest DIY video since Ok Go.”
Thanks so much for taking the time and checking us out!
Photo by Erica Livoti