Deep in the New York borough of Queens you will find a local ice hockey rink. Below it, a labyrinth of storage spaces used to keep people’s old things. Of everything old and forgotten, there is one thing that is new and memorable. That is the band Loose Buttons.
The four-piece out of New York rent a storage unit, now packed to the brim with instruments and equipment, to use as their rehearsal space. Their groove-driven indie rock is both entrancing and upbeat as it overpowers the sound of the zamboni making its rounds across the ice rink above.
Once inside, the storage unit begins to feel more and more like a studio space. It is wall-to-wall instruments. Not a spot left free from a guitar, peddle board, or amp, it is clear to see that this band’s dedication is years in the making.
“It’s such a mess,” lead singer Eric Nizgretsky says of an untitled song the band is working on during tonight’s rehearsal before drummer Adam Holtzberg chimes in – “that’s not a bad title.” During this session, a glimpse of their writing dynamic can be seen. Each band member brings an element of creativity and attention to detail that builds and fills out their dynamic sound.
Loose Buttons recently released latest EP, Sundays. “We do all of our writing in here,” mentions Nizgretsky of the storage space turned studio. What makes this EP stand out is that it was entirely recorded live as oppose to their previous work which was recorded in pieces and sent across the country to each other online while they were all completing their undergraduate degrees. “It kind of felt bland,” Nizgretsky shares. “We weren’t together which is hard as a rock band.”
The band did not come together all at once. Eric Nizgretsky and guitarist Zack Kantor started playing music together at the young age of eleven. By the still young age of 14, they were playing in venues around New York City, venues they would not have been able to get into otherwise given their underage status. Parting ways during university, this is when Nizgretsky met drummer, Adam Holtzberg and bassist, Manny Silverstein. Both were apart of other bands at the time, but with some “wining and dining,” both came on board to form Loose Buttons as we now know it. Nizgretsky counts all the persuasion worth it. “Best thing I’ve ever stolen,” he claims, on convincing drummer, Adam, to leave his old band. “What else have you stolen?” Bassist, Manny asks. “The hearts of all our fans.”
Since finishing university, the native New Yorkers have returned to the city, recently finishing a series of shows in the form of a prominent residency at one of the prevailing venues in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This popular spot for local artists has brought in loyal and new fans alike, drawn in by Loose Buttons’ pop-rock sensibilities. Lead singer, Eric Nizgretsky, is appreciative and taken aback each time they draw larger and larger crowds to a show. “The first show, it was definitely a crowded room. But the second time was even more crowded”.
It’s not the band’s first experience with some of New York City’s favourite local spots, with legendary clubs like The Bitter End and Knitting Factory also appearing on the list of venues Loose Buttons has brought their eclectic, ambient music to.
This regular gig has ushered in a quickly growing fan base. “Even just from the second show, we’ve gotten tighter,” Holtzberg mentions. “I really wanted this residency for us as an opportunity to play more shows in the same spot. I know that by the last show we’ll be even better.”
Photos by Gina Garcia.
Volume #17 is live. Get it here.
Words by Sarah Midkiff