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Rock's New Wave: Night By Night Will Do It Their Way

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 Written by Gemma Johnson

Never let it be said that Ben Christo is short of ambition. Night By Night have just put out their self-titled debut and completed a Swedish tour with hair metal titans Europe, with the guitarist currently delivering his band’s powerhouse brand of hard rock while still performing six string duties with the Sisters of Mercy.

Having already opened for Y&T and the Quireboys, among others, Night By Night are becoming old hands at laying down a gauntlet to big names. It helps, though, that their forerunners are willing to accept these young guns with open arms.

“Tours like those have not only exposed us to a wider audience out on the road but have massively helped build our fanbase online, through proxy,” Christo said. “The credibility gained from supporting such famous and talented acts goes a really long way. They were so great to us.

“On the first day, [Europe drummer] Ian [Haugland] came into our dressing room to introduce himself and welcome us to the tour. I think that’s another key to their longevity – even though they have been one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, they’re decent, friendly, laid back guys.”

Night By Night - completed by vocalist Henry Rundell, bassist Jonny Thornton, guitarist Tom Daniel and drummer Damien Diablo - first began percolating in 2007 when Christo and Thornton met on a musicians’ notice board. Their shared ideas went against the grain and they quickly developed a punishing rehearsal schedule.

“Jonny’s band were looking for a lead singer, I was looking for a band I could team up with and play my compositions,” Christo said. “It wasn’t exactly the perfect set up, I think they were after a flamboyant and gutsy personality to front their über ‘80s-flavoured project, called ‘Strut’.

“I was looking to form a more contemporary, melodic, post-hardcore/metal outfit - tech guitars and drums with big ‘80s choruses and harmonies. At that time, most musicians were looking to form something with ‘80s influences and the focus being far more about having massive hair. Jon was different. He genuinely appreciated quality songwriting and vocal harmonies. He’d moved from Leeds to London in order to do this with his life and I’d done the same thing when I relocated from Bristol. We would often rehearse three or four nights a week, with extra rehearsals just to focus on three-part vocal harmonies. We wanted to do it right.”

Christo also recalls the time he and Daniel first became acquainted. The pair worked in an off-licence together and quickly bonded over a mutual love of ‘80s rock. “We used to bring in guitars and secretly jam in the stockroom,” Christo said. “Again, we lost contact once I left the job – only to be reunited years later when NxN were looking for a lead guitarist. I found him again via MySpace. I often think that if, back then in the shop days, you’d told us that one day we’d be in a band together and tour with Europe, we’d have been astounded.”

On top of their notable ‘80s influences, Night By Night have retained a modern edge. Def Leppard might be the first name to spring to mind when tracing their roots, but bands like Funeral For A Friend are never too far away either, thanks in part to the work of producer Romesh Dodangoda. Christo lists Sevendust, the Used, Boysetsfire and Strung Out as his modern-day influences.

“All these bands employ an emotional might and aggressive poignancy that really inspires me,” he said. “They also write thought-out lyrics, especially BSF and Thrice, and that’s something I’ve always strived to emulate.”

Night By Night recently celebrated the album’s release with a show at London’s Borderline and will be out on the road for much of the year. “We’ll be touring as much as possible in July onwards and then come the end of the year, we’ll be working on album two,” Christo said. “We really wanna get it released 2015 and keep the momentum going.”

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