Posted On 03 Oct 2017
Get to know the punk rock band from Oregon called Not A Part Of It. Their album, “The Nine Lives Of The Night Life”, was released earlier this year on February 17th.
The band is made up of songwriter/vocalist/guitar player Jason Burton, bass player/back-up vocalist Daylon Liles, and drummer Cody Lamb. All the musicians are accomplished, in their own right, having been past members of local and national bands like: Manitoba Lights, Everyday Automaton, Shortround, and New York Hardcore band Murphy’s Law. The trio came together in February 2014, as the result of an unexpected line-up change and an already booked west coast tour. After one month of intense practice the tour happened as scheduled; the current line-up has been performing and writing together ever since.
To date, the band has recorded two full length albums: “Don’t Let the Bastards Down” (2015) and “Nine Lives of the Night Life” (released February 2017). They have also completed five West Coast tours. At the top of the year, they headed out for a mid-west/west coast tour; going as far east as Chicago then south, to Austin, TX. In addition, NAPOI they stopped in Las Vegas, southern California, and the San Francisco bay area. Some of these dates were shared with Washington state punks, Potbelly, Box Cutter, The Angry Samoans, Verbal Abuse and Know.
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Learn more about Not A Part Of it in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find the band today? Is there music playing in the background? What music do you all like to listen to when you are relaxing or answering interview questions?
Jason: Haha I’m not listening to music while I answer interview questions. I want to give all of my attention to your amazing and amusing questions!!!!
Daylon: I’m not listening to anything currently, but lately I’ve been on a Berkeley punk kick. I was listening to some Crimpshrine earlier today.
How does 2017 so far compare to last year? Did you all approach this year differently then you did 2016?
J: Wow, I don’t remember things in that context. People will say things like “remember? we did that in June 2014” and I’ll say something like “no. I mean, I remember doing it but not when.” Things are similar this year. Not A Part Of It is doing the same things. Recording, releasing music, touring. Always with the goal of doing more and better.
D: 2017 has been great so far. We’ve been to a lot of new places, and made tons of new friends. Earlier this year we were able to make it out to the Midwest for the first time, and we had a blast.
Growing up, did you both always want to be musicians? Can you recall the moment you realized that you could really make music together and be a band? Why do you think your name truly represents this group and the music that you create?
J: I suppose, but not in that way of thinking, “I want to be…” I used to pretend to be The Beatles, The Monkees and stuff. Haha my brother and I would strum and fret on tennis rackets like they were guitars and I remember playing a chalkboard for a drum. I guess I was playing Ringo. I think the name, Not A Part Of It, represents anything you want it to. You can answer the question, “what are you not a part of”? It’s not as simple as a name like “The Sheep” or something. Wait, that has a double meaning. Possibly more meanings.
D: Growing up, I think there had to have been a point where I wanted to do everything. I can’t recall the moment exactly, but I know that when we first started playing, everything just clicked. We all mesh together well when it comes to writing music and performing. As far as the name goes, I know Jason can explain it better than I can. To me, It’s about non-compliance.
I always like to ask artists how their hometown has been an influence on the kind of music they make and really, what kind of a band they are today. So how do you think Oregon has affected you?
J: I’m sure it affects the music. I think it’s for others to discover how, but I will say that being near the bay area in the ’90’s shaped what kind of punk scene I grew up in. It seemed extremely influenced by what was going on there with 924 Gilman and MRR and all the political ideologies and musical directions that came with that.
D: I’m not sure if living in Oregon has affected the kind of music we make, it’s hard to say. Though I think that I have definitely been influenced by the music I grew up listening to, and the bands I grew up watching when I was young.
I’ve read that you all have been in other bands so I am curious how being in Not Part Of It compares to those other musical experiences?
J: I think that this band is different because we get along the best of any band I’ve been in. We all write and learn fast and work really hard at doing the best we can when recording or performing or anything to do with the band. Thus, it’s the strongest material I personally have been involved with.
D: We work hard in this band to do what we do, we always try to be touring, writing new material and recording. We like to stay busy!
Earlier this year, you released your latest album called “The Nine Lives Of The Night Life.” What was it like putting that collection together? What was the inspiration for these songs?
J: The songs are from a variety of writing periods. For instance, the opening track “Hostile Populace” I wrote in 2003 I think. I’ve played and recorded that song with bands in New York, Ohio and Eugene now. The inspiration is and always has been my interpretation of life and what is going on in the world, and the overwhelming urge to share that. Like any writer (I assume), I need you to know that I also know. We’re all in this together and we’re all we have. Let’s see… what else? I wanted to put the song “National National” on the album because it is referenced in the song “Contemporary Charismatic Criminals” from the album “Don’t Let The Bastards Down” that we released in 2015. It was actually written before “Contemporary Charismatic Criminals” so I wanted that on the follow up at least.
D: I had a great time working on this album. We had a lot of room to be creative and have as much fun as we wanted to have with the project. We were able to bring our friends in from other bands we love, such as Critical Shakes, Pirate Radio, and Mugen Hoso from Japan.
How do you think you have grown and developed over the years? How is your latest album different or similar to your 2015 collection, “Don’t Let the Bastards Down”?
J: I think we have similar writing wise as before. We’re experimenting a bit but I think we always have. We’re writing parts together more as opposed to how usually, I write everything and record a demo for them to learn from. There’s been 3 or 4 songs where I bring a song 3/4 formed but no lyrics and we arrange more of it together. Like “Outta Conttrol” off “Don’t Let The Bastards Down.” That was the first new song after our first tour. We were only a band for 4 weeks when we got back.
D: We are always growing as musicians, and I personally feel that with “The Nine Lives Of The Night Life”, we were able to be creative and play around with different ideas. I’m very happy with the end result.
How was your latest tour? What are your plans for the rest of this summer? Do you have any tour dates lined up? What has been this group’s favorite touring experience or a favorite performance?
J: The latest tour was great! We did about 2 months and we got to see a lot of friends and meet new ones. My friend John Jughead from Screeching Weasel, Even In Blackouts, Mopes etc. had a birthday party so we got to go see him and a bunch of friends play in his basement. Dan Panic from Weasel, Riverdales, etc. played a couple of songs with us at our Gilman date. A Screeching Weasel song (“Totally”) and a Not A Part Of It song (“Mind Games”). At one point in Oklahoma City at The Blue Note I sliced my right palm open on stage and I had to rush to the hospital to get stitches. We kept going though! We cancelled the next date to see how I was and to get some healing rest. It really helped but the day after that, it was right back to it. The rest of the summer will be spent recording. We started early August at Catatonic Studios in Eugene, Oregon with our friend Colin engineering. He recorded our track “The War Is Over” which imagines an end to the conflict in Syria for the split 7″ being released in, I think, November. It features Dwarves, D.O.A. and Potbelly. Favorite live experience? That is an unfair question! I will say that we played last night which was 8/19/17 with our friends Mugen Hoso from Japan. It was definitely up there as a favorite. We got to tour with Mugen Hoso last year and it was amazing. They are not to be missed if they come to your town. They tour America once a year I think. We’re going up to Washington in October to play P.I.G. Fest in Everett for our friends P.I.G. Records. That show is on 10/21 but We are doing other cities in Washington as well, so Washington readers should take note.
D: Our latest tour was great, we spent February touring to the midwest, and back through the south and up the coast. We went to a lot of new places, and made many new friends. In March, we toured the west coast with our good friends Potbelly, and had a great time. It’s hard to pick my favorite tour experience, but I would have to say that being able to share the stage with our friend Dan Panic at 924 Gilman earlier this year gets a special spot on my list. As for our future endeavors, we have a lot of good things coming up, so keep an eye on our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay tuned!
Where do you guys think you are happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording new music or elsewhere?
J: All of it. Doing any one thing for too long is not good no matter what you do. By doing all three and more all the time it always feels fresh.
D: This is a hard question to answer. I’d say that I’m happiest when we write new material as a band. It’s a great feeling to create new music together. I’m incredibly happy onstage and in the studio, but it’s a different feeling altogether.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you all like to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this band?
J: I, personally am a fan of classic punk. The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, Ramones, and all the bands that they have influenced. I won’t name them all here. We like Punk and all of it’s sub genres, Jamaican music like Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, etc. As for collaborations, we got to work with Mugen Hoso on “The Nine Lives Of The Night Life” album. They sang a pre-chorus on “Fearless, Tearless, Peerless”. Another from the Weasel family, our friend, Paul Russell, who drew the classic weasel punk smoking a cigarette logo and more, is doing the art for our upcoming release. We’re very excited about that. His ideas for the artwork that he’s shared with me when we’ve spoken about it are very clever already, so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. Crazy, wacky dream collaboration? Shane MacGowan. Even if he merely laughed as a rhythm track.
D: I would definitely like to work more with Dan Panic. He is a great drummer, and an all around really nice guy. It would be fantastic to work with him again in the future, whether it’s recording together, or playing more shows.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
J: I hope that people think about what we say and come away feeling positive and hopeful about the world. Yes, we talk about things that are wrong but we also celebrate that we have the power to put an end to them. If change is an inescapable experience in life, then isn’t change for the better how we should be striving to direct that change? It’s easy to look at what’s going on now with racial tensions, war, threats of nuclear annihilation and more present in our media and feel overwhelmed and depressed. To overcome that and come together. Defeat fear. That’s a big part of the themes of our songs. And fun. Fun is important in all of that.
D: I feel like Jason is better suited to answer this question, as he is the main songwriter. Above all, I hope that our songs make people think more about what is going on in the world around them. If our music can help anyone in any way, I’m happy.
What advice would you give to a band just getting started? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
J: Write. Record. Tour. Help other bands. Reach out and communicate.
D: I think the best advice I can give is this: Drink some water. Eat part of an apple each day. Do a half push-up and you’ll be ready to do a music song!
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or your music?
J: Just that it would be great to share all of this with you! Check out these links and come see us when we come to your town!
D: We are all very cool guys who are always getting taller and taller.