Interview: Neffex Opens Up About Their Debut EP ‘Q203’
Exciting things are on the horizon for Southern California duo Neffex. Group members Bryce Savage (vocals) and Cameron Wales (guitar, DJ) have been working together on music since high school. But they really hit their stride after taking on a daunting challenge in 2017. What was that? Releasing 100 songs in as many weeks. Doing so revealed their tendency toward blurring lines previously defined by genre. Not only that, but it allowed them to amass more than one billion cumulative streams. And it opened new doors along the way. This year, they signed with 12 Tone Music Group. Now, the focus is shifting toward their debut EP.
Today (October 2), we’re partnering with Neffex to share some exciting details about the project. Called Q203, the six-track collection is due October 16. And we’re already familiar with two of the songs on the tracklist. That includes lead single “It’s My Life” and “Sunday.” Others to keep an eye peeled for include my personal favorite “When I Was Young” and Bryce and Cameron’s current favs “Without You” and “Want Me.” That’s not all, though. I had the opportunity to ask the duo some questions about the project. They opened up about the significance of the EP’s title (it’s named after the apartment where their first studio was located).
Bryce and Cameron told me why now felt like the right time to shift their focus toward creating a longer project and shared some insight into their genre-defying sound. The pair also spilled the tea about working with a childhood friend and teased some plans for the rest of the year. That includes a European tour and work on their debut album. Check out the official EP cover art and tracklist before diving into our Q&A below.
1. When I Was Young
2. Without You
3. It’s My Life
6. Want Me
You’ve been releasing music on a very regular schedule for years. What made you decide now is the right time for your debut EP?
We hit 100 songs in 100 weeks and that was our goal when we started. We decided it was time to become more well-rounded artists that spend more than one week on a song and to start focusing a little more on quality over quantity. We were also very excited to work with 12Tone and felt the time to release a project with an overall cohesive sound was now. We are also really excited to give our fans a body of work and the best music we possibly can.
How does it feel to have a larger project coming out so soon?
It feels amazing, a lot of hard work went into this. We can’t wait to give our fans new music. Working on a project is nice because you can play with different genres but make it sound cohesive as a whole, so that was fun too.
The EP is named after the apartment where your first studio was located. Was there a reason why it felt like the right choice for the title?
Yeah, the EP is a culmination of all our hard work in that apartment finally coming to fruition. This project is essentially us putting a stamp on the 100 songs in 100 weeks and transitioning into releasing projects like EPs and albums. It just felt right to pay homage to that apartment and all the hard work we put in there to build Neffex into what its become.
“It’s My Life” has a great sound. Can you talk about how it came together?
It started off with a smooth sample we really liked, and as the drums started to get built out it felt like a really fun, upbeat song. As we started writing to it, the lyrics started to tell this story of doing what you want to do, when you want to do it. It then built into our imagination of us running around, playing shows everywhere and just having freedom to pursue what we want.
When you first recorded the song, did you know that it would be introducing the EP?
No, we had no idea. We recorded a body of work knowing that we would group together our favorites into the project. “It’s My Life” seemed to blend a lot of the genres and themes Neffex encompasses and it turned out to be a great fit for the first track.
Moving from “It’s My Life” to “Sunday” really showcases the sonic variety on Q203. Was it ever hard for you to incorporate such a lush and diverse palette of sounds onto one body of work?
No, not at all. Since we spent the 100 songs in 100 weeks combining so many different genres and elements from EDM to hip hop to rock, etc., incorporating different sounds was not difficult. Mixing genres is what we like to do and not foreign to us at all. We love the creative freedom to mix genres into new, unique sounds and that’s made Neffex what it is today.
I also wanted to ask about the video, which looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot. How did the idea come together?
We used to throw these events called Champagne Sundays at our house where we would invite a bunch of our friends over, provide champagne and just have a great time with everyone. So when it came to the video, we essentially tried to recreate that by shooting in our actual house (though the actual events were definitely a bit rowdier than the video portrays haha).
Are there any plans to drop more singles off the project? If so, do you think you’ll shoot any more videos moving forward?
No plans to drop any more singles before the project, but we might potentially shoot another music video or two once the songs are all out.
Right now, my favorite song on the EP is probably “When I Was Young.” Is there a song that you are most fond of currently? Why?
One of the songs we are probably most into is “Without You”. It has a good meaning, a dark sound behind it that really gives people emotion and has strong, impactful lyrics. Vocally everything on the song is delivered in a very powerful way, and we love the Linkin Park / Hybrid Theory-style drop at the end as well. We are also really excited about “Want Me” and think its going to be a blast to play on tour.
Looking back, when you decided to take on the challenge of a weekly release schedule, did you ever think that the result of all your work would be more than a billion cumulative streams?
We never thought of it in terms of specific numbers like that, but always thought we could be something special and create something special. We’ve always had confidence in ourselves to one day hit the Billboard charts, win Grammys, and be on stage singing for 10,000 people doing all of the things artists dream of.
Also, why did it feel so important to make your music available for royalty-free use?
We knew we needed to find a way for people to hear our music and figured the best way to receive value is to give value first. We decided to give our music to people with the hope of one day receiving value back, and giving it to creators was a no brainer for us. You make the best music you can, give it away to others to use and hope people like your music. That’s pretty much how we developed a fan base.
You’ve been friends with each other since high school. How does it feel now to be making music for such a large audience with someone you’ve known for so long?
Its awesome. We were 15 years old in our bedrooms working on music and to now be 26 years old and still be running around making music and living together is insane. We wake up every day living out our dream and wouldn’t have it any other way than continuing to build this together.
Are there ever any challenges that come from working with a childhood friend?
Not really, the best thing is that we know each other like brothers. After hanging out with someone for 11 years there isn’t too much you don’t know about the other person. Cam and I are both super reasonable and easygoing people and have always gotten along well.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We are about to leave for our European Tour, which we are really excited about. Right after the tour we’ll be in album mode working on a bunch of new music for our debut album set to come out next year.