Checking in: John Congleton – The Nighty Nite

Photo: The Nighty Nite / Facebook
John Congleton of The Nighty Nite.

With The Paper Chase on indefinite hiatus, you may have been wondering what John Congleton has been doing with his free time. Other than producing the epic new Explosions in the Sky record, John has been quietly preparing his new band, The Nighty Nite, to fill that void in your life.

The Nighty Nite plays their first show ever at JR’s Lightbulb Club on Saturday, May 28. I asked John some questions and he said okay.

Roger Barrett: Before I ask about your new band, what’s the status of The Paper Chase?
John Congleton: Half dead. There is quite the possibility we will never play again or if Bobby calls me tomorrow and says he wants to, we could do as much as release a double album, who knows. It was always Bobby and I at the heart of things since we started the band together. His life is more complicated now. He’s a single dad.

John Congleton, 2009
Photo: Phil Nicholson

RB: When and why did The Nighty Nite begin as a band?
JC: When things got difficult for Paper Chase to play as much, it was just the natural next step. I knew what I wanted to do different musically. If that’s coming across, I don’t know. Some people have said it’s weirder, some people have said it’s darker. I don’t know if I agree with either assessment.

RB: Was it difficult to start a new band? I’ve heard rumors that you’re a busy guy.
JC: Fuck yes, it is. The older you get the harder it is. I’ve made sure to pick people close to my age to play with, which thins the pickins, too. I want to play with adults who take music seriously, but also know that it’s really about having a good time.

RB: What is your role in The Nighty Nite? Are you the main songwriter?
JC: It’s almost identical to the role I had in Paper Chase, so yes.

RB: How does the new band compare to The Paper Chase?
JC: As I said, I have my beliefs but they don’t seem to be echoed by other people so what do I know! I think a Paper Chase fan would feel at home with it surely.

RB: Any recordings in the works?
JC: Yeah, we have an EP that will be with us at the show and a full length to come. The songs are there, just no time to make it and I wanted us to have some solid stage time under our belts. The EP is more like Paper Chase than the stuff I have for the LP.

RB: What non musical influences have shaped your new material?
JC: Hmm, music has never been a huge influence on my music as stupid as that sounds. I think the biggest thing has just been the books I’ve been reading lately. Bill Bryson, Brian Greene, going back to some old Carl Jung things, nonfiction stuff exclusively.

The Nighty Nite ‘Dimes in their Dimples’ by Graveface Records

RB: What have you been listening to lately?
JC: Whatever I’ve been producing mainly. But there have been a few things that I’ve been really into lately. I really like this band called Andrew Jackson Jihad. I still really dig that Fever Ray record and Earl Sweatshirt. I’ve also been pretty into that rapper Yelawolf. I’m not too hip, I guess.

RB: Do you have anything nice to say about Fayetteville?
JC: What can I NOT say about Fayetteville? I love playing that town so much. For years and years, Paper Chase always had some reason to come back. I have every intention of making this band have the long haul, so I hope we can make it the same oasis it was for usI Please come say hi!