Artistic integrity, creativity, and passion are the perfect words to describe Nightbird Casino. This group of talented and down to earth humans are pushing the boundaries and blurring the lines of musical expression. “I want us to be as creative and original and out there as possible. In a way, I want to create music that makes people think.” says frontman James Moore when asked how he would describe their music. “I don't necessarily like music where you just shut off your brain. I like music that forces you to kind of sit up and take notice.” Take notice indeed. The first time you push play on a Nightbird Casino track you will hear complex rhythms, intricate guitars, the haunting ambience of the ondes martenot, and lyrics crafted from a true wordsmith.
Nightbird Casino was born around 2016. Tired of being kept in a musical box, James and the former band founder left another group to build their musical vision. Today the band is influenced by a wide range of sounds; from Radiohead, Elbow, Interpol, and King Krule to Miles Davis, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, M83, and Spoon. James (Vocals, Guitar), Amanda Moore (Keys, Ondes Martenot), & Oliver Orion (Drums, Percussion) come together to create a truly diverse group of musicians dedicated to their craft.
For Nightbird Casino it was initially all about experimenting. “It was initially just like, how weird can we be? How many different instruments can we cram into a song?” James laughs. Their sound has developed to be about finding a balance between experimenting and still being musically accessible. It's a difficult balance to strike, but a feat Nightbird Casino seems to accomplish effortlessly.
Oliver Orion got his musical start when his mom got him playing the piano around age 6. “It was just super strict, you know? You play an hour a day or you don't do anything else. It was all classical, read your sheet music, don't write anything yourself ... that typical classical training.” Forging his musical background, he transitioned to the clarinet. Around 5th grade he heard Nirvana for the first time and thought “what the hell am I doing playing clarinet? (no offense to clarinet players)” The next thing he knew was he was listening to ska and found his passion for playing drums. Fast forward to 2021, he got in touch with James after a chance posting looking for a collaborator on craigslist. “We played together once and I thought, ok, this is what I'm looking for. And since then it's just been a blast.” Bringing influences of jazz, hip hop, and funk rock, he rounds out Nightbird Casino with rock solid groove and feel.
ondes martenot, synth, vocals
Amanda Moore got her start as a kid on her old family piano. Taking some lessons from her Grandmother, her love for playing was kindled but took some years to ignite. Working her way through musical theatre, she eventually moved to upstate New York where she met James. “James got this really amazing, beautiful instrument, the ondes martenot (an obscure 1930s electronic instrument, more recently brought into contemporary music by Johnny Greenwood and Daft Punk). He bought it for himself and then I commandeered it … it's just such a beautiful instrument. It’s like you dance with the sounds. I picked it up really quickly. It just resonated with me so deeply that I felt like I needed to play it” With that, her love for playing music was ignited. Amanda took a jump into synthesizers as well and brought the layers of atmospheric sound and ambience Nightbird Casino needed.