MOORESVILLE – The Nude Party was formed after years of friendship, practice and, yes, playing music in the nude.
The six band members – Patton Magee, Austin Brose, Connor Mikita, Alec Castillo, Don Merrill and Lake Norman-native Shaun Couture – started playing music together when they were all living in Boone in 2012, according to the band’s Facebook page.
In its early years of playing in the North Carolina mountain town, the group of friends gained a following because they would play nude at house parties.
As their popularity and audience grew, the band began playing in clubs and bars and therefore, somewhat ironically, began having to play clothed just as they formally decided to name themselves “The Nude Party.”
The band now lives in New York and is about to begin an international tour.
But Couture, a 2011 graduate of Lake Norman High School, still remembers late summer nights spent on Lake Norman.
Mooresville Citizen: How did you start playing music and/or singing?
Shaun Couture: My older brother bought a guitar when I was 10 or 11. He lost interest in playing, so I started playing it. My friends growing up got into music at the same time so we started jamming and learning together.
MC: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
SC: You can choose "musician" as a career?
MC: In "Chevrolet Van," the lyrics imply that one of y'all's relatives isn't too keen on your career. Did you ever think your band was going to get this popular?
SC: Patton (Magee)'s grandfather sent a letter to Patton's older brother right before he was about to go on a long trip. It basically said that he needed to choose a sustainable career path and settle down. I don't think we ever thought our band was gonna get popular, nor do we really think about it now. When we first started this band, we sucked really bad. We just wanted to hang out and play music. That philosophy still holds true today, although I'd like to think we've honed in on our chops a little bit since we started.
MC: What do you love about the style of music that you play?
SC: I think all of us unite over the groove that you get from a good old fashion(ed) rock-and-roll song. We've always leaned toward making music with a strong danceable beat. Some of our early influences were Creedence Clearwater Revival, early (Rolling) Stones, The Animals, Booker T & the MG's, etc.
MC: How much did living in Lake Norman and/or North Carolina affect the way you approached your music?
SC: Alec (Castillo) was living at this little lake house over by Big Daddy's that his parents bought with the intention of renting it out. They let him live there for the summer, so we set up in the living room and started jamming. It was pretty much a haven for us to party and try and learn bits of songs. That lake house was an integral part to the inception of our band.
MC: What's your favorite memory of Lake Norman High or the Lake Norman area?
SC: Hanging out that summer at Alec's lake house, playing music at the lake house and late night naked canoe trips.
MC: Anything else you want to say to your fans back home?
SC: Most importantly, I'd like to say thank you to all of our parents for their love and support.