Friday June 18th, 1986: 19-year old Billy Columbo just got out of working in the meat department at Tops Friendly Markets in Rochester, New York. He just got paid $88.22 for the week and he felt rich. The sun was shining, and he had a cold 12-pack of Keystone Light in the back seat of his 82 Chevy Malibu. Windows down on the freeway headed to round up the crew, the Jensen speakers were at capacity cranking 96 WCMF. Motley Crue followed by Ratt and into Warrant. Wind in the hair, loud and proud, no speed limit and headed down to the War Memorial Arena for the Judas Priest and Dokken show that he’d be waiting for what seemed an eternity. Billy felt young and alive. Everything in the world was right at that moment and the music made it even more right because it was about living loud, having fun and enjoying life…
Brothers Kenny and Tommy Ende weren’t alive yet in 1986. As a matter of fact, the brothers from Seneca Falls, NY never heard bands like Van Halen and Tesla until Kenny started playing guitar in his early teens. But somehow they felt what Billy Columbo felt in ’86 when they stumbled upon metal from the 80’s and decided that it would be the soundtrack to their skateboarding endeavors. Kenny started playing guitar in his early teens and by 16 had learned most of Van Halen’s catalog. Kenny and younger brother Tommy were enamored with the heavy guitars and the bombast of the 80’s rock bands, and they quickly knew that this was the style of music they wanted to play.
Nasty Habit officially came to being in 2011 after the Ende brothers found 2 kindred spirits in drummer David Jordan and bassist Frank Wheeler who was just 16 at the time. Since then, the band has played hundreds of shows across the US, has released an EP, and were runners-up for the Grammy Gig-of-a-Lifetime contest in 2013. Their fan-base is international thanks to Youtube where with over a quarter of a million video views, it’s easy to find covers of NH songs by bands in South America and beyond.
It’s now 2015 and the joke would go “what do you call 2 beards and a laptop?” Of course the punch line being “a band”. The members of Nasty Habit don’t sport beards, don’t have a banjo or vintage keyboard among them and will probably never be invited to play Bonaroo or Coachella. They won’t be written about in Brooklyn Vegan or Pitchfork and you likely won’t hear their music in a Jeep commercial. Simply put, they just don’t fit in… And believe it or not, they’re OK with that and actually wouldn’t want it any other way. “We do what we do because we love playing the music we play. It’s as simple as that”, says singer Tommy Ende. “We aren’t trying to re-create the past or bring back the 80’s,” says brother Kenny. “We write songs based on what we feel and how we play, and if those songs don’t sound like what’s popular on the radio right now, that doesn’t bother us. Our fans love what we do for the same reasons we do. It’s fun and what we love.”
The sound of Nasty Habit certainly has a retro aspect that harkens back to the big riffs and choruses of the late 80’s arena rock. However, growing up as kids in the 2000’s, they were also influenced by the pop-punk sound that was prevalent amongst their peers in the skateboarding world, and even today are always seeking out new influences that may pop up in their music. Bassist Frank Wheeler puts it this way; “we’re gonna write what comes out of us, and if one song sounds different from most of our other songs, we don’t have a problem with that and our true fans won’t either”.
Nasty Habit takes their performance very seriously, but not themselves and this is so evident in their live show. “We want people to have a good time and forget about their problems for an hour when they come see us” chimes in drummer David Jordan. “We have a great time playing and want to share that feeling with the audience. We want people to leave saying “wow, that was a lot of fun”. That way, we know they’ll be there the next time we come through their town”.
Nasty Habit has been touring the U.S. extensively in support of their debut EP Desperate Times, Desperate Measures since it came out in May 2014. Their new single “Turn Up The Radio” will be released in June and they will complete the recording of the next record this summer with a Fall 2015 release planned. Look for Nasty Habit in your market soon and TURN UP THE RADIO!!!