Nick Lesley is a Brooklyn based musician, currently active in the bands Necking and Alien Whale, along with other collaborations and occasional solo projects. He’s primarily an improvising drummer, but performs on guitar, saxophone, and electronics. He’s created music for dance, film and video – including recent computer animations by Lillian Schwartz – performed in Rhys Chatham’s “A Crimson Grail” and The Boredoms’ “88 Boa Drum”. He consistently performs around New York at such venues as Death By Audio, Secret Project Robot, Dead Herring (which he co-founded), Issue Project Room, and many more. Previous bands include Oma Yang, Felicia & Coctopus, Gunung Sari, and Hair Jail. He received his MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College in 2008.
Nick’s drumming style is significantly influenced by the unique brand of hardcore he grew up with in the 90s in San Diego, CA. This is most evident in Necking, which has consistently included other members from San Diego. Now pared down to only two members, Rop Vazquez (of Rice and The Peechees) plays bass and sings in Necking, while Nick plays drums and sings through electronics. Necking is self-proclaimed “Free Punk”. Alien Whale is similarly loud and loose, but plays more with the rock ’n roll tropes ingrained in the musicians’ repertoires. Colin Langenus (of USAisaMonster) plays guitar and Matt Mottel (of Talibam!) plays key-tar.
Nick’s electronic music performances are also largely improvised, processing percussion sounds through analog electronics and a laptop running Max/MSP. Using no pre-recorded samples, organic sounds create textures and melodic ghosts. He sets the analog and digital in a volatile feedback-loop configuration, allowing electronics to interact and reveal inherent voices which communicate with the organic sounds fed to them.
Live performance is very important in all of Nick’s music. He performs with energy and spontaneity, valuing the interaction with the audience and his collaborator friends. Nick has never played in a band that sought members through a Craig’s List ad.