Eric Nizgretsky, frontman of Loose Buttons, oozes satire. The quartet’s Facebook bio proclaims they’re “New York’s very first indie band,” and he jokes about Loose Buttons’ formation when we meet at the first night of their Pianos residency. “It was a Sunday night,” he quips, “and there was an incredible jazz band playing at Pianos, and there was a jacket chilling off to the side and I couldn’t help but keep seeing it. The buttons were so beautiful, so loose. I stared for so long that I then realized it was Wednesday, and I was actually about the play a show.” Lucky to have caught him before he could get distracted by any more loose buttons, we discussed the residency and the band’s new EP, Sundays, which drops February 24.
“The residency is kind of a way for us to promote the EP,” he says. “We usually do one or two shows a month, but we were like, let’s give people four opportunities to see us and have a good time with us.”
Lyrically, Sundays revolves around coming to terms with the end of relationship. “These four songs mean a lot to us,” says Nizgretsky. “It’s like four different stages of a break-up. You realize: wow, this person isn’t right for me; shit, I’m not used to life alone; fuck, maybe it was all my fault; [then] it’s time for you to really move on.”
The title of the EP is a nod to the lazy Sundays he and his ex used to spend together, but Nizgretsky emphasizes that these songs were a full-band effort. “A Loose Buttons song doesn’t become a Loose Buttons song until all four of us touch it,” he explains. “I might write the lyrics… but they kind of hone me in. I hone them in. We’re very collaborative. It’s like a fun moving company in a sense. We all have our little jobs.”
And although the EP isn’t out yet, Nizgretsky says the band is already hard at work on their debut album. “We finally feel like it’s time for us to take the big boy step, and it’s a little scary,” he says. “We figured ourselves out on this EP, and now the next ones are gonna be even better.”
If his burst of creativity is the result of four years playing together, then the band’s residency can certainly be seen as a celebration of that. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have such incredible musicians around me,” says Nizgretsky. “If I were to go on my own, it would be an empty room, constantly.” It’s a humble sentiment, but it reflects Nizgretsky’s personal growth as well. “When I was younger, I was a little bit more insecure as a singer,” he continues. “I learned that if you perform your heart out, people will forget how bad you are.”
His wry modesty downplays his great vocal ability, but along with between-song dad jokes and his turtleneck sweaters, his stage presence compliments that of the whole band. As a unit, they have an uncanny ability to carry their danceable tunes out on stage, making sure the audience has a blast in the process.
Check out the latest track “Between Brick Walls” from the Sundays EP, available on February 24. Until then, catch the guys at Pianos on Wednesdays at 8.