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 before 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. They started Nasty Habit in 2011 after finding 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 a full-length CD, and were runners-up for the Grammy Gig-of-a-Lifetime contest in 2013. Their fan-base is international thanks to Youtube where it’s easy to find covers of NH songs by bands in South America and beyond.
Its now 2015 and Syracuse-based Nasty Habit are leaving their teenage years behind (except for 18-year old Wheeler). What they aren’t leaving behind is their desire to bring back a genre of music that embodied a spirit of youth, rebellion and good times for a past generation of rockers that so badly needed it. With their new EP Desperate Times, Desperate Measures, the quartet believes that they have achieved their first goal of putting their own modern stamp on the sound they have embraced. They chose NYC-based rock producer Stacy O’Dell to help them achieve this and the result is loud, over-the-top and in-your-face hooky hard rock that doesn’t sound like it was recorded 20 years ago. The band will tour throughout 2014 and record a follow-up this winter.
Nasty Habit is not expecting rave reviews of their EP from Pitchfork or a feature in Brooklyn Vegan and they’re just fine with that. They don’t have a banjo player, are deplete of facial hair and not a smidgen of sarcasm is to be found in either their band name or their lyrics. So, this is not your average rock band in 2014. This is simply a band that plays the style of music that they love for the people who love it as well and they play it as loud as humanly possible.