Gig Seeker Pro


Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Oregonian Article"

Published on 08/28/2008. NIAYH was interviewed as one of the bands who "leap(ed) into unknown." - Tom D'Antoni

"Band in a Box: NIAYH"

Interview after NIAYH's CD Release in Portland's The Bite Festival - The Oregonian

"NIAYH : The Band"

Wondering though the streets of Portland allows for a variety of circumstances. For instance, when one travels via bicycle and hears a soothing melody come blaring from an open basement window a simple dismount can transfrom an everyday commuter into an impromptu concert goer. As I listened, I became awe struck by the raw emotion vibrating from their instruments. Clearly, this group of extraordinary gentlemen have an clear passion for their art. Their bodies are merely vehicles as their hearts and souls spew forth an enchanting gospel of inexplicable truth. This is Niayh: the band. - Interview Thr3 People A Week Blog

"LPM Voice Magazine"

Soon to come Local band listing and review at: - LPM Voice Magazine

"Mountain Stage NewSong West Coast Finalists"

Selected to for West Coast Regional finals. - West Coast Regional Contest.

"NIAYH Interview"

For the past week, RockOm has been sharing about the excellent Portland, OR band known as NIAYH. Besides being the Featured Track of the Week, we did an audio interview with them (via the 10/21/08 RockOm podcast) as well as an album review.

Tomorrow their week is up, but before they go, here's one final word (for now). We threw a couple more questions their way and while you could call the podcast (audio) interview "Part I," today we present to you "Part II." Many, many blessings to NIAYH as they continue their evolution and the sharing of love through their music and message.

RockOm: One of the more "mysterious" songs on your album - both musically and lyrically - is the title track "Hope." What was your inspiration for this song and where were you coming from lyrically?

NIAYH: Musically, this song emerged from deep within a jam. Kenton added guitar riffs he had written years ago to a rhythm Rood and Lydian were jamming and Worth chimed in immediately with the chorus. From the beginning there was a distinct sense of confusion and loss, even anger, at the heart of the music. At the time we were all reeling from recent turmoil in our romantic relationships and it felt that these feelings were coming to the surface through this piece. Worth and Kenton built the lyrics/melody around the imagery of a stormy night in Portland; the first and last parts of the track actually include a recording we made on the front porch of a wild storm we had last winter. The final chorus is intended to be a cathartic outpouring of emotion followed by a descent into a mellow calm. On a psychological level, this song represents passage through a storm.

RockOm: Several of your tracks such as "Rock," "Break You Off," and "Gottarythmaway" features outstanding horn melodies and performances. How did you hook up with these players? Were they "studio only" or do they tour with you occasionally?

NIAYH: These were hired musicians that our Producer/Engineer Sean Norton recommended. We dubbed MIDI horns over a basement recording of the tracks and gave the ideas to Joe Millward who then made written arrangements for the hired players. Once the parts were arranged, we had an all day session and blew through the parts pretty quickly. The baritone sax solo in "Gottarhythmaway" was my (Worth) favorite moment of that session. Tim literally played the solo through twice and we could have gone with either one they were both so good. Before he played, Lydian yelled out "Heroin Sex" to describe the feel we wanted for the solo.

My (Lydian) favorite moment was the insane screeching at the end of "Rock" - it seemed difficult for these seasoned musicians to let go and just make noise. It was nice to provide them with the opportunity. Live we play mostly with a cat who moved out to Portland from New Orleans. He showed up randomly at one of our house parties last winter and asked to hop in with us. Worth said "Yeah, when we take a break we'll talk more." The gentleman replied, "I've got my horn, I'm ready to go!" The big smile on his face made it feel right to say "OK!" He pulled out an alto and blew. The basement - full of humid bodies (during Oregon's winter) - roared and bounced with bliss. From that point on Marlon began playing with us quite a bit around Portland, although we couldn't afford to pay him to go on tour with us since we can't even afford paying ourselves.
This past tour we sent out Craigslist postings in a variety of cities to see if we could scrounge up some new talent - it always mixes things up to have a new player on stage with us, usually in a good way. Dr. Sax in Colorado was the most fun to create sound with. We knew within five minutes that he could speak with his instrument, but I don't think any of us anticipated the energy he would have in front of a live crowd. The couple of shows he came out for in Colorado ended up being some of the best of the tour. Hopefully we can play with him again next time we're through Denver.

RockOm: Each member of NIAYH displays a significant mastery over his instrument and/or vocals. Would each of you individually share one or two of your musical influences that have shaped your playing style or sound?

Lydian- Heartbeats, Trip Hop low rhythms, Paul Chambers, Jaco Pastorious, Charlie Mingus, Cachao, etc...

Kenton- Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Charlie Hunter

Roody- street sounds of every day combined with the desires of an inspired sonic landscape artist facing war

Worth- R&B and soul singers mainly, but I like to combine that with some down-home folk simplicity and some of the rhythmic delivery of modern hip hop. Honestly, I think Jason Mraz convinced me to pick up a guitar and sing - I dug the fusion I heard in his early live performances. Currently I have a strong love affair with Etta James and Madeline Peyroux.

RockOm: Before the uber-catchy rock jam "Catie" blasts in with it's funky opening, there's a Wild West sounding 50-second prelude. How did this come about and what inspired you to begin this particular song in this way?

NIAYH: This was the original intro, when the song was just acoustic guitar and vocals; we kept this part for the record because we loved how it contrasted the groove of the rest of the song. When we play "Caitie" live we almost always drop into a 6/8 blues jam at the end in reverence to the original way we played it.

RockOm: The song "Some Part of Me" speaks to that internal tussle we often feel between who we are and who we want to be. Philosophically speaking, what do you think the realization that "now is all you have" could possibly teach us during those times where we find ourselves struggling with this issue? For example, if now IS all we have, is there any use in getting worked up worrying about who we believe we "should be"?

NIAYH: So often we are distracted from the present moment by regrets about the past or worries/dreams for the future that we are unable to act. "Now Is All You Have" is a reminder to be aware of all that is occurring around and within us. When we are aware in the present moment we see things as they are and action proceeds naturally. Real change comes from this awareness of what is, not an allegiance to some normative concept of what should be. "Some Part Of Me" examines this dynamic in us: what we have been brings us to what we are now; what we want to be is always occurring through our current actions; and so the present encompasses all of this- past and future. For a more eloquent and detailed exploration of this, check out any book by J. Krishnamurti.

RockOm: How do you see NIAYH developing musically or lyrically? Are there any new sounds or themes that you're working on in jams and rehearsals that may be something you'll want to explore on follow-up albums?

NIAYH: This first record was created entirely within our first two months as a band - it was really more of an exercise for us to figure out how to work and play together. We think of Hope as a the story of how NIAYH came to be. As far as new stuff, we're spending the winter writing new material that we will refine on tour next year. Our sound really developed on this last tour, so I think our music will sound more and more distinctive. Considering the diverse amount of experimentation we play with, it's hard to say what will come next. We're going to focus on diversifying our rhythmic and harmonic composition and really push our boundaries as players. Lyrically, we intend to work more collaboratively and write some more progressive songs. The next record will be more philosophical in nature.

Original text:

"Hope Album Review"

One wonders what it must have been like as those first European explorers discovered America. The joy of coming face-to-face with something new, fresh and indescribable must have been both breathtaking and incredibly satisfactory on a soul level. While one can’t exactly compare the unearthing of a new land with the discovery of a new rock band, my introduction to the music of NIAYH comes pretty damn close.

NIAYH is a four-piece outfit from Portland, OR whose name is an acronym for “Now is all you have,” a phrase which is part of the band’s manifesto serving as a self-reminder and invitation for their listeners to “appreciate the divinity of the moment.” While most bands converge for musical or relational reasons only, NIAYH has come together on a deeper, even spiritual, level to share their love and philosophical message through amazingly well-written and well-performed music.

NIAYH’s debut album, Hope (2008), is by far my favorite album of the year – if not the past several years. Through syncopated, funk-inspired grooves, premium musicianship and unbelievably infectious melodies, Hope is a sign that all is not lost in the often soulless and computer-tweaked realm of modern rock.

As to the band’s sound, it is self-described as “hip-hop infused, psychedelic soul, rock, rhythm and blues.” Casual listeners may be quick to make comparisons to such bands as Jamiroquai, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Incubus, but those comparisons turn up to be extremely superficial upon deeper investigation. For one thing, Hope features a stylistic diversity that few bands are courageous enough to tackle. The album flows from pop-rock (“Break You Off”), to sultry swing (“Gottarythmaway”), to hard funk rock (“Catie”), to 50’s bluesy soul (“Baby, What Am I Gonna Do?”), and back. Don’t let that fool you, however; this is not an erratic, disjointed free-for-all. There’s a common thread - something in the songwriting, performances and production - that tie all of these diverse songs and styles together into a cohesive whole.

Secondly, what NIAYH has up on similar-sounding bands is a humility and “realness” that is hard to fake. While several of the acts mentioned above can sometimes project a certain amount of pop superficiality (dare I say cheese?), NIAYH never seems to cross that line; quite the opposite, actually. A sincere, edgy and raw emotion flows out of each track, inviting the listener to share in the lustful yearning (“Catie”), heart-breaking agony (“Baby, What Am I Gonna Do?”), desire for change (“Some Part of Me”) and other honest emotions embedded in the album’s eleven tracks. In fact, if comparisons must be made, perhaps those to the soul and R&B masters of decades past may be more apropos.

Hope begins with a track entitled “Rock” which is not only the perfect opening song, but a perfect introduction to the group as the lyrics themselves tell the story of NIAYH coming together. Christopher (the band’s vocalist, also known as Worth) speaks to meeting and getting to know each of the now-members and pulling them all together:

“When we rocked every one of us knew
That we would come together to do what we would do
And spread the seeds of a philosophy: ‘Now is all you have!’”

“Rock” finishes up with a total 180-degree change-up into a slow, dub reggae jam with spacey sounds reminiscent of early, experimental Pink Floyd. This is done as if to buck expectations and say, “Yes, we write pop songs, but we’re also going to add some depth and complexity – why? Because we damn well want to.”

“Break You Off” follows with one of Hope’s more “ready for radio” offerings and further confirms the sense that this is an extremely solid band. In both of the opening two tracks, Lydian and Roody consistently lock into a tight groove while Kenton’s funk rhythm guitar and lead lines fill in the spaces in a beautifully appropriate way.

Track 3 is “Gottarythmaway,” a stylistic divergence from the previous two songs. Following the opening stick clicks, NIAYH surprises the listener by popping into a slinky, back-alley swing number complete with finger snaps and horn bursts. Oozing with sexual cupidity, Worth oogles his female companion through his cool and polished vocal delivery:

She’s just shy of 5’5”, chocolate eyes with the brown hair to match
Fine lines, curvy behind, she wears her beauty like a matter of fact
Oh, this woman breathes all delectable things,
sweet raw sugar dripping from her cane…

“Gottarythmaway” slinks along into what you think will be an explosive chorus only to have the carpet ripped out from underneath you as the band slyly slides into a quiet and beautifully understated refrain.

With what may be the windows-down, road anthem of the season, “Let It Ride” emerges from the final, explosive burst of “Gottarythmaway” with a simple acoustic guitar and organ. While Worth reminisces about a girl from California, the band rolls in in stages before Lydian’s bouncy walking bass leads into one of Hope’s catchiest hooks. Like a car on the open highway, “Ride” cruises along with a semi-gentle fluidity until out of the bridge explodes one of Kenton’s best lead lines, marked by its crunchy, synthesized tone and technical complexity.

“Caitie” begins with a 50-second prelude of vocal wailings, slide acoustic guitars and even the sound of spurs, sounding more Wild West than Northwest. Don’t get too comfortable with the sound, however, as out of nowhere crashes in the full band with this album’s funkiest and perhaps most stand-out track. “Caitie” is a hit, for sure, with its wonderful arrangement, compelling hooks and melodies and an all-out rock assault in the last 30 seconds that would make even Rage Against the Machine proud.

A darker, more mysterious offering and the album’s namesake – “Hope” – follows as Track 6. Kenton piles on the delay and works the tremolo bar as “Hope” emotionally builds into a double-time, hard-rocking bridge and then back into the song’s simple, yet effective mantra: “I hope that you’re feeling right.” Here again, NIAYH successfully shows off both their unwillingness to stay in the pop vein and the depth for which they’re willing to reach.

As if to further display the band’s musical cajones, a long intro then leads into Hope’s seventh, longest and most emotive track, “Baby, What Am I Gonna Do?” Using a very slow 6/8 shuffle, lots of room reverb and a blues/soul tonality reminiscent of something from 50 years ago, “Baby…” is teeming with longing and heartache. One of my biggest complaints about modern music is the recording studio’s ability to suck the life, soul and feeling out of performances in order to “perfect” a track (especially in the vocals). Producer/engineer Sean Norton (of Sean Norton Audio, Portland), however, consistently allows the musicians’ hearts to flow freely, inviting the listener to empathize with what’s being expressed. This is perhaps best shown through “Baby…,” though it is certainly prevalent throughout.

The next two tracks, “I’ll Wait” and “Forgot About Love” return to NIAYH’s current balance point, which seems to be a funky, groove-pop sound laden with bouncy, head-bopping bass lines and wah-wah’d guitars. Roody keeps the groove in the pocket throughout both songs as Worth continues to demonstrate his vocal chops and wise melodic choices. Both are enjoyable tracks supported by commendable songwriting.

Track 11, “A Better Man,” is a notable pop offering that challenges “Let It Ride” and “Caitie” for Hope’s catchiest hook. The chorus contains that kind of contagious melody that you find running through your head during sleepless nights and long drives. Another interesting aspect of “A Better Man” is its most curious bridge section. Here, Worth and the boys make a nod to Pearl Jam’s similarly titled piece “Better Man,” altering the chord progression only slightly before building back up into the refrain.

Hope’s final cut, “Some Part of Me,” is an intimate, playful and touching song which looks at the tussle between who one is and who one wants to be:

Some part of me wants to be everything in between
myself and all I pretend to be…
Some part of me wants to make it better
but I fear it’s not my priority

The band (who self-recorded this track in a home studio) did a great job recreating a campfire feeling, even down to the hissing and popping of a nearby fire, as they and several female friends add their voices to the sing-along chorus. With its stripped down instrumentation and overlapping melodies, harmonies, laughter, shouting and atmospheric noise, “Some Part of Me” refuses to take itself too seriously, even considering the more weighty subject matter. Think a mixture of “To Be With You” (Mr. Big), “More Than Words” (Extreme) and “All You Need Is Love” (The Beatles) and you’ll be close. “Some Part of Me” not only hints at NIAYH’s philosophical bent, but also the familial love and friendship that exists within the band and toward their fans.

Considering Worth’s heartfelt and beautifully delivered vocals, Roody’s rock solid drumming, Kenton’s uncanny ability to find non-standard guitar lines and Lydian’s superb tastiness and technical ability, NIAYH is one hell of a force to be reckoned with. Their ability to write melodies rivals that of popular music’s heaviest hitters and the band’s choices for parts and arrangements sets them out way beyond the fold of the scores of independent artists trying to “make it.” While most bands, try as they might, honestly don’t have what it takes to get to that next level, whether NIAYH chooses to ride a wave to the top of the pop and rock charts or stay indie and underground, I believe, is solely at their discretion. It is only a matter of short time before record labels and the mainstream music media come pounding at their door. And perhaps the most marvelous thing is that, their incredible music aside, NIAYH has chosen to be the prophets of a much needed message. In a world saturated with superficiality, fear and uncertainty, NIAYH invites us into the eternal NOW, rich with depth and overflowing with love, gratitude and peace. There are indeed very few bands who can provide excellence both in music and in message which is why I’m certain that while “now” truly is “all we have,” the world is only experiencing the first of many, many future “nows” with NIAYH.

by Trevor Harden, President of -


Hope (2008 NIAYH Records)



NIAYH proposes a new musical vision. If you’ve ever seen a live NIAYH show, you understand how impossible it is to give their music a title or assign them a genre: they are simultaneously every genre and no genre at all. No matter what they are playing, you can always tell it is NIAYH.

“NIAYH's groovadelic sound is straight heart-to-heart with a snap crackle and pop that treats the ear in a blend of acoustic and electric synergy. Brilliantly poetic lyrics set on a dazzling musical palette. They get outside the box of Planet Earth.”
–Scott Mathews, Music Producer (The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Johnny Cash)

While they are a rock band at heart, they draw deep influences from R&B, metal, funk, psychedelic and Latin traditions. From luscious soundscapes to tightly crafted and melodically driven songs, their music bridges styles to form one that is distinctly their own. Hypnotic grooves support eclectic compositions that are both progressive and classic.

“Considering Worth’s heartfelt and beautifully delivered vocals, Roody’s rock solid drumming, Kenton’s uncanny ability to find non-standard guitar lines and Lydian’s superb tastiness and technical ability, NIAYH is one hell of a force to be reckoned with. Their ability to write melodies rivals that of popular music’s heaviest hitters and the band’s choices for parts and arrangements sets them out way beyond the fold of scores of independent artists trying to make it.”
-Trevor Harden, President,

Above all, it is the spiritual element to their performance that drives everything. A show is a cathartic experience for the band and audience alike – ones leave feeling exercised and healed, both physically and spiritually.

An acronym for “Now Is All You Have,” NIAYH is a Portland, Oregon based band comprised of Christopher Worth, Adolfo Cuellar, David Rueda, Kenton Clow, Morgan Quinn, and Val Haddix. Since forming in 2007, NIAYH has released one full length record (“Hope”) and toured extensively on their home-made tour bus (“Wally”) throughout the western US states at venues such as the Crystal Ballroom and Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR, and the Dakota Live Music Lounge in Santa Monica, CA. NIAYH is currently recording their next full length album while also preparing for a 6 week national tour in May.