New Sounds: Eddie Japan go in search of nightlife’s lost romanticism in ‘1 a.m.’


In times of personal trouble or reflection, it’s always advisable to seek guidance within the lyrical wisdom of one Steven Patrick Morrissey. While the former Smiths frontman may often err in his modern-day socio-political commentary, the man asked a question that everyone has asked of themselves at one point or another as we all involuntary take part in the race to get older: “Has the world changed or have I changed?”

It’s easy to lament society today and cite Mozzer’s infamous quip about how “it just wasn’t like the old days anymore,” but Eddie Japan aren’t interested in easy defeat. There’s still something to behold about nightlife and the promise and intrigue it may forever hold, even as the lights are suddenly dimmed, enthusiasm is drained by the demands of day life, and a night on the couch is preferred over a night on the town.

In the Massachusetts band’s new single and video for “1 a.m.”, frontman David Santos knows he has changed and he knows that nightlife has changed, but rejects the notion that the two need be mutually exclusive. This new offering from Eddie Japan is the first taste of new record Golden Age, out July 18, and serves as “an ode to the nocturnal, and a call to resist the urge to ‘Netflix and chill.'” Its running theme is clear: When there is a “push and pull between the ‘reality’ of day and the fantasy and romanticism associated with night,” who wins?


Santos adds: “It seems to me that we’re not quite as enthusiastic about our nightlife in this day and age — the romantic aspects of night have disappeared in lots of ways (i.e. Netflix and chill, ‘I hate staying out late!). So Golden Age refers to a time when night seemed to mean a lot more, when people were much more deliberate about their nighttime maneuvers. I’ll go to a store — it will be 9 p.m., and the cashier never fails to say, ‘Have a nice day.’ We are in a 24/7 mentality. A general influence for the record was the jazz age, Roaring ’20s, and the Weimar Republic. Not so much in sound, but in spirit — the zest for life and the need to create and burn at both ends.”

That desire to create and stir the emotions of the night led the band to one of Boston’s most crystallized relics of its past identity.

“The [‘1 a.m.’] video is a love letter to Boston, and was shot in about four hours on a beautiful summer evening in the North End — a section of the city chosen for its distinctly European vibe, and where the laid-back locals have a definite appreciation for nighttime revelry,” Santos tells us. “To wit, we set up in an alley — without permission or any disturbance — with a giant old television and the headlights of a Honda Fit illuminating our makeshift set.”

The video was shot by William Smyth and Paul Tierney, and edited by The Brother Kite‘s Jon Downs. The song was recorded and mixed by Eddie Japan guitarist Eric Brosius, with the remaining Golden Age tracks recorded by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios, with additional recording by Sean McLaughlin at 37′ Productions and Brosius’ home studio in Arlington. Grotto and Greg Hawkes of The Cars co-produced the record.

Shortly after Golden Age’s release, the band finds themselves on opposite sides of the Bay State with a pair of release parties: July 22 at The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton and then July 29 at Great Scott in Allston alongside Abbie Barrett and Jenee Halstead.

Featured Eddie Japan photo by Chuck Losey / C3L Photography.

Eddie Japan Golden Age Flyer