15 Questions (and Answers) with The Nixons’ Zac Maloy…

One of the only bright spots for Oklahoma in 2017 was the reunion of everyone’s favorite local 1990’s grunge band to make it big  – The Nixons.

They’ll be playing their second “Welcome Back” show in Oklahoma City on New Year’s Eve at the Chevy Event Center with special guests Hinder, Aranda & Part Time Savants. I’ve heard even Wakeland will be there to help with the catering. The show is all part of the KATT’s First Annual New Year’s Eve Bash, which in addition to the music, will feature a kissing / STD testing booth with Greg Zoobeck.

Because I’m a cool blogger who gets to do these types of things, I was lucky enough to conduct a Q&A with Nixons frontman Zac Maloy. Let me tell you, 17-year-old Patrick would be very proud! We talked nostalgia, the band’s new plans, and a bunch of other random stuff about Oklahoma City.

Check it out below.

1. Thanks for taking the time for this Q&A! I’m a sucker for nostalgia, so let’s first talk about the band getting back together. Has it exceeded your expectations? What’s it been like to dance on the stage of memories with your old bandmates?

I see what you did there 🙂

It has absolutely blown all of our expectations out of the EFFIN water. Packed shows…after 15 years! I didn’t know they still cared. The Bricktown show (and first official show back) was like a for real reunion…old friends, fam, fire…perfect. Then the sold out Trees Dallas show was truly magic. People were singing along to songs I barely remembered.

2. Do you ever walk into your favorite bar or restaurant and sing real loud Heeeere IIIIII Ammm Aaaagain…”

Yeah, and when I’m buying a new car at some point I scream “Liiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeessssss!!!!!!!!”

(Editor’s Note: He must shop at David Stanley.)

3. The Nixons made waves right at the height of the grunge movement and had the quintessential grunge radio sound. What bands influenced you? Do you still listen to music from that era?

Our influences I think, collectively, is what made us a little unique. We LOVED VanHalen and the heavy but fun bands. Also, dug Pearl Jam/Nirvana…the not fun bands. And went even further back and pulled in a little Who, Sabbath et al.

4. Any chance we can get you to rip off Old Wayne Coyne and walk around the Chevy Event Center in a big plastic bubble for the concert on New Year’s Eve?

Weird you should mention the Lips. They really did influence us, too. Not so much musically…but the live show, lights, energy. Maybe not the bubble…I should do something different…sleeping bag? Just wrap myself in plastic? Is that weird?

5. That’s not weird, but The Flaming Lips do have an alley in Bricktown. Don’t you think it’s time for a Nixons sidewalk?

Hell, I’d take a few stepping stones.

6. Any alternative or rock music fan who lived in Oklahoma during the 1990s had the matchstick littered Foma in their CD wallet. What was the idea behind that design? Did the girl on the CD case cover survive the fire?

We were young and irresponsible. And I guess encouraging people to start fires? NOTE: don’t start fires. Although at the show Dec 31 at Bricktown Event Center with Hinder (tickets available / shameless plug) …it might get a little…hot:)

RE: Cover girl. She did survive, she’s actually a firewoman now. That album cover really did a number on her. #realhero

7. The first time I ever got “really” stoned was at a Nixons concert in the Bricktown Brewery parking lot. I think – remember, I was stoned – that you may have played a cover of Cheap Trick’s “Heaven Tonight.” What are the odds we can hear that again on New Year’s Eve?

Yes we covered that badass tune. It was part of a still unreleased CT tribute LP. We actually got to play our version for them on their tour bus at a show we played with them. Amazing to have Robin Zander turn to me and say “Oh, I like what you did there”. Unfortunately, that’s not on the current set list. But, if you’re stoned enough…maybe you’ll just, like, hear it.

NOTE: Not encouraging getting stoned.

8. Where in Chevy Events Center will Hinder place all their groupies?

Is there enough room?

Funny, when I know the other band on the bill will have way more groupies, I play this prank where I switch the name plates on the dressing rooms. Hilarious. Backfired when we opened for KISS in the 90’s. LOTS of angry middle-aged women in Gene Simmons make-up.

9. The Nixons released some new music earlier this year. Is a new EP or LP in the works? Any vinyl reissues?

So stoked to say yes! EP with some rarities and the one new tune “Song of the Year.” And YES, our first indie album, Halo, is now available on vinyl. #stockingstuffer

10. You’ve had a successful career as songwriter in Nashville. What’s easier to write? Mainstream country or mainstream alternative rock?

It’s all pretty hard. Tougher to get cuts every day. But actually…shut up Zac. I’m stupidly lucky to have the gig I have writing songs for a living. I will say, in some ways, writing Nixons songs was slightly less microscoped. SEE: “get up early get a worm even if you’re not a bird.” That lyric would likely be edited out of my music row songwriting sessions.

11. You’ve done some stuff with ACM @ UCO. Why didn’t we have things like that in Oklahoma City during the 1980s or 1990s?

Right? ACM@OCU is an absolute gold mine for Oklahoma. Scott Booker is a pillar of music in that city. I also am in town for the Oklahoma Songwriters Festival April 12, 13 & 14 2018 for year 3! (oklahomasongwritersfestival.com …shameless plug #2)…and Scott and ACM have been a truly awesome partner.

12. Oklahoma City’s changed a lot over the years. What are your thoughts over the much hyped renaissance?

I’m not just blowing smoke here (like you were in question 7)…OKC is truly in a MUTHAFUCKIN renaissance. I couldn’t believe it when I visited for scouting for the songwriters fest (oklahomasongwritersfestival.com… I’ve lost count). You have truly crossed a threshold when you have snappy names for areas. I’ll get em wrong but they kept saying things like – “Yeah, this is deep deuce” or “no-so” or maybe it was “film row south.” When I lived in the good ol Aberdeen it was just – “Yeah we’re going to that one bar that’s open.”

13. When you come back to Oklahoma City, what’s the first restaurant you go to?

Well, nostalgia time. I spent many good nights at Flips (wife and I second meeting). And wasted a lot of hours waiting for some Teds. Now, I’m gonna get real here. The last time I was in town I went straight to Taco Bueno.

14. Let’s play a game of Fuck, Marry, Kill – Jake Daniels, Greg Zoobeck, Blade Runner.

Yeah. In that order (but you already knew that). NOTE: If you’re referring to the original Blade Runner, then it’s the opposite.

15. What word of advice / wisdom would you give to bands trying to make it big today?

Get your law degree! Kiddin. Kinda. There’s a story there. I was on my way to law school when we signed a record deal (with an indie label that went bankrupt shortly after releasing our EP). Honestly, my advice is if you really believe in what you’re doing…go. Go do it. There’s other real, practical stuff too… but that would just get boring. But one thing I love: Billy Joe from Green Day challenged himself to CREATE everyday. Write a song. A riff. A phrase, melody, concept. Anything. I’m getting all profound so I’ll shift back to salesmen. To be truly inspired: come see the Nixons, Hinder, Aranda & Part Time Savants NYE! You will wake up in 2018 and be ready to take on the whole damn world (after the hangover wears off. Go to cure: vanilla milkshake).