Nox Boys - Photo by Theresa Kereakes

The Nox Boys at the Warhol Museum, left to right, Zach Stadlander, Bob Powers, Zack Keim, and Sam Berman. Photo by Theresa Kereakes.

In Scene Report, musicians from all over the globe fill us in on what’s going on sonically in their hometowns. This week, the Nox Boys give us the scoop on Pittsburgh, PA. Their recent self-titled LP is out now on Get Hip.

The Nox Boys are a teenage garage punk band based in Blawnox, PA, a factory town situated on the Allegheny River just outside of Pittsburgh. The town is named after the Blaw-Knox Company, a producer of road paving equipment and radio broadcast towers. Now, it’s just a town stuck in the middle of a rich neighborhood. We stole our band’s name from a ’60s Blawnox greaser gang called the NOX BOYS.

It seems that everybody thinks of Pittsburgh as this place where we have this huge rap scene because of Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. Or in your high school history you hear that it’s an old industrial town that creates clouds of smoke by melting metal. Now the smoke’s gone, and to be honest, it’s not the biggest rap scene. A lot of the musicians around here are part of a really cool indie scene and we plan on telling you who that is. One great thing about Pittsburgh though is that it’s filled with record stores, and we mean legit vinyl, not just CDs. There’s lots of vinyl collectors in this town and it’s home to the internationally renowned Jerry’s Records that has people like R. Crumb and Robert Plant making special trips there to thumb through the stacks.

Our band is made up of three high schoolers and one cool, hip old guy. Bob, our slide guitar player (aka Sam’s Uncle), is one of these big-time record freaks. His record collection of Black Lips, Stooges, Velvet Underground and Swamp Rats records has really influenced our band’s “garagey/punky” sound and given the rest of us an advanced education in rock ’n’ roll. When we hooked up with our label, Get Hip Recordings, we came in contact with an even bigger record junkie, Gregg Kostelich. Gregg plays lead guitar for garage rock legends the Cynics, and his collection needs warehouse space. Get Hip produces and promotes some of the coolest garage records around and they also distribute new indie and classic recordings (Swamp Rats!) that are hard to find.

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