Days of July
Days of July
Days of July is the Chicago-based synthwave project of Nick Villers. Nick has been involved in music his whole life primarily as a drummer and singer. From a young age through college Nick was involved in marching band, jazz band, classical percussion, and metal/hardcore bands (in addition to singing in musicals and choir). These roots provided Nick a well-rounded appreciation for music and especially a love for the 1980s.
Nick started Days of July in 2010 as a social media marketing project in college. After releasing an EP, music video, and more, Nick decided to continue Days of July post-college. DOJ remained as a creative outlet releasing a handful of singles and the sound evolving from indie/electronic to Synthwave.
In 2018, Nick took a hiatus from DOJ to focus on other life priorities. However, in 2022 Nick regained a new sense of purpose for Days of July to what it is today. Days of July has released eight singles since then and is continuing to explore what’s possible in 2023 and beyond.
“Days of July is inspired by a lot! I appreciate a lot of musical styles based on my musical upbringing and as a drummer.”
“I grew up listening to 80s pop music. My dad also played a lot of contemporary/smooth jazz in the car which definitely influenced me later in life through creating Synthwave. It’s cool to see some of that comes full circle. My main influences include a combination of 80s movies and soundtracks. Examples include Phil Collins / Genesis, Tears For Fears, Brothertiger, M83, The Midnight, and Gunship. I draw a lot on my past experiences playing drums in metal/hardcore bands and performing in musicals and marching/classical band to influence the music I create.”
Favorite Instruments/Studio Set-Up
“Drums! I have an electronic drum kit – Roland TD-27KV
Two acoustic drum sets – Pacific and Tama
Keyboards – M-Audio Radium and Akai MPK Mini.
Logic Pro X.”
“Up the Coast” – Days of July
“Toxic Perfectionism, Complacency, Self-Discipline.”
“Toxic Perfectionism: I’ve learned that nothing will ever be perfect. You have to work through the adversity of being vulnerable and be ok with that. I experienced the vicious cycle of never releasing music because it didn’t live up to ‘my standard’. Ironically, it created complacency and a lack of self-discipline because I got in the way of myself creating this unattainable expectation. I became demotivated creating and releasing music which led to complacency and a lack of self-discipline.”
“How I overcame that: After my four-year hiatus from DOJ, I reevaluated what I wanted this project to be and what were my expectations. Why am I doing this?”
“What will make me happy? I’ve adjusted my expectations to this project and it’s shifted my thinking. I’m focusing more on the ‘process & journey’ vs solely the ‘result’.”
“I also learned that ‘action leads to motivation’. Sometimes you have to just put things out and not dwell on the ‘what if’. Get moving and put it out there. If you didn’t like the version you created? Fine! One-up yourself with the next release. Everything you do is a learning experience.”
“Release more tracks in 2024 than 2023! In 2023 I’m at 5 so far. In 2022 it was 3. Have a physical release – vinyl and/or cassette. Build the DOJ brand – design and release merchandise. Expand creativity – music videos, get back into creating short-form content – TikTok, Reels, etc., revamp my website, find what’s authentic to me.”
“My latest single is ‘Training Montage’ released in June. I’m currently working on a new single. Stay-tuned for new music this fall and winter!”
Can you pick one of your tracks and tell us the story behind it? What inspired you to create it, and what emotions were you trying to convey?
“There’s a light-heartedness to ‘Deep Space Rad’ that brought me back to when I lived in Madison, WI between 2009-2011. That time was filled with creating music with close friends – electronic, metal, and everything in-between. Talking about ‘Getting Rad’ was our rally cry to everything we did. Why? Because it’s rad. ‘Getting Rad’ is a reminder to be in the moment, have fun, and not always take life so seriously. Goofiness is good for the soul.”
“I thought about my friend Evan who is no longer with us when I wrote this song. He was my first supporter to DOJ. We collaborated a lot on musical ideas and supported each other. The music video for ‘DEEP SPACE RAD’ pays homage to a fun YouTube series I did back then called ‘Days of Rad’. Evan was a part of those ‘Days of Rad’ videos and I think he would’ve enjoyed being a part of ‘DEEP SPACE RAD’. Creating it reminded me of those times we had back then.”
“Deep Space Rad (Official Music Video)” – Days of July
If you could perform with any music artist of all time who would that be and where would you like to play?
“Phil Collins and Genesis! I’d love to play ‘Behind The Lines’ with them from their 1980 Duke Tour.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music that help to inspire your work?
“I enjoy writing poetry and music reviews from time-to-time. I enjoy the creative aspects outside of the music itself – the branding, possibilities with merchandising, social media, creating videos, etc. I love fishing, snowboarding, and exploring the outdoors! They are all meditative for me. They center me mentally and help me stay continuously creative.”
A Message from the Artist
“Stream and follow Days of July on social media! All of my singles are available for purchase through Bandcamp and Amazon.”
Support Days of July
Music artists rely on the support of the music community. You can actually make a difference in an Artist’s life and career by showing your support in these ways!
For more cool new music and Artists from around the world, stay tuned to this Blog! Now you can also discover our Featured Artists on Mythic Rhythmic Presents only on Massive-Radio.com.