Nick Rattigan stands in a subway with arms outstretched.

Cruisin’ The Current: A Quick Chat with Current Joys

Music Interviews

Hot on the trails of the 2024 Kilby Block Party, us folks here at SLUG Magazine cast our lines into the murky depths of the music industry to see who (or what) would come for a nibble. Luckily, we snagged an awesome catch: Nick Rattigan, the sights, sounds and the rest of the senses of the indie rock project Current Joys, honored me with his presence. Through manic, scribbled-out notes and a partially-eaten tape cassette, Rattigan detailed a behind-the-scenes look to his DIY style and musical antecedent. 

“I really hated talking about music. I never thought I could make it successfully.” 

The hypnotic sound of Current Joys echoes the surfy amplifiers to 100, but tones down the fast-paced tempo for a more daydream grace. The same Southern California style is heard in singers like Rex Orange County or Briston Maroney. Although his music conjures images of sandy beaches and picturesque ocean sunsets, Rattigan gained his shoegaze style from “The Biggest Little City in the World”Reno, Nevada. “I love Reno more than Las Vegas,” Rattigan says. 

Going back and forth through the Silver State, his real passion for music came when he was attending classes at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). From there, Rattigan would manage his student-operated radio station, NVWR Wolf Pack Radio. These years of experience in reviewing tracks and broadcasting would lead him to a major in journalism. However, leading up to graduation while taking up internships with outlets such as VICE’s “Noisey” docu-series, the career path just didn’t seem quite right. “I really hated talking about music,” Rattigan explains. “I never thought I could make it successfully.” 

During the early 2010s, Rattigan deviated from the 9–5 life and began taking music more seriously. He began to release solo music, only to then join forces with musician Jacob Rubeck to form the punk/surf-rock group Surf Curse. Rattigan took on drums and vocals with Rubeck on guitar, along with Noah Kohll (guitar) and Henry Dillon (bass). “I learned to cut my teeth with a lot of my music authenticity,” says Rattigan.

“I learned to cut my teeth with a lot of my music authenticity.”

As a huge cinephile, Rattigan looks toward the silver screen when finding inspiration. Many of his tracks, both with Current Joys and Surf Curse, garner a homage to the films he grew up watching. Taken from his 2013 album Wild Hearts, the title for his third track “TELE/VISIONS” comes from the 1983 cult classic Videodrome. “1980’s nostalgia, German New Wave, [Andrei] Tarkovsky and right now, it’s anime,” says Rattigan of his influences.

So what is on the horizon for Current Joys? Right after this interview, Rattigan released a 11 track, anticipated sequel LP to LOVE + POP, featuring surreal collaborations with FearDorian and Gonerville. This expressionist hybrid of alternative and metal stretches Rattigan’s lyrical style and instrumental capacity, shifting between each genre effortlessly. In between transitions, whether with Surf Curse or his solo projects, Rattigan continues to practice his art, challenging himself more and more. “I’m at the ‘blank page’ state of the [creative process],” says Rattigan. “I’m poking around in the dark.” Whatever slow, jam rock Current Joys delivers through the audio streaming,the fans will be sure to keep an ear open to whatever comes our way!

For upcoming projects and events, be sure to follow Rattigan on Instagram at @currentjoys. Catch Current Joys, along with the rest of the star-studded lineup, at Kilby Block Party from May 10–12. Also, be on the lookout for SLUG’s comprehensive coverage of the festival as we provide in-depth analysis.

Read more interviews with national artists:
“Joyful Catharsis”: Mannequin Pussy Wants You to Scream
Unquenched Thirst for Sound and Inspiration: iDKHOW