curtains: in conversation with nautics

neeharika nene


Nautics, a New York based band, carved out a bold space for themselves with their first album – IV: The Misadventures of an Indestructibly Melancholy City (2015). Since then, they have continued to release incredible music that any rock aficionado would enjoy. Songs like I’ll Be Waiting, Post Madonna, and their newest single, Thoughts on the Ceiling have succeeded in building a character that is unique to Nautics.


We had the opportunity to speak with all four members – Kenzo Repola (vocals and guitar), Van Cameron (bass), Levitt Yaffe (drums), and Amir “The Hands” Brivanlou (keys), and dive deep into their perceptions of death as musical artists.


In this conversation with Nautics, we discuss their individual relationships with death, how it drives one to create more, and music that has left a mark on them.

photo: ori


Push up Daisies: What has your relationship with death always been like, and how do you view it now?


Levitt: I never thought I have had a relationship with death, I have had family members and friends die, if that counts but besides that nothing. I don’t view death negatively, every being has an expiration date, and when it comes they move to another plane.

Van: I don’t like to think about it much. Death is a scary concept to me. The idea that existence might not be permanent is something that makes me feel insecure about a permanent period to my existence.

Kenzo: I think the main experience I’ve had with death happened in the last year. I saw my Grandmother’s lifeless body sitting in her bed. She was cold. I don’t think I ever had a real understanding of how finite life was until I saw it timeout. It was a good experience and now her ashes sit in my house. I think I became more comfortable by the concept after that.

Amir: I’ve been very conscious of my own mortality from a very young age. Death’s finality still really shocks me.


Push up Daisies: Are you spiritual or religious? How do you think your culture/ideals affect your perception of death?

Van: I like religion a lot. I’m not really religious, but I find it interesting.

Kenzo: I don’t believe in life after death, but I think we all share an energy. Everything in the universe is connected. I’m not sure how, but I feel it is.

Amir: I’m from a family of scientists so death has always been very matter of fact.


Push up Daisies: As a creative, how does the thought or fear of death inspire you/does ever drive you to create more?

Levitt: I just want to be able to do everything I can before my time is up.

Van: I think a period at the end of your life makes you want to be impactful. You only get a finite time to create things of value, so it’s important to try and do important things.

Kenzo: I don’t fear death. I fear being murdered or drowning, but I don’t fear an end. I think what drives me are the lives that I am surrounded by, who I love and who push me forward through the unknown.


Push up Daisies: How would you like to be remembered?

Levitt: It depends on what I have accomplished by the time of my death, but for now I would like to be remembered as a good friend, someone who is compassionate, and someone who is always willing to listen.

Kenzo: As a kind and loving person. Hopefully something I leave behind carries on that intention.

Amir: I want to be remembered as someone who had a positive impact on people’s lives however large or small.


Push up Daisies: What are you most proud of in your life?


Levitt: Being an older brother, and being creative in the musical sense (Nautics) and with the book I am currently writing.