NICK PIUNTI – Trust Your Instincts (interview)

The song is actually about a relationship that ran its course, but using the analogy of a “one hit wonder” band that couldn’t follow it up. The relationship couldn’t survive past the infatuation, love at first site stage. Actually a true story of sorts.

Sweet Sweet Music talked to Nick Piunti about his great GREAT new release, Trust Your Instincts.


You inspired Ryan Allen to write Gorgeous w/ Guitars. He says:  “That song is basically about being true to yourself and continuing to keep making music no matter what. A little bit of it is about me, but it’s also sort of about my dad and my friend Nick Piunti. … In terms of Nick, he’s written three amazing records in his early 50s while most people his age do nothing creative.”. What do you think?


That’s pretty cool that Ryan said that. When I heard the demo of “Gorgeous With Guitars” I asked Ryan who that was about, as I know he almost always writes about what he knows. I was of course flattered to be part of the inspiration for that song.

Ryan is a young guy (by my standards) so I think he may see that my continued musical output is reassuring in that you don’t have to give up or quit just because you’re not a kid anymore.

I first met Ryan soon after I heard of his band “Friendly Foes”. I was knocked out by that album (Born Radical) and met him at one of his shows. We became good friends, wrote some songs together and he’s now an integral part of my last three albums. Plus he’s a really smart and funny dude. Super talented.

You get great reviews. One Hit Wonder is mentioned a lot as perfect Power Pop song. Did you knew you had something special while writing/recording it?

When writing songs, it’s usually instantly apparent when you’re on to something. I had that title to a different melody but it didn’t do enough for me to ever record it.
I think I came up with the first line “burned out before it began, if it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan” which led into the title.
The song is actually about a relationship that ran its course, but using the analogy of a “one hit wonder” band that couldn’t follow it up. The relationship couldn’t survive past the infatuation, love at first site stage. Actually a true story of sorts.
I had the feeling that “One Hit Wonder” was the most typical power pop styled song on the album. Got to have at least one of those. At first I started the song with muted eighth notes on my guitar, but it was a bit too typical (Cars, Stacy’s Mom) so I came up with a riff played through a pedal that emulated a mellotron. Gave it a cool vibe. Ryan’s harmony vocal is great and Donny Brown (drums) came up with the key change for the last chorus. Perfectly cliché for the song.




My favorite is Vaguely Familiar. What is Guns ‘n’ Roses doing in a Nick Piunti song?

Vaguely Familiar is one of my favorites on the album as well. We recorded that one really fast. It sounded good right from the start.

The story pretty much follows my stab at moving to Los Angeles in the mid 80’s only to find that we were the wrong band for times. Guns and Roses, Poison, Hair Metal was being born while our band, The Take, was more like The Plimsouls or The Rave Ups, (L.A. bands that we really liked.) It was a good experience for a lot of different reasons.

Growing up with the same band, starting as 12 year olds, going to school, college together, and moving to L.A. to give it one last shot. The other three guys stayed and built lives for themselves in California, so it was meant to be.


Dumb It Down is ready to be picked up by some big star from Nashville, I think?


Exactly! When I was recording Dumb it Down Ryan thought it would be great for Lady Antebellum to record, to which I wasn’t sure was a compliment or not. What he meant was that it was probably a prettier song than usual for me.

Geoff Michael had the idea to have Rachael Davis sing the harmony, which definitely sweetened the song. So a slightly different vibe for me, but I thought it came out great and makes it stand out in a more alt-country fashion. so if you know some big star in Nashville send him or her my way. Have I got a song for them!


How are you going to promote Trust Your Instincts? What’s up for the next couple of months?


Trust Your Instincts is on Jem Records, so I have distribution, which helps getting the album out there, plus there are so many writers writing some really amazing reviews that hopefully will turn into word of mouth which will help as well.

Working on scheduling a couple local shows as well. I’ve been fortunate to have songs in film, tv, and song on a Mojo Magazine cover mount cd, and all those came to me as a surprise. Just the right person listening at the right time.

So, you never know. I do know that I’m really fortunate to still be inspired and at 56 I just released which many are saying is my best album ever. Couldn’t do that without the support of my amazing wife Kelli, and my three daughter are not embarrassed by their Dad still rocking. In fact my 17 year old daughter Megan, did the artwork for my album. She also has good ears for when I’m writing songs. She tells me which ones she likes.

Buy it at Amazon or directly from Nick

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