Stomping Grounds: Nick Testa (The Nightbeast) on Dayton, Ohio

The Nightbeast

In Fall 2011, the probably love child of Har Mar Superstar and T-Pain, Nightbeast, reemerged with his sophomore EP, You’re Welcome.  The follow-up to his debut, Inside Jokes For Outside Folks (which featured contributions from dudes from Punchline, Hawthorne Heights and even Say Anything’s Max Bemis), the LP is a effervescent, celebratory romp featuring a humorous, pop-culture obsessed MC who touches on everything from The Adventures of Milo and Otiz to The Princess Bride.
As of late, Nightbeast has enlisted the help of up-and-coming hip-hoppers God Bless and Asher Jones and assembled a full-band for forthcoming fall outings that are sure to be hedonistic, sweaty, and joyous affairs.  Ghettoblaster caught up with Nightbeast, (aka. Nick Testa) before he spends the fall and winter spreading joy to the region to discuss the joys of his hometown, Dayton, Ohio.  Here is what he had to say about Dayton’s Grime Prom, Edgar Allen Poor, Sherwood Florist, and more…
What’s your town’s nickname?
The Gem City – Dayton Ohio.

What’s your nickname for your town?
The place where I have fans. 

Why do you live there?
I’ve been to every major and most minor cities in America and covered a lot of ground in the rest of the world, and I will always come back to Dayton. It’s a great place because if you want to have a good time, you have to make it, and there are a great group of like-minded people here who just want to have a good time and won’t give up until they do.  You have to be more creative here. The odds are against us, but we make the best of it. 

Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
I did grow up in Dayton.
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
I once had a job dressing like Elvis holding a sign for a local tattoo shop and dancing, if that’s not enough I had to stop because I was getting hit with rocks thrown by kids at the trailer park across the street.

What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
The Dayton Mall, because I like malls more than a 16 year old girl in 1989. Or the China Buffet on 5th St. 
What is your favorite local event or festival?
Grime Prom at Blind Bobs. It’s a celebration of all things nasty and decadent. 
What is the best time of year to be there?
Really any time but the winter, or the rain…when people drive like dickheads.

Who is your favorite local celebrity?
There’s a fella who’s hard on his luck who sells his poetry on the streets. A friend nicknamed him Edgar Allen Poor. I like him for name alone.
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
The Century. It’s a bourbon house. They have roughly a million different whiskeys and even more stories. There’s always something happening there.
Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play? Blind Bob’s is the best atmosphere for a rowdy party.
Does where you live influence your music?
Absolutely. The characters sneak into songs here and there.  The basic essence of my songs is Dayton, trying really hard to have fun, even if that means making fun of ourselves.

What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
Blind Bob’s. This year’s Grime Prom was the most wild. (Adventure, Astro Fang, Rad Company, Grand Mammoth).

What is your favorite local band?
God Bless and Asher Jones, They’ve since disbanded, but they were the best band from Dayton.

What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
China Buffet on fifth street. I will eat a buffet like a guppy, it’s kind of a problem, I will eat until I explode. 

What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
Dayton City Paper.

What is your favorite local shop?
Game Swap.  It’s the only place where you can get Desert Storm Trading Cards, a Lando Calrissian action figure and a Sega CD system in 2012 at a reasonable price.

If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?
Melbourne AUS. There’s a restaurant there called Lord of the Fries. Anyone that provides puns like that, knows me.  I’d say about 30% of why I still live here is because there’s a Hookah bar here called Off The Hookah. Never smoked a hookah in my life, but that will always make me laugh.  And it’s right down the street from Sherwood Florist. This is my town.