ONSIND (One Night Stand In North Dakota) are Nathan Stephens Griffin and Daniel Ellis, two friends from a village Pity Me, just outside of Durham, North East England who sing songs with titles such as “Heterosexuality is a construct”. They started making their acoustic pop punk music together about 6 years ago and have released several records since.

We use acoustic guitars because it is easier to tour and it puts more focus on the lyrics and on establishing a dialogue with the audience,” says Nathan about Osind.

They feel inspired by pop music like the Kinks, the Beatles, but also by other bands from their US label Plan-it-X records like Spoonboy, Operation: Cliff Clavin, Max Levine Ensemble and Delay. Nathan: “We share a lot in common (ethically, if not aesthetically) with heavier vegan DIY bands like Fall of Efrafa, Punch, Raein and Greyskull, although we don’t really sound much like them. One of our favourite bands at the minute is a queer punk band from Leeds called ‘Jesus and his Judgemental Father’.”

And although they didn’t really set out with an agenda or to be an overtly political band, most of their songs have some sort of political message.

Nathan: “I think we are both very politically minded, and we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the things that we observe in the world that we think are fucked up. I guess it’s only natural that it filters into our creative endeavours too. We tend to think that the personal is the political, and so regardless of what you write about, be it romance or war, there will be political elements. You can either ignore it or acknowledge and embrace it, and I guess we do the latter.”

Some of their songs deal directly with what may technically fall under the politically exploited (and undoubtedly naff) term “women’s issues”.  When asked whether they get flack from those who might not feel they have license to sing about these themes Nathan responds:

“Firstly, I should say that the vast majority of feminists have been entirely supportive of us, and that’s really amazing and keeps us going. But we have also had criticism from feminists, and that is great too and we fully welcome it. One reason we were criticised was because some people felt we had become figureheads for ‘feminist’ issues within certain parts of the DIY punk scene- and that this was indicative of sexism in the scene more broadly and a result of our male privilege. And that’s 100% true, it’s much easier for us to claim to be feminist without fear of being ridiculed or dismissed because we don’t fit into the narrow stereotype about ‘feminists’. I think that criticism is really important. It can be a bit jarring sometimes when, within a small, heavily politicised scene, you feel like you’re coming under a lot more scrutiny than you would if you were just another apolitical band, but that’s par for the course. No one should be above criticism and when it happens it’s important to engage in a process of self-reflection and improvement and not be defensive or react badly when you come under fire. It’s really easy to let criticism push you away from feminism, and to feel like you’re not welcome, but you have to resist that temptation, and try and maturely engage with what people are saying and take it on board. Opening a dialogue and talking about these issues is great! That’s how we progress as individuals and collectively. We never really set out to be labelled as a single-issue ‘feminist’ band, it’s just one of the things we sing/care about, but I guess we’re distinctive because we’re both cis-men. I’ve always felt that feminism is an issue for everyone, and that it’s important for ‘men’ to be allies too, and we try our best to do that.”

Fancy catching a One Night Stand in North Dakota? Look out for gig near you!

Thanks from Tina to Nathan to take the time to respond to LUYD’s questions.