In August of 2015, three East Texas locals formed the band All Nighter, based in Nacogdoches. At the time, they had no clue their project would one day turn into two business opportunities and impact an entire community.
All Nighter is composed of singer and guitarist Sterling Coker, singer and bassist Tyler Arnold, and drummer Garrett Moore, but before they were All Nighter, they were a band called The Losing Team.
Coker moved to Nacogdoches from the Dallas Area and found The Losing Team’s former singer/songwriter from an ad on Craigslist. Coker met Arnold in a Game Stop in Nacogdoches, and Arnold met Moore in a class at Angelina College.
After parting with their former singer/songwriter for creative differences, the three men formed an acoustic band that eventually turned into the full new wave emo band, All Nighter.
Coker experienced music as a percussionist in high school band. He played drums until his brother said he wanted to learn drums and asked Coker to learn to play bass.
Arnold played french horn in high school band and has a common knowledge of music and rhythm, but Moore and Coker are teaching him to play bass in All Nighter.
Moore bought a drum set at 15, and learned to play when he was on the church band at New Hope in Nacogdoches.
All Nighter mainly did pop punk covers of other songs, at first, but they eventually began writing their own music.
Arnold enjoys getting inspiration from movies of all genres.
“[My creative process is] spontaneous,” Arnold said. “I’ll just be sitting there, something will pop in my head, and I’ll have to write it down.”
Coker uses his photography, videography, and life experiences to gain inspiration.
“When it comes down to helping me write, I like to take some coffee and my guitar and sit in my room, alone,” Coker said. “I could just write forever. It helps me get the feeling out.”
Moore gets his inspiration from reading, literature classes, and the desire to do more with his life.
“Just being at work and hating being at work makes me want to write,” Moore said.
When the band started to try to get gigs at venues, they realized many people didn’t take them seriously.
“People won’t take someone seriously when they say they are in a band,” Arnold said. “But if you take pride in what you do, and you let people know you are in this, they take it very seriously.”
After a few failed attempts at booking gigs, the band decided to start their own booking company. That was the birthing of Unit 65 Productions.
The name Unit 65 Productions originated when All Nighter first became a full band. The three members had rented out a 10×10 unit to practice in, and the unit’s number was 65.
“It was like the day we finally got a cab and an amp rig so we could play full band,” Moore said. “We got a storage unit the same day or the next day.”
The trio said Unit 65 started out as a way to start getting gigs.
When they took their first week-long tour through Texas after releasing an acoustic EP called “Something to Talk About,” they set up gigs by acting as Unit 65 Productions representing All Nighter.
After their success on the road, All Nighter started getting calls from other bands to book them.
“Before we knew it we had bands from all over messaging us,” Moore said.
To date, Unit 65 Productions has booked bands from Austin to Brooklyn, New York, to play in Nacogdoches.
“We almost didn’t believe that [the band from New York] wanted to play in Nac,” Arnold said.
The local response made All Nighter believe Unit 65 could become something serious. The band started witnessing different genres and more bands popping up in Nacogdoches itself. After a while, they realized Unit 65 could book bands to play at benefits like the Summer Reading Festival, a book drive for Carpenter Elementary School.
Eventually they decided to rename the business to Unit 65 Collective because they believe the word collective sounds more inviting and accepting.
The band said the end goal for Unit 65 is to become a record label.
“We’re definitely treating this like a business,” Coker said. “We want to make money so we can support ourselves so we can keep doing this. We’re the business owners of All Nighter and Unit 65.”
Currently, the three men are living in San Marcos, Texas, but they still enjoy booking and playing in Nacogdoches. They are working on recording a new EP called “Bad Luck and Bad Choices” that will release in December before their cross country tour to Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Oklahoma.