Meet Nick Long, The Machine Gun Kelly Co-Writer Who Helped Bring Pop-Punk Back to the Top of the Charts – Billboard

A pop-punk alum and veteran of Warped Tour bands as a writer and guitarist himself, Long achieved minor streaming success in the mid-’10s with his alt-pop solo outfit Dark Waves. But as label drama stunted that project before he could release a full-length album, he struck unexpected gold in a co-writing session with then-rising pop/rock artist BØRNS, and went on to work from there with such wide-ranging alternative artists as All Time Low, Papa Roach, Black Veil Brides and King Princess. (“The perfect job that I never knew existed,” he raves of his new co-writing role.) 

Still, he’s never had full-album success like he’s found with MGK — first with 2019’s Tickets-presaging alt-crossover collab with Yungblud “I Think I’m Okay,” and now with writing credits on all 13 of the non-interlude tracks on the new album. “I never have ever been aware of the charts or anything like that, so it’s not really on my radar,” Long admits. “But it’s also something that I never even dreamed of happening. So yeah, I feel honored to be a part of the project — and if it can inspire people to start some bands or bring back some more music like this…”

Below, Billboard catches up with Long’s winding career to this point, while also talking about turning texts into songs with Machine Gun Kelly — and why it would “break [his] f–king heart” if the band Jawbreaker turned out to not like their song “Jawbreaker.” 

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