Hi Andrea, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Life is good! Busy but good. That is usually the method to my madness. Last August I completed another successful Kickstarter Campaign and then began recording in October with some of my closest friends. I got to work with producer Matt Chiaravalle again and we had a blast. The beginning of this year was really spent preparing for the release of the EP. Now it’s time to celebrate and tour!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Fire”?
I co-wrote this song with Matt Duke. When I sat down to write Fire, I thought about how often you need to pick yourself back up after being broken. As I get older, I have learned how to cope better. While old habits die hard, and I can still be self-destructive at times, I find that I’m more self aware these days. We, as individuals, need to keep our internal lights burning. No one else can do that for you. Life is short so it’s critical to feed your soul, enjoy what you do, and figure out what lights you up. I focus and place higher priority on the things and people that are good for me. “I am the keeper of my flame.” I am passionate about enjoying life and I think it’s important to never give up, to challenge yourself and to keep evolving. It’s so important to have a spark and to be full of life. I’m not saying it’s easy. I am just saying we have to try.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
It wasn’t one event in particular. It’s the ebb and flow of life, breaking down, picking yourself back up, getting stronger, finding your passion, finding your path and having the courage to follow it. It’s a never-ending process. Fire can be interpreted in many ways. I love that about this song.
Any plans to release a video for this or any of the other tracks?
Yes, there are definitely plans to release a video for Fire. I suspect we will have something for the public by the end of April. I will most likely release some acoustic videos as well. Plans are still in the works.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
The first title I came up with was “Keeper Of My Flame”. It’s actually a lyric within the song “Fire”. I like to pull the title out of the lyrics. It is something I started doing when I began working with Brian Grunert at White Bicycle. I also try to pick a title that provides options for the visual design of the packaging. I know everything is moving to digital only, but I still enjoy a unique album cover. It’s the bow on the present. Fire felt right. Music is what lights me up.
How was the recording and writing process?
I had a handful of songs that I wanted to record and I had a handful of songs that were incomplete. So I sat down with Matt Duke for a couple of writing sessions to work through the songs. Matt has a very relaxed way of working. We hang out. We talk. We talk about the song. We talk about ideas. Then we write and play. It’s extremely easy going. After I felt comfortable with the songs, I sent the demos to Matt Chiaravalle who agreed to work with me again. He is also really easy to work with and I loved the way ECHO came out, so I was eager to work with him again as a producer. I also grabbed collaborated with some of my favorite local musicians: Andrea Weber (cello), Matt Duke (vocals & guitar), Michele Lynn (bass), and Josh Steingard (drums). We got together at Mission Sound Studios in Brooklyn to record. We were in a huge space with some of us in isolation booths. We recorded live and took about 3 to 4 takes of the songs. One thing I try to avoid is having a record sound stale or contrived. Having a live vibe is important to me. We had an absolute blast recording. The day went smoothly and I think you can hear the energy on the recordings. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
So would you call this a departure or evolution from your previous material?
I thought it was a departure at first, but I realize now it’s only because the topics of these songs are heavier than what I put out in the past. The songs are still me; I didn’t take a complete left turn from ECHO but I did write about some heavier content. There are some folk tunes in there and there are definitely some that lean toward my darker/alternative style. But all together, this feels like me, just more evolved.
What heavy topics did you choose to focus on this album and why these one in particular?
The 3 songs that pop into my mind are “Hope For Better Days”, “Make It Hurt Less”, and “When The Darkness Comes”. The state of the world is scary right now. What’s worse is that sometimes it feels like nothing is getting better. But I still have hope. I started writing “Hope For Better Days” when the Sandy Hook shootings happened. I didn’t know what else to do except write. The song was half finished and then the Boston Marathon bombing happened. While the world makes me sad and the horrific things people can do makes me crazy, I still feel like we can make a change. We can stay positive and be the light in the darkness. I really believe that. “When The Darkness Comes” tackles cancer and smoking. I used to smoke and I loved it, but it wrecked my voice so I had to quit. My wife smoked when I wrote this song. It was really a foreshadowing. It’s by far one of the saddest songs I’ve ever written but I absolutely love it. “Make It Hurt Less” is another dark tune. I am the type of person that wants to help when I see people in pain. I want to take away their sorrow. I want to help them escape their situation. I want to provide them with a safe place and give them support while they go through whatever it is they need to go through. Toxic relationships come in many forms. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, manipulation, control, fear, etc. It can all feel like the walls are caving in. No matter what the outcome, I always find myself in the same place, wanting to help. It all ties back to the title of the EP. Find your fire. Feed that. Don’t let other people burn you out or dim your light.
Any plans to hit the road?
I have a lot of local shows in NJ and PA running through the summer. I will most likely hit the road in the fall for a proper tour.
What else is happening next in Andrea Nardello’s world?
Wash, rinse, repeat! Honestly… I know it sounds crazy but I am starting to get the itch to write again now that this EP is done.
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