Hi Nick, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi Vents Mag, doing great. Really excited to release this record. Thanks for listening.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Easier Time”?
This song took me well over a year to write and was the most challenging. It turned out to be the last song finished.
Just being patient and having a song unfold over that much time allows a story to be captured so that it represents every thought and feeling along the way. This song really became a tow-rope for me in navigating ups and downs, and without question embodies the spirit of the whole record. My biggest hope is that it can be the same for anyone in the midst of struggle and chaos.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
It’s more important for me that this song isn’t as much a specific personal story, it’s more about capturing a spirit. I feel like the other songs on the record may have more personal backstories, but this one is somewhat of a thematic lead.
I think what’s special about songwriting is that you get to choose when you want to be blunt and literal, or just let a song carry and idea or a sentiment and let the listener plug in their own situation. Both are effective.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I don’t, but I do have plans to release some live studio sessions later this summer so keep an eye out on www.heynickmoran.com
Why did you name the album after this track in particular?
I guess it’s becoming a pattern, but apparently the last song I finish writing ends up being the title track. Same thing happened with my first record Who We Are.
How was the recording and writing process?
This is my second album. I was way more conscious this time around about details. Of course the first step is to make sure the songs themselves are solid, but this time I really took a lot of time with orchestration and arrangement, with sounds and textures. What role does each instrument play, what specific tones fit best in the mix, and what mics and amps would allow me to get the best sound. My whole goal this time around was cohesion, I really wanted to create a record that captured a real sense of space, so the listener could feel the depth of the room, but still have everything be punchy, live, and exciting. I hope it succeeded.
On the record you play with Blues and Jazz – did you try to balance them together or does one genre tends to shine out the other depending on the lyrics’ themes?
I don’t really do it consciously, it honestly just kinda comes out. I will say that when I write a song that is a bit more uptempo I generally want to steer things in a funky direction, and when I slow things down I guess it leans a little into jazz. I don’t know, I feel like blues to me.
How did Otis Redding and Sam Cooke influence your writing?
Where do I start, Sam Cooke is, hands down, my all-time favorite singer. I remember the first time I heard his voice my jaw dropped and I ran to the library to take out a CD (this was before Spotify & Napster). I’ve always kinda felt everyone has an artist/band where something just clicks and you instantly feel connected to them musically. His voice, phrasing, his tone, his melodies, these are all things that Sam was a master at, I think I learned a lot about what excites me about music from him. When I think back on most songs I’ve written, so many of them began by humming a melody to myself. (I love listening to Sam Cooke explaining ‘what is soul’)
I think with Sam, his songs don’t just feel nostalgic because they were recorded in the 50’s and 60’s, but because his melodies just feel so refreshing, honest, and familiar, you felt like you already know them even on the first listen.
Otis Redding on the other hand, of course an incredible singer, but what I love most about his music is how much interplay there is, and how much fun he has with the band and with arrangements. I always love listing to live recordings because its so clear his band played with the same amount of passion and soul. The back and forth, the call and response. I’ve always admired the way his records just feel so cohesiv. The band match his energy, you just get hit with such a funky big band soulful wall-of-sound. The way everyone plays together makes you hang on his every word. Magic!!
What aspect of love and your life overall did you get to explore on this record?
This record hits at the constant back and forth between excitement and exhaustion. In life, in love, in career. There are days you feel like you’re doing everything right, and some days where everything is a mess. Regardless of what kind of day it happens to be, I find the best thing to do is sit and play some music.
Any plans to hit the road?
I generally stay based in NYC, but I’m hoping to hit a few radio stations after the release up and around the North East.
What else is happening next in Nick Moran’s world?
The summer studio sessions are next on my list of things to tackle. I really wanna capture what its like to be in the studio with the band. Really looking forward to that.