We’ve been great!Super excited to be working with VENTS, we’ve never had a reaction to our music like these songs.We’re signing contracts with TV shows, networks, planning on playing some festivals, and seeing more faces at our shows.It’s a little unreal to see things finally starting to grow.
Can you talk to us more about your new single “24”?
Nah I’m just kidding.It’s funny actually, I wasn’t even planning on ever showing the song 24 to the band.Ian came over to my apartment and I was like, well I’ve been working on this song, but I don’t know how I feel about it.He goes, “dude, we have to play this!”I guess he was right haha.
Did any event inspire you to write this song?
So when I wrote this song I was living in an old tire factory on the run down side of town, and I was pretty upset with how slowly things had been progressing with my musical career.I have a great job outside of music but knew that music is what I wanted to do, and I just felt stuck.The song is kind of about the struggles of the many different roads you can take your life in your 20’s.
How was the film experience?
The film experience was super interesting.When you’re on stage, you’re used to people looking at you but being a ways away.Doing a video, we had three different people just a foot away circling and such.At first you’re like, ok dude where the hell do I look?But after a while you start to just get lost in the music and your buddies playing.My photography friend Kyle Lehman said it best, “dude, play with the camera, be sexy to it, fall in love with it.”Haha I will always remember that.
The single comes off your new album Ephrem I & II – what’s the story behind the title?
The title Ephrem comes from St. Ephrem, who was a musician that understood the incredible power that music has on people.As someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder, music made me realize I wasn’t the only one who felt the way I do.Naturally I feel connected to people who understand the deeply personal connection we can have to music.
How was the recording and writing process?
My apartment in the old tire factory had one window, right into my bedroom, so light didn’t really reach much of the place.I thought it would be an amazing place for writing music, and it was, but not in the way I thought.I worked indoors all day, and then came home to an essentially windowless apartment.It forced me a little bit too far inside my head for comfort, but made me access some deep feelings.The result was Ephrem, Pt. 2.
Then we recorded at Toy Car Studio with Justin Green.Justin did a ton of work with us helping us produce the songs.I came in passionate about my songs and their arrangements and not a lot of people have the balls to tell me I need to re-work stuff.Justin had no problem walking in and saying “dudes, we can do better, let’s try this.”And the guy was right.
After that we sent the tracks over to our good buddy Justin Andersen to mix. He is THE BEST man for the job.He’s worked over at April Base with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and the sound he gets is going to be legendary.He’s the next Butch Vig, no doubt.
How did the domestic environment influenced the writing?
Entering Toy Car Studio you put a code into the gate and drive back into the woods.It feels very private, homey, and creates an open environment.It’s important to feel comfortable in the studio you record in, because you’re going to share your pain, happiness, and life with everyone there.It’s so important to feel comfy.
We got lucky because even though it was a new studio, I actually locked my keys in my running car, so we were ‘forced’ to hang out with Justin Green.We spent hours just listening to music and talking, and really because of my stupidity we became great friends haha.
What role does Wisconsin play in your writing?
I think the biggest role it plays is that there isn’t a bunch of big cities with stuff going on.It forces musicians to sit at home and practice their instruments.It’s the reason we have so many amazing musicians come out of the area.You’ll notice that big cities produce musicians, but Wisconsin produces artists.We sit inside our homes for 8 months of the year while it’s cold.I mean, what the hell else are we gonna do right?haha.
What aspect of mental illness did you get to explore on this record?
This record made me explore how literally the absence of natural light can change your entire outlook.I was living in a dark basement, and I became dark.I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to see people, I just wanted to sleep.
It made me realize that environment is especially important.After we finished the record I moved in with our bass player Jeff, and now I’ve got plenty of windows for light to come through.Things are better.
Any plans to hit the road?
You bet!We plan to make the trip to SXSW this year (I won’t tell you why yet, but maybe you can infer ;)).In addition to that we’re currently setting up an East Coast tour.And then of course, we always play the Midwest.
What else is happening next in Nick Anderson’s world?
Most important part of the interview.I’m OBSESSED with Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild right now.I can’t get enough.
Boblokins look out, I’m coming after you and your treasure.