Hi Nick, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been great. I’m playing shows in Maine, where I live, and spreading the word about the new album. The weather is beautiful right now, so I’m spending as much time as I can on the ocean.
Can you talk to us more about your song “Don’t Worry?”
Definitely. It’s an interesting song, because when I sing it, I really feel like a listener. The message about not worrying about anxiety, depression, and the different aspects of life that cause us to suffer is really powerful. Even though I wrote it, it speaks directly to me! It must be the positive side of my mind speaking to the negative side.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I actually set out to write a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” which has the famous line, “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing’s gonna be alright.”. When I’m covering songs, I try to make them as unique as possible, and this one just turned into it’s own original tune!
The single comes off your new self-titled album – why name the album after yourself?
I think a lot of artists have a self-titled debut album. It seems like a kind of tradition. It’s an introduction to the world. The artist is saying,”Hello, this is my name, this is the music.”
How was the recording and writing process?
They were very different. The writing process was over a year of painstaking work, done all by myself. I finished dozens of songs and picked the strongest group to be recorded. It’s a tough, introspective process that involves a lot of thinking and editing. The recording process was quick and social and professional. I spent 10 days in the studio with a revolving group of musicians. It was a high-intensity collaboration.
What was it like to work with John Estes and how did that relationship develop?
It was amazing. I’m a songwriter – I have no musical training, limited experience with producing music and no ear for all the parts and arrangements that go into a recording. Jon is a genius with everything that I lack. He’s trained. He’s a bassist and multi-instrumentalist. He arranges horn and string sections. He’s tasteful and has a pitch-perfect ear. And he’s a nice guy. I was introduced to him through somebody I met, randomly, in Maine. Lucky!
How much did he get to influence the album?
He had a huge influence. I had vague ideas about the taste, vibe, mood, and general direction of the album. I had references – like Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits – that I wanted to emulate. The details were all left to Jon. He created the sound of the album.
How did living in isolation in Maine affect your music?
It didn’t, really. Not that I know of. I’m always writing songs, but I’m never writing with a direct influence from my environment. For example, I don’t write songs about the city or city life when I’m in New York City. I don’t write songs about nature or rural life when I’m in Maine. I’ll write about anything, anywhere I am.
What aspect of hope did you get to explore on this record?
Hope is important. I think redemption is the aspect of hope that I’m most interested in. Our lives are full of self-inflicted suffering. Our society is wrong in so many ways. But there’s an inner strength and wisdom, and a will, that we can call upon to redeem ourselves.
What else is happening next in Deep Gold’s world?
A lot! More shows in Maine. The full album release is on September 28th, which I’m excited about. And I’ll be back in Nashville this winter, recording music and writing songs!
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