Sunday, November 25, 2012

Interview With Now, Now

Now, Now (formerly Now, Now Every Children) has been a band for nearly ten years now, but the band's hard work is just finally starting to pay off. Currently signed to Chris Walla's (of Death Cab For Cutie fame) Trans Records, the band's efforts have finally culminated with big tours and even an appearance on Jimmy Fallon's late night show. The band took some time after their show with Motion City Soundtrack and Jukebox The Ghost to speak to us regarding topics such as playing on Fallon, reflections on their latest album Threads, drummer Brad's Sombear project, and more (including an appearance from Jukebox The Ghost pianist/vocalist Ben Thornewill) which you can read below.

Firstly, can you introduce yourselves?

B: I’m Brad.
C: And I’m Cacie.

You've been on the road with Motion City Soundtrack and Jukebox The Ghost for about a month now. How has the tour been?

B: It’s been really, really, really good. We’re really comfortable on this tour because we’ve been on tour with Jukebox about 8000 times, and we were just in the UK with Motion City, so it’s…
C: Super comfortable and relaxed.
B: Smooth.
C: Everyone’s cuddly.
B: We feel it’s a really friendly tour and the shows have been going well. It’s going to all the places I love going to.

All three bands on this tour have a fairly distinct sound from each other. Did this affect the way you built your setlist at all?

C: Oh yeah. Well, I say “oh yeah” clearly, but…we try to. It’s one of those things where you don’t want to compromise the set you want to play for the sake of the tour but at the same time you have to. If you play a set that doesn’t match a lineup, then you’re just asking for people not to like you. Not for people not to like you, but you have to adapt somewhat depending on the tour. So yeah, we keep that in mind.

On your off night last night, you performed on Jimmy Fallon's late night show. How was the experience of being on one of the most well known late night shows in the country?

C: It was the most terrifying thing that’s ever happened but also the best. I love Jimmy so much. If you watch the end of that when he comes over to shake our hands, I’m just staring with my mouth open and my eyes are huge and it’s just like “I love you so much.” I was a huge SNL buff, so I just think he’s really cool. I was panicking so much. After they filmed the first song in front of the whole studio audience, I turned around and was just like “FUCK” like I couldn’t contain it and didn’t know what to do with myself at all. I just couldn’t handle it. We got there probably 6 hours before we filmed, so, 6 hours of just sitting in a room waiting and then it was like 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 54321 GO. It was really the most disorienting and crazy chaotic ten minutes of my entire life. I panicked so hard. I’ve been panicking for months. I couldn’t even sing because my voice was aching and my hands were shaking. The people who came to see us were behind us and they were jokingly teasing me about how much I was shaking. It was amazing though. I want to do it again, and I want to be able to feel excited. I was excited, but…
B: Now we kind of know what it’s all about, and I feel the next one will be way less scary.
C: It was scary.
B: It was scary, but now that I think about it, it’s not that scary. We play these songs every single day and we’ve done recorded sessions live before, and I think just the pressure of this being the first thing like this that we’ve ever done before probably made it extra scary for me.
C: And also Jimmy’s one of my idols. So, it was TV on top of Jimmy.
B: Being at 30 Rock is just nuts.
C: I saw SNL wardrobe. And The Roots! That’s terrifying! Having to play next to them, give me a break. It was amazing though.

You played “Thread” last night (as well as “Prehistoric” for a web only performance). You don't have a big "hit single" right now that stands out above the rest of your discography in popularity, so how did you figure out which song to play?

B: That’s been the one that’s been pushed the most. “Thread” is the title track and in a way it captures the idea of the whole album.

Brad, what's going on with Sombear? We last heard an EP would be coming out, what's going on there?

B: It’s turning into a full length. When we get home from this, I’m going to record 4 or 5 more songs, and if I had to guess, I would probably be releasing it in spring, but there are no official plans. I have a label that’s going to put it out but it’s a secret right now.

It's almost been a year since Threads was released. Is there anything you learned from the recording of the album and the reactions to it that you're going to take to heart and possibly do on your future releases?

B: Every record we write we learn something new. After the first record we wrote, we started touring and realized that we can’t play these songs live on the road, because we can’t play 8 keyboard parts at once. So for Threads, we thought to really keep in mind live performance while writing these songs. I think after touring that record, I’m not sure specifically we’re going to be thinking about when writing that one, but the experience of touring for a few years now is going to really be in the back of our minds. We’re older.
C: Older, wiser, faster, stronger, bigger
B: I don’t know. It’s always a progression. I don’t know. I’m just excited. Excited to start working on new stuff.
C: I guess also for me, a lesson learned is that if there’s a song you don’t want to play live, don’t put on the record. Sometimes it varies, but don’t write a song that you know going into it that you don’t want to play live.
B: If you’re going to write a song, write it how you want to play it.
C: Don’t write anything…I don’t know. I was going to say out of your comfort zone, but you should write out of your comfort zone. You should push yourself. Just make it something that you know you want to play every night.

Your setlist contains of pretty much just Threads material. Do you think you may stick in any of the older material to future setlists?

B: I think the hard part about it is that it is just the three of us playing. Working out how those older songs would translate has kind of been hard and takes a lot of time which we haven’t had since this record has come out. It’s just been non stop tour tour tour and we wanted to really make sure that we could play these new songs well. I think when we eventually start doing headlining stuff, obviously we’ll have to be playing some old stuff.
C: Also I think that we only usually have 30 minutes to play, and we’re playing to an entirely new audience and we don’t even sell the older material. We only bring the new album with us because it’s a hassle to buy it from other labels. Most of the time we’re playing to a new audience anyways, and they won’t know what’s new or old anyways.

As a counterpart to your 2010 EP Neighbors, you also put out a remix EP. Might we hear some remixes from Threads on a bonus edition or EP any time soon?

C: I feel like that will definitely happen.
B: It’s kind of up to me.
C: I know it will happen.
B: I’ve been tinkering a little with it.

What are the band's plans for the upcoming months after the tour?

C: Go home.
B: We’re going to go home and relax for a little bit and start writing. That’s kind of a big thing for us right now, to start working on new stuff because this record has been out for a while now, and we want to move forward. We don’t want to fall back into having a huge break before we release something else again.
C: Always keeping busy.

Do you have any final things you want to say?

B: Thank you to everyone who’s been really nice to us lately with all this crazy stuff that’s been going on.
C: Thank you to everyone that’s supported us for all these years and waited around for our releases and not given up on us as a band and just for being there for us in general.
B: And thank you until waiting until the end of the show to do this.
C: And I’d also like to thank Ben from Jukebox who’s rubbing his face on my shoulder right now.
Ben: Are we doing an interview right now? It’s not a gentle rub.
C: You’re like a crazy loving cat right now.
Ben: You’re a crazy cat right now.
C: You’re a tiger!
Ben: *tiger growl* that’s what tigers say.
C: *other animal noise*
Ben (in a British accent): Isn’t she gorgeous. Isn’t she lovely. You keep on what you’re doing, twitta, twitta, twitta.

I'd like to thank the band again for speaking with us. Threads is easily one of the best albums I've heard this year, and will feature prominently in our upcoming end of year lists. It really reminds me of Mansions Dig Up The Dead in the way which it's only gotten stronger with age and is one of the most emotionally powerful records I'll hear this year.  Be sure to buy Threads, and follow the band on Facebook right here

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