SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: NOWHERE TRAIN, Straight to ‘Tape’ [interview]
Nowhere Train – Tape is available @ Apple Music.
by Walter Price
Austria’s Nowhere Train is a melting pot of musicians who have just released what a significant and firm, consciously or not, releases of 2015 to date, Tape (Recordbag Records). Wandering the boundaries of folk-based indie rock and pop in songs of vast and varied moments.
Tape, the follow-up to 2012’s stellar work Station finds the band (Ian Fisher, Jakob Kubizek, Ryan Carpenter, Stefan Deisenberger, Ivo Thomann, Frenk Lebel, Martin Mitterstieler, Stephan Stanzel) more comfortable and seemingly daring in their approaches on Tape. Attributes probably acquired by relentless touring and bonding as a band. Whatever the case, Tape is sonically righteous in all corners.
Humor, thought-provoking music imagery in songwriting and arrangements done live to tape. No computers or overthought/overused modern processes. Steaming ahead Tape is a sweet taste done well in a crowded sea of highly processed carbon-copied sounds. A monument to doing it classic.
First things first, TAPE is pretty astonishing.
Ian Fisher: Thank You!
The band has been busy since the release of Station, what has the group learned about itself before starting a new album?
Ian: Not to be afraid of electric guitars.
Jakob Kubizek: That we definitely need a drummer!
As with the last album, the folk side of country music is woven throughout TAPE but there are a few things different. What did the band consciously want to make sure they changed from Station?
Ian: To get a real drummer.
J: I’m not sure the Nowhere Train is doing anything consciously….
Story tone and balance are remarkable on this album. How did more of the humor make their/its way onto the album?
Ian: A healthy dose of weed, BBQ, and bromance.
J: Bad jokes always played a big role on and off stage, their force became stronger and stronger until we couldn’t hold them back.
Speaking of humor, the video for Play In The Sun is more of riot than most bands with serious abilities are willing to do. How did the clip’s concept come about?
J: Me and Ingo Pertramer were planning on a concept for a month, we had a script, we had a storyboard, we had everything. Then we tried to put this wallpaper on the board and watched this Youtube-Tutorial on how to do it and we all thought: “Man, this is it!”
Then there is Tool Box Of Love that embodies so many layers. From Zappa-esque risqué to Roger Miller-style storytelling to name two.
J: Actually I don’t know what exactly was going on in Ryan when he wrote this. But I remember the first time he played it to us, I thought finally he went completely insane…
Story-songs are an art, some say a lost one, is it easier to craft a song when it has chapters?
Ian: I never write story songs. I write moment songs. Like snapshots instead of feature-films. There are a lot of writers in this band though. Maybe they have different stories to tell about their writing.
9 to 5 is a bleak tale of life’s everyday person akin to the sort Cash loved to record. Ian writes, “I want the fruits of my labor to come back to me…” That resonates with the masses. What drew the band to this subject matter?
Ian: I wrote that song on the 1st of May a few years back. It was for the people who work in the mines in my hometown in Missouri. I guess I wrote it for myself too. Sometimes even the music business can make you forget you’re alive.
Fun is Everly Brothers is texture, what is about their early 60’s pop sensibilities?
J: This is probably what we would listen to drunk in a Hotelroom after a concert and I see Ryan dancing in Slow-Motion shouting: “THIS IS SO GOOD!“
Revival is another form of song people just aren’t recording much these days, what’s the story behind Get Right Friends?
J: Ryan kept singing this song whenever he was homesick. One day we decided to try it live and the result was amazing. Whenever we sang this song it brought the crowd closer to us and they started to sing along.
Nowhere Train has been around for a relatively short time and multicultural. Have concepts, personalities or goals changed since inception or is everything the way it was always to be?
J: Actually I believe with the last record we found peace as a band.
Ian: I think the group has become less of a band and more of a family. We don’t really have big goals anymore. The main goal is just having a good time with each other and our fans, who are basically like our family too.
Recording this album the band went full circle live, no editing. On tape and no computers. What did you learn about yourselves doing it this way?
J: That we sound pretty damn good on tape…
Ian: That you should never edit an album to death. Often it’s the imperfections that bring it to life.
Will there be a sort of train journey film or concept film during this albums reign?
J: Nothing planned yet. That means probably yes.
Ian: Maybe it won’t be a train.
In the band’s TAPE album era what are 5 things the world needs to know about
J: All you need is: Sun, Fun, Run a little Rain and Dog it Bog Time!
- The world needs to know that we recorded a dirty little album straight to tape with our friends in southern Austria and we want you to hear, that
- Austria is a small country in Europe south of Germany and is not the same as Australia,
- That the songs on it are about what we’ve learned from life and from getting older,
- We’ve learned that imperfections are alright and maybe even good, and, lastly,
- That we have a ton of ridiculous inside jokes that the world will never understand, such as “Dog it bog time”.
[ 27. May 2015 ]
NOWHERE TRAIN TAPE
Taken from ‘Tape’ (Second Album by Nowhere Train)
Recorded analog at the Cselley
Director: Stephan Stanzel
DOP: Manuel Steinwender
Light: Siavash Talebi
Cast: Michou Friesz, Stefan Sterzinger