Oklahoma-born and Brooklyn-based Nathan Siler breaks from the NYC classical scene and begins recording his debut solo rock album.
This album will be an introduction to my essence. It will be a representation of my full range as a songwriter, composer, singer, and rock musician. It will harness the youthful energy I experienced listening to bands my parents played for me when I was a child. My classical training informs my actions and will give me the tools make creative decisions. Together, with all of The Fellowship Students and their indelible contributions, we will put forth an album that is raw and energetic, perfectly executed, and out of the ordinary.
The engineer and co-producer will be Trent Bell of Bell Labs in Norman, OK. Trent has recorded such artists as The Flaming Lips, Starlight Mints, Steve Burns and the Struggle, and Stardeath and White Dwarf. Bell also engineered and assisted me in producing "Rainbow Around the Sun," Matthew Alvin Brown's epic concept album-turned-film-turned-staged-musical.
The album will be available for digital download and CD. It will also be released as a limited edition cassette tape. The cassette tape has long been my favorite medium for rock music, and since the album will be recorded analogue-to-tape in the studio, the cassette will present the music in its purest form.
$5,000 is for 10 days of recording only. If I have the good fortune to raise more than that, there are other costs I must consider. I will need to press CD's and tapes, have the album mastered, and most of all, pay the musicians, artists, and videographers who will contribute their talents to the album.
It means the album will employ the staples of rock music: Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, and vocals. In the past, I have produced albums with a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but this album will really try to stretch the capabilities and timbres of the above-mentioned instruments. There will be a few bells and whistles, but only as a last resort.
When I say "rock," I really mean "pop/rock," but "pop" has a very glossy, FM connotation. So I have chosen "rock" as the genre. There will be moments of heaviness and noisy distortion, but the majority of the album will be singable, melodic, and assertive rather than aggressive.
If you like the following artists, you will like this album:
Hooray for Earth, Dire Straits, Talking Heads, Twin Shadow, Fleetwood Mac, The Cars, Rush, Sam & Dave, Michael Jackson, French Kicks, Trashcan Sinatras, The Smiths, Elvis Costello, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Husker Du, and Harry Nilsson.
In your bio, it says you are a classical musician as well. How exactly does that influence your rock music?
Very simply: it helps me solve problems. Working primarily in classical music allows me to draw from a broad history of musical approaches. When I am stuck with a transition, or if I am working on a song and something just isn't right, I have a tool kit of training to help me.
I believe that pop music is to poetry as classical music is to a novel. I am not a snob when it comes to which art form is superior. Poetry and prose are generally shorter than a book, just like pop songs are generally shorter than classical pieces, but they both can have the same impact - if done correctly.
Since you are a classical singer, are you going to sing operatically and/or riff a lot on your vocal tracks?
Absolutely not. I do not wish to make a spectacle of the vocals on this album. 80% of it will be sung naturally, 15% of it nonchalantly, and 5% it will be spoken or screamed.
I love cassettes! They are the closest way to emulate the sound of a record and still be portable. The thing I love most about tapes is their ability to take on distinct personalities with exposure to elements of daily living. I remember how, during the summer, my Mom and Dad's Linda Rondstadt tape would play faster, sharper, and warble slightly, or how our Alan Parson's Project "Eye in the Sky" tape would flatten and slow with the coming of the winter months. It was a different experience on different cassette players. In my babysitter's Honda Prelude, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" sounded amazing, but Rush's "Moving Pictures" sounded mediocre. At the swimming pool on my ghetto blaster, the opposite was true.
Of course, this album will be more widespread in the digital form, but the cassette will usher forth deep analogue treasures!
For music-writers, critics, and backers from Kickstarter, the release date is projected to be Winter Solstice 2011. For everyone else, it will most likely be March 16th, 2012.
Even after the recording is finished, the person doing the cover art will need to listen to the album for inspiration. While the cover art is being considered, the album will simultaneously be sent off for mastering. After mastering, the CD's and tapes will be pressed. After pressing and duplication, the CD's and tapes will be sent to my house. Then, I will set up the advance downloads for the appropriate parties and begin the long process of sending out copies of the album all over the world.
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