by Matt Wardlaw
Singer/songwriter Jay Nash keeps a busy schedule. He'll be in town tonight at Off Broadway for a show with TFDI (read: "Totally Fuckin' Doin' It"), his somewhat-spontaneous acoustically based collaboration with fellow troubadours of the road, Tony Lucca and Matt Duke. (The trio will enter the studio later this month to finish up work on its first full length release under the TFDI banner, a project that the three began prior to the start of this current tour.) Meanwhile, Nash has been quite prolific on his own as a solo artist and recently wrapped up work on the fan-funded Diamonds and Blood, his fifth studio album due in 2011.
The material on Nash's 2008 solo release, The Things You Think You Need , covered multiple genres. The album slipped comfortably from the down-home, country vibe of album opener "Sweet Talking Liar" to good old fashioned rock & roll barn burners (see: "Hard Lesson"); others, such as the Sara Bareilles-featuring "Barcelona," are tracks ideal for a soundtrack. Since releasing Need, Nash has toured nearly continuously both solo and with TFDI. Below, Nash took some time to answer a few questions about his goings-on.
Matt Wardlaw: The new album follows the current popular trend of fan-funded releases - how much were you able to raise to help with the recording of Diamonds and Blood? Jay Nash: The fan funding raised just over $18k. The campaign that I ran was a little different that what I have seen a lot of artists doing lately. There are a couple of great platforms out there for bands to raise money through fan-funding and experiential bonuses. I wanted mine to be personal and directed towards the fans that are really paying attention and really rooting for me. I didn't want the fan-funding to become the sole focus of my interaction with my audience - instead it was like, "Here is some cool stuff that I'm putting up for sale that I think you will really dig." I wanted it to be a great deal for the participants. As far as I can tell, it was a success. The production of the record is paid for and I don't think that my audience feels worn out from me pestering them for help making it.
What can you tell us about the new album? How does it compare to your previous album, The Things You Think You Need? The record was recorded at Phantom Vox Studios in Los Angeles - the same studio where we recorded The Things You Think You Need. Chris Seefried produced again and two-time-Grammy-winning engineer, Seth Atkins Horan engineered. Again, we had David Immergluck (guitars, mandolin, lap steel) and Charlie Gillingham (piano and B3 organ) of the Counting Crows. Don Heffington (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams) and Jamie Wollam (Jackson Browne) shared the drums and percussion duties.
This time around, I had Rob Wasserman (Ratdog, Bob Weir) on bass, which offered an incredible shift in the sonic spectrum. He plays like no other and has perhaps the most unique and genius sense of musicality of anyone that I have ever played with. Also - the very first concert that I attended as a teenager without the supervision of an adult was Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman at the 1992 New York State Fair. So I was basically freaking out just to be in the same room as him. We also had Chris Joyner (Ray LaMontagne, Rickie Lee Jones) on keys. All in all, in it was an all-star dream band.
We completed all of the recording for the record in six days, which is really fast. But with players of this magnitude, great things happen quickly.
The songs on this album, I think are a bit heavier in theme than my last album, but I think that they are also more full of hope and truth too. I think that I did a decent job of articulating the trials and tribulations, and ultimate payoff of committing to something...or someone that you deeply care about.
Cool. When can we get our hands on it? The album is scheduled for release in February. I'm not sure yet if the album will be immediately available in record stores. Definitely digitally and online, but with The Things You Think You Need, physical retail sales accounted for about five percent of the total sales to date, so it's hard to justify the overhead of manufacturing and shipping.