Multi-instrumentalist Nat Brower is back in his element with the new single, "Confrontation," an effortless snap of cool that's catchy as hell and shaded in with a perfectly classic tint of glammy bubblegum-pop that's steeped in Lennonisms for good measure. Along with the premiere, we also had a quick chat with Brower to dig further into the new single, the balance of his project's solo bedroom recordings and all-star live quartet, and touring the West Coast for the first time this weekend that will include dates with power pop darlings Uni Boys and an appearance at this year's Mosswood Meltdown.
Following up last year's collaborative 7" "Where is the Magic?" b/w "The Rainbow and More," multi-instrumentalist Nat Brower is back in his element with the new single, "Confrontation," an effortless snap of cool that's catchy as hell and shaded in with a perfectly classic tint of glammy bubblegum-pop that's steeped in Lennonisms for good measure. The flip of the cover, Buddy Holly's "Love Me," which will be out tomorrow, is reimagined as if it were 1974 and a band like Mud or Hello are contractually obligated to record a bubblegum B-side, while future generations of unborn-crate diggers rejoice. The press release we were sent told listeners to "Think of these tunes as a hearty snack to tide you over until Brower's forthcoming main-course album of delights." Along with the new single, Brower's all-star live lineup that includes Josephine Network on guitar, Josh Hahn on bass, and Max "Hershguy" Hiersteineron drums, will make an appearance at this year's Mosswood Meltdown on July 2nd and couple more West Coast dates with fellow power pop darlings Uni Boys. Along with the premiere, we also had a quick chat with Brower to dig further into the new single, the balance of his project's solo bedroom recording and all-star quartet, and touring the West Coast for the first time.
Paperface Zine: How exactly did Brower begin as a solo project for you that eventually branched out and evolved into an all-star live quartet?
Nat Brower: Well I've basically been recording on my own and making albums since high school along with writing songs and recording covers. I did it in my bedroom and basement growing up and it's really no different than what I do now. It's my favorite pastime… I guess I decided one day I'll actually release physical copies, instead of just putting them on bandcamp and occasionally burning CDs for friends. I also made some cassettes. When I made Buzzsaws, I wanted it to be legit, and I wanted a band to play those songs live, and I wanted that band/project to be called Brower. Somehow that sounded more legit than just my name, Nat Brower, which is… eh.
PZ: What were your ambitions when eventually recording as a band?
NB: Well of course the band added layers upon layers to the tracks and energy, and CHUTZPAH (look that one up)… so Live and Contagious — which is not live at all — attempts to capture what the band does to those tracks. It's a totally different process to record as a band. I love it! But I love doing both — collab and solo — they equally fulfil different parts of my soul.
PZ: What has the chemistry been like between you and your bandmates? What do you admire most about this all-star lineup?
NB: We're a family. The four of us have an extremely rare and intense musical connection. When we pick up our instruments and play in the same room it feels like lightning comes out. It's kind of insane. I don't really know how I stumbled on these freaks of nature but I consider myself abundantly lucky. Playing music with them is simply a gift.
PZ: What are some other musical projects that you and your band maintain?
NB: The Hershinator (Max "Hershguy" Hiersteiner) and I have been playing together a long, long time. We play together in Metalleg, and he was the original drummer of Nancy. Now, we both play in the Josephine Network, which is Josephine's band. I met Josh working at a restaurant together. We basically immediately decided to make music together and we recorded an EP under the name Chimpanzees. Josh has recorded and produced a number of all of our individual projects (including Brower) like Josephine and Dirty Fences, and lots more. He might even put out his own album one day.
PZ: Talk to me about your new single "Confrontation" that we have the pleasure of premiering today. How did this track come together? NB: I actually had the hook to it rattling around in my head for years! The hook being, I guess, "confrontation / doing things you don't wanna do." I just decided to make this into an actual song so that became my mission.
PZ: Did this single come from the same sessions as last year's 45 Where Is The Magic? / The Rainbow and More? NB: No, totally different. Those were recorded as a band at Josh's studio Relic Room. Josh wrote "Magic" and Josephine wrote "Rainbow."
PZ: What are some of your fondest memories from the new single's recording sessions?
NB: Hmmmm… probably relentlessly agonizing over the mix in my horrible desk chair! PZ: The new single also comes with the announcement of your first mini West Coast tour through California this weekend with a couple dates with the Uni Boys! What are you looking forward to on the tour?
NB: So much! We've never played Cali, which might be why I'm calling it that. We absolutely adore the shit out of the Uni Boys and frankly I'm just stoked to see them play those 3 times! Oh, and we get to meet John Waters.
PZ: Aside from the single and tour, what's the rest of the year looking like Brower?
NB: It's looking like more music coming out and more crazy adventures!
Confrontation b/w Love Me is out in its entirety July 1st on DIG! Records. Check out Brower's upcoming tour dates below.