Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I think that was just an organic thing that happened. Music runs deep in my blood. My grandparents on my mother’s side were both musicians and artists and my parents love music just as much as I do. They are enthusiasts, to say the least. I realized a long time ago that this was going to be my career path. It was just meant to be I guess.
What is your musical history?
The first instrument I learned to play confidently was the panpipe. It is a Bolivian instrument, and my grandfather would have me practice on it since I was maybe about five years old. But even before then, I remember him sitting me on his lap while he played the guitar. It is such a deeply rooted core memory of mine that I can actually tell you the exact pitches of the E standard tuning on a guitar. My grandmother would have me sing church songs with her too. By the age of 7 I was playing piano and then by 14, I bass and guitar. As the years went on I learned a bit of drum and a ton of songwriting and production. I started releasing music with the band Vestibule from 2008-2016 and then as Nekter Gun since 2019.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
– Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
– Sublime – Sublime
– Ok Computer – Radiohead
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
I don’t really have one per se but, some of the first songs I remember that bring me to a special place in my psyche are Hotel California by the Eagles, and Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger. I think it’s because those are the first songs that imprinted on me when I just moved to the USA in 1990.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
It’s been a long grind since I first started, and I made so many mistakes I wish I didn’t make. But this is honestly the first time in my career that I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere. It’s just the tip of the iceberg really, but I wasn’t even on the iceberg before. I was lost at sea. There is still a lot of learning I have to do on the marketing side of things, and I’ve reached a point where I feel I need a manager. So I’m not where I want to be yet, but it feels like I’m in the right place.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I’m a huge proponent of self-defense. I feel women should definitely learn how to handle unwanted physical altercations. I also think that we as a society need to do more to deter men from acting on certain urges. Both of these things can be learned in martial arts schools. I practice Ju Jitsu and Kickboxing on a regular basis for the past 7 years and have learned a lot about self-control and respect for others no matter what size or strength they are. I know tiny women that can kick my ass, and I know I can handle myself against 300lb men.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I do a lot of advertising, to be honest with you. It’s important for musicians that want to make it in this industry, to know how to advertise on major platforms like Meta and Google, and even TikTok now. But other than that, it’s also really important to have two-way communication. Respond to every person that reaches out to you, and use empathy. Put yourself in their shoes. I remember being a teenager and loving certain bands and just doing anything I could to get their attention. Back then there was no Facebook, so I’d write e-mails or try to get to them backstage or at their tour bus. Now with social media, I have fans that reach out to me all the time, and I always make it a point to respond, no matter how busy I am. Oh also, start building email lists! Then email your fans with fun stuff. Don’t always just promote your music and merch in your emails because people get sick of that shit. Don’t make it all about you. It’s actually all about them. What do you think they would love to see in an email? Write that 7 out of 10 emails.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I love to write country music.
I was born with the help of a one-armed midwife.
Jesus came to me as a blue sphere of light while I was outside of space and time and told me that all the light we will ever need is already inside of us.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
As someone that works in the industry, I honestly can’t stand it, but here we are. They met a societal need. People wanted an endless supply of music at their fingertips and Spotify was the first to deliver it legally. Props to them. My friends and family that don’t work in the industry, love it!
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
I think the government is lying to us about Aliens or maybe time travel. I came up with a theory that maybe the UFOs we see are actually American military from the future. That could explain why a majority of UFOs are seen in North America.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Not really, maybe a little too much food. I put on some extra pounds during all that. A lot of the money I spent during the pandemic was for learning about marketing in the music industry and then actually paying for ads.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I remember when Vestibule had the last set of the night at a packed show where people didn’t really know who we were. And the first song we played, our bassist somehow forgot that we were supposed to go into verse two and went straight to the bridge. It sounded so bad that people instantly started walking out. By the time the song was over, there were maybe ten people left in the audience. I wanted to just end the show there. Obviously, we finished it, but it just felt horrible.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I was the captain of the chess and wrestling teams in high school while also being heavily into playing jazz guitar at the time.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I think it’s the fact that I don’t really follow trends. I just make music that I feel is my best, and if I were an everyday listener, I would play it on repeat. Not that I don’t already do that while mixing my songs, but that’s a different story.
I hear you have a new song, what can you tell us about it.
I have a new track out called “Don’t Wanna See You Leave”. It features my songwriting buddy, Pat Ross, on vocals. The song is a throwback, in a sense, to the early 2010s of dance music. Since the song is about that feeling that you’re about to lose someone due to the relationship not working, I needed to dig deep and figure out how to make the track sound like that. It took me back to my early twenties when I was going through rough times in my love life. So I decided to make it sound like how the dance music I was listening sounded back then. I just wanted to give it a more modern mix and vibe.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.
It all depends on what I’m in the mood to do at the moment. It used to be that I’d write lyrics and melodies first. But now that I’ve gotten so into electronic and dance music, the beat almost always comes first and then the top line. Back when I’d write lyrics first, I’d like to be hungover because my brain would not hold anything back in that state. As I’ve matured, I realized that drinking and drugging actually hindered me greatly, so I learned how to get into that mental state through meditation. So once a track is done, I’ll really just sit and listen to it to see what kind of emotions I start to feel. Then I’ll meditate on those emotions and start writing in a free flow. Then I structure the song kind of like shaving down a piece of wood. Then I edit that version a bunch of times to really give the song detail and emotion.
What was the recording process like?
It’s not as sexy as everyone imagines it to be. We sit in my home studio and record parts piece by piece. Making the tracks is fun because there is a lot of improv in that phase. But once the melody and lyrics are concrete, then it’s just a matter of getting down the best vocal take. Though you know what? Doing harmonies and ad-libs can be pretty wild. Sometimes adding that one harmony that you didn’t realize existed suddenly will turn a part into something completely new.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I think the biggest learning curve was learning how to write without being inspired first. Because if that was the case, most songs would never be written. Learning how to write just to get the pen moving was probably the hardest thing to learn.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
Nope. Time to move on to the next one!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I am a big advocate for helping animals in need. I try hard to maintain a vegan lifestyle, though I do fail sometimes by not being able to say no at friends and family dinners, I will always keep trying. If I could spread a bit of positivity with you for just 3 minutes and 30 seconds a day and get your body moving, my life’s work is complete. If that resonates with you, I definitely invite you to join my private community called NekterLand. There, I share motivation, un-released music, music industry tips and techniques, and funny ass memes. Much Love.