SB: So how did you guys decide to start making music together and what made you choose the moniker Nine Pound Shadow?
NPS: Making music together came quite naturally as brothers. We are close in age and have been best friends most our lives. Our parents are both artists and they always encouraged us to be creative. Music loomed large in our upbringing. Our father played us songs on his guitar and from time to time would spin romantic tales of his musical heroes. Our mom loved to dance around the living room urging us to join in while the oldies hummed in the background. As so we were surrounded by the classic music they loved. As far as the moniker NPS, we like to keep the origins of our name mysterious; by remaining undefined we feel it also remains limitless.
SB: what types of artists do you think have help shaped your musical trajectory?
NPS: We’ve been shaped by a lot of the icons of modern music, e.g., the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, all of Motown. Our parents cherished the popular music of their youth and passed that appreciation on to us. The music of the 60s and 70s defined our idea of what music was supposed to sound like.
SB: You released your single “Melody” back in 2015, what was the development of that song like?
NPS: For Melody, like all of our songs, the journey began by writing the song at home on guitar and piano. For the EP, and Melody as a single, we brought our songs to our producer and creative partner Asa Taccone (of Electric Guest) and developed the music in the studio where we experiment with adding different sounds and layers. Asa plays a large role in this phase of the song development and there is an element of Electric Guest DNA in the final sound which we love.
SB: Then your Self-Entitled EP just came out, what was the recording and production process like for that?
NPS: Our creative process is entirely collaborative. We write all of our songs together.
SB: You guys are based in Berkley, what’s the music scene like there?
NPS: The Berkeley music scene? You mean the drum circle in Sproul Plaza? But seriously, we love Berkeley. Deeply. Honestly 99% of Berkeley is asleep by 10 pm (all the protesting academic rigor, celebrating diversity and recycling/composting is clearly exhausting) so there isn’t much of scene.
SB: I saw you guys have several tour dates coming up, are you excited for any one specific show or just to get out there and play all the songs to people?
NPS: Our upcoming (ongoing) tour – seven dates with Electric Guest – is a big new step for us and we happen to be enjoying this adventure as we type. Every show is exciting and so far (two shows in) the response has been disarmingly positive. Connecting with a single person who is moved by the music is immensely satisfying and we’ve played plenty of shows in front of crowds of twenty or less. But getting out there to play in front of over 600 plus people a night is thrilling on another scale; sharing the music with so many people multiplies the sense of impact and consequent joy.
SB: What’s the one thing you hope resonates the most with people, when they hear your music?
NPS: More than anything, we hope to move people with our music, to make them feel something they enjoy, even if it’s sadness. We someone tells us the they’re feeling it, it makes all the work worth it.
SB: Thanks for sitting down with me guys!