Looking for some old school style jams to compliment your Tuesday? I’ve got just the thing. Nick Waterhouse is a new school guy who plays music with an old school style. Think of going to a 1960’s lounge… Nick Waterhouse and his band (whom he calls “The Tarots”) are the house band singing you throughout the night. I think LA Weekly said it best when they said, “For a moment, the outside world of smartphones and laptops and MP3s dissolves, and it’s back to the way things were, when American music was just coming of age — no rules, no plans, no nets, no precedents. There’s a reason Waterhouse doesn’t describe what he does as nostalgia. It feels too alive.” He was one of my favorite acts at FYF, and I had a excellent time interviewing him and learning more about his musical style. Take a look and a listen to his music video for “Some Place”, and enjoy our interview below!
PS: Did I mention he has incredible personal style? Because he does. Okay. I’m done now. Enjoy …
Spencer Moya: So I am here with Nick Waterhouse! How’s it going?
NICK WATERHOUSE: It’s going alright.
S: How have you been enjoying FYF Festival so far?
NICK: Uh, it’s fine, it’s very festival-like. Dusty, hot, crowded…weird gates and wristbands, all that kind of stuff. Loud music that’s echoing from all over the hills.
S: You have this super incredible talent for creating music that is nostalgic to the 1950s era. What inspired to create music that you’re doing right now?
NICK: Well I just listened to a lot of records and then I made a record I thought I would like. And, people think it sounds like something else. And maybe that’s a good trick with making any art is you do something and you have your own meaning and everybody else thinks it’s something else.
S: Is there something specifically that draws you to the sound that you’re creating? Or is it just really what you’re into?
NICK: Yeah…it’s not bullsh*t (laughing). You can think, but you don’t have to be an over thinker – I like that about making the music that I make.
S: So, you grew up in Southern California right?
NICK: That’s correct, yeah.
S: Did that have any influence on anything you’re creating right now or yourself personally?
NICK: Yeah, it had a lot of influence. I mean I think that even if you try to escape where you’re from that’s going to inform what you do. You can hear the Pacific Ocean in my music if you listen real close. I mean, I like history, but I don’t believe in repeating it, so there’s a lot of California history in my songs.
S: What would you say is your most prized musical possession that you own?
NICK: I have this Magnatone Amp…a Magnatone Amp 10 that I recorded the whole record on. That’s kind of like my secret thing. It was real funny, I was talking to some guy who worked for Fender, and he was like “I bet you were playing that whole record through a Twin Reverb.” And I was like, “No, that was a Magnatone…” So, I was always a really big fan of artists or recording people or producers whose work ends up intertwined with the tools they use, you know?
S: Speaking of other artists, are there any artists that you are currently really into? Whether it be photographers, or other musicians, or painters or sculptors? What are you looking at and interested in right now?
NICK: Uh, the Allah-Las are the only musical act I care about in this day in age. And, I’m really looking forward to Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” – it comes out in like two weeks. And lately, Ive been reading a lot of David Goodis who was an author who wrote a lot of short novels about down-and-out people in American cities.
S: Cool, well thank you so much. I appreciate it.
NICK: Thanks very much