Sadly, the Chicago Tribune rejected Nick’s initial responses to their interview questions:
How old are you?
27 years old
Are you from Chicago?
I grew up just outside Chicago in Northwest Indiana in the same town as my soul brother, Paul Foreman.
Where in Chicago does the band live and practice?
We rehearse next to Mothra’s cocoon in Ukranian Village.
How did the band come together?
We all met at a dance hall (location not to be disclosed). We used to sell stray cats to the lonely school girls there.
What was the idea behind the record?
There wasn’t any one concept behind I’ll Tend Your Garden. Lyrically, Paul and I naturally arrive at a lot of the same places, but that’s probably due to the fact that we coincidentally have been using the same Crayon McNally Atlas.
What were your primary goals in recording? How do you feel about how it came out? What were the big challenges?
Throughout the process of writing the songs and arranging them as a band, we realized that it was definitely our best work to date. We went into the studio very intent on capturing the live energy of the band, but with a polished finish, like lacquering an old coffee table to bring out its delightful imperfections. Thanks to Brian Zieske, our engineer at Gallery of Carpet Recording, we achieved that goal. As far as I’m concerned, the album is audiophile quality. We did the whole thing to 2″ tape with minimal Pro-Tools overdubs. All of the mixing and mastering was done on Brian’s delicious analog outboard gear. It’s a treat on a pair of nice headphones.
What were the parts that surprised you?
The lengthier songs get into some heavy, heavy grooves, which is not something we had done much of in the past. This is a pretty big change for us. It helps that we have a tremendous rhythm section in Joe Daley and Blair Douglass. Solid, like a viking or a can of beans.
Do you ever wish being in a band was easier? When?
No, no … musn’t grumble.
When you are playing live, what are you thinking about?
A giant tortoise the size of a mountain battling four thousand miniature gorillas. A gruesome affair indeed.
What are you most nervous about when it comes to making or playing music?
I don’t really get nervous. When you know you’ve got good songs and a hell of a band, you don’t have any reason to be nervous. Let me introduce us: Joe Daley on the sloppy drums, Blair Douglass on the bass guitar, Paul Foreman on guitar and vocals and myself on guitar and vox as well. While we’re on that, the band never uses guest musicians on any recordings. It’s just a rule that we stick to. Makes things less cluttered and keeps us sharp on our respective instruments.
Now that you have started playing outside Chicago some, what do you appreciate more about Chicago’s scene?
We appreciate all scenes, baby! Chicago is great, though. We always enjoy playing here.