Thursday, 31 July 2014

Nathan Detroit - Track By Track Guide & Artwork Feature

Already on their third release in just two years, Nathan Detroit have clearly been on a creative quest to find their best self. Mission accomplished. To be sure, forthcoming release Peace Of Mind sees the Wiltshire quintet frothing with melodies and punchy, infectious hooks, the EP’s four tracks feel positively jam packed 
with killer choruses and memorable refrains. Here vocalist Jamie guides you through the themes and lyrical inspirations 
behind the offering, track by track…

"As we embarked on a further release, we wanted to make sure we were happy with the general direction we were heading in. As we began writing, it became pretty obvious to us that it was going to be a step forward and one in the direction that we had all talked about at the start. The finished product has a clear path from song to song, with a general theme of progression from beginning to end and a feeling that can be related to so many different situations and circumstances: mostly those that helped write these songs in the first place, those that everyone goes through in life. 

‘The Way Down’ Having established what the direction of the EP was going to be, we were able to start right at the beginning with ‘The Way Down’. The general feel of the song and the lyrical inspiration revolve around those regular day to day things that can feel like as if they are just getting too much. We have all had that poignant moment when we think, “I can’t take any more of this” and “enough is enough”. This is not necessarily a negative point of view, it can be seen as a positive message through hard times, signifying a turning point. I think it’s an honest song and one that emphasises the importance of balance. ‘Never Enough’: When approaching this EP we determined that it was important for us to touch on things which we had never addressed before.

 ‘Never Enough’ was written to portray a time in all of our lives, when being yourself is scrutinised to the nth degree, perhaps to the point of oppression in some cases. Everyday life can be pretty strenuous, but as the song progresses it demonstrates the need to continue with things, prioritising and living by your own terms. The message is to have the strength to recognise what you need to do to keep going. 

‘I Will Always Be Part Of This World’: This was a massively emotional song to write and by far the most vivid in terms of imagery. I address some issues which had been presented in ‘The Way Down’ and ‘Never Enough’, but with an element of reflection and contemplation. It was always an important part of the message of the EP to encourage taking steps forward and as the Chorus states, it’s a slow and steady road but one which does have an end, there is a realisation that things are going to be ok. 

‘Every Heart’: From the beginning we knew we wanted to clearly address a specific idea with ‘Every Heart’, the idea that no matter what happens, we all have something to offer. It was my vision to take the emotional elements explored in the EP and at the end, put a fun twist on them, leaving listeners with the general message that we can all contribute something. In fact we probably already do. ‘Every Heart’ marks the final step on the journey from feeling emotionally drained to knowing there is a positive future. 

Guitarist Callan also describes the process behind the artwork...

“For this release we definitely wanted to focus on the packaging, as we felt this is a genuine step up with the band. Before I had even joined Nathan Detroit as the second guitarist, I had made artwork for the band, but had never considered myself as an “artist”. In fact, I have only really taken art seriously over the past year or so through my venture (C.Milward Graphics & Art).

With this cover I wanted to make it feel more organic, so I decided to make it a hand-drawn effort. I began with the ‘brain-guy’ in the centre of the piece. I’m not really sure why I decided to go with this idea, but I had recently been really digging the cover for the new Polar Bear Club recordand wanted to put my own spin on the style. I also have been liking a lot of posters coming from Rockets are Redand wanted to use a similar bold & natural colour scheme. The overriding message of this release lyrically focusses on switching from a negative state in your life to a positive, (hence the title “Peace Of Mind”), so I wanted the cover to represent that transition in one scene, as well as give it a“Sci-Fi” theme…

After drawing the brain character I moved on to drawing the scenery, such as “the hill” and “ray of light” beaming from the top of it. Once assembled together I played with a lot of simple colour schemes to give it a “evening woodland” feel. I actually hated the cover at this stage for a while! I think a lot of artists go through this with their artwork. Everyone is their own worst critic of course. However, once I started playing with the detail work I really began to fall in love with the piece and call it “finished”.Working on the whole thing, it took the best part of 8 hours a day for a week. This is the longest period of time I’ve worked on artwork, but turned out to be one of my favourite pieces I have produced. I can’t wait until the release date just to hold a physical copy of it! Oh and see if you can spot the Squirrel with the final cover, it’s tricky to spot!”

Peace of Mind is released on August 11th. Check out the video for The Way Down below:

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