Music Notes Reviews had the chance to chat with singer/song writer Nick Santino before his show in NYC earlier this month about his first solo record, Big Skies and the future for him as a performer! Check out what he had to say!
Interview by Taylor Ostrick
You have a current album Big Skies. How do you think that it has been received so far?
It’s good I think. It seems like it has been pretty alright. It’s been a good record to put out as my first full length. Coming out of my last band I think there are some similarities with some of the songs, so I think it’s a good transition for me.
What was your favorite part of creating Big Skies?
Probably the freedom of it, and being able to just do it with my friends which is cool. My friend Pat from The Maine helped me record the whole thing and you know all of those guys came in to help me play on it and stuff, so that was the best part about it.
Do you have a favorite song from Big Skies?
I don’t know, that’s kind of like picking your favorite kid you know. They’re all special for their own reasons. I have some favorites though, like “Keep On Going” is fun “It Is What It Is” is cool “Bad Taste” is cool. They’re all favorites for different reasons I think.
Are there any songs in particular that are really fun for you to play live?
Yeah, especially since now I’m playing acoustic on these shows, so I’m kind of changing a few of them up. Like they way I play “Bad Taste” on this tour is really cool, and it’s a little more stripped down and mellow. “Gone Like Yesterday” is really fun to play as well.
Are there any artists in other genres that you are influenced by?
I’m influenced by a lot of people. You know, my favorites are Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, like those kind of guys. Bryan Adams, Butch Walker, a lot of the singer-songwriter guys. I try to take some of their influence and put it into my music. Other genres I can’t really think of. I have guilty pleasures all over the place. Like One Direction and stuff, but I don’t channel any One D in any of my songs.
Your last album The Ones You Meet Along The Way sounded like it had some country influence, is that something that you look to add to your music?
I like country, I like many aspects of county music, and different types of country music. When I did that album, it was a lot of older songs that I wrote and put on the EP. I wrote those songs when I was really into country. So that’s where I think that influence came from. But it’s just the honesty and storytelling of country music and it’s songwriting is what I strive for a lot in my music. So if it comes out with that twang of country music, then its kind of natural thing from the storytelling side for me.
If you could collaborate with any artist from the past or present on a song who would it be?
Tom Petty probably, he’s just my favorite.
What direction do you see your sound going in the future?
I don’t know. That’s the beauty of this thing. I could listen to a record tomorrow that changes my life and all of a sudden by influenced by that more. I think that’s the cool thing about music. You grow up and it grows up with you and you don’t really know what’s going to happen next. Who knows what it will sound like. I could release a hip hop record for all I know. Probably not but yeah.
Have you started writing and/or recoding music for you next album yet?
Yeah, I’m always writing. I have some stuff recorded that I’m thinking about releasing this year, maybe this month or next month.
There are some artists that don’t write their own material, but how important is the writing aspect of music for you?
For me it’s like, nobody can tell my story better than myself. You know, so writing for other people is kind of difficult, because you kind of just end up writing about cliche things. For me, I just take the honest approach on it.
Are there any specific songs on your current album that are particularly personal for you?
I think a lot of them are. It’s really hard to say which one is the most personal, but yeah there’s a handful of them on there. “Bad Taste” I mean there are a lot of different stories that are personal for different reasons.
What do you hope to accomplish with this tour?
This tour, I think I just want to give something to people that they aren’t really used to seeing. You know, coming to a show and buying merch off of the band they’re seeing and you know, we like doing this stuff. We like taking the intimate approach and kind of just giving back something special I guess, and unique.
Are your goals for this tour synonymous with your goals for the future of your career?
I guess I want to keep the mentality, the DIY, level headed mentality of kids coming to the show and feeling like they’re going to see their friends band instead of some random band they are never going to meet. So it will probably be different levels of touring. I’m probably going to be putting a backing band together, so it will be getting louder and more rock and roll. But the heart and soul of it is always going to be the same, the honesty of it.
Do you have anything that you would like to say to fans?
I guess thanks for carrying over. You know a lot of the people kind of had an awkward time transitioning from rock into my new stuff and I guess the ones who have stuck around and actually gave my new stuff a chance I can’t thank you guys enough or else I’d just be home right now instead of out on the road again. So just a big thank you.