The Many Worlds of Nathan Moore

I write things I wish people would say to me like "It's all going to be okay." I'm not even necessarily saying that to you, I'm reminding myself. In some way, I was trying to put a light up there for myself.

-Nathan Moore

Brad Barr and Nathan Moore by Joe Mozdzen

You're a mix of that, where you'll write a long, gorgeous love ode and then say "Rubberball," which is a ditty in its way. You value toe-tappers as much as weepies.

No doubt, no doubt.

I was really frustrated at the lack of response to the last ThaMuseMeant record [Never Settle For Less released 2006 on Frogville Records]. I felt like everything you folks had been trying to do for a few years gelled on that record. Even the cover photo of all of you dressed to the nines, looking good, seemed to suggest that your four-way conversation was in great shape. Is it hard to pour yourself into something like this and have it not get the reaction you hope it will?

Nathan Moore by Zach Ehlert
It hasn't even really been put out in the world in any significant way. The band isn't touring. What you expressed about us all being together and looking good is true but it's also a bit of an illusion. We're not out there working it like we did when we were younger. The label, Frogville, as awesome as they are and for all they've done for us, there's not a big budget for distribution and publicity. It's as grassroots as it's ever been except the band isn't touring much. So, it doesn't surprise me at all. On the other hand, we were in Nederland, Colorado the other week and this great musician comes up to us and said, "Do you all realize you've made one of the best records in years?" He actually made it sound bigger and better than that. He just wondered if we had any awareness that we'd made a great piece of art. So, you're right, it hasn't had that much fanfare and we haven't been there to see people get it or enjoy it. So, it is a bit like tossing a penny in a well.

I can only tell you that it makes me crazy. The biggest reason I write about music is to tell people about this kind beautiful, wonderful music that they shouldn't miss. If it moves me there's a decent chance it might move others. Never Settle For Less is one of those rare records I can put on every few months and it gets to bowl me over all over again. That's such a grand surprise that only the best records possess. Most albums don't give you that jolt every time you listen to them.

The good news is ThaMuseMeant just came off two weeks from Santa Fe to High Sierra, and I've never heard the quartet sound better or more excited. We had a couple new songs to boot, and it felt like we're about ready to make another record. It's sorta like Davis, where somebody came up after High Sierra and said, "You have to do this! You're our generation's band. You're singing our song." On the one hand, I thought she was right but the reason she was so excited was she'd just heard Surprise Me Mr. Davis. There it was. It exists. It's not like this sad thing that never happened. It just happened and that's why she was so pumped. That's a cool thing we're finding with all these bands. It's not like we're out there hitting the pavement trying to make some big deal. We're coming together to make this music because we love it, and in that these bands are stronger than they've ever been.

That's it! Even though the mechanism of radio and traditional publicity can't seem to get a handle on what you do, if people actually hear this music it seems to do the job.

Almost every time. The batting average is definitely respectable [laughs].

No doubt about it!

The other thing about not getting out there and hitting the pavement is we're not getting rejected. We're not getting jaded, and we don't have that same 'jade' that a lot of bands who push it but don't break have. We're not pushing. We're just making the music whenever we get a chance to do it. That adds levity to it. So many musicians my age are SO jaded at this point. It's understandable in this changing music business but luckily the bands I'm part of come together to make music and the rest is just not our game right now. Maybe someday it will be. I know each band would maybe like to try to break but it's just not what's going on right now.

I think you love music too much to play a lot of the games necessary to reach that next level of fiscal and fame success.

Either that or I'm just really lazy.

[laughs until out of breath] Oh lord...

I think, "Not today, just not today. Maybe tomorrow [laughs]."

JamBase | Virginia
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[Published on: 10/23/07]

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FreeHawk starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/23/2007 07:33PM
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now this is what Jambase is about.

phaslam starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/23/2007 07:47PM
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Great in-depth look at Nathan. I've chatted w/him a couple of times at some 'MuseMeant shows and I've got to say he is one fun guy. Lots of great stories and really easy to talk to. Like Dennis, I don't know why more people aren't into his tunes and different facets of performances, but I'll definitely check out his solo stuff, ThaMuseMeant or Surprise Me whenever they are near. Awesome Tunes!

phunkle starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 07:13AM
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Great article! Living in Staunton like Nathan, it was interesting to read how his stage persona changes playing in front of us at home. I'd really like to catch him out on the road somewhere and see that scene also. He absolutely makes some beautiful music and if you're not familiar with him you should get familiar with his stuff. He does some cool juggling & such at many shows while he plays which is also very entertaining.

SuperDee starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 07:26AM
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A perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee on a rainy morning. Thanks, Dennis, for the words, and thanks Nathan, for so often being the light in my dark. I agree with you Freehawk, this IS what JamBase is about.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 09:26AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

nathan who? see, I like to find new things here, its fun.

thank you for covering the obscure JB.

peaton Wed 10/24/2007 10:15AM
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Musical intelligence at its best. Thanks Dennis, this is inspirational.

Andrew W. starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 11:19AM
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Andrew W.

Great article. I can never get enough Percy! Bring back the Davis!!!!

alsoa101 starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 11:32AM
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percy boyd, american hero!

The1AndOnlyDJCT starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 12:18PM
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Great interview, Nathan Moore is amazing! I was at the Surprise Me Mr. Davis show in Brooklyn about a month ago which they said was their last show ever. Does anyone know why? What's Nathan Moore going to be working on next?

Tan starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/24/2007 03:29PM
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The Davis rises:

Nathan Moore has enriched my life musically, I hope you let him to the same to yours.

Vapetones starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/25/2007 09:56AM
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Raise the roof!

bluefox starstarstarstarstar Thu 10/25/2007 08:27PM
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re: that Brooklyn show Nathan was just joking around.

Thanks for the great article, jambase! This type of reporting keeps me coming back for more. I can't wait for Mr. Davis @ The Independent!!!

chicoavenue Fri 10/26/2007 09:14PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you Nathan for the many years of enlightening, heart warming music!! Your bands consistently put out some of the best live music out there. Remember Chico, Ca when tour season comes around again.

p.s. kudos jamase

tomspeed starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 09:43AM
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Another excellent article by Dr. Cook, the resident professor of rockology, on an outstanding artist who deserves the attention, except this one was even more excellent than the other excellent ones somehow. One of the best artist interviews I've read. Kick ass.

tomspeed starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 09:55AM
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Another excellent article by Dr. Cook, the resident professor of rockology, on an outstanding artist who deserves the attention, except this one was even more excellent than the other excellent ones somehow. One of the best artist interviews I've read. Kick ass.

RedHeaven starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 08:29PM
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Im a huge ThaMuseMeant fan, for anyone who likes SMMD, dont neglect ThaMusemeant....some top notch underground awesomeness. its great that jambase is giving attention and time to the smaller microcosims this music community envelops. Huge kudos to that.

roberto767 Thu 11/8/2007 02:49PM
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This guy's shit smells like roses too.

PrinceofDANKNESS Sun 11/18/2007 09:33PM
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Who the fuck are the Knutsens?