IT seems odd interviewing a Nebraska-based artist…
who, a few days ago, was half-a-mile away from me. I did not know he was touring down here. The fact he is in the U.K. was a bit of a surprise. Tim Kasher is in Leeds’ The Brudenell (tonight) before heading to Studio 2 in Liverpool tomorrow. At the end of the month, Kasher will leave us but, as the interview shows, is shocked by the (rare) sunny weather in the U.K. Not that he can get used to that because he is leaving and it is spring – the sun will disappear before he does! Before he departs us, I was keen to know what his new album No Resolution was all about. Kasher talks about the process and inspiration on the album; what it is like balancing solo work with Cursive and The Good Life duties – he is singer and guitarist for both. Also, Kasher talks about his current U.K. tour (he was heading to Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut the evening he wrote these answers) and follow-up plans for this year. I asked what the mood was like in the U.S. with Trump as President; a couple of bands he would recommend to us and how he got into music in the first place.
Hi, Tim. How are you? How has week been?
The week has been good thanks – great, even. Rare nice, sunny weather in the U.K. – which I wasn’t expecting for this time of year. I probably just jinxed it, huh?
For those new to your music, can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. I’m Tim Kasher: singer/songwriter for both Cursive and The Good Life: both bands hailing from Nebraska. I’ve also been releasing albums under my own name since 2010.
No Resolution is the new album. What can you tell us about the ideas and types of songs on the record?
It’s a bit sad, even for me, as it delves deeper into what feels like real characters – struggling to find that middle ground necessary to make lasting relationships work.
Along with that comes a heavy dose of existentialism that can crush one’s ability to move forward – also debilitating our relationships with others (and oneself).
You are the singer/guitarist for Rock legends Cursive and The Good Life. Are you still active with those bands or taking a break? What compelled you to go solo in the first place?
Yes. Both are still active, though I tend to have a keener focus on one specific project at a time these days. I starting recording under my own name as it simply felt like the right time to start doing so. I enjoy all these monikers but working under my own name brings a different approach than working with a group.
No Resolution is your third album. Would you say it is your strongest work and how does it differ from your previous two?
Sure. I’ll say that, why not.
I think it’s (more fully) a sad, orchestrated album – whereas The Game of Monogamy was sort of ‘half’-orchestrated; Adult Film was more of a Rock-band record.
It is quite cinematic and sweeping. Was there a reason to shift sound and style or is it part of your evolving musicianship?
Mostly just what I felt like doing at the time!
Would you say the album, as a whole, is a concept-piece or is it more about everyday emotions and occurrences we all face?
The latter sounds more appropriate, though.
I do hope it works well as a complete listen as that’s my intention with every record.
The stories do revolve around similar characters throughout – which can lean more to the thematic.
No Resolution is released on 15 Passenger. What can you tell me about the label and why it was established?
15 Passenger is a new label started by the Cursive members: Ted Stevens, Matt Maginn and myself.
It was initially started as a means to release the Cursive back-catalogue but we got excited about the venture and decided to try some releases out as well.
No Resolution will also be released on blue-and-white splatter-pattern vinyl for a limited run of one-thousand. It is quite a cool touch. Do you think more artists and bands should do this as vinyl is very much coming back into fashion?
Simply put: they are cool looking and it is fun!
I believe you are touring the E.U. and the U.K. How far into the tour are you and where are you heading in the coming days?
We’ve managed to put about seventeen shows behind us already and have seven more to go. I think that’s the correct math? We’re heading to Glasgow this evening (King Tut’s’: such a great venue and people!) and then south toward Leeds, Liverpool; Cambridge, Brighton. After that, we head over for shows in Nijmegen and Hamburg (where we will be flying out).
What is the mood like in the U.S. at the moment, with Trump in office? Does that influence your music or do you remain detached from the political turmoil?
Everyone is in great moods now that we have the great Donald Trump in office – to make us healthy and wealthy.
JUST KIDDING. IT IS AWFUL. SOMEONE TURN ON THE LIGHTS AND END THIS NIGHTMARE . IT ISNT FUNNY ANYMORE. HELP.
Can you tell me how you got into music? Was there a particular artist or moment that lit that fuse?
At a young age, I could feel the need to create and tell stories. Like, really, really had to – by any means necessary.
We had a guitar laying around the house (oddly, no-one played) so I feverishly learned how to play. Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens were important at a very young age. Then it was The Cure and Violent Femmes that kept the torch lit.
Which albums have meant the most to you as a musician?
In recent years it has been Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love and Portishead’s Third.
Who are the new artists you recommend we connect with?
Have you any advice for new songwriters emerging at the moment?
Sure. Do it because you love it; because it makes you feel good about who you are and what you do.
Do it in an attempt to connect to a few other people but don’t plan on success nor seek it out as a means for happiness – because it won’t make you happy anyway. The former things I mentioned will make you feel good about what you do.
Hopefully, the end result will be your true, honest self coming through the music. That’s what others will recognise, respect and relate to.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select a song and I’ll play it here (not one of your own as I’ll do that).
The Well by Campdogzz – thanks!
Follow Tim Kasher
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