When someone talks about the artistic direction of a band they typically mean the cover art or concert posters, but with Nashville's Paper Route art takes on a whole new meaning. While on the tour the guys enjoy drawing and blogging. This allows them to share with their fans, and in a way allow fans to connect with them and the tour. It is a unique way to share the experience, and fans seem to be responding.
Musically, the band molds electronic music and pop lyrics to form familiar texture, but they push their sound to it's farthest reaches. Their latest EP, Are We All Forgotten, is filled the sounds that made the world fall in love with Postal Service, and it is only a matter of time before every one is craving the cound of Paper Route.
Recently, Paper Route was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.
Orange Alert (OA): Let's start with your name. What you are doing seems much more substantial than just a Paper Route, where did the name Paper Route come from?
Paper Route (PR): When the band first started it was more of an experiment with found sounds and trying to incorporate those elements into songwriting. We never really set out to start a band, but the creative process was inspiring enough to keep us coming back to the studio (Chad's bedroom) again and again. Being that we all had paper route's as a kid we thought it would be a fitting name, reminding us of simpler times in our lives when daydreaming
coexisted with hard work. That's what I remember most about my paper route, having an excuse to walk around as a kid and just daydream. It was the dreaming that got me through the route, and it's that sense of wonder and innocence that we're trying to capture in our music.
OA: While you guys are on tour you keep a very cool art blog. Have you seen the new Bands on the Road Sketchbook? What are some other things you guys do on the road?
PR: Someone was actually telling me about this the other day, but I have yet to see it. I think it's a great idea though. The limitations of being trapped in a van can lead to some interesting creative moments. We've written many songs (about nothing), we film and photograph everything, and we read a lot.
OA: Speaking of touring, I've heard some bands talk about the feasibility of touring the country these days? Are you finding it increasingly challenging to carry out a successful tour?
PR: There definitely have been some challenging times, but I don't necessarily know if it's getting any worse. Gas is always too expensive, college kids rarely have money for concerts, and when one person gets a cold (in a van that you travel in sometimes 18 hours a day) everyone gets the cold. This is every day for us. We go on a stage and live these songs. Sometimes the
club is packed and singing along, other nights it could be a new city where you have to prove yourself to an audience that doesn't have to like you. What's most important to us is talking to the audience after the show. Hearing how they've connected with the art and music or just getting to know new people is what keeps us going the next day.
OA: Southern fried electronic music, I was surprised to find that you are from Nashville. Who are a few of your influences musically?
PR: We listen to Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Burial, ... artists that sound like they're from another world. You listen to it, and it takes you somewhere else.
OA: What is the Nashville music scene like?
PR: Nashville is a big little city, almost everyone knows everyone. At first we felt a bit odd, being an electronic band from Nashville (almost all of our friends are singer/songwriters) but now we love that juxtaposition. We've always been drawn to the tradition and mystique of the south. That's why we moved here in the first place.
OA: What was the last great book you have read?
PR: I just read back to back two brilliant books. So i'll mention them both... "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand, and "Jayber Crow" by Wendell Berry. And I take a copy of "Alice In Wonderland" with me everywhere I go.
OA: What's next for Paper Route?
PR: Right now we're just getting off the road, heading back to Tennessee and sending off our songs to be mixed. We're really looking forward to wrapping up the album we've been working on (it's looking like a Spring release). We've got a lot of touring coming up with the UK in a couple of weeks followed by Canada and the States all throughout January and February. We're adding some new songs to our set, and I've got a lot of Paper Route visual art things to attend to. I should probably be doing some of those things right now.
Listen to: Empty House (mp3)
For more information on Paper Route please visit their website.