All Poets & Heroes are an indie/art-rock group made up of myself, Rob McCall, and Corey Jordan. We write the songs. Nash Robb lays down the bass, Ryan Joeckel performs on the drums, and our friends Zack Fitzgerald and Rob Zaccaria sprinkle their talent into the sound. The guy who runs our lab and engineers our sound is Mark Bengtson.
How would you describe the music you typically create?
Layered and rich – both sonically and lyrically. We’ve always prided ourselves on the depth of sound we create. We think things through and aren’t afraid to experiment with sounds and add layers because at the end of the day they can be removed. Lyrically, we tackle difficult subjects like addiction and depression and approach them very poetically, without ever trying to idealize them. There is always something more to be discovered in our music – a new musical layer or a turn of phrase that maybe you didn’t quite get the first or even second time listening.
How do you feel the internet has impacted the music industry?
A few weeks back I saw a post from an artist where she described this very topic and it resonated with me so deeply. She spoke about the idea of being a ‘content creator’ v. being ‘an artist.’ These days there is this immense pressure to be constantly putting out content – to be relevant. But this isn’t what an artist does. While artists are constantly creating and experimenting, this is part of a bigger picture of growing and learning.
What the artist does is more refined than just creating for the sake of creating and getting it in front of your face as soon as possible. The artist takes something they deem meaningful and worthy, put their whole being into it, and shares it with the world on their terms. They say ‘you can have this part of me because it is fully thought through and created with care for you.’ What shouldn’t be expected is for an artist to give you everything because you need that instant gratification. There should be a mutual understanding between the artist and their fans that the artist shares what they want to share and keep what they want to keep.
The greater point that she mentioned is that all of this has led to a lack of truly feeling connected to the art. She noted that there weren’t many artists that she felt she was connecting to these days. Back in the days of albums, artists gave you the music as well as one square foot of art (the album cover) and some liner notes. You sat with it, you absorbed it, and it became a bigger part of you. I think all artists want those days again. Some have just adapted to the new ways better. However, I would argue that the new ways are, at their core, divergent from the true spirit of any artist, whether they have adapted or not.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
Corey and I have talked about this a lot, and there are many musicians we admire. But the two big ones for us are Radiohead and Ben Howard. The reason being is their lack of complacency. Both artists strive for more and continue to push their sound. If you go through their discographies, you can hear their growth and their willingness to experiment. Neither artist ever settles, and says ‘well that last album was successful, let’s just make that again.’ They continue to explore, and in the case of Radiohead, change the music industry and open the door for other artists to follow suit.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
Being an artist, especially an independent artist, is the closest thing I think anyone will ever get to true freedom. We get to follow our hearts wherever they lead us. We get to create and inspire, and for us, being independent, we get to do it our own way – being able to express and display everything the way we want to.
Do you have any other plans for this release?
Yes! There will be a music video that we filmed, directed and edited coming out the same day as the release.
What’s next for you?
This is just the first release leading up to our 2-EP project Colorful Lungs. Here is the full schedule:
March 25 – “21”
April 22 – “Colorful Lungs”
May 27 – Colorful Lungs Pt. 1 EP
July 22 – “Give It To Me Straight”
August 26 – “Tinderbox”
September 23 – Colorful Lungs Pt. 2 EP
We are currently booking shows, and are hopeful to press our record to vinyl, as well as have a new line of merch.
Would you rather be the one in a movie who gets to be the hero/heroine or the baddie with all the good lines?
The villain always makes or breaks a movie, and, like the question says, has the best lines. Also, it would be fun because it’s so different from who I am.
If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
French. I’ve always been in love with French culture, and have romanticized Paris since reading Hemmingway.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
Late to the Party. The irony comes in the fact that I’m naturally an anxious person and love being on time for things. But the title would be more that I’m not really a cool person. I’ve never been a trendsetter when it comes to fashion or culture and I’m constantly dressing or doing something that was cool, and now isn’t.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
“Did it all work out?” I wouldn’t want specifics about my future or anything like that. I’d just want to know that the path I’m on is worth it. That all the sacrifices, doubt and worry lead me to a place where I was happy or at least okay with how it all shakes out.
What makes you nostalgic?
This may seem like an odd answer, but smells are normally the thing that makes me long for something in the past. I could be walking up the stairs, and a summer breeze rolls in through the window and reminds me of summers on Cape Cod with my family. Or I could smell something cooking and it would remind me of being in the kitchen with my mom while she was baking. Oftentimes, it’s the scent of something that takes me back and makes me wish I was young again. Normally it just makes me smile.