Written by Lindsey Borders
Atlanta born and raised, Nate Currin, is releasing probably his most ambitious record to date with The Pilgrim. Nate’s new album is a lyrical and musical representation based on John Bunyan’s book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, which is one of the most influential books in English literature. After shelving The Pilgrim in 2007, he relocated to San Francisco to focus on writing, which resulted with the 18-song album. The Pilgrim will be released on August 6, 2013 and Nate will be having a CD release party at Vinyl in Atlanta for a pre-celebration.
Check out our in-depth interview about the recording process of The Pilgrim, what this record means to him, what he hopes fans gain from this record and much more!
How was the recording of this process different than your previous recordings?
The biggest difference was the environment… not just the studio but the seriousness rather than much of the playfulness and goofing off of past projects. Rather than using one of the large Georgia studios we’ve used in the past, including Zac Recording or Treesound Studios, we opted (at first) to do the album in an old church in San Francisco, where I’ve been living the past year and a half. But finances became a concern, and instead we used a small, in-home studio in Athens, GA called Domus Sound, which turned out to be perfect. Because the story that this project is based on is more of a serious tale, I wanted more of a somber environment in the studio while we did the recording, which there was. Yet we still had a lot of fun. The team was great and working with Simon Illa again was a blast!
What does The Pilgrim symbolize to you?
The Pilgrim as a story symbolizes “this life” – it’s a journey… we’re all on different paths and have different experiences, and that’s what The Pilgrim is all about – that road that we walk and the experiences that make us who we are, at least for me personally. The Pilgrim, as a character in that story reminds me so much of myself… and much of it is drawn from my own life. Throughout the story, the Pilgrim is constantly taking wrong turns, doubting himself and his faith, struggling with pride or doubt or hopelessness, and that reminds me so much of myself. I’m a broken person living in a broken world… and I’m certainly on that journey, yet, I struggle every day with pride and doubt and grief, etc. Yet there is so much to be grateful for – and many times I am pulled out of that despair or doubt by someone far greater than myself.
What do you hope fans take away from this recording that you have spent so much time preparing and releasing for?
Good question. Wow, yes… Over 5 years in the making. I’ve put not only so much time and energy into this album, but my heart and soul and mind. I hope people not only hear that, but feel it as well. I truly hope that as people take the time to listen to the story (song by song) over 18 tracks, that they feel the pain, feel the triumph, and feel the ultimate satisfaction of being part of something bigger than myself. If fans simply listen to the album with their ears and walk away going “cool songs, that was catchy… or sounded good” they’ve missed the point. I hope people will listen through it over and over and end up scratching their heads each time and go “wow, there is something deeper here than I heard the last time that I listened through it… ”
What are you most looking forward to at your CD Release party?
I am looking forward to several things… one thing I always look forward to is reconnecting personally with friends and fans. I enjoy talking with folks… it’s the human interaction that I love. But most of all, I am most excited about people hearing this story (song by song) live… it’s one thing to listen on a CD, but I hope people experience my heart and passion even more as I sing these songs straight through. Nothing beats a live show!
What’s the line-up look like for your dream gig?
Wow… for my dream gig? As in, who accompanies me or what other artists or bands I’d love to share the stage with? I’d love to play a show with Counting Crows… I have always wanted to. I met Adam Duritz at SXSW back a few years ago, and what a great guy. But I’d love to open up for them at some point. Another dream gig for me would be Bob Dylan… greatest storytelling songwriter of all time, and that’s what I’m attempting to do: tell stories through my music. Would love to not only share a stage with him, but would love to sit down and talk one on one with him… what an honor that would be.
What has been the best gig you ever performed?
I guess that depends on what you mean my best gig… One of my favorites was the release show for the Goodnight California album back at the end of 2010 at the Hard Rock in Atlanta. It sold out that night, and we had a blast. Another for me was a gig I played at the Crimson Moon in Dahlonega (small venue) back just a few months ago which sold out as well, but it’s such a great little venue. I enjoy small, intimate shows the most I think.
What is the funniest moment you’ve had as an artist?
Oh man, so many… Haha. I think of one recently. I was on tour in California back earlier this year, and I decided to play my song “Dance Away the Night” from the Goodnight California album at a house show I was performing at between a couple of shows. Well, I got about half way through the song and just totally forgot my own lyrics… so I sat there and laughed and told the group of maybe 25-30 people that my mind had gone blank. Everyone started laughing until two girls from the group ended up telling me my own lyrics (singing them back to me, mind you) until I could get back on track. Anyhow… it was somewhat embarrassing but pretty funny at the same time.