New Age Americans strive to provide the masses with new, exciting, and intellectual music from the Chicago suburbs. A Post-Alt powerhouse consisting of rock-hard drummer RJ McGaw, silky smooth bassist Jake Smith, wizard-like guitarist Tyler Hodgett and maestro vocalist Jack Romero, these charming young adolescents task themselves with taking the reins of the funky soul train some people call Rock n’ Roll and have one goal on their minds: to rock your socks off.
Bringing forth a larger than life soundscape ruled by the edge that fills their exclusive lane of musicality, New Age Americans latest single, “Fall Back,” is a fusion of bassist/vocalist Jake Smith of NAA, Alex “Pi” Piemonte of Pilot the Helm, and featuring Danya Thompson on drums (former touring drummer for Destiny’s Child, Common, etc.)
The sound radiated is polished with a hint of grit as the buoyant resonance surfaces in a prevailing manner. Dipping into a vast array of tenors, the marriage between the immense drums hits, rhythmic grooves of the bass, and the opulent guitar riffs strummed with a purpose, form a solidified foundation for the boisterous rasp of the lead vocals to surge through the speakers as they pull you into the undertow of “Fall Back.”
With the ambivalent tempo transitioning as we tour the verses and chorus, we allow ourselves to shift focus as we feel the heart of New Age Americans seep into the numerous emotions stirred up from this track. Showcasing their ability to switch between traditional Folk styled spirit as they tackle the energy-fueled sounds of Alternative Rock, one thing remains the same; they will have you up and moving out of your seat in mere moments.
Flaunting their talents in a nonchalant way that captures the breezy grace molded into their spirit, they make it seem like they can do this in their sleep. New Age Americans have most certainly turned us into die-hard fans with “Fall Back.”
Welcome to BuzzMusic. We love your latest release “Fall Back.” Could you please take us into the overall meaning of this song in your own words?
Jake: I just gotta keep my train rolling, don’t dwell, but embrace; and keep growing.
Pi: When you keep falling back into a toxic relationship/situation. Only to find out (in this case) that the person you keep falling back to is “gone” beyond reason. “Fallback” also doubles as an allude to the perpetually cyclical nature of the mind of the one you keep falling back to. They are as much fucked as you are in this situation and it’s almost out of their control. This “ghost” you’re chasing is suffering from themselves just as they cause suffering in you. With such a stacked lineup of musicians in this record, how did each member emphasize the sound that we hear in “Fall Back?"
Pi: Jake came to me with the original idea and asked me to develop it. The “sound” is the natural course the track took from that point on. Jake: This idea/song started from just me and my acoustic guitar in my bedroom, which happens just about every night; so I usually don’t expect much from these ideas I write. But every so often a good idea comes around and I share it with my musician friends. My mindset on songwriting is I understand it's not easy to write a good song often, but if your writing songs more than often the odds are more in your favor, so I write as much as I physically can knowing not all of it will be great. The musicianship that was brought to the table for this particular track was beyond awesome. Working with Danya was phenomenal, this man sneezes on the beat so to have his sauce on the track was so exciting.
Could you please take us into what the creative process looked like when you were bringing this song to life? We can only imagine what the energy was like when recording!·
Jake: Well, Pi and I each have our own cave (studio) that we tend not to leave often. With us each having our own studio we were able to both record our parts ourselves and bounce them back and forth remotely. I personally never even sang before until just a couple of months prior to this. For me having no experience with vocals, Pi really helped by coaching/guiding me in finding my voice and how to use it.
Pi: My role in the song was to take the little idea/demo jake came to me with and turn it into an actual track so I’m sure Jake will have a different answer to this question. For me, I like that role because it takes “me” out of it. For music, I make that is my own, as much as I want it to or not(most of the time not), the ego slips in and says what do I wanna say? What do I wanna sound like? Whereas in this case, whether it was writing lyrics, the vibe of the production, the tone of an instrument, or the feel and energy of the mix, it was more of ‘what is the track saying’? What does it require? Where does it want to go? So in that regard creatively, it’s different and much more of an exploration of the craft.
How do you find that “Fall Back” holds up to other songs in your music catalog? What makes it stand apart from the rest?
Jake: My overall mission from a musicians standpoint with this track was to really display and showcase our musicianship while still balancing/maintaining that euphoric feeling. As lyricists for this track, I don’t normally write lyrics for any projects I’m a part of but these ones came so naturally. It’s a lot easier to express how I’m feeling about a situation through my instrument as opposed to words; but for this track, both came to me. Speaking for NAA’s songwriting future, I really hope this track exemplifies our passion to truly create the best possible music for music lovers everywhere to enjoy; and I am beyond excited to continue unleashing what we have been saving in the vault for all these years. We have an awesome team and an even more awesome crew backing us, I’m beyond grateful to be a part of this. Pi: I don’t really give a f*ck how it “holds up to other songs in my music catalog” or any song I make for that matter. What I will say is, personally, it’ll probably hold a special place because I’ll remember this track as one of the first things I did when music for me as a whole started to take a turn as I started to understand how if you have a craft, everything is pretty much meaningless beside the craft. Doing your craft is what matters not the potential money, fame, or notoriety. Nor is it the potential failures, hardships, and lack of money for that matter.