Xander Nelson was born in the spring of 1994 in the small seaside city of Portland, Maine. He picked up the electric guitar at the end of the 6th grade, in a new effort to get girls to like him. Ironically, he ended up falling in love with the instrument instead which turned out to become beneficial for him later on in life. Upon returning home from Berklee College of Music, he met fellow Berklee alumni and guitarist Manny Urgiles, long-time DJ turned bassist Kristian Terison and industry veteran and drummer Chuck Martin. Xander Nelson released the debut EP "A Dull Roar" in April 2017 and hit the ground running. After receiving extensive radio play on the single “You Got A Problem,” sharing the stage with Grammy nominees, and playing some of Maine’s biggest music festivals, Xander and his band released the follow-up EP “See You On The Other Side” in October 2018.
Determined to break out and armed with the big guitar hooks rock music has been missing, this indie quartet shows no signs of slowing down. Their newest single "See You On The Other Side" begins with emotional conviction and intriguing melodies by the vocalist. After we become serenaded in the beginning of the song, the fast-pace and electrifying instruments chaotically fuses together and transitions in, that’s when the party begins!
"See You On The Other Side" has this strikingly electric element about the song we love. I like the tune of the hook. The melodies and chord progression while projecting sentimental emotions in a more upbeat mannerism becomes exhilarating and that’s what the hook displays. The band has a sense of unison and you can tell they know how to deliver a highly energetic performance. It’s rare we hear music and think “they will be exciting to see live” and that’s the exact thought we've developed from listening to “See You On The Other Side”.
Listen to "See You On The Other Side" here and get to know Xander Nelson in our interview below!
Hey there, care to introduce yourself for our readers?
We’re Xander Nelson, an indie pop-rock band from way up north in Portland, ME. Named for my own damn self, Xander, the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter, the band also consists of Manny Urgiles on guitar, Chuck Martin on drums, and Kristian Terison on Bass. We’re been gigging in the Portland area for a couple years now, and are starting to branch out into other places in New England, like Boston and Burlington. We’ve just self-released our second EP “See You On The Other Side,” and are planning on hitting the road in the summer!
Between “You Got A Problem” and “See You On The Other Side” which has been your personal favorite thus far?
If I absolutely had to choose, I would say “See You On The Other Side.” While “Problem” holds very special place in my heart, and is seriously fun to play live, “See You” is faster, bouncier, and more in-your-face. It also shows off a bit more of the band’s dynamic range, with both a big guitar solo and beds of layered vocal harmonies.
What’s the biggest misconception people have of rock music in your opinion?
The biggest misconception most people have about rock music is that it has to be all doom-and-gloom all the time. Whenever anyone says ‘rock,’ the first images that come to mind are an excess of leather, long hair unconvincingly dyed jet-black, and unresolved commitment issues from a bad breakup 15 years ago. However, like any genre, rock is so much more than its stereotypes. Sure, it can be bratty and brash, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be clever and fun, too.
How do you plan on breaking apart from the overcrowded music industry?
In short: authenticity. There’s no way around all the hard work and relationship building that it takes to make it in the music industry, and a little luck never hurts… But on top of that, it seems like every band needs some sort of gimmick nowadays. Be it a particular look, attitude off stage, or super-specific sound that it’s impossible to break away from. Speaking as a music listener, I’m pretty goddamn tired of all that. So, we’re going to stick out by rebelling against it, and just being ourselves.
What’s the meaning behind “See You On The Other Side”?
“See You On The Other Side” is a slightly more polite way of giving the finger to anyone who ever doubted you, or told you that you should just give up. For me, that pertains specifically to music, but I’m sure anyone pursuing their passion has had at least a few of those moments in their journey. It’s my own way of saying “I’m sorry you think that. Now watch me go out there and do it anyway.”
How impacting is rock music to you? Rock music has been more than just impactful in my life – it’s the reason I’m the person that I am today. I grew up with it, met all my closest friends through playing it, went to Berklee College of Music for it, and work with it every day in my jobs as a local radio DJ and a guitar/voice instructor. It matches the beat of my soul, and is far and away the best reason to wake up every morning.
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