The alt-rock and grunge-inspired rockers consisting of Nick Cove (vocals/guitar), Trevor Kiscadden (drums), Joe Mancinelli (keys/vocals) , and John Decker (bass) have fine-tuned their sound in this latest release. Capitalizing on the components of tension and relief, “Glass Houses” is a snapshot of The Wandering’s transforming sound and an emblem of their new direction. The song closes out their 4-track EP aptly titled, Live at The Kaleidoscope.
“This live version of ‘Glass Houses’ is the most perfect iteration of this song. We have really come into our own as a band and because of that, our older tunes have transformed in a way to reflect how we play now. It feels more grounded and reflects what we want to sound like as a band,” says Cove.
The music of Nick Cove & The Wandering paints shadows of where you’ve been to illuminate where you’ll go. The group’s refreshing candor regarding faults and flaws in this live single reveals a rugged truth in a world that prizes being picture perfect.
We got to chat with Cove about the new track, the studio where it was recorded, plans for 2023, and much more.
So who is Nick Cove & The Wandering, and how did y’all come together?
NCatW was started by me and was meant to be an outlet for my singer-songwriter side. I had this idea that it would be a revolving door of musicians to help me play the music, but I quickly realized it would be much easier to have the same members. It’s funny that after a handful of line up changes, the current members are the ones I originally asked to be on the record!
Who or what got you into songwriting and music making?
I remember being introduced to AC/DC, Dire Straits, and The Beatles when I was in grade school. But then my buddy introduced me to Nirvana and Green Day. Those two bands changed everything for me. I got very into grunge music, and that same buddy pressured me into getting and learning the guitar so we could start a band. It didn’t take much coaxing because all I wanted to do was play music like that. Later on down the line when I was in college, I got really into Soundgarden and they have been my favorite band ever since.
Your new single, “Glass Houses,” touches on the feeling of being at fault. Can you recall a time where you felt that you were “throwing rocks at a house and hoping the glass won’t break?”
To me, that line is actually kind of the opposite of realizing you are at fault. It stems from doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. During my late teens and throughout my twenties, I was experiencing a lot of those tendencies and really had to figure out why I wasn’t trying a different approach.
Is there a lyric or sentiment from the song that you think/hope will most resonate with listeners? Why?
The lyric above is actually my choice for this one. It’s like a super relatable feeling and idea. If you keep throwing shit at glass hoping that the glass isn’t gonna break, eventually it’s going to break. There is a weird comfort in being set in ways, no matter how damaging. But to continue to grow and move forward, we have to change and break our own mold and do a little rebuilding.
What can you tell us about The Kaleidoscope, and what made you want to record your live video there? What was that experience like?
The Kaleidoscope is a recording studio in Lancaster, PA, and is run by Jon Smith and Ben Roth. They are two of the greatest of grade A dudes. We have been friends with them for a while, but never jumped on an opportunity to record there. When we decided to record a live in studio session, it was a no brainer to choose The Kaleidoscope. The inside is super cozy and there is all of the crazy art of the walls of the live room all done by local artists.
The experience was wild to say the least. Internally, I was probably the most anxious I have ever been in my life. Something about a new setting, a new rig I was using, and other conflicting brain thoughts made that day kind of difficult for me. Everyone else really locked it in though (to no surprise. I’m humbled to be able to play and work with all of these incredible people I get to call my friends.)
I see where ‘Live at The Kaleidoscope’ is a snapshot of the newest iteration of the Nick Cove & The Wandering sound. Can you explain this? How has the band’s sound evolved since its inception?
Like I said, the initial sound of the band was more singer-songwriter-y, but as my writing style changed (and other life changes occurred) our sound became louder, heavier, and most post rock like. I started to write more music that fell more into that category which felt way more natural, but still had this through line of the atmosphere I was trying to create.
Can fans expect a studio version of this song on an upcoming EP or LP?
They can! “Glass Houses” was released in that more singer-songwriter style on the album we currently have out called Harbinger. I would love to re-record “Glass Houses” now that I feel it has reached its final form.
What messages or feelings do you typically try to convey in your music?
I usually end up singing about feelings of anxiety or just being alone in your head, but feeling like everyone is paying attention to you? I don’t know if that makes total sense, but I guess that’s what anxiety makes you feel like when it is bad. I like to convey a sense of comfort, but there is also an intensity there. I always imagine that we are the bonfire from Dark Souls lighting up a dark, wooded area with a lone character sitting by it to rest and prepare for the journey ahead. There is a looming darkness, but there is a comfort, at least for the moment, from sitting by the fire.
What does success as a musician and songwriter mean to you?
Success means that I get to write and play music without sacrifice to the creative journey. Being able to be authentic and genuine is extremely important to us as a band and people. It’s obvious to people when something is disingenuous. What we do and how we present ourselves stems from us loving what we are doing first and foremost. That feels like success to me.
What are some of your goals – whether musically or otherwise – for 2023?
We would love to play with Manchester Orchestra, The Dear Hunter, or Thrice in the next five years. That would be so cool. On a shorter timeline, recording and putting out new music is number one on the docket.