Derek Nelson is a energetic force! The stage presence for this 23-year-old rising star is impeccable; you would think he was a seasoned veteran. Derek no doubt likes to work the stage...hoody on, hoody off, right foot, left foot, harmonica up, sing, head cocking back-and-forth, all while stroking the guitar strings! His music sounds like a young Ryan Adams on ten Red Bulls. My favorite song is “Tightrope Walker” from his freshman album Something Obscure (which can be found on iTunes), but for the most part you could listen to the CD over and over again and not get sick of it. Now for the fun part, Q & A with the talented musician:
Q: Which musician do people normally compare you to and do you agree with them?
A: I think anybody who likes writing lyrics and playing the harp inevitably gets compared to Dylan, which is always flattering, obviously, but almost always ridiculous. A girl after the Lincoln Hall show told me I sound like a "young Tweedy meets a happy Bright Eyes with Mick Jagger's dance moves." It is, to date, the best review we've received.
Q: What's been the most memorable show thus far?
A: We've had a few. My first show ever, at Double Door last spring, was the most nerve-racking. The Noble Experiments -- which are quiet little deals in people's apartments -- are the most intimate. The Empty Bottle was just a perfect time. Lincoln Hall was pretty electric.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in you spare time, not including music practice?
A: I like reading about wars. I like going places, exploring this fair city of ours. I like looking at maps and drinking beer.
Q: What’s your favorite place to visit?
A: I had the chance to check out Barcelona last year and it's a place like no other. Especially when you're there during a soccer riot and a million or so people are trying to burn down the most beautiful place you've ever been.
Q: Where in Chicago do you feel at ease?
A: I live in coffee shops. They usually feel like home.
Q: What are some goals for the band?
A: I've never loved the idea of setting business-oriented goals for the music, just because it seems futile somehow, and it takes the fun of this. Our goals are simple: get better at our music every time we play it. If the songs get better, all the other stuff will hopefully fall into place and we'll have even more fun doing it.
Q: What's something that most people don't know about you?A: I asked Pete, the drummer/guitarist, to answer this one for me: "You hate baby pigeons, although you've never seen one." Thanks, Pete.