If you don't know about the band Page France, you may not be living under a rock, but you're missing out on something amazing. For those of you who do know the band, you are aware of just how rereshing their music, and more importantly, their lyrics can be. Mike Nau, the band's lead singer and principal writer has penned some of the most exciting metaphors and allegories I've ever heard in music. Matt, from YANP, did an interview with Mike Nau a while ago that was just great, which you should definitely check out. The band's answers to Matt's questions raised new questions in my mind, though, and I had to ask them of the band.
So, when they got home from their most recent tour, Mike sat his weary self down and kindly answered some questions that I had emailed him. I really tried to focus on asking questions that other interviews hadn't answered already, so they might seem kind of odd, but oh well...
First, since you're just coming off of a tour, I've got to ask this--Do you find that your perspective, or your voice with each song that you perform changes or evolves when you're on tour, performing it in front of people for the first time? Is there something inside you that's like, "Well, when I wrote this I was thinking...but with all these people here, I feel...about it now." ?
Yeah, I think so. Certain songs really come to life when we're playing them in front of people for the first time. I often get bored with songs - you know, the redundancy that goes hand-in-hand with touring, and playing the same batch of songs each night, so it is always very encouraging to look out, and realize that those same songs are actually fresh to everyone there. Sometimes it's easy to forget that.
In your interview with Matt over at You Aint No Picasso, you made an interesting statement in the last question he asked you. You said that you would be fulfilled as a musician if you were able to make a lot of albums and have good attendence at your shows. Every artist I've encountered has a goal, but few of them talk of being fulfilled. How might you explain this fulfillment, as opposed to meeting goals or reaching milestones?
Well, I believe that we're already fulfilled. I've never set any goals or milestones...this whole things just sort of snuck up on me, without any planning. I enjoy making records, and to be able to make a record that somebody on the other half of the Country enjoys listening to is just strange to me. It's overwhelming, and difficult to explain.
How much do you consider "the fans" when making songs, both lyrically and musically?
There's always a sense of wonder in the back of my head... you know, "what will people think of this?". However, I think that it's important to not get too caught up in it. I would never be able to complete a record if I wasn't doing it selfishly. I went through a phase where I worried so much about those things, and all that I ever got out of it became a few inches too close to a nervous breakdown. I just want to make records that I think are interesting...and hopefully listeners will find them positively stimulating in some way.
When writing lyrics you use a fair amount of metaphors. Lines like "A saw a flower on the doorstep makinglove with the sun, and it turned into a garden when they were done," really draw beautiful comparisons/metaphors, that sound too good to have come to you by accident. Where do you look, or how do you look to draw these metaphors and comparisons?
Most of the songs that I am most proud of do come spontaneously. I would like to say that I can sit down and make a flood come out of a rock, but it just doesn't work that way for me.
In researching for this interview, I have come across several reviews of your albums that express some amount of disconnection with your music's "world-view"; with you expressing a certain amount of child-like innocence. Do you feel that the world-view presented by your songs is "unrealistic" or do you feel that it is parallel to your own? For that matter, what's wrong with us "becoming like a child"?
I think that the records are very light-hearted, in a way. I write songs when I am in a particular state. I like the thought of having a featherchest. Of course, not everyone will agree and relate...sometimes, I don't even believe what I write, but I would like to.
When you finish recording an album's songs, what is it that you're feeling at that time?
"Is it really finished?"
Musically, does Page France, as a band, move in context with the music world, or does it evolve solely with themembers of the band?
I would like to believe that it evolves with the members of the band...and I think that it does, in most ways.
How do you approach as your band is now joining Suicide Squeeze, a label with so many innovative artists on its roster?
We are very excited to be a part of the roster. We'll approach things the way that we have in the past.
As someone who is able to appreciate the spiritual language you use to convey certain messages, I wonder what role does spiritual uncertainty play in your lyric writing? In regards to the curiosity and uncertainty in your songs, do you feel it is necessary to hold this tentative position to maintain the mood of the song?
Spirituality and faith, to me, is uncertainty. I write from a tentative position, because my head doesn't operate in terms of fact much of the time. I write without agenda, and feel most comfortable writing about my uncertainties.
There are many good bands in the world today, many without labels or albums to speak of. As I constantly search for great bands, I like to ask bands what other bands they listen to, whether for inspiration or just for enjoyment. Whoare you listening to currently? What bands are some of the staples of your music collection?
A few of my current favorite records are : Margo Guryan - Take a Picture, Dylan - New Morning The Upsetters - SuperApe
Check the downloads>>
Page France - Bridge.mp3
Page France - We Remain As Two.mp3
Page France - So Sweetly Around Me.mp3