Anyone who has been in any of the artistic businesses for a short time realizes early that no one is going to step up and do all the work for you. It is only the talented artists that are willing to put in the hard work and long hours that have any chance of success. There may be some “managers” that come along and make all kinds of promises but the unfortunate reality is that most of them are full of crap. An artist we discovered recently that seems to have this all figured out and is working hard to blaze his own path is Nic Nassuet.
The Los Angeles based artist began his journey on stage as an actor in such well known parts as Sweeney Todd and Doomsday Cabaret. The stage presence and powerful voice of Nic Nassuet was a natural fit for his transformation into a musician. During his development he fronted several punk and metal bands gaining experiences that aided in his creative route to singer/songwriter. The sound of Nic Nassuet is not easy to describe as it borrows from multiple genres such as blues, rock, grunge, and folk and adds a darkness to it setting his music apart from the masses. Listeners seemed to connect to him naturally and the word started spreading rapidly of this rising star. To further this Nic signed with indie label, Dirtshack Records, was accepted into the Recording Academy (Grammys academy), and won an Akademia Music Award for Best Folk/Alternative Rock song.
Recently Nic Nassuet released a string of singles as an accumulation of his life experiences. On “Black Dress” there is a dark country music influence that is taken to a raw and emotional level by the gritty vocal style and lyrical content. The acoustic instrumentation sets the tone to keep the song grounded. There is a more atmospheric and gothic feel on “Immured”. The use of a violin creates a dark yet beautiful melody that welcomes the listener into Nassuet’s underworld. The dark tone continues on “The Nothing”. This one is led by the strong vocals that show a dramatic flair that brought flashes of 80’s Axl Rose to my mind. This is serious music for serious thought. Nic Nassuet is already hard at work once again, readying new material & pushing the boundaries of music for a new album release in Spring of 2015 and a tour in the Summer and Fall of 2015.
Indie Band Guru was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with Nic Nassuet and get into the interesting mind of this genre breaking artist. Enjoy the interview below:
You have been a successful dramatic actor, what pushed you more toward the musical side?
They’ll tell you that acting professionally is about being yourself, and that bringing yourself to the audition is what makes you unique and what gets you booked. Sadly, this isn’t true. If you have to pay your bills, and you are a professional actor, you have to sell what producers are buying, and if they aren’t buying you, then you have to change. In my case, they wanted stereotypes and buffoon characters. One manager with very famous clients wanted to sign me on the condition that I wear glasses and a moustache with a shitty haircut all of the time because “I can get you seen by NBC tomorrow with that look!”.
I am not a comedic actor, but everyone wanted me to be because of my look. Film and television market stereotypes to the lowest common denominator. That’s not my scene. We had a family tragedy in the fall of 2013 that really shook us to our foundations. I always wanted to write and sing my own music, but something had been preventing me from doing it. On the heels of this tragedy I had no more excuses and began to write.
What similarities and differences do you see from the acting and singer/songwriter worlds?
They are completely different. An actor sinks or swims based upon the decisions of others. A professional actor can’t get seen for livable wage work without an intermediary. A singer/songwriter can create their own work, and put it out the the world at large. There is no longer a need for an intermediary. You book your show, record you track, and sink or swim on your own.
The only similarity that I see is on the marketing/business/administration end of things. Pitching yourself to booking agents, venues, networking with other acts, long term financial strategy, following up in a timely manner with radio stations and media, avoiding shitty publicists, fake managers, and smarmy “agents” who can’t live up to their promises – that’s all pretty similar.
How would you describe your sound?
Honestly, I don’t. When I have to describe it to someone that I want to work with I usually just quote reviews, and, to be honest, I am almost entirely unfamiliar with the genres and artists that I get compared to. It is kind of embarrassing, but I don’t really understand the concepts of “genre” and “style”. Those kinds of things go over my head. I’ll leave it to the music journalists, and what remains of the record stores, to categorize sound into easily definable, and consumable, quantities.
What influences you to create this dark and dramatic music?
Again, this probably sounds like a cop-out answer, but I have no idea. Sometimes notes just come into my head, and then words form around them. It is usually a very fast process. I can open, or close, myself to the influence – in other words, I can mostly shut it off to work on other things, but when I open myself to its influence it is entirely subconscious, and I have no control over when it comes, or what it sounds like. I select what to record, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of unreleased tracks that I have the bare bones to; marches, ballads, heavy metal, classical orchestra – I just listen and try to get it out before it goes away, but there are some songs that won’t go away until I record them. They’ll haunt me for months, even years. This album contains several of those kinds songs.
How has the Hollywood, California scene accepted your music? How have you seen that music scene change through the years?
I don’t know how to answer that. I’m sure that there are plenty of people who hate my music, and there seem to be some people who genuinely resonate with it. I don’t really concern myself with “acceptance”, a “scene”, or what general audiences do or do not like about what I put out. People come out to our shows, and people buy the music, so I guess that’s a good thing. If they didn’t, I don’t think that much would really change. I would probably still be doing the same thing.
As far as the music scene changing, to be honest, I didn’t really pay attention to the music scene in Hollywood until October of 2014 when I started performing my own material. I was engrossed in the acting, script writing, theater, and film production end of Hollywood before that.
You recently signed with Dirtshack Records, How did that come to fruition?
That was pretty straightforward. I emailed them from their website, Dave Osti replied to my email, we met up at his studio, and we got along. Dave is a really cool guy with a great set up. He’s been doing this a long time, and really knows his stuff.
Your listeners seem to connect quickly with your songs. Tell us a story of a memorable fan interaction.
The most memorable interactions were in musical theater. I had the lead in a romantic operetta and middle aged women would hit on me in the lobby afterward. I was recognized at the bookstore and in the grocery store. One of them told me “I’ll bet you are an amazing kisser” and then ran away – literally. She had to be in her mid-50s. Another woman, in her 60s, wouldn’t stop talking about how she was going to fantasize about me when she got home. It was completely surreal.
What is next for Nic Nassuet?
If all goes according to plan, the album will be out in April or May of this year. We are planning on touring in support of it.
The newest track “She Rides Moonlight” is scheduled to be released next week too. Keep up with more music and exploits at: http://www.nicnassuet.com/