Nic McNamara was born in Johannesburg South Africa then, as child moved to England and eventually to the United States. His early years were steeped in music. His father Stevin McNamara was working as a recording engineer with musicians such as Lucky Dube, Brenda Fassi & Ladysmith Blacksmith Mambazo. His family moved to Surrey England so Stevin could work alongside longtime friend and former band-mate Robert Mutt Lange on albums with world renowned artists: Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, Def Leppard, and Michael Bolton. Nic moved to the states in the early 90s and gained local notoriety in Southern Oregon with the release of two albums from his band Black Bears Fire (2013/2015). Nic's latest project, Summer Colds, brings a heavier sound than his previous folk-rock project. The three piece indie-rock/power-pop band is fronted by Nic. Summer Colds released two singles "Whiteout" and "Killing Flies" in the spring of 2019, followed by their debut album "Here Comes Nothing." The album combines Nic’s dark, poetic song writing with the fuzzy pop sensibilities of golden era 90s alternative rock. Summer Colds currently reside in Southern Oregon and plan to tour extensively in support of the new release.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
My dad is a recording engineer and growing up accompanying him in the studio was definitely the inspiration for me to create music. I've been writing and recording music for as long as I can remember.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career? I guess getting to open for an American Idol finalist at a dive bar show was pretty crazy.
What has been the high point of your music path? After being a dream for so long, getting to hear our album on Vinyl for the first time made it feel like a reality. Please take a minute to check out the video of "Whiteout"
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
Bits and pieces of lyrics come to me at random times seemingly out of nowhere and I write them down. Later when I'm feeling inspired, I take one of those pieces and let the creative process roll on its own. It always feels a bit like a dream or like I'm possessed for a short time when I write lyrics. Afterwards, I lock myself in the studio and flesh out the instrumentation.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
How to make music financially viable in the streaming era. I think primarily, independent artists make their money from playing live shows and selling merchandise which can be a difficult feat for some musicians. The main challenge seems to be getting enough streams to make a profit from an album that is independently released.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why? Currently, White Reaper. I got a chance to see them at a festival a few years ago and they had such a great live energy.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
We generally rehearse once or twice a week around live performances. Our lineup for shows is currently a three piece band consisting of me and two of my best friends who I've been playing music with in some form or another for a long time. We have fun and sweat a lot.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it! I typically try not to write about my own experiences and instead tell fictional stories. It seems like sometimes my subconscious creeps into my lyrics regardless and after getting some distance from a song I'll realize I accidentally wrote myself into it. "Copenhagen" was the only song on this record I intentionally wrote about an experience I had in a relationship and I think that process in and of itself was the most challenging for me to write about.
What's coming up in the future?
I have a few more albums worth of material that I've started the process of recording so a new record wont be too far off. We also plan on touring as much as possible in support of our debut.
Tell us where fans can access your music?