In The Spotlight: Now, Now Every Children
In the space of two years, the Minnesota outfit have released two EPs, toured the US, released their fantastic debut album, 'Cars,' and even toured Europe with pop/rock megastars, Paramore.
Just before heading home, from the Paramore tour, to start writing their second full-length, we managed sit down with the guys and give them the opportunity to tell us the history behind Now, Now Every Children.
Alter The Press: How did you start breaking into music?
Cacie Dalager: Brad (Hale) and I met in high school and wrote some crappy songs, which were horrible.
Brad Hale: They were like, graduation goodbye songs, like 'I miss you...'
Cacie: A few years later, we decided to take it more seriously and, two and half years ago, we experimented with this band that we are doing right now; then started playing shows.
Brad: Like graduation parties.
ATP: What music were you listening to growing up?
Cacie: Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, The Frames.
Brad: The Postal Service as well.
ATP: Both of you (Cacie and Brad) started the band. How did you first meet?
Brad: In marching band camp. Cacie moved from Virginia, it was our sophomore year, and she looked really lonely. I didn't talk to her at first, some of my friends became friends with her, then I started talking to her, I gave her a fair chance and here we are now.
ATP: When you first met, what happened from there?
Cacie: At first, we never had intentions of starting a band, and doing this. It wasn't until we had recorded some of those really crappy songs, that we really decided to take this seriously.
Brad: (To Cacie) Didn't you show me a recording you did on a cassette tape? Then wrote a song about stabbing people's eyes out?
Cacie: I do not recall that song, but that wasn't a real song, it was a joke.
ATP: Where did the name 'Now, Now Every Children' come from?
Cacie: It's a really dumbass story, it was a typo on our old band account. I was talking to a couple of people who we'd become friends with online and it was just a typo really. They were fighting over who knew us first, and my response was something like, 'Now, now whatever, blah blah' and it came out 'Now, Now Every Children'. It was a joke and we thought maybe, one day, we'll have an EP called that or something but when we started this project, we decided on it. It just happened.
ATP: You started recording demos that you eventually uploaded to MySpace. What was the first response to them?
Brad: Way better than we expect, we really weren't expecting a whole lot, and really just doing it for fun.
Cacie: It's something we wanted to do but since everyone is like 'I want to be in a band,’ you're like, 'Really? Okay, good for you'. We wanted something to happen but never really expected it to, I guess, until we started putting stuff online.
Brad: Before, we used to have a MySpace page with a really old version of 'Sleep Through Summer' on there.
Cacie: First, we put up acoustic versions of demos so people were used to us sounding like poop. Then, we tried harder on these demos, so that's why I think we got a better response.
Brad: We then ran into the problem where we wanted to play shows but didn't have anyone to play with us.
ATP: When did you go onto to recruit the fellow members of the band?
Cacie: Britty (Hale - keyboard) is Brad's sister, that's how she came in.
Brad: Our big problem was that we knew people that played instruments.
Cacie: But, we didn't really get along with anyone well enough to be around them all the time.
Brad: That was one of our biggest problems; who would we want to be around all the time.
Cacie: Christine (Sako - bass) was becoming one of our really good friends, and actually lied to us, and told me that she knew how to play bass. But we let her play bass anyway, little did we know she didn't actually play, but she's awesome anyway. Then Jess, (Abbott - guitar) we liked each other’s bands, and then we stole her, I guess. We had different bass players before we met Christine but we all eventually just came together.
ATP: Was this before you played your first live show?
Cacie: It was just Brad, Britty and I, and our other bass player. We just played three or four songs for our first handful of shows.
Brad: We played our bass player's graduation party.
Cacie: I really don't even remember that show. I remember that day.
Brad: In a drive way, under a tent, drunk parents, aunts, grandparents...
Cacie: Someone threw a baseball at my car and someone was grabbing my face saying 'Oh, you're so little!' and doing the whole baby thing.
Britty: Someone said we looked like Bratz dolls.
Brad: It was pretty hilarious but it was a grad party. We then played like one or two more for our friends, someone's confirmation party, then we got asked to play our first real show, at a coffee shop. It was real scary.
Cacie: We were like, 'This is the best day ever!' It was at The Beat Coffee House and played three/four songs.
ATP: Describe your first tour.
Brad: We had the tour from hell.
Cacie: Pretty much every tour previously, was the tour from hell. We are the most unfortunate band that will ever happen. We toured in a minivan with no trailer, and had all of our stuff, plus all of our luggage and ourselves, in a four-seat minivan.
Britty Hale: I would sit outside until we played.
Brad: We have never done anything like this before, and all the places we played were all dive bars, and we are all tiny. When we'd walk in, all the regular drunkards are just at the bar looking at us like, 'What are you guys doing here?!' In at a lot of the places, we'd have to set up a lot of our sound stuff.
Cacie: Literally, some of the places would just give you a little tupperware bin of cords and mics, tangled together, and we were thinking, 'What am I supposed to make of this right now?!' One mic we had to use at this one bar, was tapped to the stand because it was literally falling apart. It was just a mass of tape. I think we have pictures of it somewhere. It was a painful tour.
Brad: When I look back, it was funny to think about. Everything seems better after that.
ATP: How did Afternoon Records get into the picture?
Brad: I went to college with Ian (Anderson - label owner) and had known he had a record label. One day, I decided to send him a link to our MySpace page, wasn't expecting anything to happen, and he said he liked us.
Cacie: I think he said he knew about us before, maybe.
Brad: We came up with some plans, released two EPs and the full length.
ATP: With the state of the music industry at the moment, and the response you had with your demos, through MySpace, did you ever think about releasing everything yourselves?
Brad: We had talked about it but we didn't know how and didn't have the resources.
Cacie: If nothing happened, we would have done that anyway. With the EP's, we did everything but released them under the label, or whatever; I wouldn't know what would’ve happened if we didn't.
ATP: You went on to release your debut album 'Cars'. How would you describe the record in your own words?
Cacie: I would always say indie/pop rock or mellow/dark pop. It's really hard to explain, but I'd say mellow/pop rock maybe. I feel that's what the CD is.
ATP: How was the process when recording the album?
Brad: It was weird for us because, doing those EP's, we used to have infinite time to mess around with everything in my basement. Going to a studio, we felt a lot of pressure because you're paying for the time.
Cacie: We did the whole thing in about eight days in July-August 2008. It didn't have air conditioning and the recording booth was literally a sauna. It was a fun experience, but at the same time, horrifying.
Brad: Looking back, we have a better feel for what we are going to do for the next record, and how to prepare for it.
Cacie: It was a good stepping-stone of what to expect with stuff. It was helpful, but crazy.
ATP: Was everything pre-written before you walked into the studio?
Brad: Yeah, we had demoed everything before.
Cacie: We had rough demos before and just re-did the demos in a studio.
ATP: How have you been dealing with the success of Now, Now Every Children?
Cacie: That's a funny question because, even before the tour with Paramore, I still feel like we are the babies and nothing feels different. The only thing that is different, especially at the Paramore shows, is people being like 'Hey, come here!' and when I'm walking over, they would scream. I would say 'Why are you screaming at me? Is someone behind me?' When people are waving at you in the audience, and when you wave back, they scream. I feel like the Paramore tour is the only strange thing to happen, but our lives outside out of tour are probably the most boring lives you could ever expect. I sit at home all day with my cats.
Britty: I work at Subway.
Brad: I am hoping, when we go home, we can have better tours in the US.
ATP: If there is anything you could have done differently with Now, Now Every Children, what would it be?
Cacie: Take more time on the first record.
Brad: Now we know how that whole process works.
Cacie: We learnt a lot and maybe we should have learnt some stuff earlier on because we were literally babies. I'm happy how things are now so, whatever we did before, I'm fine with.
Brad: We are at a good point where we can move forward and feel good about what we are doing.
'Cars' is out now on Afternoon Records.
- Jon Ableson