Nana Klumpp divulge about their biggest year yet and what 2023 has in store for them.
Nana Klumpp are a four-piece alternative outfit emerging from Newcastle/Port Macquarie scene. Delivering a combination of definitive rock and roll and alternative pop, they have melodies that will be swimming in your head for days.
With the band going on four years, 2022 proved to be their most prosperous year yet, as they toured and played more shows than they ever have done before. Ending 2022 on a high note, they released their breezy yet infectious new single Back On Track, giving us a small taste of what more is to come in 2023.
With more music and tours on the horizon for Nana Klumpp, they took a moment to chat we us here at Happy and reflect on their 2022 musical endeavours.
HAPPY: What was the exact moment that you fell in love with music?
AARON: I fall in love with music over and over again, multiple times every day, but the first time that I remember was when my Dad would play guitar to me when I was a little one, about two or three years old. He used to play Johnny Cash songs and traditional Irish melodies and chord progressions on his acoustic. I’ve still got that guitar. He was a lefty and he used to play with these big triangle bass picks, which I try to use these days if I can find them. Anyway, that’s what kicked it off for me.
RONAN: When I was about 8 or 9, I stole my next-door neighbour Jacko’s iPod ‘cos I wanted to be a “cool iPod kid”. It was one of those original iPod’s without the touchscreen. I then proceeded to illegally download a stack of random songs and listen to them on shuffle constantly. Rest assured, I pay for music now, but when you were 8, and you had to save your pocket money for hot chippies from the local takeaway, you did what you had to I guess.
ROB: I was always listening to music growing up but then again so did most kids, dad always had his favourite tunes going in the car and I had my fair share of my sisters hand me down mp3 players and iPods that had a lot of core memory songs on them. But when I was probably 14, the first album that made me decide to pick up a guitar and learn a few things was Caress Your Soul by Stifi. I wasn’t any good and I didn’t start taking it seriously until a few years later but that album changed my whole perspective of where I wanted to go and for the first time gave me a somewhat solid idea of how I wanted to spend my time.
JESSE: My Mum showed me In The Light by Led Zeppelin when I was about ten. I’d say that was the first time that I started appreciating the individual elements of music, whether it’s an unorthodox drum beat, a steezy bass line, or a certain guitar tone. I’d actually heard that song when I was much younger and it gave me nightmares originally, I loved when Mum played it for me when I was a bit older though, and I love it now obviously.
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HAPPY: 2022 has been a big year for you guys touring-wise, as well as the release of new music. What has been your favourite part of 2022 as a band?
NANA KLUMPP: This year has been our most fun and busy year yet for sure. It’s just such a buzz travelling around, meeting different people, and being exposed to so many awesome bands that we might not have heard or seen otherwise.
We’ve been fortunate enough to get three tours under our belt, our first coastal tour as well as two with newfound friends and mentors Lazy Ghost.
Building our relationships with producer Caleb De’Athe and videographer Isaac Thorpe, who are best friends themselves, has been greatly rewarding because it feels as though we are starting to form a little NK family. They’re both an absolute pleasure to work with and top guys so it has been an unreal experience recording these singles and E.P. this past year.
HAPPY: With your latest single Back On Track released into the world, what is the biggest lesson you have learned in songwriting?
NANA KLUMPP: Make sure you are 100% happy with the song before you start recording it in order to save time later on down the track, because we definitely drove Caleb (and ourselves) crazy by going back and forth with Back On Track.
We found ourselves trying to make changes to the song in post-production that should have been made in pre-production. That being said, we’ve gained a better idea of where we want to take our music in the future.
HAPPY: Back On Track originally started as a late-night GarageBand demo, was there any anxiety when it comes to being vulnerable in your tracks, or have you found it to be a cathartic outlet?
NANA KLUMPP: When writing songs, we definitely aim to maintain the initial emotion or message that originally compelled us to write the song, without editing the initial idea so much that it detracts from itself. Although, when we run ideas by each other each of us always have our own input on what could maybe improve it, and everyone has their say.
HAPPY: You worked with producer and engineer Caleb De’Athe, have you learned anything new from him, that you have taken away that you’ll implement into your songwriting?
NANA KLUMPP: Working with Caleb is nothing short of the best and smooth experience. We’ve always lent heavily into the instrumentation aspect and will continue to do so, but Caleb has taught us so much within our sessions that we aren’t as hesitant to begin experimenting and dive into our production. We’re super excited to start working with him and expanding on our more recent ideas and tunes that are slow cooking in the thought tank.
HAPPY: In the past four years of being a band, what is something you have learned to be a very valuable piece of information that you wish you knew earlier on?
NANA KLUMPP: We’re trying to gain industry knowledge constantly and are still learning along the way. A standard but true statement, consistency is key. In terms of live shows, we try to play to the best of our ability as often as we can, to allow for the times that it gets a bit crazy or something might go astray. That goes for releasing music as well, although we’re still working on our turnaround time. Now that we’ve started to build a better workflow this year, we hope to be releasing and sharing our music with everyone more frequently.
HAPPY: What is something someone has said about your music that you hold close to your heart?
NANA KLUMPP: It doesn’t matter what it is, just the idea of our music connecting with someone enough to come up and make a comment on how we sound or how they feel when they hear our music. It’s enough for us to be stoked and grateful that we get to have that connection.
HAPPY: Entering into your sophomore EP era, what can fans expect?
NANA KLUMPP: The sophomore EP is something that we’re super excited about. It feels like the transition at the end of the page of a book that’s randomly getting written but is starting to make sense.
Some of the songs have been written for years and some are more recent but still feel dated in a way. We’ve been playing them at our shows this past year and they’re songs that people tend to ask about when we finish our set. Made up of our past 3 singles and 3 fresh ones, a range of styles but a somewhat clear sense of what we were creating at the time.
It feels great knowing that we’re close to having them out and that we’re ready to start moving forward into our more current creative realm.
HAPPY: What is the best way fans can support you as a band?
NANA KLUMPP: The best way to support us as a band is fairly straightforward, if you like our music make sure to stream it and add it to playlists. We do our best to provide something special or unique at our live shows. It also helps to understand our songs and the feelings we try to portray through our music when we’re doing it in real-time. Just try to think of us if you want to when suggesting new music to friends. Word of mouth works wonders. Follow us on socials if you want to see what we get up to on the daily and an idea of who we are as friends and a band.
Stream Back On Track via Spotify below.
Interviewed by Laura Hughes