Recently I was able to catch up with Nicholas Kerr (Guardin) for a brief interview. In this chat, we discussed his new record called Creatures Together, artists he admires in today’s music scene, as well as further insight to his songwriting.
Thanks for your time today, Nicholas. Let’s first discuss your new album called Creatures Together. Where did the inspiration come from to title the record this?
When I was 14, my mom & I had adopted a kitten & named him Creature. He always hung out with me in my bedroom whenever I was working on music which led me to naming two of my earlier projects after him (creature pt. 1 & creature pt. 2). Sadly, he passed away a few years ago. I wanted to pay homage to him & that series of projects. With this being the final chapter, the title Creatures Together really ties things together as the death of an era.
Can you describe the lyrical inspiration behind the song “jetlag”?
I had just returned home from a full U.S. tour where I had sprained my ankle & broke a bone in my foot. Not being able to really go out & do much with my foot stuck in a boot, I had a lot of time to reflect on things & really think about not only all that I had accomplished while on that tour, but everything I’ve done over the last few years with my career. I started writing “jetlag” with all of this in mind, talking about the highs & lows between being home, being on the road & being in this weird gray area in between.
I understand you’ve partnered with legendary musicians like Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance. What was it like collaborating with Ray and others in the scene?
Working with Ray Toro was an incredible experience. We met back in 2019 through a studio session with our mutual friend Tom Rasulo (Patchwork_) and worked on a few ideas together there. Being able to see how both of those dudes approach the creative process & how they bring things together was really insightful. Going from a laptop and a microphone set-up in my bedroom to a full blown studio is usually very intimidating, but that session was anything but that & the energy in that room was beautiful.
A lot of the songs on Creatures Together address mental health awareness. What do you hope listeners will take away from this new album?
I just hope people find peace with themselves in listening to this album. I think it’s really easy to fall into the cycle of feeling awful about yourself & deeming yourself as crazy for how you feel sometimes, but nobody is truly alone in that & I just want people to know that more than anything. I think I want to know that too.
Do you have any plans to tour on this material? If so, what tracks are you most excited for audiences to experience live?
I don’t have any concrete plans for an upcoming tour currently, but I do have a holiday show with Hot Mulligan and a handful of other bands/artists coming up in December. I’m really excited to perform “eugene”, “geronimo” & “homebound”. I’ve got a few really cool ideas for lights/visuals/etc. surrounding those songs that I can’t wait to bring to life.
What artists in today’s music scene do you admire, and are there any attributes you bring from other bands into your own music?
I really admire my friends. I think a lot of what I create is heavily influenced by what they’re making or by whatever I am listening to at the time. My friend Miles who goes by Sewerperson is a prime example & his work ethic is one that I really admire. I think a lot of my belting vocals derive from a variety of midwest-emo bands & other alternative acts I listened to growing up. I’ve been really big on the new Death Cab For Cutie record too. That’s been my ultimate vice as of lately.