Photo Credit: Kris Herrmann
Everyone processes different aspects of their lives in a myriad of ways. Some of us smile through it, others breakdown, and then there are those who create. The latter is just like Jason Singer, a Michigan native otherwise known as Michigander. He put a particular period of his life to song and the results are telling tales sewn together with hooks and notes on Michigander’s Where Do We Go From Here EP, out September 13th on C3 Records. We talked about the music, let downs and more in this exchange.
Kendra: The songs you penned for Where Do We Go From Here are from a specific period of your life, which we’ll get to in a second. First though, content aside, how do you feel this album showcases your growth as a musician compared to 2018’s Midland?
Michigander: This was the first time I got to write a whole bunch of songs in one consistent work environment. So I never had to set up or tear down gear to record and write which was nice. I think it allowed me to focus more on the arrangements and instrumentation of the songs, which I think made them better
Kendra: With this new album, you dove deep into the chaotic and often excruciating years known as the mid-20s. Like yourself, I too have a collection of songs for that time in my life, but I didn’t write Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” or The Wonder Years’ “Passing Through a Screen Door.” Listening to them now though I’m reminded of how far I’ve come. Is that how you feel about the songs that make up your new record? Like do you get a cathartic feeling performing them and, do you feel like that’ll be the case as you continue to sing them years down the road
Michigander: Yeah, I think these songs were sort of way for me to process that period of my life. I feel like I came out the other side with a better grasp of who I am as a person and where my place is in this world. I think these new songs were a good way to release all my confusion and move on from it.
Kendra: Listening to “Poplar” definitely took me back, especially when you so wonderfully delivered the line, “Don’t want to let you down.” With that, do you feel as if we put way more pressure on ourselves to live up to an ideal standard than others put on us?
Michigander: I think that line is more about not letting my friends down. I’m not one to care about what strangers think of me, but I really do care what my close pals think of me and what I’m doing. I often feel responsible for their well being, especially while we travel. It can be hard to try and make everybody happy.
Kendra: With a record release show at home kicking things off and a stop in NYC soon after, do you ever set any goals for yourself when on tour? Maybe not eating this and that, or making sure to take in a sight or two in each new city?
Michigander: Besides trying to get as much sleep as possible and drinking lots of water, I don’t have many goals. I feel like the more I travel the more I appreciate being home. I’ve come to realize that cities, for the most part, are pretty similar. You’re always looking for a good cup of coffee, a good meal, and a good record store.
Kendra: Let’s take a musical break really quick. If you were in Zombieland you’d already have your name down, but with that…if the living dead did start to pop up, where in Michigan would you feel safest?
Michigander: I feel like a hotel somewhere would be a good place to hold up in. Lots of rooms. Lots of exits. Lots of floors. I could be wrong, but I think that’s where I’d go.
Kendra: And lastly, you’re new record is our September 13th and you’ve got a tour starting then as well. Are there any other plans you have for 2019 or are you already thinking about 2020?”
Michigander: I think the rest of this year is just the set up for what’s to come in 2020. I still feel like I’m just getting started!
Catch Michigander on Tour This Fall:
9/13 – Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
9/17 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East
9/19 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
9/20 – Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy
9/21- Vienna, VA – Jammin Java
9/22 – Harrisonburg, VA – Golden Pony
9/25 – Charlotte, SC – The Evening Muse
9/26 – Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar
9/27 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
9/28 – Indianapolis, IN – White Rabbit
10/3 – Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall
10/4 – Eureka Springs, AR – Chelsea’s Bar
10/6 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
10/8- Davenport, IA – Racoon Motel
10/9 – Davenport, IA – Racoon Motel
10/10 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon