Nick of Post Paradise on the Ordinary Lights of Colorado

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This blog has talked to a lot of bands over the years and it’s never not interesting coming across one that is as full of musical drama as Post Paradise. Their sound has more going on than a Degrassi plot, and their live shows are the talk of the town every time they roll through. Now when their lead singer, Nick Starr Duarte, isn’t representing Colorado as official – he’s doing ordinary things like playing in a rock band that incorporates a cello. Totally ordinary, right? Now more with Nick of Post Paradise.

Kendra: You’re not the first band I’ve talked to this year that has incorporated more classical instruments into their sound. What about the cello made you go, yes – that’s what Post Paradise needs?

Nick Starr Duarte: There wasn’t really a band until after we had the cello actually. I just really wanted to get a musical project going so I started looking throughout the Fort Collins community for players. I found a drummer first and then figured it’d be fun to have a cello instead of another guitar for lead stuff. I’m a big Cursive fan so there was definitely some inspiration there. Amy joined the group before we’d even found a bass player or picked the name Post Paradise! It just worked so well there wasn’t really a lot of hesitance, we just started running with it.

Kendra: You guys actually have a lot going on with a handful of genres making up your overall sound. Do all those elements ever get overwhelming when recording?

Nick: I wouldn’t say it gets overwhelming at all. If anything it just gives us a bigger toolbox to pick ideas from. We’ve all got things that we like to hear in a record, especially our own but we share a common goal and purpose when it comes to the final product. We don’t have the traditional instrument lineup and sometimes it can be tough to find the right place for the cello so it will cut through the mix, but also still sound like a cello. We’re very aware of leaving room for the different instruments to have their space.

Kendra: Right now you’ve got your single “Ordinary” out and about. While your music is quite intricate and unique, what would we be surprised to learn is the most ordinary thing about you?

Nick: That’s a good question…Maybe the fact that we have a very regimented band schedule. We practice a lot, even when we’re playing tons of shows. We’re at our rehearsal space at least twice a week to run through sets or work on lights or do vocal practices – all kinds of stuff. So even when we’ve got time off from traveling or summer festivals we’re still pretty much keeping to a solid ‘work’ schedule. It’s not ALL parties and loud music!

Kendra: What exactly does it mean to be Colorado’s musical ambassador?

Nick: It basically means that we get to travel to other states to not only perform, but also to help spread the word of just how amazing Colorado’s music scene is right now. The whole project was spearheaded by a couple key people in the Colorado Tourism Office. They put events together that involve travel writers and magazines, blogs, etc. and we’ve gotten to be the musical entertainment. We were so excited when they decided to include musicians on the trips because music, especially live music, is such a huge part of our culture out here. I’m glad that it’s being recognized as a driving force of tourism in our state.

Kendra: You guys don’t have any tour plans as of late, is that going to change soon?

Nick: We sort of locked ourselves in state for the last year while we were working on the record. I think we only took one or two short trips for SXSW and one up north. Once the record comes out in the Fall, we’ll be hitting the road for a bit. We’ve been getting antsy. The first run is in September to the Midwest, and then we come home to do some release parties in Colorado. We’ll see what the plan is from there, but we want to put in a lot of work for this record, we’re so proud of it.

Kendra: Because reading up on you guys – it’s quite the show. Why the use of all the lights?

Nick: I am a sucker for a great light show. We’ve been working on our light show and adding to the rig that we travel with for years now. I just totally geek out on it. We’ll spend hours just getting one song to look right, messing with cues and different colors – whatever the song needs to help convey what the song is about to the audience. It gets sort of cerebral but I like the fact that our fans enjoy it, and it’s a great way to catch the attention of people that haven’t seen us before. If the light show prompts them to hang out and listen to a few more songs then we’re doing our job.

Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape that best represented the genres you’ve come to embrace that have influenced you guys, what five songs would have to be on it?

Nick: Well I can’t speak for the whole band because I’m pretty sure it would be different depending which one of us that you asked, but for my personal influence mixtape I’d have to go with:

Circa Survive – “Only The Sun
Manchester Orchestra – “I’ve Got Friends
The Used – “The Bird and the Worm
Cursive – “Art Is Hard
Taking Back Sunday – “My Blue Heaven

Wow, that was tougher than I thought. I kept it to fairly recent bands to make it easier on myself!

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