Interview with optimist indie rock band Cadet Carter

Image Credit: Ben Czepiga

Ride the wave of enlightenment and positivity with German indie rock outfit Cadet Carter’s latest single ‘The Best part’ via 8 Ohm Records. The single was unveiled just last week and is now accompanied by an official music video that looks, sounds, and feels like sunshine kisses amidst all the chaos of this current year that we have soldiered through. 

We chatted with band members of Cadet Carter along with their English frontman and guitarist Nick Sauter below.

Stream/download ‘The Best Part’

What does this release mean for the tone of the band’s next releases?

I can’t really say. Our goal is to work at one song a time and put out a string of singles over the next couple of months. Every song will have a different feel. Who knows, we might write the most depressing song ever now, haha! But I kind of like that newly found optimism we had on ‘The Best Part’, so I’d be happy to keep moving into that direction a little more.

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

When I was little, my dad used to make mixtapes for me that were sorted in personalized “best-ofs”, like the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or The Kinks. But also included stuff like ELO or Led Zep. That’s what got me into music in the first place. In the late 90s, I also started recording myself with two tape recorders and two tapes, and I would overdub what I had just recorded. I put guitars, bass, drums, and vocals on a song I had written about my dad, my cat, or something that was going on at school. So I would like to think I started producing when I was about twelve, haha!

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

So for me, the music always comes first. I don’t think I have ever written a song where I had lyrics first. I just play around on my guitar and jam a little bit until I come across a riff or a melody that I like. And then I try and go down that path, and eventually, it turns into a song and I start singing nonsense over it. And then very often, those nonsense lyrics turn into some kind of hooking line, and I write the lyrics from there. It’s a magical thing though, songwriting. I can’t really explain how I do it, and I think probably most songwriters couldn’t really explain their respective approaches. It’s a very individual thing.

Was the pandemic the driving force for you to produce your latest single ‘The Best Part’? Or was the intention always to release more lighthearted music?

Absolutely. We could see everyone around us being really down and worn out because of the whole situation, so we intentionally wanted to send a signal of optimism. That is why we decided to put ‘The Best Part’ out as quickly as possible.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I’m an avid runner, and when I go for a run, it’s not only my body that starts working, it’s also my mind. So I think about all sorts of stuff, and very often I come back to the house after finishing my run, I take a shower, and I head into my studio and start writing stuff.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

So, one thing that really bugs me is that twenty years ago, you could be in a band and be just that: a guy in a band, playing music, being creative, writing and performing music, and other people would be there to handle everything regarding distribution and promotion. Nowadays when you’re in a band, you’ll only spend 60 percent of your time playing and writing music, and the rest of the time you are your own A&R guy, your own manager, or distributor. There is still a thing called the music industry out there, but they don’t really care about up and coming artists, especially in rock music. All they care about are the artists that will bring them money instantly. Also, it is easier for a more or less talented promotion guy to plug the latest AC/DC record instead of being on the knocker promoting new artists. I would love to see that change. Young, up and coming artists are the future of the industry, and the industry is forcing most of those artists to become DIY projects.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I’m a studio guy one hundred percent. I mean I love being out on tour as well, but if I had to choose, I’d take the studio over the tour bus any day. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy touring though. I’ve had the best times being on the road. But creatively speaking, I love to see a song idea develop into a great song with an awesome arrangement. It’s what I live for.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

Having a couple walking up to us at the merch booth after a show and telling us how they had their wedding dance to one of our songs honestly was the most incredible thing ever.

What’s on your current playlist?

I have recently come across two bands I really like. One is a band called Thief Club and the other is a solo project-turned-rock band called Jetty Bones. They’re both great, go check them out if you can!

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

We will be releasing a string of singles over the next couple of months. Since touring won’t really be a thing until probably the end of 2021, we wanna focus on being creative in the studio and see what song we can come up with.

Famous last words?

Positivity wins.

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