Interview - Nero Simon and the Sunsetters


Nero Simon is an Atlanta music artist/band with Beach vibes. Let's have a chat with him about his music.

Hi Nero and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Starboard (escape to Cozumel).
The song is an adventure story about two lovers escaping in the night after they've committed a crime, they steal a Thunder Cat power boat and take off on a high speed chase across the Gulf of Mexico, trying to reach an island paradise where they can be free. I like to describe it as a "true crime on the high seas drama." Most of the songs I write are very personal in nature, but this one is a little different because it tells the story of two people I've never met. It was based on a true story. I wanted to capture that feeling of adventure, excitement and mystery. I hope it hits the mark, but so far people seem to really enjoy the song. The next single will be very different and probably closer to the core sound of Nero Simon and the Sunsetters, although we do like to venture off into other sounds and styles to keep it interesting.

How would you describe your sound?
If I had to describe our sound I would say it's definitely a mix of old classic sounds and newer modern sounds. I love that era of music in the late 70s and early 80s, that classic soft rock era with bands like Fleetwood Mac and Toto. The production was so good during that time, the musicianship was flawless. We try to bring that into the sound of the Sunsetters. We want people to feel good when we play these tunes because it feels good to play them. So while there is definitely a retro feel to the songs we want to sound like a band of today.

What do you write about?
I try to draw inspiration from all walks of life while writing, but I think mainly I write songs that are very personal to me and based on real life experiences. I went through a period in my life that was very painful, filled with immense loss and personal grief. But when I emerged from this low point I decided I didn't want to write an album that was morose and depressing or sounded bitter, I wanted the music to be uplifting. I think the songs on our upcoming album 'Treasure Chest' reflect that. The music for the most part reflects a personal journey that ultimately arrives at a positive place. More than anything, I want people to have fun and enjoy the music. I hope these songs take people to a positive place.

What do you listen to when you are home?
I listen to pretty much anything and everything. I know everyone says that, but I really do. Every genre of music has something to offer, I prefer quality over musical style. But it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for me to listen to Frank Sinatra, Bob Marley, Waylon Jennings, Steely Dan, Van Halen, Outkast, Black Pumas and Taylor Swift all in one sitting. I definitely lean towards the classics and the mellow stuff but I like the new stuff too.

Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage
My favorite place to be when recording is near the beach since the Sunsetters' music is very inspired by the tropics. But there are no beaches in Atlanta so it gives me a good excuse to go South whenever I can and set up a studio somewhere near salt water. All of our music is produced and engineered by myself which gives me freedom to go where I want to be to record music. Recently we set up a studio in Gulf Shores, Alabama and it happened to be the same weekend Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast. Not really a funny story but it was an adventure and we made it through ok. And the experience bore fruit in the form of a new song called Lost in Perdido which will be on the album.

Your favourite albums?
So many to choose from and too many to list here but I'll name a few. There are some albums I always seem to come back to, 'Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim' is one of them, incredible Bossa Nova sung by Sinatra, amazing stuff. 'Exodus' by Bob Marley & the Wailers is another I will never get tired of listening to, really any album by Bob Marley will do the trick. 'The Essential Waylon Jennings' gets a lot of play as well. As far as new stuff goes, my favorite recent albums are the Black Pumas debut album and 'Father of the Bride' by Vampire Weekend. My favorite album right now is 'On My Own' by Nashville-based singer-songwriter Lera Lynn who I discovered recently and is from my home state of Georgia. She's great, amazing songs and a fantastic voice.

A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
If I could choose anyone living or deceased it would be an easy choice... Frank Sinatra because he's my favorite singer of all time. Although it wouldn't be a beer, it would be Jack Daniels because we both have that in common. As far as living artists go, it would have to be Willie Nelson, because who wouldn't want to have a beer with him? Incredible songwriter and story-teller with such a beautiful voice and just about the coolest dude on the planet. I wouldn't mind having a beer with Brandi Carlile too, she is amazing and she seems very cool and down-to-earth. We have a new duet called 'Forever' coming out on the new album and if I could have anyone in the world cover it, it would be her.

What would you ask backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
I'd probably ask for a tiki bar because I love tiki bars and what band wouldn't want one backstage? But really, as long as there's a bottle of Jack for after the show I'm set.

What are your plans for the next future?

The album comes out in March, so next is bringing the music on the record to a live setting, playing festivals, wherever people will have us. The Sunsetters are an eight-piece band of fabulous musicians with a lot of positive energy so I'm looking forward to the live shows. Having fun playing music I love with people I enjoy being around makes me feel blessed, it's as good as it gets.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post