New York City songwriter Steven Nathan, frontman of Man On Earth, is onto his next big project, Don't Believe in Ghosts with the first single, "Nothing I Could Do Is Ever Good Enough For You" hitting streets Feb. 23. The hooky and introspective track is already gaining traction, with early spins at KTCL/Denver and KPNT/St. Louis, MO and a super cool video posted below.
Here are Steven's answers to our five questions and of course, the shameless plug.
1. After returning from touring with your indie band, Man On Earth, you hunkered down and wrote 30 new demos within a four-month period. That’s pretty prolific. How did the magic happen?
I think in part it was all about doing things I’d never done before and really challenging myself. When putting my old band on hiatus i wanted everything I do next to be different or else what’s the point? There’s always this feeling as a songwriter when you come across an idea that excites you where you are grateful you actually sat down that day. I thought to myself, well what if I sat down everyday and just never put it off. I had a lot of fun challenging myself and it really changed my approach as well as gave me a very strong starting point for recording these first two EPs.
2. Where did the name “Don’t Believe in Ghosts” come from?
I had moved into a new apartment at the start of this project. The room I use as a studio has this super creepy long dark closet that runs parallel to the room. One night while recording I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard a whispering voice say, "Don’t believe in ghosts?" Haha, but really I felt the name was a perfect metaphor for those things in life that keep us from moving forward. We’re basically this big biological ball of stored memories and how we act and respond is based on our interpretations of all our past experiences and what we’ve been told. Sometimes we give too much weight to moments in our past and they might even scare us from taking a chance, it’s all about not giving too much power to the ghosts of your past.
3. For someone who is trying to leave those ghosts behind and move on with life, what advice can you offer and what are the benefits of doing so?
I always think of Pompeii … those that stuck around to watch the volcano or those who held on to what was and refused to run were trapped in that moment forever… many just frozen in ash. It’s always safer to romanticize things from a great distance with some new memories in between for perspective.
4. You wrote, recorded, produced and mixed Don’t Believe In Ghosts' debut EP “Change Your Mind,” but you had the help of some friends. Tell us who pitched in and how they contributed.
I was really fortunate enough to work with Dr. Fink of Prince & The Revolution in the past. He stayed with me over the summer while in NYC so I of course recruited him to lay some keyboard parts. In the past I did a lot of work with Ken Lewis and Cooper Anderson who are both well decorated producers and mixers as well as good friends of mine. They we’re extremely helpful with feedback and suggestions. I also had a few close friends I would bounce ideas off and they sort of acted as a way of keeping me accountable and on schedule.
5. Any plans to get back on the road with Don’t Believe in Ghosts?
I’ll absolutely be heading out this spring to visit radio and doing shows along the way. We’re also working on some festival appearances over the summer and have been discussing a few bigger tour opportunities.
Insert shameless plug here ... don't be shy :)
Our debut single, "Nothing I Could Do Is Ever Good Enough For You" hits alternative radio on Feb 23rd! Also, I think it’s important to note that "Change Your Mind" is part one of two EPs I'm releasing collectively titled "Change Your Mind, Change Your Luck." I have looked at this first EP as a great opportunity to set things up, therefore I actually saved my best songs for the second EP!
Learn more about Don't Believe in Ghosts: