Hailing from the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Ameriglow has been on the scene for a few years. The band includes Jacob Darden (songwriter, vocals), Arlie Huffman (multi-instrumentalist) and Zack Koontz (drummer). Drawing inspiration from from the musical landscape they come from, they have created a unique sound. We sat down and had a chat with Jacob Darden (JD) about their latest album Slavic Tongue, American Film and more!
OSR: How did you decide on the name for the band?
JD: It just kind of came out of the air in the beginning. It meant the afterglow essentially, the static everything, like the afterglow of a star dying, the feeling that lingers after everything dissipates, past emotions and memories, feeling high on the come down. We originally played what we referred to as “Anti-Americana” music, and us being Americans, Idk honestly, it just felt right at the time.
OSR: Who and what inspires you?
JD: Generally speaking, it’s not other musicians but life itself, complex relationships, and cascading landscapes. Anything can be inspiring, input and output vary in so many ways, and things constantly evolve, including writing processes. If people want to know who we are listening too that’s current… it’s Ohtis, Purple Mountains, Porches, Julia Jacklin, The Marias, Big Thief, Wye Oak, Land of Talk, Buck Meek and Adrianne Lenker’s solo work.
OSR: Please tell us about your creative process?
JD: I’ve never stuck with one method, every day feels fresh and new, but like a time loop also. It’s a different experience each time, the world is a beauty and a nightmare. Some days there is so much tension on the kite, so much unreleased energy that’s just waiting to be sprinkled on some artistic endeavour, and some days it lays in the sand. That disappointment in itself can be inspirational.
OSR: What is the inspiration behind ‘Slavic Tongue, American Film’?
JD: Some rough years of living.
OSR: As a musician, what is a normal day like for you?
JD: Currently, waking up at 5am, and trying to make contact to people in the least invasive way in order to keep the train pushing down the tracks. There is a lot of other things going on in the world that are so much more important currently, so it can feel shameful. I have never been good at the other side of things that don’t involve just “Art”, but I’ve had to adapt if I want this work. I won’t lie, I have a distaste for the business or persistent “reaching out to people” side, but it has to be done when only two people run the shop. I’m not very good a speaking to people or explaining myself either and I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin most days, so most of it makes my stomach hurt. That’s why they make beer
OSR: Do you have a favourite venue?
JD: Haw River Ballroom in Saxaphaw, NC. Haw River Ballroom is undoubtedly one of the most magical experiences any time you go. It’s this massive complex of a music venue that some extremely innovated and diligent creative minds set up in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know the details of its history, but it’s rad. All the major indie acts pass through at some point, it’s quite baffling that a place like that can exist and stay maintained. Right now, is a time though that these venues are struggling, and need help. There’s actually a petition here in America that artists are asking citizens to sign, directed to their congressman, in order to keep these venues afloat during the pandemic, organizations like NIVA, The National independent Venue Association. #SaveOurStages. I hope these organizations are worldwide, music matters and these venues matter even more. They keep people emotional and physically fed.
OSR: What type of audience motivates you the most?
JD: Interactive is always appreciative, not so much in a sense that a drunk scumbag is screaming in between songs, but an audience that came out for the right reasons, to witness, to sing with us, to be present. It baffles me how many people in the modern world go to shows and I don’t know which saw more of the show, their smart devices or them. Being in the moment is an important thing if you want to share the experience together.
OSR: What’s your favourite and least favourite song of the album?
JD: Bold, dig it! My favourite track is 12 “I Just Wish That Pavement Would Get Back Together (Acoustic)” on Side B. My least favourite track is 6 “Lull” on Side A. It was kind of thrown together in a haze and just didn’t feel like Ameriglow by the end of it.
OSR: What advice would you offer new musicians?
JD: I don’t have much honestly, we our still figuring it out for ourselves. It’s an incredibly difficult world for a bunch of introverts to succeed in, everything feels vain at points. I’m not a dog eat dog person, so Idk, keep at it?
OSR: What do you have planned for the future?
JD: Relentless touring if a booking agency or label picks us up, we will do what we can either way to keep the forward momentum, but It definitely was a strange year to attempt an “all in” approach by ourselves. We also are in the works of releasing EP’s quarterly. We just want to evolve and never leave people in a void of the glow. Also, shout out to my mom and grandma, they read everything I write lol 🙂. Love ya’ll.