A Chat with The Northeast Collective (19.08.20)

Hailing from the Northeast region of the United States, a collective of musicians came together to form a dynamic alternative rock band. They are known as The Northeast Collective. Influenced by John Mayer, Bon Iver and Death Cab For Cutie, one can imagine the sound would be both soothing and edgy. We speak with Chris Prestamo from The Northeast Collective about their music, being a bagel and life regrets.

OSR: How did The Northeast Collective form?

Prestamo: In 2017, I was playing in a band called 32 Pints – touring, recording, loving life. However, I had written these songs that didn’t make much sense for that band’s genre, but they made sense to me. So, I decided to take a break and do a record apart from that band. It was the first time I’d ever departed from that group musically; we’d played together since I was 12. I approached my producer Warren Trunz with the idea to bring in a collective of musicians from different bands from around the Northeast United States for a record. By summer 2017 we had 27 musicians rotating in and out of studio sessions and The Northeast Collective was born.

OSR: What is the backstory to your single ‘Lafayette’?

Prestamo: ‘Lafayette’ was written directly after weeks on the road. Feelings of homesickness and discontentment were bubbling up on tour and I felt as though simply getting home would fix all my problems.

Upon arriving home, I began to realise that I was just missing tour. I discovered that in my heart I wasn’t allowing myself to be happy simply chasing after thrills and always trying to rely on external forces to be my source of happiness. The song explores finding happiness within yourself and searching for meaning in the wrong places.

OSR: Can you tell us about your upcoming EP If I Can Get Home?

Prestamo: If I Can Get Home is a short story of discontentment and finding peace within yourself. The album discusses coming to terms with the pain people have caused you and the pain you’ve caused others in an effort to experience healing and establish identity rooted in healing rather than hurt.

OSR: What do you hope people take from the single and your music in general?

Prestamo: If even one person can hear a song I’ve written and find it accessible and hear their story in my story, I think I’ve done everything I’d like to do with that particular song. So many times I’ve heard the music of my favourite artists and felt as though they were singing my story. Oftentimes it helps me with whatever I may be struggling with in those moments. If I can do that for others, I’m happy.

OSR: Do you feel this track differs from your previous releases?

Prestamo: While If I Can Get Home was recorded in the same style as our last record Learning, Slowly, I believe it has a different character. While honest storytelling is always the goal, I believe this EP speaks to a more vulnerable time of life and will offer a level of accessibility to listeners that goes beyond past records.

OSR: Would you change anything about ‘Lafayette’?

Prestamo: I would have released it sooner if life wasn’t so crazy these days! *laughs*

Other than that, I’m extremely happy with it and I think Warren Trunz (producer/engineer) and Dan Coutant (mastering engineer) did an incredible job.

OSR: What is your biggest life regret assuming you have regrets?

Prestamo: No regrets at this current juncture. Certain things I know now I wish I knew when I was a younger man, but hey, that’s life. We just need to keep learning and growing.

OSR: If you were a bagel, what type of bagel would you be?

Prestamo: I so want to be an egg bagel, but I think I’m just a sesame seed! *laughs*

OSR: When is the last time you changed your mind about a big issue?

Prestamo: 2020 has been an eye-opening year. I don’t believe I’ve necessarily “changed my mind” about racial inequality in my country, but I suppose I’ve decided to do something about it like never before. I’ve always felt it’s a major issue. Nowadays, I’m more willing to speak out and try to make whatever difference I can.

OSR: What are your future plans?

Prestamo: At this stage, the big plan is to release as much music as possible. The next 12 months are going to be full of singles and EPs, so everybody get ready.

Thanks to The Northeast Collective for chatting with us! You can find more about The Northeast Collective on their Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Spotify.

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