Tales from the Echobox 006
Launching in 2021, Echobox has been forging a path for community radio by showcasing the diverse characters and concepts that surround them. In this feature, we will be looking into a few of the broadcasts that you can tune into so get locked in and don't touch that dial.
Besides being a thoughtful purveyor of country sounds and beyond, you’re also a songwriter and musician. Can you talk a bit about that?
It’s taken me a little while to call myself a songwriter, but I’m starting to settle into that title. I originally moved to Nashville, TN to pursue my dreams of being a guitar player for anyone who would take me, either in the studio or on the road. I still do have dreams of that and have had a little success here and there, but that has taken a bit of a backseat to songwriting. I grew up in a very musical family with two parents who love playing, love writing, love entertaining, not to mention my grandfather, Norm Cote who felt the same. I tend to believe the dream I’m in now is a combination of all the family that had a similar dream before me but somehow I’m the one. It sounds funny to say that out loud.
As a singer/songwriter I play the guitar to accompany myself. I’ve been told I have a Neil Young tone but it’s been unintentional. I grew up loving a lot of the music from the 1960s and 1970s with some 90s R&B and Rap mixed in. From John Prine, Jay-Z, Willie Nelson, A Tribe Called Quest, and Patsy Cline, Michael Bloomfield, it was a wild plate of music! But as an artist I like to write stories into songs whether sad, lonely, funny, or lively, they are all love songs of some sort at the end of the day.
Nashville is a co-writing and collaborative city. I tend to write with at least one other person, if not, two when I have scheduled writing appointments or hangouts. But I feel most myself and comfortable writing alone so I tend to do that as a form of therapy in life. All that being said I want each song I am apart of to have some form of truth and true life to it. I think it helps the listener relate no matter where or who they are. This past November I made a record called “Everywhere but Here” (hopefully someday it will be on vinyl). I did my best to convey some of the stories of my life as well as others.
Let’s make it a new goal to come to Amsterdam’s Paradiso and play an acoustic show. I would absolutely love that if we could make it happen! Amazing!
What is misunderstood about country music?
Country music is storytelling. You don’t have to be from the southern USA, Texas, or the country, you just have to tell someone’s truth. Harlan Howard once described country music as “three chords and the truth.” A simple way to put it. Perhaps too much so however if you stay long enough, listen hard enough, and search wide enough anyone who says they aren’t a fan of country music can find something that pleases their own ear or tells their story.
You inherited some of your music collection from your family. What kind of influence did that have on you? What kind of collection are we talking about here?
On my show "Country and a Third” I try my best to only play vinyl in my collection. That collection has been a work in progress for over 20 years of my, now 35, of life, and also many many years of my parent's, aunt's, uncle's, and friend’s. It’s become a large part of my material life. One full of inspiration, education, and somewhat of a self-identifier. I am ever grateful for these gifts.
You own a lot of vinyl. What is your relationship with vinyl as a tangible artefact? Can vinyl relate to questions of identity?
In my small one-bedroom apartment I house around 1200 albums from old to brand new. It’s a pain when I have to move, but I am grateful to have an experience with the music I listen to. Putting on an album, drinking my morning coffee, and getting ready for whatever the day reveals ahead immediately eases my mind and body. I enjoy the tangible experience that vinyl has to offer. When you pick up the jacket or cover it’s a slice of art. If you’re lucky enough, and the artist or label thought it through, there may be lyric sheets, posters, and little odds and ends to help you have a better experience with a record. I think the physicality and the experience are what keep them around and in culture.
Your show focuses on two-thirds country and one-third whatever you feel like. How does that third change from month to month?
It changes with the season, mood, life experience, and sometimes whatever catches my eye when I’m going through the collection to find what I want to play in the countryside! So much of popular music has country influence and vice versa so I try my best to highlight that in the show at times. I try to find some deep cuts or track cuts of records that maybe some people have never heard. However, maybe the day I get the show ready, I hear a song on the radio while driving or elsewhere that makes me want to play it on the show even though it may have nothing to do with the theme that week.
We were never a tattoo collective actually. It started out as a group of friends who wanted to exchange creativity in arts, culture and music. Just hanging out with each other doing stuff and make things happen. From that same idea ORDER Mothership was created.
So ORDER Mothership is the music related branch within the ORDER Collective. Within ORDER Mothership we do the same as the whole collective does, hangout, exchange ideas and try to do cool stuff together, it’s just more focused around music. At the moment that mainly outs in DJing, producing and organizing events. Doing it together is what gives a lot of joy and being able to share it at times is a blessing.
You’ve recently gained some new members in the team - do you want to give us a little introduction into them and what they’re about?
Mairo Nawaz & Cinnaman joined the Order Mothership. Cinnaman is obviously one of the key figures of the Dutch electronic music scene. From a young age Mairo Nawaz had already had a great career as a DJ and he keeps surprising us with his inspiring development.
During the COVID-lockdown period Mairo & Cinnaman became close(r) friends. Music was a big factor in that growing friendship. We were sharing a lot of music with each other, djing in ORDER Tattoos and enjoying music at my place. The DJ world can be very lonely and ego-based. For them there was a longing to be part of a crew of music lovers. Experiencing music, digging for music and playing it out loud together. The match was both in friendship and music so the choice to ask them to join Order Mothership was a logical decision. That being said, it all happened organically before we really thought about it, they were already a part of us.
Also Hugo of Red Light Radio recently joined the Order Collective to make international projects and artist in residencies happening. Hugo is as well programming and producing the upcoming Order Tattoo & Music Jam in Skatecafé.
This weekend you have an event... What’s the who/what/where/when/why of that? What are some acts that you’re most excited about?
This will be the 3rd edition of the Order Tattoo & Music Jam, again in Skatecafe Amsterdam, but the venue is much bigger than before. So we chose to make it a 2 day event, with a lot of tattoo artists, music in 3 areas and a big exhibition of hand-painted film posters from Ghana.
What’s the most ill-advised tattoo you’ve ever seen?
You should live life with no rergets