Nude Pop’s Big Move

Band that began at Whitworth plans to enter Seattle’s music scene after tour

by Claire Hunter

Nude Pop band members Jeff Bass, Jackson Cate, Nathan Mead and Cody Thompson are taking a bold step. This coming May, following a nationwide tour, the Spokane band plans to move to Seattle to further their music careers.

The band members said they don’t have any concrete plans concerning the move, and are more focused on the pragmatic details, such as jobs and a place to live. However, they said they realize this is a time in their lives in which they have been provided a rare opportunity to take risks and invest in their music.

“You just kind of have to take that leap when you’re going to do music for real,” Bass said. “You just have to be OK with not knowing what’s going to happen next week.”

One challenge the band will face is balancing their daily lives with the band’s overall goals.

“We have to figure out a way to live, and pursue this music, with music being the main goal,” Thompson said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean things are going to be easy at all.”

The band formed when Bass (guitar) and Mead (guitar and vocals), met as students at Whitworth in a music theory class. Frequent jam sessions grew to include song writing, and when then-Whitworth students Cate (bass) and Thompson (drums) joined, Nude was created. The band has since changed its name to Nude Pop, which more clearly describes their style: dream pop, but with a fusion of heavier bass and electric drums.

A huge step in the band’s success came when they competed in Experience Music Project 2012 Sound Off in Seattle. The band members said they were grateful to even take part in the competition, and were pleasantly surprised when they were declared the winning band.

“We were fortunate enough to make it to the finals,” Bass said. “But we ended up winning, which was incredible.”

As winners of the competition, they were awarded equipment and the chance to play at the 2012 Bumbershoot music festival.

A year later, they are preparing for a nationwide tour with Los Angeles power duo El Ten Eleven, as well as fine-tuning their debut EP “Splintered Selves.” El Ten Eleven has acted as a mentor to Nude Pop. About a week ago, El Ten Eleven invited the band to Hollywood to mix and record “Splintered Selves” through their label, Fake Record Label. Cate said the EP will be available for downloading on April 2, with an official release date April 9.

“They [El Ten Eleven] have just provided us with a ton of resources and given us what we need to finish this, to push it out there,” Thompson said.

He said El Ten Eleven’s motivation for assisting the band with their EP comes from their own previous experience as a new band.

“They’ve been in that position before and they felt like we were something that could be successful, and they wanted to help guide us along that path,” Thompson said.

Nude Pop first met El Ten Eleven in early January 2012 when they opened for them at a concert in Spokane. El Ten Eleven took an interest in the band, and in January of the next year, Nude Pop opened for the duo  in their “mini-tour.”

Once again, Nude Pop will open for El Ten Eleven in an upcoming tour. The tour will be Nude Pop’s first long-term touring experience and they said it will also allow them to connect with different musicians from across the states. The tour will kick off in mid-March with two shows in Boise and Idaho Falls, and will conclude at the end of April in Rochester, New York.

“It’s not like we’re big-time now or anything,” Mead said.  “We just have people who we admire who have decided to give us a shot with the experience they’ve gained. We’re not even really sure how people are going to receive us yet.”

After returning to Spokane from their tour, Nude Pop will prepare for their big move to Seattle. The band members said they are moving in hopes of becoming more integrated in the Seattle music scene, as well as pushing themselves in new ways musically. To do so, the band said they are committed to never settling for “good enough.”

“One thing that we always talk about is that we’re never going to stop trying our best and growing,” Thompson said.

The band members said they aren’t moving because they have had a negative experience in Spokane — quite the opposite. They said they felt Spokane provided them with a home where they could experiment and mature into their own identity without any pressure. However, now they said they are ready to continue their movement forward.

“We’re not moving away because we hate Spokane or anything,” Mead said. “We’re thankful for the help we’ve gotten over here.”

Spokane was able to provide a city atmosphere for the band, but without the pressure to conform to the trending music scene.

“We’ve been able to grow and do our own thing over here instead of being pressured to do Seattle shows, big shows, all the time,” Thompson said.

Nude Pop has tentative plans to host a CD release party show in Spokane after their tour with El Ten Eleven.

Contact Claire Hunter at chunter15@my.whitworth.edu

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