Silicon Prairie News – Almanac

rsz_1rsz_nadas_poster_copy_(1)Haven’t heard of The Nadas Almanac project yet? Check out Geoff Wood’s (from Silicon Prairie News) interview with Jason Walsmith about Almanac and the challenges the band faced while making the album.

The Nadas Year-Long ‘Almanac’ Recording Project Reaches Completion by Geoff Woods for Silicon Prairie News

Des Moines-based roots rockers, The Nadas, took an innovative approach to the process of making their latest album, Almanac. I recently sat down with Jason Walsmith, one of the band’s founders, at the Authentic Records music label’s Beaverdale offices to discuss the process.

Jason explained the idea to me, “Normally, we’d go into the studio and spend two or three months of contiguous time, as much as possible, working on a record. This one, we decided we would write, record, and release one song per month over the course of 2009. So, we started in January and we’ve done one song a month ever since.”

They didn’t set out to create a chronicle of news events but rather to engage their audience over the long-term in an innovative way. Additionally, the end result is a retrospective look at how the happenings of each month of 2009 influenced their writing process. “We just wanted to see how the year influenced us,” Jason explained. “The songs still are personal but on a little bit more general topics. I could go back – and I’m excited to do this after I digest it for awhile – and see what influenced what.”

Fan engagement is the main reason they undertook the project. According to Jason, “We were just trying to come up with a way to keep our audience engaged while we were working on another record. It seems like it’s harder and harder to keep people’s attention these days. Normally, we’d do a record every couple of years but we knew that we’d lose people so we just wanted to continuously keep them engaged”.

They also used Almanac to experiment with new technologies to increase the interaction between the band and their fans, as well as bring the fans closer to each other. Almanac was presented through a WordPress blog, with the traditional text and image posts, but also quite a bit of video. First available as a live stream and later as archived content, The Nadas let fans directly access the song writing and recording sessions as well as interviews with external media outlets.

Some of the interaction technology was more successful than others and Jason is excited to take what they learned through Almanac and apply it to the band’s day-to-day life. They’ve already started by streaming their regular live shows through Ustream. “We’ve been streaming almost all of our shows and we’ve built up a pretty good fan base on there. They’re our regular fans, if we go to their town they show up, but when we’re not in their town they log on and watch the stream at night. They’ve built their own little community there…which is awesome”.

The songwriting and recording for Almanac is now complete and the album has a release date set of March 2, 2010, however, you can still subscribe to the project to have access to songs, videos, and other information right now, or, take a sneak peak with this login:

Check out the interview below to see Jason’s thoughts on the Almanac project, interacting with the audience through nascent media technologies, the recent Nada Silent Night charity event, and the renaissance in the Des Moines music scene.

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