Katie Von Schleicher

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In close to a decade, Katie Von Schleicher has grown from never having even heard the Beatles to writing, producing, recording and playing every instrument on an 8-track EP set to be released this fall. This is her story.

by Amanda Beland

Katie Von Schleicher is a Brooklyn-based vocalist, pianist and musician.

Schleicher, of Pasadena, Maryland, didn’t grow up in a musical family: there weren’t records playing in the house and her parents didn’t put a particular emphasis on music in daily life. She did take piano and violin lessons briefly and sang in theater productions. When it came time to apply to colleges, however, Schleicher decided she wanted to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston.

“I wanted to go to Berklee because I liked some of the musicians who had gone there,” said Schleicher. “I didn’t listen to the Beatles or Neil Young or albums at all really until I got to college and I got there being like ‘I’m gonna be a songwriter and I’m gonna make pop music.'”

Schleicher continued.

“A lot of the time I just listened to albums. I tried to learn what the hell was going on,” said Schleicher. “It was really late. I think a lot of people went to Berklee and were like, ‘I know what I wanna do’ and I was like, ‘I have a fantasy idea of what I wanna do.'”

I think a lot of people went to Berklee and were like ‘I know what I wanna do’ and I was like, ‘I have a fantasy idea of what I wanna do’

During the first week of her freshman year, Schleicher met Stephen Konrads, another freshman also from Maryland. The two clicked instantly. Konrads grew up in a musical family and played piano and sang from the time he was a child. He eventually joined a band and through him, Schleicher began expanding her social and musical circles.

“That’s when I realized I needed to be cooler and download lots of illegal music and hear Led Zeppelin for the first time,” said Schleicher.

That’s when I realized I needed to be cooler and download lots of illegal music and hear Led Zeppelin for the first time

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Berklee introduced Schleicher to new people and possibilities, but it also made her start to question a lot of things, including herself. Schleicher said her inability to “fit in” with the Berklee style of education combined with a lack of solid mentorship made it difficult for her to find confidence in her songwriting and musical abilities.

“For the first time in my entire life, I was trying to be cool,” said Schleicher. “The music I was making was so trapped between Andrew Lloyd Webber and trying to be cool that it really fucking missed the mark. I made an EP by myself and just threw it away when I was done with it. I still haven’t heard it. I got to college wearing Abercrombie and being chunky with blonde hair and just really confused. I think I grew up a lot when I was in Sleepy Very Sleepy, which was after college.”

For the first time in my entire life, I was trying to be cool … I got to college wearing Abercrombie and being chunky with blonde hair and just really confused

Schleicher and Konrads remained close throughout college. Schleicher stayed in Boston after graduating in 2009. Konrads had a practice space at the old Starlab Studios building in Union Square and him and Schleicher would spend countless hours hanging out and trying to write songs there. A mutual friend suggested the two of them start a band. Konrads brought in bassist Wayne Whittaker and drummer Harrison Seiler, whom currently play with Konrads in his current project Eternals, and Sleepy Very Sleepy was formed.

Schleicher and Konrads continued to write songs together. Eventually the band recorded a full length EP “Unlimited Circulation”, which was recorded and mixed at the Soul Shop in Medford with help from engineer and friend Elio DeLuca.

For Schleicher, the pressure and insecurity she felt in college continued under the surface in the new project.

“We were trying to do intensely amazing things,” said Schleicher. “You know, you’re sitting in a practice room just throwing out ideas … the fabled Paul McCartney and John Lennon quote, ‘Let’s write a swimming pool,’ let’s make money – let’s do something insane – let’s make this the best song ever. And the mix of me and Steve was just like ‘Let’s give ourselves a migraine trying to write a song.’ I remember just sitting in Starlab all the time by myself just banging my head against the wall trying to write something amazing. It was so much pressure. I mean that sticks with me today – when it’s hard just to not like really amp it up before you try and work on something.”

‘Let’s write a swimming pool,’ let’s make money – let’s do something insane – let’s make this the best song ever

Unlimited Circulation” was released in May 2011.

“I really owe a lot to Steve, just helping to support me but also when we were in Sleepy Very Sleepy, me trying to write better shit because his songs were so good.”

I really owe a lot to Steve, just helping to support me

Around this same time period, Schleicher began working with another Boston-based band called Boy Without God. Soul Shop engineer Elio DeLuca brought her in to sing background vocals for the band’s 2011 release God Bless the Hunger.

Boy Without God’s frontman Gabriel Birnbaum eventually asked Schleicher to come on tour with the band in 2011.

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photo by gabriel birnbaum

“Gabe’s stuff was totally different than what I was doing,” said Schleicher. “Up until that point, I hated – I mean it’s still tough – being this emotional songwriter. I felt like it made me a worst musician … that I wasn’t calculating, you know? And Gabe’s stuff was really both. It’s more fearless: he’s made songs where I’m just like “Really? You think that’s going to work out?” and he’s like “Yeah let’s do it.” So that kind of fearlessness made me feel a lot more open.”

That kind of fearlessness made me feel a lot more open

When Schleicher got back from the Boy Without God tour, she decided to move from Boston to New York.

“I think I wanted the experience. It seemed easier – like if I go to New York, I’ll be in a band already and then I’ll have some kind of identity. I didn’t want to live in NY, I didn’t like NY, but I was like ‘I guess I gotta try.'”

As soon as Schleicher moved to New York, she stopped writing music. She continued to play with Boy Without God, which would eventually be renamed as Wilder Maker, and bartended for rent money.

“It was a dark time,” said Schleicher. “I have this typewriter and I was carrying it out the window and climbing onto the roof and writing out there whenever it was warm enough to do so. I was writing lyrics … well I guess they became lyrics … but I was writing poetry that wasn’t super concrete emotional stuff… just because I needed an outlet. I was more inspired by a lot of things that I was reading and for the first time, I really felt open with words.”

I have this typewriter and I was carrying it out the window and climbing onto the roof and writing out there whenever it was warm enough to do so

After six months, Schleicher began writing and arranging what would become her first solo release.

“The six months off was the best thing I’ve done so far because after that, I wrote my solo record,” said Schleicher. “That was the only thing I ever felt like I could really stand behind as a musician. I’d say it’s the first thing I felt comfortable with – really late in the game – at age 26.”

That was the only thing I ever felt like I can really stand behind as a musician. I’d say it’s the first thing I felt comfortable with

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“Personally, I find it really hard to believe in anything and I can be such a devaluer of things,” said Schleicher. “The whole record concept was – when I was writing poems and when I decided I was trying to write lyrics – I took this bent of What if I had God in my life? What if i had belief in my life? What if I wrote songs to God? There’s a song called “You On My Mind” and one of the lyrics is Wouldn’t it be lonely without you on my mind? It all sounds like love songs, but all the songs are about God. It helped me have an angle and it made me feel like I could write warm, conversational songs. I wanted to make something that was simple to listen to; not hard, just enjoyable, like Tonight’s the Night by Neil Young. You just put that on, make some spaghetti and you’re good. Even if it’s deep, you can just listen to it, make some spaghetti and feel okay about everything.”

But you can just listen to it, make some spaghetti and feel okay about everything

photo by gabriel birnbaum

Schleicher wrote and arranged eight tracks for the record. She headed into the Soul Shop in August 2012 with what she describes as “my favorite musicians” for three days of tracking and mixing.

“It was an exercise,” said Schleicher. “I took the songs in and taught them to everybody on the first day and we just recorded them all live in the room. The Soul Shop was the place to do it. Of course it helps to have someone like Elio when I can be kind of vulnerable about what I’m working on. I sent him the ideas of what I wanted to do, not the songs, and I was just like ‘Here’s what I’m thinking’ and he was like ‘Fuck yeah, let’s do this.’ As soon as I wrote that Elio email and got the response, I felt like ‘Fuck yeah, let’s do this’  I think also the immediacy of it was really nice – it was nice to not have this grandiose dream of what the record was going to be like. I just wanted it to be simple and defined and those parameters helped a lot.”

The Soul Shop was the place to do it. Of course it helps to have someone like Elio when I can be kind of vulnerable about what I’m working on. I sent him the ideas of what I wanted to do, not the songs, and I was just like ‘Here’s what I’m thinking’ and he was like ‘Fuck yeah, let’s do this.’ As soon as I wrote that Elio email and got the response I felt like ‘Fuck yeah, let’s do this’

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photo by elio deluca

The record originally had seven songs. Schleicher had an eighth track “Wilkes-Barre” which she wrote partially about how her grandparents met. She went into the Shop unsure if she even liked the song.

“I think that song is probably the best song I’ve ever written because it’s honest,” said Schleicher. “It’s a song I wrote on guitar with two chords and then went to the piano and was like ‘Can you make a song more complicated afterward?” I just came up with all the harmonies after the fact. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted it on the record and Elio was like ‘Are you kidding – this is the best song.” So, it’s funny how that works. That’s why you need Elio around because otherwise that song would just never exist.”

I think that song is probably the best song I’ve ever written because it’s honest

Before heading into the studio – Schleicher and Birnbaum had booked and planned a three month tour of the U.S. with Wilder Maker. Right after recording concluded – the two, current Wilder Maker drummer Sean Mullins and a former bassist set out in a van.

“The tour was pretty intense, it definitely improved my musicianship in terms of playing songs and shows – but I think the tour was less about music and more about what it’s like to try and play music. It was very humbling.”

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The tour ended close to Christmas time. Schleicher went home for the holidays before heading back to Brooklyn in the new year. She continued bartending, began playing sporadic solo shows in the city, performing and recording regularly with Wilder Maker and working a couple days a week at the New York record label Ba Da Bing records.

Schleicher said recording at the label has helped her realize and learn a lot about music and the industry surrounding it.

“You know, people don’t respond to your emails,” said Schleicher. “Working there helped me to realize that it’s not personal and that it’s not predictable. It just takes focus and persistence.”

Sometime last year, Schleicher started renting a practice space and recording her entire writing sessions, some of which would last over 90 minutes long. Her hope was to find out what worked and what didn’t by listening to her music after the fact instead of analyzing in the moment.

“The new methodology allowed me to find songs that would have slipped out otherwise,” said Schleicher. “I’m finally listening to The Pixies, to The Breeders… I’m really catching up slowly to music, still learning. I knew I wanted to make heavier stuff. I wanted to make weirder stuff. So recording those sessions to tape made me realize that these writing sessions sounded good. The songs, when you play them the first time around, sound better when I’m making up lyrics – using dummy lyrics.”

The new methodology allowed me to find songs that would have slipped out otherwise

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“When you’re writing something, you’re just singing absent-mindedly. Sometimes, those are the most honest lyrics,” said Schleicher. “I would completely forget them if I didn’t have these writing sessions recorded. So, I was driving in my car listening to my own songwriting sessions on a daily basis.”

Schleicher eventually picked eight tracks and decided to release a cassette EP. Once she had the lyrics, she arranged and recorded herself on a four track tape machine playing every instrument on the record – except on two songs where her boyfriend plays drums. She mixed the record partially with DeLuca at the Soul Shop and partially in New York at Spaceman Sound.

For Schleicher, the record sounds and feels completely different than her past work. Lyrically, it’s much simpler than what she’s used to and sound-wise, it’s heavier. Although she said she feels less enthused about the content of the record’s lyrics, she feels content with the sounds.

“Sometimes I find it really hard because I want to do something different,” said Schleicher. “What Steve does is very Steve and what Gabe does is very Gabe.  I think in a lot of ways it’s a struggle to get close to what it is I’m trying to do; to read my own mind.”

I think in a lot of ways it’s a struggle to get close to what it is I’m trying to do; to read my own mind

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photo by gabriel birnbaum

Scheicher is currently working at Ba Da Bing, who will release her EP once it’s been mastered. Schleicher said the record’s been mixed since February of this year, but she’s been waiting to get it mastered and to release it.

“I’m just afraid,  I think. it’s so unbecoming, but it’s just really honest,” said Schleicher. “I think I’m afraid of no one hearing it. I’m afraid of putting it out and not taking advantage of at least getting one blog to write about it. I’m afraid of putting it out and not booking a release show. I’m scared of booking shows. It’s very simple stuff, but it needs to happen … it will happen … it’s just waiting for this magical clarity of ‘Oh it’s a great time.'”

I’m just afraid, I think. It’s so unbecoming, but it’s just really honest

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photo by gabriel birnbaum

When I try to be quiet, to make my mind really quiet … and there’s this darkness, there always appears some thought about music

“I have made more attempts than anyone I know not to continue,” said Schleicher. “I have been extremely vulnerable the entire time.  I think in a world where I can devalue every single aspect of what I’m doing or what other people are doing, somehow music is the thing that sticks around. When I try to be quiet, to make my mind really quiet, and there’s this darkness … there always appears some thought about music. It’s also the best drug; to play music is the best drug. Wilder Maker has saved my ass on a regular basis. I’m finally in a situation where I see what can develop over time: personal band chemistry, camaraderie, musical chemistry on stage. We’ve had times where crowds go wild and it’s just worth it; everything is worth it in that moment. For my own music, why I continue is that it’s just a thought that stays in my mind no matter how hard I try to push it out. And I think I’m becoming better at just doing this and not expecting money or not expecting anyone to listen.”

Schleicher’s new EP is expected to be released this fall. She’s currently playing shows around New York with Wilder Maker and the Ben Seretan Group. Check her out on Facebook and Bandcamp. Also check out her work with Wilder Maker on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp and on their website.

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Ben Seretan

by Amanda Beland

Ben Seretan was walking by himself at night in Brooklyn and a man bumped into him and dropped a bottle of wine. Seretan apologized for the incident, but the man demanded he pay for the accident.

“He was like ‘Oh you gotta pay for this bottle of wine, it cost me $300,'” said Seretan. “I was kind of surprised. I mean, I talked my way out of it. I didn’t realize until weeks later that it was a scam.”

Seretan, originally of Orange County, was a recent transplant to New York then, having moved across the country to play and write music in the city. Almost five years later, Seretan is regularly playing shows and slowly building a name for himself.

Seretan began singing and playing cello in church choir. Cello was his focus until his instrument broke on the way to a music summer camp.

“I was driving to a music camp and it was so hot in the car that the glue came apart on the instrument,” said Seretan. “So I didn’t have an instrument for a few months, so my brother was like ‘Well you can play my electric guitar if you want when I’m not in the house’ and I just fell in love with it.”

Seretan’s new found obsession inspired him to apply and try out for a performing arts high school in Orange County. However, with no prior experience in playing the guitar, let alone playing jazz guitar – a perquisite skill for the program – Seretan had to think – and learn – quickly.

This cramming led to another musical discovery that would further influence his future in music.

“I took a few lessons with this kind of really skeezy church musician who was a rep for Pandora,” said Seretan. “He basically sold me – really aggressively – this little digital four track that I used for years and years. It was totally unnecessary because we had a computer at home – I could have like figured it out – but he was like ‘You gotta have this thing man’ and he sold it to me and I had so much fun just figuring out how to use it. My parents split up a little bit after that and the house that my mom moved into had this weird converted attic and I would take that four track up there and I would have different instruments I had gathered over the years, like some of them were my brothers, I still had a cello, I had various percussion instruments and I would just spend hours and hours and hours in the dark attic just putting shit onto this four track.”

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Seretan played guitar in a band in high school, (his drummer from this band is still his current drummer in the Ben Seretan Group), and continued to experiment with recording and writing music.

“I recorded an EP for my girlfriend when I was a sophomore and that shit is painful,” said Seretan. “I didn’t know how to sing – I was just doing my best to sound like Blink 182 probably – and I just wasn’t hitting the mark at all. And it fact, any singing that’s recorded of mine before 2011 I can’t really stand to listen to.”

Seretan attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. where he majored in experimental music and american studies. The experimental music program focuses on ethnomusicology and its application and study in world music. This included everything from music notation to historical aspects and contexts of various genres throughout the world.

Along with his studies, Seretan dabbled in a unique musical project that further helped him find his voice – literally.

“I played in this band in college who was really really loud – like Fugazi inspired – and it was two guitarists and two singers and we’d do a lot of overlapping type stuff,” said Seretan. “Just from having to perform in shitty venues with bad sound and trying to be heard over the drums and really struggling to have my voice be heard in general, it (my voice) just got more and more powerful to the point to where I was like ‘Wow this is an expressive instrument too and it’s like at least half of the equation.’ In playing with that band, my parts and the other singers parts would literally overlap and it wasn’t harmony necessarily. It was like we were singing two different songs at once; it was like sparring with somebody. Instead of learning to sing very sweetly together Simon and Garfunkel style, we were like barking at each other.”

Seretan graduated from college in 2010 and moved to rural Missouri where his mom and step dad were living. He stayed there for two months before he moved to New York City.

“I had a great life there. I would like wake up late and I would like go for a run on this dirt road where all these bugs would land on me and the neighborhood dogs would like follow me as I ran. It was like every morning I would have this Saint Francis of Assis communion with the animals in Missouri. Then I would go for a swim in the lake into the late afternoon and have dinner with my folks, watch TV and work on recordings late at night. It was awesome. But eventually I was like ‘Man, I haven’t see someone my age in like two months, every day is the same here, you know, I’m running out of books to read.’ Then, I got a phone call from my buddy  and he’s like ‘Hey I’m driving across country – wanna move to New York?’ And that’s what kind of decided it for me.”

Seretan was still playing with his college band – they recorded an EP in New York – and all the members lived close enough to the city where they could still practice together once a week and play shows. In 2011, one of the members was a awarded a Fullbright award in Poland. Seretan said the band was supportive and encouraged him to take the opportunity. With his departure the band broke up.

“I was like well I moved here pretty much to be in the band and I had girlfriend then, but I didn’t when the band ended, which was fine,” said Seretan. “I decided to stay and figure it out. I was playing scattered shows, so I decided to give it a go and I’ve pretty much been working and steadily playing ever since.”

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Seretan’s been writing, recording and releasing music as himself and collaborating with others ever since 2011. The results are numerous – three online releases in September, October and December of 2014, including two 15 + minute singles (September/October) and his first full length self-titled record. Seretan said 90 percent of the writing and arranging is him, but his band – the Ben Seretan Group – brings their own inspiration, experience and flair – to that 90 percent to complete the arrangements.

In 2013, the midst of this creative period, Seretan and his long-term girlfriend broke up. After the break-up, a friend encouraged Seretan to apply for a summer music and producing fellowship in Alaska that year. Seretan applied and was accepted for not only the 2013 program as a student, but in the 2014 program as well as a teacher and program coordinator.

As a result, Seretan traveled and lived in Alaska for two summers and focused on learning, writing and recording new music. His focus in his first year in the program – 2013 – was on extended play, including the physical training needed to play music continuously for hours at a time, as well as the musical components needed to write and record long-form drone-esque pieces.

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These summers gave Seretan ample time to write and record music, including some songs that made it on it to his most recent self-titled release.

Seretan’s currently working on his second full-length record. He recorded several songs at Medford’s the Soul Shop earlier this year and plans to continue to record more songs in the coming months at Spaceman Sound in upstate New York. He is also continuing to play live shows and collaborate with other artists on their records.

Seretan said the connection to the audience and the band during a live performance and the feelings that arise from a connection of merit are what drives him to continue doing what he’s doing.

“There’s this tattoo that’s on the front of my album cover – ecstatic joy – there’s a feeling of just unimaginable levity that’s available to me almost exclusively through playing the type of music that I play, ” said Seretan. “I think that’s what it comes down to. And I wanna feel that way forever. I mean, I thought for a long time that it was the act of playing. But you can’t play music that’s made in a vacuum – at least I can’t. It’s about playing that music and that style of music with the people that I play it with for the people that listen and that swirling mass of humanity is just where it’s at.”

Seretan continued.

“It’s somewhat similar to how people describe opiate use in that it’s a blankness. It’s like a freedom from everything. And when it’s really really good, the emotions come later. It’s like everything from your mind goes into the background and maybe its like a corporeal feeling like there’s a very type of specific feeling of resonance I guess – like if everything’s in the sweet spot and the band sounds good and the people are with it and I’m getting it into this type of blank area – my body feels like it’s vibrating with the music in this very beautiful way. It’s like, you know you go about your daily life, you have thoughts that are intrusive and often if the performance is going terribly you’re like ‘Fuck my hair probably looks bad, that note was wrong,’ like all these things are flying around everywhere. But if it’s really good – that’s what I’m doing it for, for when it’s really good – it’s just like there’s nothing happening. It’s really peaceful, even though its the craziest shit- especially with the band… it can be so loud and so hectic and so almost like painful sometimes, but amidst all that chaos there’s like a wonderful, deep, sense of cosmic peace.”

Ben plays live frequently around New York, (one of his favorite and frequented venues is Shea Stadium is Williamsburg). He’s also playing a live and streaming hour long show this Wednesday – details and link here.

Buy Ben’s album here.

Facebook. Twitter, Youtube, Booking Info.

Peter Matthew Bauer

by Amanda Beland

Peter Matthew Bauer doesn’t want to be known as a side man.

“I hope it’s like – Neil Young was in Rick James’ band and no one really thinks about that,” said Bauer. “That’d be the ideal way of thinking – I don’t know if that’s the case – I’m not saying I’m Neil Young; what I’m saying is that I’d hope that they’d be Rick James.”

Bauer is the former bassist and organist for The Walkmen.

He’s been working solo since last year after The Walkmen went on an indefinite hiatus.

Although he just finished up an East Coast living tour – including a show in Medford, Mass. – he has no plans of slowing down on his solo journey.

“In The Walkmen, when we decided to break up it was like a pretty freaky, cataclysmic moment because it’s like how do you make a living? I’ve got a family you know – so that was not good in that fashion,” said Bauer.

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Despite the anticipated hurdles of venturing out on his own, Bauer never questioned his connection to music.

“I mean, it’s just a die-hard, survival, like can’t live without it, wish you could do something else, but you can’t do anything else, like if you don’t do it for a day you get angry or upset – it’s just like your blood, you know?” said Bauer. “You get that – gotta keep moving like entertainer thing going after a while that gets in your blood too. You’re like a carny, and there’s nothing you can really do about it. like ‘Ah – sorry kids I gotta go.’”

Bauer quickly picked up the pieces and started writing songs and arrangements by himself for the first time.

“It started out very much by myself – really by myself,” said Bauer. “It was me writing music and really trying to teach myself how to do everything, including recording by myself. I called in some friends when I finally made the record, but I was like okay – I’m doing everything – I have to find a voice to do this.”

The result was his 2014 release “Liberation” where many of the tracks document important moments in Bauer’s life – including his childhood in an Ashram in India and upstate New York.

“The first record is supposed to be about how I grew up. like when I was a kid and this kind of thing, it’s like a entrance into things,” said Bauer. “That was the idea.”

Bauer admits some of his earlier lyrics and songs were pretty critical and doused with resentment and skepticism of the culture and atmosphere he grew up in – an atmosphere he said “stays with you even when you’re not in it.”

“I was trying to figure it out as to why was I so nasty about everything,” said Bauer. “The record started out with me writing songs about making fun of Scientologists and stuff and there are songs like that on the record.”

Bauer said his lyrics eventually evolved into a higher place of perspective – but he thought it was still important for people to hear his earlier songs.

“It turned into something else that can become a little more transcendent and less like choosing sides and less like being a jerk about things – but I thought it was good to keep the kind of jerky songs on there,” said Bauer. “It’s a very real feeling, like being a skeptic is good, being open to something when you can find out ‘Alright I’m gonna believe in this – I wanna get completely beyond belief” and that’s the heart of everything. Then you get to that and you can find that sort of space there. That’s what I’m always trying to do.”

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Bauer wrote and recorded “Liberation” entirely by himself and plans to do the same on a second record, which is currently in the works. Bauer said his involvement in recording and producing was very limited when he was playing bass and organ in the Walkmen, even when they were recording at Marcata Recording, their self-founded studio and recording space.

However – despite his limited involvement with the technical aspects of recording, he said he felt dissatisfied at times with the actual sounds the band produced.

“For a long time we were recording records with engineers and producers and you’d sit there and think ‘Why is this so hard to make anything sound good, like at all, like this is just drums, bass and a guitar, why does it sound so terrible?'” said Bauer. “And you’d work with that in a recording studio. Then I realized after making this record, it’s so easy to make it sound like you want it to. It’s all just the group that makes it sound like that.”

Bauer continued.

“It’s just not hard, like if it’s up to you and it’s just you, you just do it and there’s no thought or extra time taken on it, you know?” said Bauer. “You don’t obsess over anything. you just go ahead and crash through it. It’s like knocking a hole through a wall. It’s just a more vibrant and exciting experience that way.”

After the release of “Liberation”, Bauer continued to stray from the mold of his previous project and decided to put together a series of small, living room shows across the East Coast. Unlike the large venues he was used to playing, Bauer thought intimate venues would give him a chance to actually get to know the people listening to his music.

“I like interacting with people a lot and that’s a big part of why I thought I could do this,” said Bauer. “When I was in band, I’d still like go out and kind of wander around and just hope to talk to somebody strange. Not just like stuck in a room with the same people.”

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Bauer made the call for venues at the end of 2014 and began his first tour at the end of February. One of his stops was the Soul Shop recording studio in Medford, Mass. The Soul Shop is an all analog recording studio started by musicians Elio DeLuca and Patrick Grenham in 2007 after their band Keys to the Streets of Fear recorded an album at the Walkmen’s former studio Marcata Recording.

The show was unique for many reasons, one of which being that DeLuca, the head engineer at the Shop, recorded the entire performance. Bauer said if things “sounded good” he’d release the recording.

“You know, if tonight Elio made a recording of a song and it sounded good – I’d put it out tomorrow,” said Bauer. “When we tested it earlier, I heard what he did and it sounded great – I said if you wanna mix it down right now I’d put it out right now. Like to me that’s just a much more exciting way to do things.”

(Check out official photos from the performance taken by photographer Liz McBride)

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Bauer is currently selling tickets for a West Coast living room tour and is planning/booking dates and locations for a Mid-West tour and a European tour in the late summer, early fall.

“I think you feel like you’re getting across yourself in a very specific way – it’s very kind of raw like when people say that word, I don’t really know what it means,” said Bauer. “I think it means like the good and bad of what you do is very unable to be hidden, so its kind of a funny scene.”

Bauer is also planning on recording a couple songs in April for his anticipated second record. He said he hopes that people and fans will recognize and respect him and his music as it’s own solitary project – just as a side project by a former member of The Walkmen.

“I’m a young guy, I mean it’s not like this a side project or this is the guy from The Walkmen, “ said Bauer. “it’s exhausting thinking about yourself that way. But it seems like that stuff recedes in your memory. People ask you about it and you’re like I can’t remember. It’s like a different thing – it’s just a different time and a different world.”

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For more information of Peter Matthew Bauer and to check out upcoming show dates, check out his website and Facebook. For more information on the Soul Shop, check out their website and Facebook.