Editor’s Note: I do not say this lightly when I say that “Give It Meaning” by Don’t Believe In Ghosts could seriously be under consideration for one of the records of 2017! Steven Nathan, former frontman of Man On Earth, created an album that is chocked full of melodies, plenty of musicianship, and all around heartfelt moments! Don’t Believe In Ghosts even created a song with the one and only Dr. Fink of Prince & The Revolution for a song on the album! Special thanks to Shauna for setting this one up! Without further delay, here is my conversation with Steven Nathan of Don’t Believe In Ghosts!
M.T.C.: How did the idea of Don’t Believe In Ghosts come about?
Steven: Name wise, I think it was really about moving forward, not giving energy to the ghosts of my past. I was walking away from a band I started years ago, it was time to do something new, I wanted it to be free from the weight of expectations or expected cynicism, so if you don’t believe in the ghosts of your past, you won’t notice them.
M.T.C.: When you go into the studio, what is the mindset when you go in? What does a day in the life of the writing process look like?
Steven: I go into super focus mode. The last thing on my mind is taking selfies and showing people what I’m doing. In fact, I think if you’re really focused on something, the last thing on your mind would be to tell everyone. A day in the life for this was really about writing a hook. I started the process with a seven day challenge where I would write a song a day for seven days, I kept it going after. I noticed it got me past that, “oh, this is amazing because I wrote it phase” and I was able to be way more critical of myself with 60 songs written. When you write ten songs, you’re attached to them, when you write 60, you bullshit yourself a lot less.
M.T.C.: Let’s say you can’t get inspired in the studio, who do you look to for inspiration to help you get motivated in the studio?
Steven: Beethoven, looking at art or movies. When writing so many songs, you start looking for new topics, one of the songs I wrote on this album was the story of an Alfred Hitchcock episode I was watching, it was more of an exercise to see if I could do it, felt like it worked to me.
M.T.C.: Don’t Believe In Ghosts released “Give It Meaning” on June 30th, what can fans expect from this record?
Steven: Anyone listening can expect to hear a lot of love put into this, there is no formula, it’s real and it’s passionate. I put every bit of myself into this, playing almost everything, writing it, recording it, and mixing it myself. It’s probably a pretty big achievement in that sense, but most importantly I tried to make it interesting and inspiring.
M.T.C.: Pick one moment in the record where it was “an eargasm moment”.
Steven: Having written over 60 songs for this, each one of these and I mean it, each one is special to me.
M.T.C.: “Nothing I Could Do Is Ever Good Enough For You” is the single and you tapped Dr. Fink from Prince & The Revolution to play keyboard on the record. How did that partnership come about?
Steven: I’ve been friends with Matt for about ten years, he also co-wrote “We Are The Ones” with me for this album. He’s always been a great friend and inspiration.
“We Are The Ones” by Don’t Believe In Ghosts
M.T.C.: Tell me one thing you learned about collaborating with Dr. Fink.
Steven: The dude can play, and has some of the most incredible stories you could imagine.
M.T.C.: Favorite and least favorite part about making the music video for “Nothing I could Ever Do Is Good Enough For You”?
Steven: Oh man, well I had never worked with puppets before! How hard could that be right? Well, it’s hard! I have a new level of respect for puppet people! *laughs* So often when I start a project, like a song or video, I use it as a chance to try something new, learn a new skill. This one was a bigger challenge than expected but I absolutely love how it came out!
“Nothing I Could Ever Do Is Good Enough For You” by Don’t Believe In Ghosts
M.T.C.: Anything else you would like to add in regards to Don’t Believe In Ghosts?
Steven: We hang out in the dark corners of the web like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. www.dontbelieveinghosts.com is a great place to start! The new album “Give It Meaning” is now up everywhere for people to check out!
M.T.C.: Thank you very much for your time!
Steven: Thank you so much, I really appreciate you guys spreading the word about our music!
And there you have it! Go pick up a copy of “Give It Meaning” wherever music is sold!
ICYMI: Check out our review of “Give It Meaning” by Don’t Believe In Ghosts here