Uncharted Territory; An Interview with Nick Cove of Nick Cove & The Wandering

Nick Cove & The Wandering’s debut Harbinger exhibits a distinct approach to the writing process. Creating a dynamic sound that ranges from quiet terrain to bombastic choruses, the tracks offer quite the energetic, atmospheric world of music. “This album, to me, feels authentic and genuine. These songs were written over a long period of time, but somehow, they all feel like they should be together,” Cove says in regards to Harbinger. “The music and the lyrics complement each other in such a way that does not feel out of place. Everything fits exactly where it needs to and says what it needs to say when it needs to. Harbinger is what I’ve wanted the world to hear for years.”

We spoke with Cove to talk more about the debut and other topics.

What was the first memory that ultimately drove you towards wanting to be a musician?

I remember picking up a guitar for the first time in middle school and instantly realized that this is something I want to do all the time.

What could you say is the status of the music scene in Lancaster?

It is budding and fruitful. There are so many supportive musicians here and many different scenes to boot. Anything from rap/hip hop to indie to punk to heavy metal. It’s got something for everyone.

How long has the band been together?

The Wandering has been together for about two years with different musicians cycling in and out. I think I’ve finally locked in a consistent lineup, which makes playing shows easier at the base level. But then I get to learn the awesome intricacies of these talented musicians, and it starts to shape and transform the band at a core level to something even greater.

With everything happening right now, have you and the band found yourselves doing more writing?

I’m definitely doing a lot more writing. I’m using this time to work out all of these other ideas I have and then when I am able to start practices back up. We’ll have all of these skeletons of new songs to work on. It’s really exciting. Other than that, I’m working on video content that will keep us in front of people on the internet.

When I listen to the new album, I catch a heavy dose of ‘90s grunge/alternative rock to the tracks.  What was it about that timeline of music that really inspired you and the band?

Grunge was the first genre of music that I really latched onto. Nirvana was the first grunge band I listened to and I couldn’t even wrap my head around what was going on. Honestly, I didn’t even like them at first because I think my brain was still trying to figure it out. After that, grunge became a go-to staple for me. Soundgarden was and is the band that truly solidified how I write and view music. There is something so truthful and primal about not only Soundgarden’s music but grunge music as a whole. It opens up and explores this whole new palate and spectrum of music that had only been touched on before.

How long did the group take for the writing and recording for the new album?

So, the songs that are a part of Harbinger span a good length of time. “Rain” was written when I was in high school (about ten years ago), and “Glass Houses” was only written two years ago. I had all of these songs pretty much worked out for guitar and vocals, but I never had other musicians until this recording to work out any of the other instruments. So for the recording, I tracked rough takes for guitar and vocals and reached out to some great friends of mine who I thought would get what I was going for. I couldn’t be happier with how the end product ended up sounding.

The album focuses a lot on themes of loneliness, love, and crisis.  Did you find that using these subjects helped bring out feelings that you had been harboring?

Now that there has been some time to reflect on these songs since writing them, I’m picking up on things that were bothering me in those times a lot better than what I was going through at that time. Hindsight was coming out in full force. I do believe I captured my brain’s inner workings even if I didn’t realize it at the time.

What was the experience like putting Harbinger together at Seventh Wave?

It was a comfortable space to work in. I had done three other records there, so Seventh Wave was not a stranger in this equation. Taylor Bull, the owner of Seventh Wave, knew exactly what I was looking for, so it made the process run that much more smoothly.

What’s the meaning behind naming the album Harbinger?

Originally, it was supposed to be a precursor to something else that was going to come out. But as life continues to move and change, it stood for something more personal and connected with this project even more. Harbinger stands for someone or something that announces or signals the approach of something/someone else.

How that relates to me is that I wanted to show to everyone that I can write different music and personally reach into uncharted musical territories, that this is something new for me and that there will be more to come.