Posted On 05 Jan 2016
Tag: 6 Days Ago, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Beatles, Boston College, Charlie Peacock, Connor Leimer, Connor Stewart, Dispatch, Dorm Room Tour, Gracie Schram, Groove, Hawaii, Hells Kitchen, Jack Johnson, John Lennon, Justin Timberlake, Kansas City, Keep Knocking, Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler, Mark Twain, Matt Rollings, Nashville, Postcard
Connor Leimer recently released his first professional studio album “Postcard” on October 2nd and he booked his own Dorm Room Tour of the US in support.
“Postcard is very diverse. There’s reggae. There’s singer-songwriter stuff. There’s a folk song with fingerpicked guitar. There’s acoustic pop, too, and alternative music. I’m a song-writer, so I try to write in different styles frequently and just focus on the song itself, and let it take me wherever it needs to go.” – Connor Leimer
Those songs take Postcard to some unique places, from the harmony-heavy “Keep Knocking” — a folksy duet with Charlie Peacock protege Grace Schram — to the island-worthy “6 Days Ago,” which matches Leimer’s voice with swaggering blasts of brass. “Groove,” the album’s kickoff track, even rustles up the sharp dance-pop of Justin Timberlake. Together, these 10 songs paint the picture of an artist who’s both young at heart and wise beyond his years.
Connor is putting down roots in Nashville and just got back from being out on the road. He’s already in pre-pro on his next album that he’s collaborating on with acclaimed producer Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler).
Learn more about Connor in the following All Access interview with him:
Thanks so much for your time! Besides this interview, what else do you have on tap today?
I’m back in Nashville following my Dorm Room Tour and I have been working with a producer (Matt Rollings) here on new material. So besides this interview, I’ll be writing songs and probably eating cereal at some point. Nonetheless, I’ve been spending much of my time here in Nashville meeting with other musicians, artists and producers. It’s incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by so many talented individuals in a town that feels relatively small. I’m from Kansas City, so Nashville has been a great change of pace.
Congrats on recently releasing your first professional studio album, “Postcard”! What did that feel like? Can you describe the process of putting together this collection?
Thank you! Releasing “Postcard” was truly a benchmark for me. It’s really nice to let go of those songs after working on them for so long and to arrive in Nashville with a clean slate. Assembling this album was a collaborative process that involved many of my closest friends. Everything from the musicians on the recordings to the engineer tracking in the studio to the album cover design involved friends of mine contributing to the album. I’m lucky enough to have some amazing friends who happen to be extremely talented in music, photography and design.
How was your Dorm Room Tour? What were some of your favorite venues and crowds? Are you ever playing in students dorm rooms?
The Dorm Room Tour was beyond expectations! At every stop we had the most welcoming crowds and hospitable hosts anybody could ask for. My favorite part was simply reconnecting with my friends from high school who have dispersed all around the country for college. At this stage in my career, I felt this was the best way to share my music and build a fan base. Some venue highlights include: a backyard terrace in Washington D.C., an apartment overlooking the city in New York (Hells Kitchen), a frat house with balconies at UNC Chapel Hill and yes, of course, an actual dorm room at Boston College in Massachusetts.
Speaking of college dorm rooms, do you have plans to attend college one day?
This tour exposed me to a surplus of colleges and dorms rooms so I definitely have a feel for what college is like. I do hope to get a degree someday but my music is of highest priority right now and I’m taking every opportunity that comes my way. In the words of Mark Twain, “don’t let school get in the way of your education”.
Where do you get the inspiration for your music? Is that continually changing?
Inspiration is always changing. Typically I find inspiration from whatever I’m listening to currently. So If I’m really into the Beatles I’ll try and write songs like John Lennon, etc. Inspiration is a funny thing cause it can be closely related to imitation. So I’m always careful to stay original in my writing and work.
I’ve read that you already started working on your next album with the producer, Matt Rollings. How do you think this collection will be different then “Postcard”?
As of now, there’s no official boundaries as in if we will record an EP or full-length but I can tell you that I’ve been writing, writing, writing. So, these new songs will be a change of pace from “Postcard”. My goals for the next batch of songs is to continually become a better and better songwriter while improving the quality of the production from album to album.
What artists have continued to inspire you through the years? Who would you love to work with in the future?
The band “Dispatch” has always held a warm spot in my heart. I grew up listening to their early albums and have followed them on tour from time to time. I always tell people that I’d love to work with Jack Johnson in Hawaii at his 100% solar-powered recording studio and go surfing afterwards…
I just watched your sweet video for “Keep Knocking” with Gracie Schram. How did that song first come together? How creatively involved were you with the video?
I had most of the song already written and I was hearing a female vocal so I knew I needed to take it to Gracie. We went to the same high school so it was really a very casual process where I came over and played her the song and we fixed a few lyrics and touched up the arrangement. Very natural, organic process. When it came time for the video, we wanted something really classy and 1950’s. We were both very involved creatively with where the video should go and we picked out our own outfits, Gracie purchased some bottles of Coke and the bartender happens to be my best friend from high school, Connor Stewart.
What’s been the most surprising thing to you about the music industry?
Being here in Nashville, my biggest surprise was being exposed to so many people wanting the same thing. Hundreds of musicians wanting to cut albums and play shows and create artwork and logos. It’s truly inspiring to see a community where this stuff is basic. It’s normal here to be friends with someone who has a big following or is touring half of the year. Being from Kansas, it’s an amazing thing to see.
I’ve always wanted my music to stay positive and offer an optimistic outlook on life and the future. I hope to inspire other musicians and artists to pursue their dreams and aspirations just as I am doing currently. It takes so much patience and will power to pursue dreams of being in a band or being an artist, and I hope to be an example of what you can do if you really work at a career in the arts.