The Nashville-Based Singer-Songwriter CARL ANDERSON Discusses His Latest Release ‘You Can Call Me Carl’ and More!
Posted On 20 Jun 2019
Get to know the Nashville-based songwriter Carl Anderson! On May 31st, he released a new EP called “You Can Call Me Carl.” The EP features an all star backing band of Charlie Hall (The War On Drugs), Phil Cook (Hiss Golden Messenger), Daniel Clarke (Natalie Prass), and Rick Holstrom (Mavis Staples).
This spring, Carl toured with Paul Cauthen, Nikki Lane and Devon Gilfillian.
Rolling Stone premiered his single “Roses” alongside an interview and called You Can Call Me Carl, “…an EP of Seventies folk tinges, wistful bedroom pop and melancholic country heartache.” American Songwriter premiered his single “10 Different Reasons.”
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Learn more about Carl Anderson in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
I am at home in East Nashville at the moment. I just returned home from a short tour with my friend Devon Gilfillian.
Now that we are half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you? What are some goals that you have for yourself this year? How close are you to reaching them?
2019 has been pretty good so far. My EP, “You Can Call Me Carl” is finally out and I will be touring to support it throughout the summer and fall. My goals for the rest of the year are to stay healthy and to make the best of these shows I have coming up.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
Music has always been an important part of my life. My parents were always singing and playing music and so that left a big impression on me. I would say that it wasn’t until middle school that I had a feeling I wanted to be a musician. I remember listening to a Nickel Creek record with my Mom and Sister and thinking I wanted to try and move people with my own music.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
In high school, I got involved in the theater and thought for a while that I wanted to be an actor. I had a lot of fun with it but by the time I graduated I was a little burned out and so I focused on my music. I think if I did anything else it would be that. I also started experimenting with fine art (painting) a few years ago and absolutely love doing that.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
Frankly, the whole endeavor has been quite challenging. More so than I thought, actually. I think that the biggest lesson I have learned along the way is that nothing can substitute for hard work and that talent only goes so far.
Congrats on releasing your EP, “You Can Call Me Carl”! How did you celebrate the release of it?
Thank you! I celebrated the release of the EP by hitting the road. I had the opportunity to go out and open a few shows for artists like Brett Dennen, Darrell Scott and most recently Devon Gilfillian.
What was it like making this EP? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
I had a lot of fun making this record. I did it in Virginia with my friends, Stewart Myers, and Chris Keup. We put together a fantastic band, cherrypicking players that we all loved and for about a week we hunkered down and tracked. I think if I was surprised by anything it was how well everyone got along with each other. Everyone got excited about the music and worked hard. There was a lot of laughing.
What was it like working with all the different musicians on this EP?
It was wonderful working with the musicians I had come and play. Many of them I was meeting for the first time so I was a little nervous going into it, but we were all fast friends, and it was a great experience. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work such extraordinary musicians.
I know it’s hard to pick favorites, but I would love to hear how a few of your songs were created and got to be on your EP? How do your songs go from being ideas in your head to full-fledged recorded songs?
Unfortunately, I went through a divorce a few years back and so I had a lot on my heart and mind. Songs like, “She Took Everything” and “Head Hung Low” are me processing that ordeal. I basically try and sit down with my guitar every day and play until little melodic ideas present themselves. I’ll mumble until a coherent lyric arrives and that’s basically it. I’ll live with the idea for a little while and if I feel likes it’s ready I record it.
I will be playing in Nashville with my friend, Preston Lovinggood on June 21st. An ideal show for me would be one with an engaged audience, people who have come to listen to the music and not catch up with friends.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started singing and writing songs?
I think that I have grown significantly as a singer and as a songwriter over the past 5 or 6 years. I have tried a lot and failed repeatedly, but by trial and error, with every show or songwriting session, I am figuring out what works, how to accentuate my strengths and keep on moving forward. I have to remind myself regularly that I am lucky to pursue this at all.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I don’t like social media. In an ideal world, I wouldn’t do it at all.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I probably listen to more contemporary music than I do older stuff. My biggest inspirations are probably Nirvana and Bob Dylan. I would love to collaborate with Frank Ocean. He’s brilliant.