This week on The One You Feed we have Timothy Showalter from Strand of Oaks.
Strand of Oaks aka Timothy Showalter just released one of the years best records. Heal has been celebrated by NPR, Pitchfork, Mojo and Uncut among many others. It’s one of our favorite records of the year. The story behind Heal:“From the first bars of HEAL, the exhilarating melodic stomp of ‘Goshen ’97’ puts you right into Tim Showalter’s fervent teenage mindset. We find him in his family’s basement den in Goshen, IN, feeling alienated but even at 15 years old, believing in the alchemy and power of music to heal your troubles. “The record is called HEAL, but it’s not a soft, gentle healing, it’s like scream therapy, a command, because I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that’s how I got better.” HEAL embodies that feeling of catharsis and rebirth, desperation and euphoria, confusion and clarity. It is deeply personal and unwittingly anthemic. Showalter was on tour, walking home on a mild autumn night in Malmo, Sweden, when he first felt the weight of the personal crisis that would ignite him to write HEAL. “It was a culmination of pressure,” Showalter recalls. “My marriage was suffering, I’d released a record I was disappointed in, I didn’t like how I looked or acted…so I’d gone on tour, I was gone about two years! I didn’t take time to think about failure, but I knew I was going deeper and deeper…I was thinking, I have this life, but it’s not my life, I haven’t done it right…”When Showalter returned, he wrote 30 songs in three weeks, a process that proved difficult, but cathartic and at times invigorating. Previous Strand Of Oaks records were more skeletal, raw examples of folk-rooted Americana with occasional rock and electronic currents, that have now come to the fore. HEAL is a bold new beginning, with a thrilling full-tilt sound that draws on Showalter’s love of ’70s, ’80s and ’90s rock and pop, with the singer and guitarist playing the intense valedictory confessor.
In This Interview Tim and I Discuss…
- The One You Feed parable.
- The great success of his new record.
- The saddest line on his new record.
- The importance of feeling all of our emotions, not just the good ones.
- How hard it is to write uplifting music that isn’t cheesy.
- Disliking ironic music.
- The redemptive power of rock and roll.
- How we care less about what people think as we age.
- The power of being our authentic selves.
- Becoming who we are.
- Avoiding the victim/villain mindset.
- Jason Molina of Songs:Ohia.
- Fighting the dark times.
Strand of Oaks Links