Houston Music

Change of Scenery Pays Off On Nathan Quick's New EP

Change of Scenery Pays Off On Nathan Quick's New EP
Photo courtesy of Nathan Quick
Nathan Quick has learned to embrace change.

Last August, the Houston singer-songwriter was a newlywed promoting his blues-heavy single, "The Sound." Twelve short months later and Quick is a father with another EP under his belt, his first to be recorded outside of Houston.

“It’s a snapshot of where I am now,” he says of the record.

On his latest offering, The Los Angeles EP, the Bayou City bluesman teamed up with Grammy-nominated producer Bruce Witkin, whose discography includes The White Buffalo’s Love and the Death of Damnation, Marilyn Manson’s Born Villain, and the Sweeny Todd soundtrack.

“A good buddy of mine, his dad is a musician who lived in L.A. for ten to 12 years,” Quick says. “He was heavy in the music scene and played in a band with Bruce.”

His friend’s dad got out of the music business, but Witkin didn’t. The two kept in touch and continued talking about music, and Quick’s music was eventually brought up. That’s when Witkin invited the young artist to the city of angels for a recording session.

“We were only there for three days,” Quick says of the trip. “The first two nights, we stayed in a hotel four miles from the studio, and on the last night we slept at the studio.”

Not that Quick minded. Witkin’s home studio was loaded music paraphernalia, including a vintage Ludwig guitar and John Bonham’s bass pedal.

“He had the best-sounding equipment I’ve heard in my life,” Quick says.

But for all the gear and production value, Quick attributes his recent successes and happiness almost solely to his home life.

“I didn’t know how to achieve what I was trying to achieve in the past,” he says. “I didn’t have the support I have now. Being a husband and father has given me so much more drive and confidence.”

Quick’s wife and child serve as his inspiration, he says. They make him want to make music that is less downtrodden and more uplifting. So much so that he even reworked one of his oldest tracks for this new EP.

“It’s had so many different meanings to me,” Quick says of “Coming Home,” which he originally released in 2011. “The verses have changed, the melodies have changed, and I’ve played it with different bands.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Quick
“We were talking about the catalog what fits, and I felt like that song belonged there,” he says. “The old chorus felt kind of depressing, and this one bounces back between a major and minor chord. It has kind of an uplifting feeling, and I think that brought the song to a new light.”

Even when discussing events as difficult as his father’s death, which he sings about on his latest EP, Quick finds a way to remain positive these days.

“When something devastating happens, a lot of people just try to forget about it,” Quick says. “I still haven’t let it go.”

But he isn’t angry anymore. Instead, he holds onto his memory of his father for even more inspiration.

“It gives me a sort of purpose and connection with him even though he’s not here,” Quick says. “I know he knows what I’m doing,”

Nathan Quick releases The Los Angeles EP 7 p.m. tonight at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk. Tickets are $15 to $17. See more at nathanquickmusic.com.
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever