My Politic’s ‘American Will’ From the Ground Up

I have written about Boston based folk/Americana duo, My Politic, a few times-both here and here. I’ve been hoping to catch them for an interview for a while, and what luck! Here we have an interview with Nick Pankey and Kaston Guffey.

My Politic’s latest album

In addition, the lovely Eva Walsh performs with the band quite a bit. Walsh’s CD release party for her solo album, Storybook, is tomorrow starting at 7pm at the Middle East. Be there or be a big ol’ square.

Since “Take Every Memory”, the band has gone on a tour, had their music featured on a popular TV show, and been crankin’ out the tunes. And I’d always wondered…how long have the two been playing music together? I saw some photos of the two from when they looked very young! How did the tour go? And how has their music evolved? Check it out!

FJF: What led you to this genre?

My Politic: It’s a little hard to remember, we have been playing together now for eight years.  We did the classic high school rock and roll band for a little while when we were freshman in high school.  Then we started getting into a lot of older folk music, collecting vinyl, lots of Dylan, things like that.  From there, we started hearing newer bands/singer-songwriters we really liked and began writing our own songs around the age of 15 or 16.

FJF: How did you decide to move on up to Boston?

My Politic: We decided to move to Boston basically on a whim.  I (Kaston) had visited a friend in Boston a few times and we were looking for a change in scenery as far as our music was concerned.  So, we packed up our things and came to Boston two years ago.  We met Eva Walsh, recorded our fourth album, and the rest is history.

FJF: How long have you two been writing music together?

My Politic: around 8 years, since the age of 15 or 16.

FJF: How did you two meet?

My Politic: We were in a couple of the same junior high classes together.

FJF: How do you feel your music has grown or changed over time-or has it?

My Politic: Yes, it has changed pretty dramatically, to us anyways.  We have grown up from that first album we recorded when we were 16.  It has matured a lot, we can actually sort of sing these days.  A lot of focus goes into harmonies, writing, live shows etc.  We have definitely matured over the years.

(Side note-they can do more than just actually sing. So modest. They sing great harmonies to boot).

FJF: You’re pretty active in the local music community, and perform with lots of other acts. One thing that makes a huge difference to me, when I am covering a band, or interact with a band, is their attitude. Maybe because I know how daunting it can be as a performer, too, so I see both sides of it, but I’m surprised when a band is rude or ignores bloggers or others trying to promote them. You guys have been super pleasant from the get -go. A joy to play with and talk to! So, I have to ask, on the other end of it, have you had any odd encounters with writers or performers?

My Politic: Well,  as far as writers go, we have had some great luck with all that.  Nothing but good things to say there.  As far as musicians are concerned, they are pretty strange bunch, ourselves absolutely included.  There is no doubt we have encountered some strange people through the years, but nothing to crazy or all that unexpected.  People are interesting, especially creative people.  Running in to people the crazy creative people is all part of the fun and Lore of being a musician.

FJF: You now have two songs that have been broadcast on television, right? How did that happen, what was the process?

My Politic: Yes,  we got a couple of our songs licensed for a series on Showtime and are actually in the process getting another licensed for MTV.  We actually found Tinderbox Music on Sonicbids.  They are based out of Minneapolis, MN, and help unsigned artists do college radio campaigns and licensing for television.  We had to get affiliated with SESAC, create a publishing company, and basically Tinderbox did the rest.  They really took care of us over there, and it is still paying off a year later.

FJF: And I’ve seen mentions  that you are recording again soon, but what was the process for your recent album?

My Politic: We are working on a batch of new songs that we will hopefully start recording soon.  Our last album, American Will, was recorded by us, in our living room.  A couple of mics and GarageBand really does wonders.  We did it all ourselves, mostly because it was cost effective, and also because we wanted to do it on our own.  We were really pleased with the results and will probably do the next one the same way.

FJF: You went on tour, too. Was this your first tour? Any interesting stories?

My Politic: We actually had gone on a mini tour the summer before, but it was only five or six shows.  This one was 15 or 16 shows, 5,000 miles of driving in 3 weeks.  It was so much fun, we got to see a lot of the country, played in a lot of random places.  Nothing too crazy stands out, the whole thing was kind of crazy in itself.  We camped out a lot of the time, so we could save money.  Met some characters along the way.  It was quite the experience and we can’t wait to do it again next year.  Hopefully on an even bigger scale.

FJF: What is in the future for My Politic?

My Politic: We just want to keep recording as much as we can, keep touring as much as we can.  Move around the country, soak up some different cultures.  Work on getting more licensing deals.  Basically, just keep growing and getting better.

You can check out My Politic on their iTunes, CD Baby,  and Facebook.


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