We spoke with Craig Almquist, lead singer of Cold Fronts, about the importance of participating in the local music industry, slimming down the group, and what we’ll be listening to next year.
PAMS: You’ve been very busy lately, recording and doing live radio shows and the like. What’s your “to do” for the next month?
CF: This weekend we are going to start recording four new songs with Kyle “Slick” Johnson (Slutever, Creepoid, Wavves), who we’re really excited about. He’s worked on some of my favorite records and it’s super exciting. We also have some other songs that should be coming out the first week of January which we’re pumped about that we recorded with Converse at their studio in Brooklyn, and we’ve got some touring plans that we’re working out right now.
PAMS: Cold Fronts started out as a four-piece. How has it been different recording and performing and overall being in a duo?
CF: Alex and I generally have more control over decisions. Him and I agree on a lot of things and I think it just helps us work faster. It really has made performing a lot easier too because we’re playing with some super talented musicians who make recording and writing feel like a breeze. Even though the band has been moving pretty quickly over the past year, it felt like when we had other members in the group, it would really slow down decision making.
PAMS: “Also all music is free becaase we are nice guys but terrible business people.” – I quote. Why do you feel that it’s important to make sure all of your music is available for free?
CF: I find that even though we give away our music for free people still buy it. Or if they don’t buy it, they at least hear it. Recording can cost a lot of money but putting it up on Bandcamp or Spotify doesn’t really cost anything. And if that means more people hear it, fantastic. Eventually we’ll put our music out on a legitimate format and then we will charge our fans the bare minimum for it, but for now, by our t-shirts and come to shows.
PAMS: Tell me about the your relationship with Ton-Taun and The Suzan, the two groups you’ll be playing with this Wednesday. How did you get linked up?
CF: We played with The Suzan in New York City and they put on such a killer show that we had to put them on a show in Philly. They’re this all girl Japanese group that kind of remind me of Peter, Bjorn, and John. They live in New York City but are from Tokyo. We know Ton-Taun through jamming for a while with the drummer, Ocko. I also met the guitarist, Doug, at a bar and we’ve been talking about playing a show together for awhile.
PAMS: How important do you believe it is to have real friendships with fellow artists in Philly, to promote each other and work together to build a community?
CF: It’s really important. Alex and I spent the first year of the band booking shows with our friends at the Rathaus and we’d meet so many bands every week. Eventually the people we were meeting were helping us with shows or recording opportunities. I like the fact that the music industry is a social place. It takes place at bars, or parties. If you’re a shy person or anti-social, that’s going to hold you back. And if you’re selfish and only look out for yourself, no ones going to help you out.
PAMS: Name some fellow artists you feel Cold Fronts has a special relationship with like the one mentioned above.
CF: The Dangerous Ponies. I’ve known a lot of the people in that band for a while, some from other projects. But either way, a lot of people in the band have been super supportive and encouraging with my music. Evan got my old band recording time at Drexel when I first moved to Philly five years ago because he saw me play at a house show. The old bassist, Chris, is currently playing guitar with us. The dudes at Headroom are really awesome and let us park our van in their in space overnight when we’re too tired to unload our gear. Emily Pukis, she has played at The Rathaus and has hosted a few events we’ve thrown. She’s really productive and super creative. MewithoutYou was kind enough to take us on our first tour where we kind of learned the ropes.