[sic] Magazine

Interview: Nick Prol & The Proletarians

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Cariacs mega-fan Nick Prol just released an intriguing album in Loon Attic, a sprawling odyssey that moves through 23 different songs and compositions in about an hour. Along the way, you’ll hear strains of many types of music, both past, present, and potentially in the future. I sent Nick 10 questions to learn more about his life and his album and to grasp his intent with it. It could just save your life.

Question 1: Please, Mr. Prol, tell us about yourself and your place in the world.

Nick Prol: My name’s Nick. I live in Tucson, Arizona. I make art-y, proggy, sometimes psychedelic pop music with a band of long-distance collaborators and friends we called The Proletarians. Our new album, “Loon Attic” (which is our debut) also has a bunch of folks whom I admire featured as guest players. You should check it out. Other than that, I guess I should mention am the guy who invented wiffle ball. I like to always mention that last.

Question 2: So Nick! Tell us about how you recorded this album? Was it in a professional studio, a very well-done home studio, or was it magically warped out of your unconscious mind?

Nick Prol: All my parts (vocals, guitar, etc.) were recorded in my room. I live in an apartment. It couldn’t be any more “less fancy”. All the other folks’ parts were recorded in more interesting places including actual studios from Oregon to Italy.

Question 3: Obviously there is a Cardiacs influence here. What else were you attempting to emulate when you recorded this album?

Nick Prol: Some songs were direct attempts at pastiche. “Magazine Reader”, for instance, began as a Prefab Sprout homage. Others, while blatantly Cardiacs-inspired, hopefully don’t sound like a one-to-one Tim Smith knockoff. Then again, maybe they do. I was aiming for blending his influence upon my writing with lots of other stuff. There’s some purposefully Andy Partridge-aping stuff too. But again, hopefully mixed with originality. One can only hope.

Question 4: The lyrics of the album are sometimes impenetrable or intriguing to the ear. What is your influence here and is there any message the album is trying to tell?

Nick Prol: Impenetrable? I hope not! Most are either deeply personal, simply dada absurdity just for fun, or are straight up references to things. There’s two songs entirely based on stories from literature. One’s based on a computer game. My hope is a simple Google search would turn people onto the cool things that inspired the songs.

Question 5: Is there any backwards masking on this album? And if so, to which Satanic tribe is it dedicated?

Nick Prol: There is none that I know of. I think Ben put a sort of backwards effect my voice’s reverb on the chorus of “Magazine Reader”. Right before the song “Shiny and Round” there’s some faded in cacophony that certainly sounds Satanic. That’s actually every song on the album being played at once.

Question 6: You have quite a few great guest stars on here! Tell us about how you got them all on board. Please go in as much detail as you’d like.

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Nick Prol: I’ve been asked this before. I’ve even asked myself the question when sitting back and looking at our guest list. The major lesson I’ve learned during this entire process was this…just ask. Just do it. It sounds cliche but when you weigh the risk of someone turning down your offer to how great it would be if they said yes, you’d be stupid not to do it. Admittedly as the guest list grew that lent more validity and “cred” to the project, making it easier to rope certain folks in. However, every one that agreed to be a part did so out of the kindness of their heart based on very little evidence or body of work on my part to back up that it would be a worthwhile endeavor. They liked my vision I guess from the brief descriptions I’d give and gave me a chance. Utter trust and generosity. Really gave me faith in humanity. They say “never meet your heroes”. I agree. I think you should do way more than that. Make an album with them.

Question 7: Do you have any other music you’d like to share with the world or is this your debut album?

Nick Prol: It’s our debut album as this project (The Proletarians) but I’ve made other stuff but I’m not proud of any of it like I am of this. Maybe I’ll release some of it someday for fun if anyone cares enough. For now, “Loon Attic” is what I really want to share. I would say, however, check out my backing band members Ben and Connor’s project “The Mercury Tree” and Dave Newhouse’s as well. He has a project coming up with “Loon Attic” guest Carla Diratz and a talented guy named Bret Harold Hart called DIRATZ. And, of course, I don’t need to tell you to check out The Muffins.

Question 8: Where do you go from here? A sophomore slump album? A pretentious triple album? A tour that bankrupts the band?

Nick Prol: Oh I’m hanging low now. Or rather, my creative mind and ego is. I want to guest star on other’s stuff for a while instead of juggling and directing as crazy of a long-distance project as this. Of course there will be a sophomore slump eventually though. It”ll be despised upon release then later revisited and re-evaluated as an underrated masterpiece. I’m going to call it “Second Coming” and make it really blues-y. That’s never been done, right?

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Question 9: Where can people who are interested in your album purchase it? Will it see a wide release?

Nick Prol: The album is currently available at my Bandcamp page in both physical and digital form.

Question 10: Do you have any words of wisdom to share with the children of the future?

Nick Prol: If you want to make something with someone you admire, just ask. If they say no or never answer move onto the next person you admire. Someone will say yes eventually and you’ll find people to help make your art a reality then that first person who said no will come running. Or you could just give up. That’s just as valid of a decision. In fact, yeah…just do that.

Loon Attic review

Bandcamp

[sic] thanks Nick and his band members. Photographs used are not ours and are taken from Nick Prol & The Proletarians Facebook page.

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