Gearing up to play NYC's legendary and iconic venue Rockwood Hall tomorrow, Cold Country song-writer Sean McConnell chats to PopWrapped about musical inspirations, dream shows and future plans.
PW: Please introduce yourselves.
Sean McConnell: Hi! This is Cold Country.
PW: How would you describe yourselves and your music in a few words?
SM: We meander somewhere between psych-rock and folk. Kinda heavy sometimes. Often sincere.
PW: When did you realize you wanted to make music a career? Was there an album you bought or concert you attended that inspired you?
SM: In early high school, I discovered The Doors, and that's what made me initially pick up the guitar. I soon got really into home recording and dropped out of college to pursue professional recording. After moving to Chicago, I became surrounded by talented and ambitious friends who were writing and performing all over the place, and that's what finally inspired me to do this.
PW: Which bands or artists influenced you growing up, and have those influences changed over the years?
SM: At first, it was The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the like. That soon became Television, Patti Smith, Gang of Four and Joy Division. I got super into post punk early on there. Sonically, that was an awakening.
PW: Is there a band or artist you might say you're similar to? Who or what most inspires your song-writing?
SM: Love, longing, boredom, time, seasons.
PW: In your opinion, which is the greatest song ever written and why?
SM: I honesty couldn't tell you ... there are just way too many.
PW: What can you tell me about your upcoming album?
SM: Willow is definitely a transitional album of sorts. Most of it was written while I was in complete solitude. Sonically, it's Cold Country growing away from the straightforward folk rock stuff I started out writing and begins to veer into heavier, spacier territory.
PW: You're playing a show at Rockwood Music Hall on September 17th. Excited?
SM: Very! I've heard great things. I'm excited to spend a few days in NY as well.
PW: If you could share a stage with three other bands or artists (who can be living or dead), who would they be and where would you play?
SM: I'd really love to open for Kurt Vile someday soon. He's currently my main jam. Angel Olsen, too. It could be just about anywhere. Maybe Thalia Hall in Chicago. I still haven't played there.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media, and would you agree it's a vital tool for bands and artists today?
SM: It's absolutely vital. It's something I'm always trying to get better at. Being on the cusp of a generation that has only known a world connected by social media profiles, I ride this line of embracing it while being constantly frustrated by its implementation and how it fits into a business model.
PW: What else does the rest of the year have in store for you?
SM: Lots of touring, and, come December, I begin recording my next full-length for 2017.
PW: Finally then, what's your ultimate ambition as an band, and, with that in mind, what would you like your musical legacy to be?
SM: As far as legacy goes, I'm still working that out, still coming to terms with the decision to pursue this thing to the fullest extent possible. I just want to do this as long as possible and have it support some kind of modest lifestyle. If the bright lights are in the cards for me, great! I'm willing to work as hard as I can to be fulfilled in doing this. And I'd love to get to a place where people are really engaging with what I put out there.