Cataldo says “It’s a 14-song album and there are quite a few poppy, catchy songs strewn around the album, but there are also some very odd tracks in there. I was working on a musical this year with some sci-fi elements and post apocalyptic elements. About 5 of those songs made it into the final album… I play with genre so much that it is pretty hard to define (my sound). Anything from electronic, punk, folk, rock, and then I’ll throw in Latin beats. Then my tonal approach will vary from sarcastic to dead serious. The consistency is in my vocal sensibility where I am pretty dedicated to lush or interesting harmonies.” The mix that Cataldo and Nehedar have been able to provide over the years is a testament to the project’s longevity – check out a show in NYC for sure when you’re in town. Head to www.Nehedar.com for more details and to sample “High Tide”… as soon as you read all of the answers to the XXQ’s below.
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you different from the others in your genre?
Nehedar:I always have a really hard time describing my sound. On my recordings I play with genre so much that it is pretty hard to define. Anything from electronic, punk, folk, rock, and then I’ll throw in Latin beats. Then my tonal approach will vary from sarcastic to dead serious. The consistency is in my vocal sensibility where I am pretty dedicated to lush or interesting harmonies. My live music on the other hand, tends to be more genre defined: singer songwriter when I’m alone and rock when I’m with a band.
PEV: Calling New York City home, what kind of music where you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
Nehedar: actually I moved to NYC at 18… my parents were kind of nomadic and they were from New York. I was into the Beatles and Counting Crows growing up, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, musicals like West Side Story and fun stuff like Boingo, but I believe my first concert was with my parents when we went to see the jazz musician Maynard Ferguson. I was probably 3. My parents were musicians and our house was always filled with Latin jazz and my parents live show (daily practices)
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?
Nehedar: My first show was handed to me when my friend who was running a literary journal needed to book some opening act for their journal release. I think they had me back for a few more shows like that and then I had a good running start within that little scene getting a band together and shows. I didn’t even play guitar then so I grabbed a woman I saw at my university and asked her to play with me and I played the djembe. That was at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC, it was a good tome. I opened up for a musician that I really admire. Pharoahs Daughter.
Nehedar: In NYC I’m currently rebuilding the live band these days with a friend who is arranging the recorded music for a dedicated rock sound. If I’m on the road, I’ll probably be by myself, I’ll probably be playing more for jazz vocals and lyrical intent. You should expect some goofy stage banter either way.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?
Nehedar: I am probably checking out the audience.. A good audience makes all the difference.
PEV: What do you think is the best part about being a musician in New York?
Nehedar: Just the sheer number of venues. There are a million different opportunities to make a good impression. There’s also a million producers, studios, rehearsal studios and a great craigslist community to buy and sell instruments and get new band members.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music?
Nehedar: I began this project after my mother died and I needed a healthy outlet. One of the first songs I ever wrote was “Mama” which was the first song I recorded and the first video I made using some old home movies of my mother and her mother. The song was just a message to her that I missed her.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
Nehedar: I look at the other people who have been working alongside me over the years to see some perspective. We’re all very hard workers. You really have to be to stay in the game.
PEV: What¹s one thing we¹d be surprised to hear about Nehedar?
Nehedar: Maybe that Nehedar usually consists of orthodox Jews. I have been observant for about 12 years, and most of my band members have been over the years.
PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are you methods to get over it?
Nehedar: I like to write until I have at least one hook that I like. Then if it’s rough I’ll put it down, do something else. A lot of times I’ll get more elements of the song really fast at some point when I can’t properly work on it so I’ll sing something into my phone. Later I’ll tie the pieces together. I have the feeling that this is a fairly common approach.
Nehedar: Many of my friends who are hardworking musicians don’t fantasize about record deals which was the big game back when I was growing up. We are pretty jaded and probably want more than anything to be listened to.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “High Tide”. What can fans expect from this?
Nehedar: It’s a 14 song album and there are quite a few poppy, catchy songs strewn around the album, but there are also some very odd tracks in there. I was working on a musical this year with some sci-fi elements and post apocalyptic elements. About 5 of those songs made it into the final album.
PEV: With all your traveling is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
Nehedar: I hear that Europe is very musician friendly. I’d love to get over there and give it a go.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?
Nehedar: My friends are very supportive. My dad loves playing with me whenever we can. He meets up with me and plays sax whenever possible. My family and old friends have helped out with videos all along the way. I love collaboration on videos.
PEV: What can we you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
Nehedar: I am a bit of an introvert these days. I have been into needlepoint, baking, windowsill gardening and watching DR. Who. Lame I know. Also beer.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
Nehedar: I’d love to work with Die Antwoord. They have a groundbreaking approach to societal critique. I also think their music is top notch and I don’t even usually appreciate rap that much.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
Nehedar: Jodi Shaw is fabulous. She just released an album called “In Waterland” which I loved. Also in NYC, Fifth Nation is a great band that has infectious good energy. Also my friend Annie Robinette in Bristol TN is one of the great unappreciated songwriters. I hope that changes.
PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal) what would be your career?
Nehedar: I’d want to be a farmer or something, maybe I’d find myself doing the Renaissance Faire in a very serious way… Or maybe I’d end up with a resale shop. That would be great.
PEV: So, what is next for Nehedar?
Nehedar: I have a bunch of fun music and video collaborations coming up. One very fun animated video by James Neal, should be done in the very near future. I will be doing a lot more collaboration across the board.