The year 2012 was a big one for Now, Now. We’re in 2013, and the band performed a couple of years ago at Mike ‘N Molly’s with locals-Emeritus Santah, so they know a bit about what C-U has in store. However, this time around, they’ve graduated to a bigger stage and are set to perform at the Highdive Friday night. During this tour, they’re performing with the Lonely Forest, and we wanted to catch up with the band prior to the show to see how they were feeling about their return to Champaign.
Now, Now’s Cacie Dalager recently took a few minutes during a break in between tours to talk with Smile Politely about the success of the Minneapolis trio’s 2012 release Threads, getting signed with Chris Walla’s label Trans- Records, and how to handle getting heckled in Chicago.
Now, Now: “Dead Oaks”
Smile Politely: First and foremost, I know that you just got off of a month-long tour with Circa Survive and Minus the Bear and are about to go out on the road again in just a bit here, and I wanted to say thank you for taking a few minutes during your time off to talk to us.
Cacie Dalager: No Problem.
SP: You’re back home in Minneapolis now — did you get any sort of a break between tours?
Dalager: Actually, on the last day of the last tour I got sick — I have this sinus infection— so I’ve just been, like, doing nothing, really. The past couple of days have been pretty relaxed, but we have to rework a bunch of stuff with our set so it’ll probably get hectic again, maybe in the next couple of days.
SP: That’s a heck of a way to close out a tour.
Dalager: Yeah, it’s okay. It didn’t really happen ‘till we got to the hotel (after the final show of their last tour), so I still got to hang out during the day.
SP: You mentioned you had some work to do to your set before you get back on the road. How will your sets change now that you’re a headliner rather than a supporting act?
Dalager: We’ve been pretty much doing the same set for a year ‘cuz we’ve been on tour since the album came out — literally nonstop. But since this is a co-headliner we’re gonna change some stuff up.
SP: Does that mean you’ll also get a longer set?
Dalager: Yeah. I can’t remember exactly, but I think it’ll be 45–50 minutes. We usually play thirty minutes or under.
Photo by Amanda Barrett.
SP: What’s your plan for those extra 15–20 minutes?
Dalager: Probably some new songs from the album and some older stuff since usually if you do a headlining show and you ignore your older material, people will scream the older songs the whole time, so…
SP: So you might as well get them out there?
Dalager: Yeah, so you don’t get yelled at.
SP: Is that common? To get yelled at during shows?
Dalager: Oh, no. People are usually really nice to us. There have only been a couple times where it’s been kind of bad. There was this one incident in Chicago where — I don’t know why, because whenever we do a headlining show in Chicago, it’s amazing — but whenever we do a support show in Chicago, we get so much crap from everyone. It’s really weird.
A year ago we were in Chicago and it was more of a radio crowd so they only wanted to hear the headlining band. And so we opened, and these girls were saying, ‘Get off the stage now, now!’ thinking they were really clever. And this girl who came to see us got so pissed off at people making comments, she turned around and screamed, ‘Shut up.’ It was silent and this girl just screamed, ‘SHUT! UP!’ We thought the ‘shut up’ comment was directed towards us, so we were just so bummed the rest of the set. But then we talked to her after and she was like, ‘No, I was trying to tell those people to shut up.’ That was the only time we’ve been to Chicago and it was not awesome. Like I said, when we do support tours … I think it depends on what band we’re on tour with — how accepting they are of what is in front of them besides the headliner.
SP: You played Bloomington, Illinois, last month when you came through with Minus the Bear and Circa Survive. Did you have any time to explore Central Illinois while you were here?
Dalager: We usually don’t get to see too much of where ever we are unless it’s on the block of the venue. The only thing I really try to make a point of doing is finding some coffee shop or something. There’s not very much time to actually go do something.
I gave Dalager a quick rundown of her options for coffee shops within walking distance of the Highdive before asking her how she’ll be spending her day off between her hometown show in Minneapolis on Wednesday and Friday’s show in Champaign.
Dalager: The drive is what? Ten hours? We’ll probably leave [Minneapolis] in the afternoon, so hopefully we’ll get to hang out a little bit at home early in the day.
SP: You guys have been getting a lot of attention with your last album, Threads. How have hometown shows changed over the past year?
Dalager: It’s kind of hard to tell because we don’t get to play here very much, so when we do it’s really kind of a special thing for us. I’m really, really, really, really, really looking forward to this next Minneapolis show because any time we’re on tour, no one ever comes through here. So this’ll only be the second time that we come through Minneapolis on a tour. So it’ll be really exciting to have it be part of a tour package instead of just one random show.
SP: Why isn’t Minneapolis a common stop on your tours?
Dalager: We usually open, so we just have to hop on whatever route is already predetermined, but I think it’s because … actually, I don’t really know because we’ll do tours that go to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and that area, but not really up to Minnesota … I think it’s just out of the way.
SP: You recently signed on with Chris Walla’s new label Trans- Records, calling it your “dream label.” Can you talk a little bit about what makes it so dreamy?
Dalager: Basically, anything involving Chris Walla is everything that anyone could ever want. When we recorded this album, we weren’t signed or anything, so we were pretty terrified going into the studio, and afterwards we just had no idea who was even interested in signing us. We didn’t know if we were going to get signed. We hadn’t put out a full length in three or so years, so that alone was very scary for us because we knew it was an important step for us. It felt very make-or-break, which was terrifying.
It wasn’t until we had recorded the album in Vancouver, we were already home, we were doing mixes with the producer, then we got a call from our manager saying that Trans- wanted to put out our album and we were totally floored. We didn’t even know what to do. I didn’t even believe it when we signed the contract. I didn’t believe it until we started touring on the album because I couldn’t let it sink in because if it didn’t happen, I didn’t want the disappointment of having that tease of this label. Chris Walla’s just an amazing dude, and he obviously knows what he’s doing. And that was the one label that we wanted to be on. That was the one that we hoped but never thought would happen. So the fact that it happened is just … it’s crazy.
SP: I read that you were trying to get better at documenting this time in your life. Have you been able to do that lately? Are you taking better notes?
Dalager: I usually have some sort of dream journal or weird notebook or something that I, a couple times a week, will write something down, but I feel like I’ve been even worse at that. But I’ve been bringing disposable cameras on tour, which is really fun just to run around and, you know, snap pictures of everything. But in terms of actually writing, I’ve been horrible.
SP: Why disposable cameras instead of your cellphone camera?
Dalager: My grandpa and my mom, they always had cameras on them at all times, so there are just boxes and boxes of photos. There’s something about the physical being of that image that I really like. It reminds me of looking through photos with my grandpa. And what if my computer crashed? There’s something nice about having something physical.
SP: Are the pictures becoming a part of the song writing process?
Dalager: I really haven’t had any time at all to write because we’ve been touring so much. And I can’t write on the road because I can’t focus. I need to be totally by myself — in my room in the dark — totally secluded to be able to focus or to be able to write, so I’ve just been kind of playing guitar on and off the past couple of days — not really trying to make myself write, but just get back into leisurely playing guitar instead of just playing the same songs over and over. But hopefully after this next tour, we should have a break this summer to write, so if you ask me that again in a couple of months, I might have a better answer for you.
Now, Now plays this Friday at the Highdive with Washington state’s The Lonely Forest and locals That’s No Moon. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door.