S2E12 – John Nash

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An in-person interview with uke instructor and artist John Nash. We talk about his time in JHUI, his work creating original music with The Council, and the limitations of the uke.

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Transcript

Edited for clarity.

Brad Bordessa (00:00:03):
Welcome to the Live Ukulele Podcast. My name’s Brad Bordessa. Thank you for tuning in. This is one of the first in-person interviews I’ve done since COVID except for the episodes that my friend Higgs has been a part of. I have with me, Mr. John Nash from Ukulele Inspired studios.

John Nash (00:00:22):
How’s it going?

Brad Bordessa (00:00:23):
Thanks for coming. Thanks for being here.

John Nash (00:00:24):
Oh my God. Thank you for the invite, man. I am actually up here in the mountains it feels like on the Big Island and this place is beautiful. I’d tell all of you to come visit Brad, but then he might have a…

Brad Bordessa (00:00:38):
I don’t have the space!

John Nash (00:00:38):
Yeah, it might be a laundry list of people just going down his driveway. But yeah, this is a really beautiful place. I got to meet a little pig in the fenced area. I got to meet some cats. Yeah. It’s legit. It feels very reviving being up here for sure.

Brad Bordessa (00:00:55):
Yeah. We like to get away.

Brad Bordessa (00:00:59):
So can you give us a little backstory of kind of how you became to be as a teacher and kind of what you do for the most part?

John Nash (00:01:08):
Yeah, for sure. I kind of got into ukulele like 2009, probably. I moved out to Oʻahu from where I was living in Seattle. Just needed a break from the rain. Ended up spending like two years there, two and a half years, but I actually picked up ukulele there. I remember just going to just a barbecue at somebody’s house and like watching these people, all play music and just being totally entranced. And I was just like, Oh my God, that’s so cool. And you know, like had a beer and then somebody shoved the ukulele in my hand and they’re like, no, do this with your hands. I had some guitar background too, but it was just amazing. I was like, Oh my God, I’m making music with this thing. And other people are singing. So it was like, definitely, you know, love at first kind of strum with that instrument.

John Nash (00:01:58):
I’ve been playing music since I was like 16 years old probably. And guitar and bass, you know, kind of self-taught. But when I started playing ukulele, it just made a lot of sense and just having, you know, the portability, everything like that. So moved back to the mainland and was trying to get out of the trades I was in. I was doing construction at the time and decided to go full tilt into teaching and like, you know, was teaching bass and guitar back in the day, but that’s not what people wanted to learn and that’s not what I wanted to teach. So yeah, just started teaching ukulele full-time. God that must’ve been yeah, back in 2013 or something. And so yeah, just building in the studio, the in-person business and stuff like that.

John Nash (00:02:43):
Yeah, I’m teaching full-time now. That’s how I make my money and raise my kids and stuff. So teaching private lessons and group classes on website Ukulele Inspired. And I feel like, you know, I’ve been in the community for a really long time, but again, just sort of this like periphery. You probably know the feeling it’s like, Oh, I know who that person is, but we finally get to meet each other. I think the first time I reached out to you is I recorded that solo ukulele album. God, what year was that? That must’ve been…

Brad Bordessa (00:03:17):
It was like 2014?

John Nash (00:03:18):
2014, something like that. Yeah. And so I remember just sending you a CD in the mail and then you wrote a review, which was really cool. But yeah, it’s just like, you know, periphery community. And then of course with COVID, it’s just like, now we’re all just doing our own thing. But yeah, just trying to stay busy, developing content and teaching, you know, three group classes a week and then private lessons. Yeah, it’s like a full-time schedule full-ish time schedule, I guess. Yeah. You teach right? You teach private lessons or….?

Brad Bordessa (00:03:54):
I’m not currently doing the private lesson thing, starting to look into kind of the in-person private lessons here for kind of, you know, my community. Cause I feel like for me being one of very few ukulele players around in the area that that’s sort of, you know, my kuleana to be there for the people who want to learn. But it’s just a matter of like, when is that going to be appropriate again.

John Nash (00:04:17):
And where are you planning on doing it? Are you going to do it at your house or you want to get a space?

Brad Bordessa (00:04:20):
That’s part of the question is, I don’t imagine it would be like a full-time studio. So getting a space doesn’t make sense. But also I don’t necessarily want random people in my house. It’s kind of a balancing act, but I’ll figure it out.

John Nash (00:04:35):
I totally agree with that. Yeah. I’m actually in the, you know, kind of pivot place right now, trying to decide if I’m going to go back to in person and teaching. You know, everything’s opening up, but I’ve kept my space down in Denver. I told you I live kind of up in the mountains a little bit. And yeah, held on to my space, paid rent there. Had all the intention of like setting up a full-time video studio with the lights up all the time. I could just walk in and shoot. And of course, you know, didn’t get around to it. So I spent most of my energy building out the home studio and home office and teaching everything virtually.

John Nash (00:05:08):
It’s a weird situation to be in because I’ve taught online – at least private lessons – almost since when I started teaching, right. And so when this happened, you know, I knew a lot of teachers who like didn’t know how to pivot, couldn’t figure it out. They were like, wait, what? I look into my phone and teach people? So yeah, I made the pivot pretty quickly and now I’m kind of like, okay, well, do I even pivot back? You know, cause now you don’t have to explain to people.

Brad Bordessa (00:05:41):
Right. That’s a big deal.

John Nash (00:05:42):
Everybody knows that this is how you learn, you know, through the last year. And so you, don’t gotta be like, no, we meet on Skype or we meet on Google Hangouts or we meet on Zoom. It’s like, you don’t have to explain it to people because that’s how they’re doing everything. They’re taking their yoga and pilates and all that stuff via Zoom now, too. So it’s like, yeah, it makes a lot of sense. And it’s cool too. I mean, it definitely has its pluses and minuses. I think every learning environment does.

Brad Bordessa (00:06:07):
What do you think those are at this point looking at maybe going back to in-person?

John Nash (00:06:10):
Well, it’s funny because it’s like, the benefits are almost immediately for the student when it first happened. It’s like, Oh, they don’t have to leave their house. They don’t have to put pants on, whatever. But I think for me, there are so many benefits to it in terms of teaching. I mean, I think one of… Well classroom management, as soon as you sort of learn how to do that, you know, it’s like, people can be muted all the time. You know, you’ve taught workshops when you wish you had a mute button for the entire room. To say that in like, you know, the most gentle way, it’s more like just to deliver, be able to deliver what content, just to keep, you know, your time management under control, all of those things. And, you know, if you can put a little money into investing in gear and stuff like multiple camera angles, things like that, like, I’ve definitely found that there’s some detail that, you know, you can really dive into on the online teaching.

John Nash (00:07:09):
I think the biggest thing is just trying to make people feel like it’s personalized. I think that’s the biggest challenge. You know, you were asking what the pluses are, but there are definitely some challenges, but it’s just like anything it’s practice. My first online class was probably not as good as my last one I taught. So it’s been I think a really great year for the people who have started to teach online because it’s like, that’s just going to make you a better instructor. It’s going to make you a better teacher. You know, it’s going to make you a better player, all of those things. So.

John Nash (00:07:38):
Can I ask you how long have you been doing the podcasting thing?

Brad Bordessa (00:07:45):
Since halfway through COVID. So kind of late-ish last year.

John Nash (00:07:49):
So five, six months in. Gotcha. What was the pull?

Brad Bordessa (00:07:55):
I’ve always been fascinated with radio. I’ve been… You know, growing up, I was homeschooled and had the chance to go to a couple of different radio stations just as like, you know, that general, like, I don’t know. It was like the personalized workfare I guess kind of thing. Hey, let’s go check out a radio station. Here’s a job opportunity. And I just loved it. I loved hearing my voice in the headphones with the mic and the whole management of the studio thing. So I was like, well, I can do that myself. And it seems like a fun thing to do. I was super bored and it felt like having… I’ve thought it would be a good idea for a long time. It’s like, everybody says, you should start a podcast.

John Nash (00:08:33):
It’s really great, man. Great work on it. It’s super interesting. And I think it, you know… For me anyway, there’s a lot of value in it. I definitely have learned a lot of things. Do you want to continue to do it like after COVID stuff and…?

Brad Bordessa (00:08:49):
Yeah. I’m still enjoying it. It’s a good way for me to kind of keep my mixing chops up slightly. I mean, just, you know, adjusting a mic is fairly straightforward, but there’s still things to be hearing and practicing.

John Nash (00:08:59):
Yeah. Keeps your head in it too, right? Like it’s a certain head space. You need to be in I think.

Brad Bordessa (00:09:03):
Remember how to plug the mic in kind of a thing.

John Nash (00:09:05):
It goes in this end. Yeah, totally. That’s cool, man. Yeah, it’s, I think it’s one of those things that I’ve always like, thought about on the periphery. But you know, like you and I were talking about earlier, it’s like, you know, when you’re in the entrepreneur thing, when you’re doing your own stuff, you only have a certain amount of capacity. Right. You can only learn so many things. Just like your video series you just put out, right? Oh, and I went ahead and bought that video series. If you guys are looking for some ukulele content learning material, for sure check out Brad’s thing is super interesting. Really well done.

John Nash (00:09:45):
But it’s just like that, right? It’s like, you have to learn a whole new set of everything, right.

Brad Bordessa (00:09:52):
Right. It’s no longer just teaching ukulele.

John Nash (00:09:53):
Yeah! It’s no longer just teaching ukulele. And I think that, that to me is one of the most interesting things about a lot of the people I’ve met in this, you know, community, kind of in this like ukulele journey I’ve taken on for more than a decade now. It’s just the people I meet are just very adventurous, very willing to try new things and also just super adaptive, right? Like just figuring stuff out. People like, you know, James Hill and what the Ukulele Underground guys are doing, what, you know, Brad’s doing. It’s just like taking what you have and trying to do it the best way you can. But like, you know, there’s just so much more than just teaching because I think that’s the part that’s like fun and enjoyable and I get a lot out of it, but it’s like, there are so many other things to manage if you want to be successful at it or if you want to reach more people, right?

Brad Bordessa (00:10:49):
So you were talking earlier about improving as a teacher, I noticed on your website, you’ve got the little JHUI badge.

John Nash (00:10:54):
Got the badge. I got the pin somewhere. I got it mailed to me, but I don’t know what I did with it.

Brad Bordessa (00:11:00):
Nice. What was that like? Cause I’ve, I’ve always watched that from the side kind of as… I worked for James for awhile, doing admin stuff. And so I saw that from the side and have always heard about it and thought about it knowing him. What was that like and how have you moved to take what you learned there and apply it to what you do now and what has changed kind of?

John Nash (00:11:20):
Yeah. Well, the experience was really great. I mean, it’s sort of like three consistent years of really… I mean, you can look at it like professional development, right. You know, there are so many fields where people will go to conferences and they’ll take classes and stuff to… My wife’s a naturopathic doctor, she’s always going to conferences and things. And so, you know, that type of development I think is so important because it’s really easy to get stagnant. Right. Like just get in the same thing and teaching the same thing over and over again. Your perspective stays really narrow and really rigid.

John Nash (00:11:59):
So yeah, the professional development thing for me, I mean, I think really, as soon as I stopped teaching the other instruments and like decided to open a space, because in the beginning I was like driving to people’s houses. So glad I’m not doing that anymore! As soon as I got a dedicated space, I was just like, well, if this is what I’m choosing to do for a career, there’s gotta be ways to learn. Right. You know, I think as a teacher, that’s the thing that, if you can not lose sight of it, I think it’s the thing that’s gonna keep you growing as a teacher. If you can remember that, you know, you need to learn as well, right? You need to educate yourself. There’s so many different ways to do things. And there’s so many people out there that are doing it better than you, or in a different way than you are. And so if you can incorporate a lot of that stuff, I think your development always keeps moving forward, which is really good. Anyway.

John Nash (00:12:51):
So that, that professional development thing has been a big kick for me. I went out to like an event Kimo Hussey did, like in some Canadian island somewhere that I like had to take like four ferries to. Super wild. I spent a week out there with him. But I was just in this phase of just like wanting to meet other people who are teaching full time and who were just like entrenched in, in ukulele. So I found James Hill’s JHUI program online and just said, why not? You know, I think at that point it was like pretty hard financially. Like, I don’t know if I can do this. I gotta buy a plane ticket. I got to take time away from family and stuff like that. So, you know, there’s a lot of things that you got to give up to go and do it, but, you know, it was super important to me.

John Nash (00:13:33):
I think it was a really great program in terms of, if you don’t have any concepts about, you know, some of the things that are like fundamental to education, right? Like things like learning about sequencing and learning about, you know, how to teach. And then to have it be ukulele specific, it’s pretty unique, right? There’s not a ton of programs – not even a ton there’s maybe just his. There’s not a lot of programs out there that are structured and, you know, that you can really attend and learn about teaching. So it was super beneficial.

John Nash (00:14:17):
I think more than anything I really learned about I think pacing. Pacing was probably the biggest takeaway I got from it. You know, I think that in the beginning… And I’m sure every teacher kind of goes through it. Maybe you had the same feelings. But I remember right at the outset, it was just like, if I look back at myself back in those days, I’m like, Whoa, dude, like slow down, man. How many things are you going to talk about today? You know, you’ve got 40 minutes with people and, you know, I try to keep it in mind. It’s like, everybody has a certain capacity, you know, and it’s like, teach one or things, teach them really well, make sure everybody’s got it nailed down. Yeah. So a lot about pacing, a lot about sequencing.

John Nash (00:14:58):
And also just being around teachers, you know, just being around teachers it’s can sometimes feel a little bit lonely, you know, like running your own studio and just like find myself talking at the very end of my classes to my students. And I’m like, this is like lunchroom talk with teachers. This is not what I should be talking to my students about. But it’s just like, I don’t have other people that talked, you know, like, what’d you think about what I did at this end of this composition? You know, it was just like, how about that turn? And, you know, it’s just one of those things. It’s hard to find people that you can really connect with and talk about those things. So that was super valuable, you know. And the JHUI program, you’re just around all teachers and all ukulele teachers at that. So it’s like, you all have that in common and can nerd out about it, which was really cool. Yeah, just something, you know, kind of keeping you on track. I think the one thing that was a struggle for me, of course, you know, right around that time, my wife and I decided to get pregnant and have a kid, it was just really hard to do stuff remote.

John Nash (00:15:57):
But yeah, it definitely changed me as a teacher. You know, it affects the way… If you walk into a classroom with me today, it’s like, it’s definitely shaped a lot of the way I, you know, manage education these days for sure. So you never participated in the program, but you have been working with James, so you know about it, and…

Brad Bordessa (00:16:20):
Yeah, I know about it and of the material.

John Nash (00:16:23):
Have you ever… Did like desire or want to check it out or…

Brad Bordessa (00:16:28):
I thought about it for a while. Actually, I had the chance to kind of work in person with James at the Kahumoku ʻOhana workshop in Pahala here on Big Island. And, you know, he was big time mentor for me, obviously. And I asked him straight up at one point, I was like, do you think I should do JHUI? He was like, if you don’t, you’ll figure it out yourself. Basically told me straight up is like, if, you know… You seem like the kind of person who is going to do it either way, and if you can do it yourself, you know, that’s cool too. You’re going to find your own ways that are independent of, you know, my ways or the structured curriculum that I’m presenting to that program.

John Nash (00:17:07):
Yeah, yeah. What we’ve developed for that program. Yeah, for sure. It would, it’d be really interesting too, because I’m sure at that point you were like, kind of in a different spot, right? Like you were maybe at the beginning of that journey of figuring it out. It might be interesting to like go to it a little bit later. I mean, I would love to like, you know, go back to some of that material. And for me, I think one of the best parts, especially in year three, was interacting with people that were kind of like, “Oh, what am I doing? Is this literally a bunch of, you know, ukulele teachers in a room together?” You know, that sort of feeling of being like, Oh, I’m not the only person who’s like into this in the way. It was just like kind of a cool feeling, you know, sorta, almost seeing that like, starry-eyed look, you know, just kinda like, “I don’t know what’s going on yet.”

John Nash (00:17:59):
So yeah, I would love to sort of at least be in that environment again, of sort of experiencing it now that I’ve had, you know, a decade or so under my belt of teaching, you’re just a different person. You know, it’s like meeting a musician who’s like at the very start of their thing. And then you meet them like, you know, five or six years later and they’ve been gigging or they’ve been touring and it’s like, “Whoa, you’re in a different spot.” Right. You’re like a totally different person. So yeah. I don’t know, I would say if you ever had the desire, it would be something worth checking out and now you can do it all virtually too. Right? Like he just finished that whole thing. I haven’t dipped my toes back into it yet, but I kind of want to, just to check out some more video content.

Brad Bordessa (00:18:42):
I think for me, the interesting thing would be the social dynamics and the actual in-classroom mechanics of managing people. Cause what I picked up from James over the years is like, you know, the keep the beat going kinda things as you’re teaching. And that’s… I don’t know if that’s something that’d be quite as easy to pick up virtually and you wouldn’t necessarily get the chance to see it in action or practice it with a dynamic room of people who are like, “Oh, where’s the beat?!”

John Nash (00:19:06):
I completely hear what you’re saying. I’ve watched a couple of the sample videos. And the one thing I would say is that for me, I think that I’d find some value in it because I have experienced teaching. Like you’ve been in a workshop setting. There are a lot of people who are getting into that program in year one and they might have taught like one private lesson, three private lessons. And they’re sorta like, I think I want to teach, you know. It’s a totally different situation. If you’ve never taught a workshop than watching a video of, you know, somebody who has a lot more experienced like James Hill teaching a workshop, you might not get as much value out of it. But for me it’s like, you know, watching it, I’m sure I could pick up a lot of things. A lot of, you know, Oh, that was a nice, you know, the language they chose that he chose there or whatever, and just watching the reaction to of students. I think that that’s, you know, because you get that sort of like student feedback in those situations, in that program, because you’re like in the student’s shoes for most of it, you know, which is a sort of different experience already, but then getting to see unexperienced teachers sort of like run the room that way. There’s definitely a lot of moments that, you know, you’re seeing things and just being like, Oh, okay, now I get the reasons you would do it that way or the reasons you would, you know? And like when he can sense that like the room’s starting to get away from him, like what are the tactics to get it back and all of that stuff. Because it’s, you know, it’s just like… For me, teaching is one of the most interesting art forms. I call it an art form. Jobs, whatever crafts, I guess.

Brad Bordessa (00:20:40):
I think it’s a craft.

John Nash (00:20:40):
Yeah. It’s one of the most interesting crafts cause it’s like, it’s really performance, but you are almost trying to get by it in a different way. You’re not trying to get people to… You know, when you’re performing music, you’re trying to get them to like totally lose, like just vibe out. You almost don’t want them thinking. Right. And then, you know, when you’re teaching it’s performance, but you’re like, no, you need to think like, be very logical and understand the words that are coming out of my mouth and all that stuff. But there are so many performance elements to it, right? Like you have to keep things moving. You gotta have a lot of breaks in between, you know, like you’re doing a lot of check-ins and things. So yeah. It’s super interesting for sure. And again, like, you know, being able to sit across from somebody who knows what I’m talking about is kind of a cool experience too because there’s not a lot of people to talk to about that stuff.

Brad Bordessa (00:21:39):
For sure. It’s a completely different group of homeys.

John Nash (00:21:43):
Yeah. Yeah. For sure.

Brad Bordessa (00:21:46):
Well, you want to play something? Kick off the music.

John Nash (00:21:50):
I think. Yeah. I think we should, we should jam something. I was going to see since this is your first in-person. If Brad was going to jump on the uke too.

Brad Bordessa (00:22:00):
I can do that.

John Nash (00:22:00):
Yeah. We can play a little bit. Yeah. So I didn’t really have any ideas about anything to play, but… You want to drop tune since we were doing it, since we were talking about it? We’ll do one original and then…

Brad Bordessa (00:22:18):
I actually had to tune up for Sunday. I had one of my first gigs out with someone else. And of course…

John Nash (00:22:26):
Yeah. And your ukulele was like “arghhh!” what are you doing?

Brad Bordessa (00:22:30):
Got to tune it to something recognizable.

John Nash (00:22:32):
Yeah, totally.

Brad Bordessa (00:22:35):
But definitely this half down thing is…

John Nash (00:22:36):
It’s nice. Right?

Brad Bordessa (00:22:39):
It’s great. Especially for singing.

John Nash (00:22:41):
Yeah. To tell you the truth, I would play probably like this full time if it wasn’t for other people. Like, just playing with other people’s the only reason I usually turn it up.

John Nash (00:22:51):
Have you ever tried? This is just going to be a little giveaway. I was telling you before, I want to be the guy who’s like, “Oh, Soundslice! That’s what he does.” Or whatever. Same thing with this tuning. Try tuning up all the other strings all the way up and then leave the C-string at a B. Just try it and see what happens. It’s wild.

Brad Bordessa (00:23:10):
Oh. Good one. So it’s a major 7 kind of thing?

John Nash (00:23:12):
It’s not major 7. It’s minor. It’s an E minor. It’s like the B… It’s like almost like a power chord. The craziest part… Did you listen to any of that stuff that I sent over to you? One of those tunes, I mess around with that tuning. But it’s crazy because it’s almost like dark tuning.

Brad Bordessa (00:23:34):
It sounded pretty dark – the whole vibe.

John Nash (00:23:35):
Yeah. It flips. It flips. And then like you hit the open chord and it’s super wild. It’s like, Oh my God. So yeah. Mess around with it. It’s really cool, man. It’s almost like drop-D tuning for like a guitar, right? Like you’ve like a lot of the metal players, they just drop-D, you know. It’s kind of the same thing, just drop C, just drop it down to a B. It’s pretty cool.

Brad Bordessa (00:23:57):
Tell me the story of this ukulele and why you’ve got to take it back to…

John Nash (00:24:00):
This ukulele here is one that I got custom built from Joe Souza over at Kanileʻa, which is awesome. They were nice enough to give me an artist sponsorship over there, which is really, really cool to be a part of their family. Yeah. This is one that I built, I want to say in 2016, maybe. But yeah, it’s a friend of mine, a luthier friend of mine who’s been hauling wood around, not building guitars out of it, but just seasoning it I guess for me, I just went in and I mean, I was like taking guitar cutoffs. Like I was taken off like off-width stuff that was just not usable in a guitar building world and, you know, found some really, really… I found some Pernambuko. Have you ever seen that wood? It’s like orange. It is so cool looking. Anyway, this piece was like Honduran rosewood. I just fell in love with the colors. It was super, super purple back in the day. And then the top is Port Orford cedar. And yeah, they gave me a little side soundport, I think even before they knew how to do side soundports. And I just loved the, you know, the big chunky headstock and then wanted the upgraded tuners – until I saw the price tag. And then I didn’t want them anymore. It’s amazing to me how much tuners are. It’s like, especially these. They’re like half plastic. I don’t get it.

Brad Bordessa (00:25:20):
It’s super worth it though when they don’t work. Because bad, tuners are bad.

John Nash (00:25:24):
Well, I told you this thing is basically in the coffin for the last year and a half, because one of the bracing popped. When did it happen? I was at Denver uke Fest. I was like teaching a workshop before I was playing that night with… I play in a trio called The Council with a banjo player and upright bassist. Anyway we were performing, you know, this is a fairly big gig for us, you know, it’s like 300 people probably – something like that. And like literally like four hours before it just starts making the worst vibrating you’ve ever heard. Just buzzing. And I’m like in the middle of a workshop, kind of freaking out, you know. Totally lost my train of thought. I was like, I think I have to stop teaching this workshop halfway though, you know, like going over in my own head, you know, we were just talking about that sort of classroom management. I mean, this was basically like a bomb went off in the middle of the classroom. Like I’m like, what do I do? So I pretty much stopped the workshop, almost dead in its tracks, maybe talked for like 10 or 15 minutes more. And then I just got out of there and I like went to the only luthier in Denver and said, “can you fix this?” And he’s like, “I’m not touching that thing.” And I’m like, “you have to fix it now.” So yeah, the bracing came loose. I had to borrow one of my students had like a super nice like Blackbird there. It was the only pickup I could find, you know, pretty much. And it was super awesome. He let me do it. We had a great gig, but yeah, this is the second…

Brad Bordessa (00:26:50):
I sent it out to Hawaii and got it fixed. And then, yeah, about six months later that buzz started up again. What was crazy is it’s been sitting a year and a half and I took it out and I’m like, Oh, is that buzz gone? I think that buzz is gone. But it’s still there. I gotta drive it really, really hard, but you can hear that little rattle. And then when you push on the top, it goes away. So yeah, we’ll see what they do with it. I don’t know. I’m like, I know that. I mean like how many times have you taken one of your instruments in? I mean, that’s a Chuck Moore…

Brad Bordessa (00:27:18):
Never.

John Nash (00:27:18):
Never. Really?

Brad Bordessa (00:27:20):
Yeah, I mean, the Kamaka, the frets are shot, but that’s nothing to do with the build. I’ve been lucky. I’ve seen so many just like self-destruct in the humidity. Lots of separating.

John Nash (00:27:27):
Yeah. Well, I also think like, you know, these are built here too. There’s something about taking them away from their homeland. Yeah, the humidity is awful in Colorado and the temperature swings too. That’s supposedly the worst, you know, it can deal with humidity changes pretty well. It can deal with temperature changes pretty well, but when you do them both at the same time, like a big temperature shift and a big humidity shift, that’s when you really see wood change shape. And so, yeah, maybe it’s just, you know, it longs to be home. Maybe it just needs to be here for a week and it’ll just…

Brad Bordessa (00:27:58):
Suck up some moisture stop buzzing.

Brad Bordessa (00:27:59):
Yeah, totally. The brace just reattaches itself, which would be cool.

John Nash (00:28:05):
All right. Let’s give this a try.

John Nash (00:33:58):
There’s a little bit better take too.

Brad Bordessa (00:34:01):
Sweet. Is that one of The Council songs?

John Nash (00:34:04):
You know, that band is kind of funny. It’s almost like in COVID we kind of really became a band. Because I think, you know, that story I was telling about Denver Uke Fest, it was kind of almost like a hodgepodge. It was like three of my songs, four my songs, and then three of the banjo player’s songs and like two of the bassist’s songs. So it was almost a… What’s that called when you… A collage or something. It was more like a collage at that point. But I think right before… One of the last gigs we played, then we got, you know, a couple of sit-ins with a little more frequent practice. And it was like that sort of kicked it into writing, like really what the band sounds like now, you know? And so it took a long time. It was like two years, two to three years.

John Nash (00:34:54):
And it’s pretty crazy. Cause you know, all of us are really, really busy. That’s I think the difference between playing in a band when you’re in your teens and your twenties and like, then you do it in your thirties and forties and you’re an adult and you got family and kids and stuff. It’s like, Oh no, I don’t have all the time in the world. You know, I think the first band I was in, we all lived together. So it’s like, “what do you want to do?” “Well, let’s play music,” you know? So that just doesn’t happen nowadays. You know, now it’s more like, okay, I gotta carve this out. You know, for a while there, I think after those two years, you know, we’ve probably played together 20 times, 18 times maybe, you know. Like maybe even less than that. That’s including gigs too so like, you know, gigs we were getting ready for.

John Nash (00:35:37):
So yeah, COVID has been pretty crazy because it’s like, okay, now we need to learn how to record from home. Which, you know, a lot of people know how to do that. I think, you know how to do that. You know, you’ve been doing it for a long time. I didn’t know how to do that. But we’ve been working with a pretty great audio engineer who is like, you know, kind of holding our hands through the process. Like don’t send me that file, you know, like kind of trying to get our, our game up a little bit.

Brad Bordessa (00:36:04):
Well it sounds fabulous. And it’s got a really, really cool vibe. It’s very different. Listening to it, there was one song that like the banjo of all things was capturing almost like a koto, Asian vibe kind of thing.

John Nash (00:36:18):
And the name of that tune is “Obachan,” which means grandmother in Japanese. The banjo player is actually one of the most interesting cats I’ve ever met. You know, I think if you would have talked to me like five or six years ago and told me that I was gonna be in a band with a banjo, I would’ve been like, no, that’s not going to happen, but it did super wild, man. I don’t know. I think you, I mean, you know, this. You move to a place and you start to just sort of absorb the culture. Like, even if it’s subconscious, right. I mean, in Colorado, especially. It’s like the Mecca for bluegrass music. Right. And so every band out there, you know, and like you go to a brewery, there’s a banjo, there’s a mandolin, there’s a fiddle, you know, it’s like every band has that makeup.

John Nash (00:37:05):
But he’s just an interesting cat. He talks a lot about being in the scene and sort of being like, Nope, I’m not gonna learn how to play a Scruggs lick. I’m not gonna, you know, [vocalizes], like the stereotypical banjo sound and the tunes that they want people to play. He’s just not about that. He’s like transcribing classical pieces and putting them on the banjo. And he’s just, yeah, he’s just a really interesting cat. And I remember the very first time I heard the uke and the banjo together it was a trip. I was like, Whoa, that is… I mean, I love that that’s your description is it’s different. Because that’s cool. You know, like I think that that’s one of the biggest things where I’m like, you know, performing solo with a ukulele is hard. There’s not a lot of people in the world that can do it well, you know. And even some of those people after an hour and a half, it’s like, you probably don’t want to listen to ukulele anymore.

Brad Bordessa (00:38:01):
Yeah, you’re tapped.

John Nash (00:38:01):
Yeah. And so, yeah, you’re tapped and it’s like, you know, it’s just not a very big and powerful instrument.

Brad Bordessa (00:38:07):
Did you sell the band on, Hey, why don’t you bring in an ukulele?

John Nash (00:38:11):
Not at all. Not at all, actually. You know, I told you it was more like kind of mosaic, just collage style, you know. Like just tunes that I’d written, that one we played. You know, tunes that I’d written and he would just kind of jump… I mean, to tell you the truth, it was mostly me that kind of put the band together and I was playing with an upright bass at the time, which is always, you know, kind of a cool mix. The extremes of the sonic spectrum. But you know, there’s something about that too, where it’s like, I think that upright bass and banjo or ukulele are a little too far away. It almost feels like they’re kind of ships passing in the night. It’s not like you’re stepping on anybody’s toes, but it’s also like, there’s a lot missing there.

John Nash (00:38:57):
And so just trying to figure out what that fill was. I mean, what’s the classic one, right? It’s guitar. Right. You put the guitar, it takes up all the mids. And there are a lot of groups you’ve seen that it’s like, okay, ukulele kind of soloist with guitar backing. I mean, that’s sorta like the structure, right. So I was like, nah, I mean I’m not even interested in playing with a guitarist, even though it’s lovely. I think I’m more interested in playing with a guitarist, like lanai style, you know, barbecue style, like just hanging out. But in terms of like making art or making music, I’ve seen it done. Like I’ve heard guitar all the time. You know, it’s like the most ubiquitous instrument out there. And so the first time I played with it, it was just like, there’s something about those two instruments. I really think they’re like almost soulmates, super crazy, right?

John Nash (00:39:43):
Like reentrant tuning on the top string for the banjo too. And it’s like, that’s the one thing that I’ve really loved playing with this banjo player is it’s just like, I’m learning so much, just like such a different approach to the instrument, you know? Before, you know, I play re-entrant and tuning and I never thought of anything melodic on the high-g. Ever. Like never taught it. Never played it. Never even like visualized it. Right. It was almost like a rhythmic element for me. But the second I started watching him play. I’m like, they do it all the time. That’s all they do. Banjo players play every melody and they’re like, “Can I play it, like, 90% in this chord shape? Cause that’s what I’m going to do.” Right. And so, and it sounds beautiful and it’s almost effortless except, you know, it’s really heavy right-Handed. You got to learn a lot of right-hand technique. You got to get really smooth. But it was pretty crazy because the second, I almost like… It’s almost like a conceptual switch that you make where you start to see melody crisscrossing across the A-string and the G-string. And it’s like, Oh my God, this is so much easier. You know, in a lot of ways it really, really makes sense.

John Nash (00:40:50):
So yeah, I think we were talking about that the Asian vibe though, because I never even finished that story. He worked for a while in Japan. So super obsessed with the culture and a lot of the mythology there. That tune is actually about kind of Japanese mythology of senicide, which is like basically killing old people when they’re ready to die and they ask you, then you’d like, take them out into the woods and like leave them there.

John Nash (00:41:20):
So obachan means grandmother and there’s like this mountain somewhere in Japan that, you know, legend tells of people taking their grandma out there and like leaving them. But the cool part is, is like, you know, of course Japanese grandmother, all the way to the end, she’s like breaking twigs and throwing them over her shoulder so he can find his way home. So it’s a… Dark was the right word for it.

John Nash (00:41:44):
But it’s a, you know, it’s an interesting mix. And I think that like, if I am going to take time away from my job, I guess, you know, like teaching and making money or my family, it’s gotta be different for me. It’s gotta be interesting. And the instant I heard banjo and uke together. I was like, well, I’ve never heard that before. And it’s really cool. It’s really cool. It’s like, you know, we don’t play with a drummer either. And so it’s almost like we’re all the rhythm section. And it just, it’s such an intricate dance trying not to like step on people’s toes. And it’s really, really cool. It’s also a different thing too, because it’s such a different power dynamic too. Banjo is just a cannon, right?

Brad Bordessa (00:42:26):
I was going to ask about that. Do you ever struggle with dynamics?

John Nash (00:42:28):
Oh yeah. All the time. All the time. I mean, I think in the rehearsal setting, I don’t, because we’re like close, right? Well, obviously not with COVID. I think we had our first rehearsal… We’ve had two rehearsals since like the last couple of weeks. So it’s been really good. But yeah, I struggle with all the time. I was on a kick for a while there. I was like, I’m going to find a luthier to build me like the loudest ukulele possible. Like I’m like, can you do it with a baritone body? Can you like restring it. I want a baritone that’s tuned this way. I don’t want that like crazy high tension. I don’t wanna break necks when I’m doing it, but it’s like, I just needed a louder instrument. I think that the loudest one I’ve heard is probably a Blackbird, but I don’t know. Nobody wanted to go on that road with me.

John Nash (00:43:07):
I think I asked Joe too. I was like, “Hey man, I like, this is what I want to do. I want to like prototype.” But I think asking a luthier to build a new instrument is like walking into a machine shop and being like, “Okay, none of this is right. Build me something completely different!” You know, and like basically retool your whole shop to do it. But yeah, it’s fun. I mean, I would say that more than anything is, it’s just a lot of fun. Cause it’s like, it almost made me excited about music again, because it’s just like so different. You know, I love that when that happens in playing too, it’s just like new tuning, new instruments, something that just like really kind of gets those creative juices flowing again, which is really cool.

Brad Bordessa (00:43:48):
So important.

John Nash (00:43:49):
Yeah. For sure. Thanks for listening.

Brad Bordessa (00:43:51):
Of course. Yeah, my pleasure. It sounded great. I found your Bandcamp, which is… Is that a good way for people to listen to the music?

John Nash (00:43:58):
It’s one of those things where we’re sort of in this really interesting phase where we’re making stuff that’s cool enough that I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’d share this. I want people to hear this,” but also it’s like, you know, just like anything else, it requires time and effort and like got to build a website, gotta do this. Gotta play shows. Got to… So yeah, there’s a whole dynamic there, but yeah, Bandcamp is the best place to check it out. We’re on Spotify now. We actually have two new cuts. I’ll forward those over to you. Two new songs that just haven’t been released yet. Cause I have to make the artwork, you know, it’s like, I got to learn how to do Photoshop and all that stuff.

Brad Bordessa (00:44:35):
After our conversation, John sent over a couple of new The Council tracks to share with you folks. This one is called “Soul Matron” featuring John Nash on the ukulele.

John Nash (00:49:34):
Yeah. Do you have any interest in trying to make live playing more of your thing or…

Brad Bordessa (00:49:40):
As far as gigging goes?

John Nash (00:49:41):
Yeah, yeah, totally.

Brad Bordessa (00:49:43):
Yeah. I mean, that’s always been part of the fire. But it’s hard here. I’ve consciously made a decision to be in the country, in a beautiful location where I can have space around me and, you know, take advantage of that. But that’s also totally detrimental to my music career. That’s sort of, you know, with that decision, I sort of kiss a lot of opportunities goodbye. And I’m a quiet guy. I don’t like hustling gigs. And there’s a lot of the gigs that can be had are like at the hotels and you gotta hustle and you’re up against Sonny Lim and Kunia Galdeira and all these like heavy-hitter Hawaiian guys who make a living playing music and, you know, if I can just stay my pajamas and work on the website all day, make that work, you know? That’s sort of… To me, that’s that’s the trade off. That’s my musical outlet. More so than the gigging. But I also get to farm and be outside all day.

John Nash (00:50:42):
No, that’s great. I think that’s really good. Are you feeling a little bit of a push to kind of create something? Like new project, new music? I know you said you haven’t touched your uke in a little bit, but it’s like…

Brad Bordessa (00:50:55):
Well, I mean, I’ve been playing, it’s just, it hasn’t been like super inspiring times. I think it’s going to come out down the pipe. But for me that’s music is like, everything takes a couple of years to boil down. I really want to do a Hawaiian album, like a good Hawaiian album, but it’s such… I’m only going to get one chance to do it. And I want it to really kick butt. I want it to be remarkable and interesting and just threading that needle and being… Paying respects to that background of Hawaiian music that I have, but I’m also the haole guy. But also being kind of innovative is… I’m struggling with seeing how that’s going to happen. And it feels very scary to get started, but I think it’s going to be… Like, I was inspired actually listening to your stuff. The new stuff, just in seeing like that EP approach or the single approach. It’s like, it doesn’t have to be a whole album. That feels so huge.

John Nash (00:51:51):
It is. It’s a monstrosity. And people have found ways around it, right? Like the whole Kickstarter, you’re paying me before, you know, you’re buying my album before it’s even… Before I’ve recorded one thing, you know, and it’s like, some of these songs haven’t been written yet and you’re buying this album, you know. That whole approach, I think… I mean good on people for being creative and innovative for like figuring out how to fund things. That’s awesome. But it’s also like, yeah, it’s a huge undertaking. It’s a huge undertaking if you want to do it right.

Brad Bordessa (00:52:24):
Yeah. I mean, I have the stuff. I can do it myself. I did do it myself. If Only was… I did all of that. But it was like, it’s such a big project. You’re going to spend months and months and months mixing and working.

John Nash (00:52:35):
Or you’re going to pay somebody else to do that. Like, you know, that’s the other route you can go, but yeah. I mean, for us, it’s sort of like… It just makes way more sense. It’s like, release a song. Record one song and do it because it’s such a more digestible project, you know? And I think that it’s almost necessary for where we’re at too, because it’s like, we are learning a new recording at home kind of thing, working with the engine sound engineer, you know. Like getting our tracks in the right format. All of that stuff is just, it’s a whole learning process. So it’s so great that we don’t have this whole album where six of the songs are garbage because you did it wrong. You know….

Brad Bordessa (00:53:18):
How has that been working with an engineer?

John Nash (00:53:21):
It’s been really cool actually. His name is Brian. He’s awesome. He’s a really, really great sound engineer. And what I really like about him too, is he kind of gets that we’re doing something different. I mean, you know, he engineers in Colorado. So what he’s recording is mostly like, you know, amateur, you know, I want to record something and it’s the only album I’ll ever record, you know? And it’s like these covers and one of my original songs. And so it’s a lot of those projects because, you know, he works at a place called Swallow Hill or it’s like bluegrass bands. Right. And so I have a feeling, you know, I don’t want to speak for him, but I have a feeling that he’s kind of like, “Oh, I’ve never heard this.” And to an engineer who probably does the same thing all the time, that’s gotta feel refreshing. If you do that day in and day out years and years and you’re hearing the same music over and over again, it’s got to get a little old. So I think that he digs the freshness of it.

John Nash (00:54:12):
And also there’s a little bit of a sensibility there. I can tell he’s like a rocker like that. That’s the one thing I would say is, is like people ask me, like, how do you describe this music? And I’m like, I don’t know, like old people metal? Old people rock? I don’t know. It’s like all acoustic prog rock. That’s kinda how I view it because all three of us’s bands were like into bands, like Tool growing up and Rage Against the Machine and you know, just like really heavy stuff. I just got in this band, Polyphia, have you heard this band?

Brad Bordessa (00:54:42):
I haven’t.

John Nash (00:54:42):
You gotta check out Polyphia. They’re insanity. But I remember that same feeling of like, you know, kind of being younger and on the edge, but I’m like, but I can’t plug my guitar in and like full distortion. Like I can’t do that anymore.

Brad Bordessa (00:54:52):
Okay. So that’s interesting. Because I do come from kind of a similar background where… Well sort of. Because I grew up playing Hawaiian music and learning Hawaiian music and that’s what I played, but like listening interests were more like heavy rock and Tool and Rage Against the Machine.

John Nash (00:55:08):
You’re from Cali, right?

Brad Bordessa (00:55:08):
Yeah. I think it’s in the water. Do you ever feel like you can’t do certain things or that you’re totally missing out playing the ukulele? Does any of that translate?

John Nash (00:55:16):
All the time. All the time. Yeah.

Brad Bordessa (00:55:17):
Because I find that that’s frustrating. I was like, this is such amazing music. This really speaks to me, but I can’t capture barely any of it.

John Nash (00:55:25):
Yeah. I think that there’s a… Well, I would probably say that like artistically, you know, like we… There is sort of those two sides to me, the professional and the teaching side, and then the actual like musician and artist side. Like the journey I’ve been on that is all about that. It’s kind of like, what do I do with this? Cause that’s the one thing dropping into Colorado, right? Like you can go to bluegrass jams all the time. I’ve been to one or two and I played, you know, I’ve tried to shred on my uke or whatever, but it’s just like, it’s just coming, not made for that scene. It’s like, it’s somebody showing up in the total wrong clothes, you know, it’s sorta like… I mean, it was cool. It was super fun, but it’s also like, I don’t vibe with that music so much.

John Nash (00:56:08):
And I definitely don’t vibe in the same way with Hawaiian music. I love it. It’s awesome. And I know that there’s a tradition there that I totally respect and, and can really appreciate, but I don’t vibe with it. You know, I’m not Hawaiian, I’m not from here. And so it’s like playing an instrument that’s so wedded to that scene in that culture is it’s been a really interesting journey. It’s just been really interesting to try and like wrap my head around trying to do something that’s different and really engaging for myself. But at the same time, like dealing with like the real limitations of this instrument, right? There are some real limits on it.

Brad Bordessa (00:56:45):
It’s major.

John Nash (00:56:47):
Chokehold, right? Sustain, volume, all of those things. And like plugged in ukulele sound? Like what’s that? And I think that that that’s really what I’ve found most inspiring with working with these guys in the last, you know, two or three years has just been sort of like, Oh, this is like so different. This is such different terrain for ukulele to be in, which is like part of a band in such a different setting. Right? Like you’ve seen ukuleles in a band, but you’ve never really seen a ukulele in a band. You know what I mean? Does that make sense? It’s like, you’ve seen three guys, like a guitarist and a bassist and a ukulele player. And there’s definitely a ukulele in that band, but it’s not like a part of a sonic landscape, it’s carving out its own niche, you know.

Brad Bordessa (00:57:36):
That’s a good way to put it: part of the landscape.

John Nash (00:57:37):
And that’s been the funnest thing, like playing with an upright bassist and a banjo player is it’s kind of like, Whoa, this is something I’ve never even been a part of it. And I love it cause there’s just no blueprints. You know, like I sort of grew up in my teens and twenties playing bass in a band and there’s just so many formulas and so many things that you can look at to go, how do I do this? How do I play bass? Like, what’s my role? How do I fit in? Oh, this band does it like this, this dude does it like this. But it’s like, what I’m doing right now with these guys, I’m kinda like, I can’t look to anybody and be like, well, how do they do it? Like, what are the choices they make? You know? Yeah. It feels sometimes when we’re all playing together, it’s almost like we’re trying to put a puzzle together. Like how do the pieces fit rather than like, Oh, what’s my part. Like, I’ll play lead while you’re playing rhythm and that just never really happens. It’s kind of like, okay, you’re doing that crazy thing. Like, where’s the holes, where do I fit? Or you’re kind of light and a ethereal, I’ll be more grounded and rooted and rhythmic, you know, it’s more like you’re kind of trying to play with these elements like that rather than just be like, what are the chords? I’ll solo now. You know, it just doesn’t happen. It’s really interesting. And again, nice to find somebody to kinda like talk to about it because it’s almost like that in itself is a little bit isolating as well, especially recording at home, you know. It’s so different now not being able to be in a room where it’s like, you just get a part, you put headphones on and you’re like, I think this fits okay, I’ll record it.

John Nash (00:59:08):
And I think that, that’s what what’s really cool about working with a sound engineer too. We really feel like he’s kind of like a fourth member of the band. Because a lot of the tune said you heard and the two tunes that, you know, we’re about to release. It’s like, they didn’t sound like that when we sent it to them. So yeah, it’s really cool because it’s almost like, well, what’s it going to sound like? I think we’ve given away that necessity to be able to reproduce something live and say, it’s gotta sound like what it sounded like when we wrote it, because now it’s like, we’re getting into territory where it’s like, well, we didn’t write that together. We wrote that in three different places on three different computers on three different instruments, you know? So it’s really, it’s a fun process for sure. Awesome.

Brad Bordessa (00:59:53):
Well, you want to leave us with another tune? You want to play an instrumental?

John Nash (00:59:57):
Oh God, I’d have to think. Let me dig deep. Let me dig deep.

Brad Bordessa (01:00:02):
Cause we didn’t even talk about Moment.

John Nash (01:00:04):
Yeah. Oh my God.

Brad Bordessa (01:00:06):
I was quite impressed with your playing chops.

John Nash (01:00:10):
Thank you so much, man.

Brad Bordessa (01:00:11):
They were there. You know, you had a really good feel and not everybody gets that. They might have the chops, but they’re not in the music in that way that’s so involved.

John Nash (01:00:21):
Thanks. Yeah. Well, it was really interesting is like, you were kind of talking about this single release and all that stuff. That was basically like an album that felt like a single, you know. And one of the reasons I named the album, like, this is just a moment. Like this is this is a snapshot into like where I’m at right now. I’ve been spending far too much time trying to learn how to play ukulele. I mean, basically it was like after maybe eight months of being unemployed and like four, six hour sessions just like playing, playing, playing, playing. Like laying on my back cause I couldn’t sit anymore, you know, kind of thing. But just trying to learn every… I was watching Kalei Gamiao videos, you know, trying to figure out how to play that crazy song he filmed on Jon Yamasato’s channel.

Brad Bordessa (01:01:07):
Oh, HiSessions?

John Nash (01:01:08):
Yeah. If it was like a CD, I would have like worn grooves in… Or a record. I would’ve like worn grooves into it. You know, it’s like just watching that video over and over again. Just trying to figure out what he’s doing and experimenting everything I could, you know. Because it’s not like I could ask him or it’s not like the video was clear enough that I could figure it out. Or maybe my head wasn’t clear enough that I could figure it out. Right. Like it’d be such a different experience to try and take it on now. But yeah, just lots of that, right? Like a lot. I mean, almost every one of those tunes was basically just like an echo of something else that I was trying to figure out how to do.

John Nash (01:01:42):
One of those tunes is me trying to figure out how James Hill was doing one of his, like the little tick-tock rhythm with a right hand. What’s that called? You know what I’m talking about?

Brad Bordessa (01:01:53):
Is that like the boom chick things he does?

John Nash (01:01:54):
Yeah. And it was like, Like a Bird or something where he’s doing the… You know, what I’m talking about? Like he’s tapping on the board and stuff? And I was just watching that video over and over again, and basically like wrote a lick out of it and turned that thing into a song. So every one of those almost feels like just like a regurgitation or like a filter of something else that I had heard. But what’s really funny too, is it’s like that almost put me on the path to like, I’m never going to stop playing this instrument because I just devoted so much time to it. More than I ever had at any other instrument. Right. Like I can play bass, I can play guitar, but never really dug deep the same way I did with this instrument. And I think like we kind of like made a connection there and it was like, okay, well I guess we’re stuck together forever.

John Nash (01:02:41):
Yeah. But it’s also one of those things. It’s like you put music out into the world and then it’s onto the next thing. Right? It’s like, what do I do? What do I do now? You know? Cause I really do think that there is something very gratifying about the process of that, of like being like, okay, we’re going to record something. This song is finished. And again, you know, the instrumental chops, they might not even be there anymore because of all the stuff I’ve been doing in this band. It’s just such a different role. A lot more singing, a lot more harmonies and stuff. And it’s just like, it’s just a muscle that I haven’t really worked out in a long time. Right. Like he’s trying to say like get those chops back. It’s like, I dunno if they’re there anymore.

Brad Bordessa (01:03:22):
Is the album still available?

John Nash (01:03:23):
It is. It’s probably on Bandcamp. And I would say, this to like any listeners out there who are looking for a way to support musicians. This is the best way to do it. They have an incredible platform. I mean, they’re still doing that like we’re not taking any cut of this. Like all the money goes to you. So if you ever see, you know, any friends who are writing original music and in bands or anything like that, and they’re trying to sell their stuff on Bandcamp on a Friday, it’s probably because they’re going to get all that money. So if you’re ever wanting to like support them in the best way, just do it like that. Go buy their album. 10 bucks. You know, I think it goes a long way, but it also is… I personally think that like keeping that contractual agreement alive for musicians. Like putting value to it. Like what’s 10 bucks? 10 bucks is nothing. And like, it means so much to somebody who’s put like a lot of love, sweat, tears into a single or into an album. It just means the world to somebody, you know. It might not be putting diapers on a kid, but it just means a lot. So yeah. If you ever want to support people, that’s the way to do it. Yeah. Bandcamp.

John Nash (01:04:34):
I hadn’t thought about it in the original.

Brad Bordessa (01:04:36):
I just naturally assumed that because you did the album that, that was sort of your jam was the instrumental…

John Nash (01:04:42):
No, I just don’t do it anymore. I mean, it’s funny because that conversation kinda came up. Like it’s impossibly hard to carry an hour of music by yourself on stage with a ukulele. And then you’re not allowed to sing either. Right? Like that’s… It’s insane. That’s insane. There’s like one or two people in the world who can do it. And I really think that that’s really speaking to the limitations of the instrument. You know? It really is Like, I’ve definitely watched a person poke around on a laptop for an hour and just think about the sonic range they have on a computer. Being able to, you know, create all these kinds of sounds. And the ukulele is really limited in that. And so, yeah, I don’t really do the instrumental run anymore. It’s not my bag anymore.

John Nash (01:05:27):
And it’s also kind of like, there’s people who do it so much better. Like, why am I going to go down that road? You know? It was just a different, it’s a different time in your life too. Right? Like, I think there’s something about being young that makes you want to be technical. It makes you want to get chops. You’re like, “Oh, if I could play that fast,” “Oh, if I could strum that fast” and it’s kinda like, you get older and you’re like, yeah, that’s not what it’s about. Yeah.

Brad Bordessa (01:05:54):
Chill out.

John Nash (01:05:55):
Yeah. Chill out. That’s so not what it’s about. And you hear it all the time. Right? Like a lot of the older cats in the ukulele scene, they’re saying that about the young kids. They’re like, you don’t have to play that fast.

Brad Bordessa (01:06:06):
Give them 10 years.

John Nash (01:06:08):
But it’s also… It’s kind of like, what’s really funny about it is it’s like, you felt that way. Right? You felt like this instrument isn’t powerful enough. And I think that’s the one thing that I’ve really started to like dig with this band is I’m like, Oh, I can do it. Like you just put two more people in the room, you get a little bit more energy. And it’s like, Oh my God. Now I can kind of rock on this thing, which has been really fun. It’s a whole lot of fun for sure.

Brad Bordessa (01:06:36):
Well, thanks so much for joining me, John.

John Nash (01:06:37):
Yeah. Thank you, Brad.

Brad Bordessa (01:06:39):
Best place for people to find you is ukuleleinspired.com?

John Nash (01:06:41):
That’s right. ukuleleinspired.com. If you want to check out some, some different music; ukulele, banjo, and upright bass, you can find it on Bandcamp. The band is called The Council.

Brad Bordessa (01:06:52):
Nice. And the old album, which is

John Nash (01:06:54):
That’s right. Moment from John Nash. You’ll probably find that on Bandcamp. If you’re looking for a young person trying to be technical.

Brad Bordessa (01:07:02):
I really liked it. I thought it was very tasteful and well done.

John Nash (01:07:05):
Thank you, man.

Brad Bordessa (01:07:07):
I was so glad you reached out and sent the CD. It was very enjoyable to listen to.

John Nash (01:07:12):
It was kind of interesting that like kind of phase, right. It’s just like, there’s these little islands of ukulele content and information and you know, it’s kinda like you’re separated by this ocean of like all the other stuff in the world. And so, yeah, I think I sent that out to, yeah… You were one of a handful of people that I sent that out to. I may have sent it to some players that I really respected and probably ripped off. A lot of players that I’ve probably ripped off. It’s just like Easter egg. Like, what’s your track?

John Nash (01:07:45):
Yeah. I was going to say that too. If you want to support local music, digital is the way to do it. So websites like… Don’t just stream them on Spotify because they don’t see it. They don’t see any of that money.

Brad Bordessa (01:07:55):
Yeah. That’s not a good source of revenue for an artist.

John Nash (01:07:58):
Not at all at all.

Brad Bordessa (01:08:01):
All right, man. Well, enjoy the rest of your trip and…

John Nash (01:08:03):
I will. Thanks so much, Brad. It’s been awesome and very rejuvenating to be up here. I love your place. All right. Take care, man.

Brad Bordessa (01:08:16):
Yeah. Support your local musicians and instructors, or even just the ones you enjoy online. It’s really tough to make the dots meet up these days and they would appreciate your support in any way you want to send it.

Brad Bordessa (01:08:34):
If you want to find more about John Nash’s music, you can find him on Bandcamp, under The Council or just John Nash. He also can be found on his ukulele teaching website, ukuleleinspired.com, where you can find out more about his private lessons and workshops.

Brad Bordessa (01:08:56):
If you want to support what I’m doing here on the podcast, best way to do that would be to head over, to liveukulele.com. Copy that link and post it up to your social medias or your website or anywhere you have a platform, spread the word. And if a more financial contribution is your speed, check out some of my eBooks or my new online video course called 6th Sense. It’s a great way for you to get some awesome ukulele instructional content. And for me to continue paying my bills, support the time that I put into this podcast and keep the whole show rolling. Thank you so much.

Brad Bordessa (01:09:39):
The Live Ukulele Podcast is published on the first and third Saturdays of every month. We’ll be back here in boy, July already. Gosh, it’s just like last year it was 2020. Oh my. Anyways. I hope you’re all well out there. Take care of one another and keep playing your ukulele. And yeah, be in touch if I can provide any assistance for you or if you have any comments or feedback on the podcast, I’ll see you in the next episode. Brad Bordessa signing out. Aloha.

brad bordessa avatar About the author: Brad Bordessa I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from an off-grid cabin in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once jammed with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me

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