Originally appeared as ‘The 405 meets Cub Sport’ on the 405; view archived article here.
The road to Cub Sport’s self-titled record has been anything but smooth. The band went through a moniker change, split from their label, and weathered personal revelations as they penned and released two EPs and two full-lengths too. Now LP3 is upon us, and represents a fuller, more introspective group of individuals than fans have really seen before. Their last album, BATS, celebrated the public aspects of self-acceptance, specifically in coming to terms with a queer identity. The new album channels that love inward.
Read an excerpt of the interview below and find more here.
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What are your first impressions on Cub Sport by Cub Sport?
Tim Nelson: I feel like this new record has a lighter energy around it. I didn’t write it during a particularly light time—there was a lot of pressure and I had a bunch of health issues and was going through so many enormous changes and with a larger audience it felt like the stakes were higher. I don’t know quite how to describe it but I feel like through being so open about my sexuality and my identity it opened me up throughout my whole life, like outside of my sexuality. Through all of that growing, I gained a lot of perspective and I feel like I’ve kind of learned a lot about recurring cycles in my life, like acting out of fear and shame and that sort of thing.
I can definitely hear that. I’d love to go through some of the songs specifically too, starting with the opener, “Unwinding Myself.” An a cappella song on a pop record is bold and making it the first track is downright brave.
Tim Nelson: That song literally just came out of me. I pressed record and started singing. Later I thought I’d put synths behind that but I realized that I had been singing in between keys—like the notes that I’m singing in certain parts of it aren’t actually notes. [laughs] So I was like, ‘OK, I guess this was meant to be a cappella.’ I also thought of trimming it down, but then thought that I might be doing that out of fear and so I decided against it. I’ve come to believe that all creativity comes from a higher place or somewhere else and so I’ve learned to respect my own work and believe in it.
Also recently, I’ve done a bunch of reading and learned a lot about the power of our subconscious. I grew up in like a very homophobic environment so although I was shown a lot of love, I had an internal battle going on. Before I started writing BATS especially, I was riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing and so much shame about who I was. I feel like there’s a lot of that in my subconscious that I’m still working through. And I feel like I’m really starting to get somewhere with it. So the song is about unwinding this inner tension that’s been there, and kind of relaxing my being so that I can express myself to my fullest potential and be the best version of myself. I wrote that before I really understood a lot about it and now it’s tying itself together for me now.