An Interview with Michael Nau of Page France

Not too long ago, Page France released their debut album, Come, I’m a Lion on local label, The Orchard. Well now, hardly a year later, they’re ready to release their their sophomore album to the world. Hello, Dear Wind is set to be available for online orders starting July 1st. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited. Thankfully, Michael Nau, the mastermind behind Page France, was willing to do an interview to hold me over until the album’s in my grubby little hands.

How did Page France come to be? While we’re at it, how did the name come to be?

In the spring of 2004, I had a batch of songs that were recorded, and were very naked at the time, so I gave the songs to Clinton, and he worked out some parts. Then, in the summer of that same year, we got together and made the album. There was really no start… it was just sort of a gradual accumulation of songs and whatnot. As for the name… it’s just two easy words for me, but everyone else in the band seems to have their own story about the name, so you’d possibly be able to get something good out of them.

As I listen to your music, I can’t help but be captivated by the intricate nature of it. Your production seems to compliment your lyrics amazingly well. What’s more difficult for you, the songwriting or the recording?

It really changes from day to day. You know, I will go through slumps with writing, as well as with producing. Sometimes it comes together smoothly, but other times it makes for a long day. Both work together, though… the production of a song can shine or rust it. We may be able to acquire a very high fidelity production of a song, but sometimes
the song needs to have a few bumps and bruises… so a lot goes into making it work, but both processes are equally rewarding for me.

You’re also doing solo work with Cotton Jones. Is it difficult to not use up all your creative juices on one project?

Sneaky! I collaborated with Cotton on two songs on his record… but I keep my hands pretty clean from that stuff. It’s all a sham… at least a confusing mystery to me, which even I have yet to tap into. Nonetheless, I get to focus mainly on Page France.

If I may say, your lyrics are certainly poetic. Songs like “So Sweetly” always make me think of a young couple just finding out what love is about. Are any of these type of songs autobiographical in any way?

Most of the songs are a bit reality, and a bit fantasy. It keeps things interesting and fresh for me. If I wrote too autobiographically, folks would be falling asleep left and right, because interesting things aren’t always happening here. I have a different type of connection with each of the songs, and they have sort of become more autobiographical than they were when they were written. Then… sometimes I just completely forget what a song is about once I go back to it after a while has passed, and I sort of get to reinvent it all. That keeps things juicy.

In what ways would you say that Hello, Dear Wind is different from your first album?

I think it’s much more visual. There are a lot of uppers on it… and I think that it will keep you on your toes a bit more than ‘Lion!”. It feels more organic and warm to me. You’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose. Wink wink.

I’ve been reading a lot about The Apple Union in relation to your band. Care to shed any light on what that is exactly? Is it a record label or a group of bands from Cumberland or perhaps a cult?

First and foremost, the Apple Union is definitely a cult. It’s also a production company that Whitney and I are running. It was started with a purpose to release 7”’s, but it turned into more of a, “hey, how about this…?” sort of deal. We produce albums for cheap cheap cheap, as well as offer the fancy shmancy artwork of one of our many talented comrades. But… as stated… the Apple Union is primarily a cult!

In what ways do you hope Page France continues to grow over the coming years?

I want to make a lot of albums, and have plenty of folks come out to shows. Upon those accomplishments, I will be fulfilled.

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