The Bergamot is one of our favorite bands. Like, we’re not gonna hide it. They’ve got a great sound, beautiful story, and they just keep getting better. When they reached out to find out about how InQua Magazine was doing, it was a perfect time to find out what Nathaniel and Jillian have been up to! The Bergamot is dropping a new single today, “Periscope,” so we wanted to share that below with everyone as well! We cap off our discussion with the story of how Nathaniel and Jillian first met and fell for each other. I mean…it’s Valentine’s Day, we had to.
Listen to their new single as you read!
Tristan: So glad we could catch up! Let’s start with what’s happening today. Tell us about your new single!
The Bergamot: We are so excited to release this single. It has been a long time coming. The song was written in 2016 on The Unity Collective Tour to all 50 States while we were filming our documentary called “State of the Unity”. It was a vulnerable period for myself and for our relationship. I was a struggling husband trying to let my worried wife know that we will be alright. Even though to this day I have probably never been more scared for our lives and overall well being then during those months. Falling in love is easy, staying in love is hard. I have always been fascinated by the ocean.
During our journey in 2016, I was reading the great maritime novel Moby Dick during our journey from sea to shining sea. Most of the book is spent swimming through life at sea. The great sighting only occurs in the last few pages of the book. The real story is the journey – and the journey the story. Road life has a way of stripping life down to the very basics. “Periscope” attempts to paint love as it occurs living out on the road. As if I was submerged under the ocean waters, viewing the vastness of life and love through the narrow lens of a periscope.
It is so fun to be able to catch up with you! Wow, so much has happened over the last year and a half.
Tristan: Last time we’d talked, you were about to take the stage at the Aloft Hotel in Queens. That night you guys won the Project: Aloft Star competition, it was awesome! How did that win influence 2018? Did you get to travel and play for Aloft? How was your one on one with a big-wig producer?
The Bergamot: It was an experience that changed our lives. From the finale that night to the tour across the U.S. opening for acts like X Ambassadors, Bea Miller, and BANNERS. We learned so much from those artists. Then we got to go out west and meet with Darrell Brown. He helped us with some songs that we are working on for our NEXT record. Hard to believe I am even saying that on the eve of this record… But nonetheless, we are always working hard! I think we will look back at that part of our lives and realize how much it changed the course of our journey. We literally will never be the same.
Tristan: I’m so glad! Darrell was so knowledgeable, I remember being in awe when interviewing him before that show. I know you were able to head to London last spring, what was that experience like?
The Bergamot: There is so much great music coming out of London. Matt Wiggins has his hand in so many great records that have come out of the London scene over the last 10 years. We began working with Matt Wiggins on our single “P.D.R.” that won us some amazing accolades, as well as great features in both the U.K. and the U.S. That was winter 2017! Spring of 2018 we went to London to have Matt produce our full length record and that is the record we are gearing up to release. “Periscope” marks the first song from the London sessions.
Tristan: You won an Emmy! How? What did it feel like to hold that award?
The Bergamot: That thing is heavy! It was unbelievable. Honestly, to be in the room with all the talent and then have the segment win, is surreal! We just thought it would be a great event to attend, next thing you know we are walking on stage. It was a pleasure working with the team at The Grotto Network and The University of Notre Dame. It was an amazing collaboration. I think it is a good omen for our documentary set to be released this fall.
— The Bergamot (@the_bergamot) November 12, 2018
Tristan: What’s on your radar now? Can we expect an album release in the coming months? A new tour?
The Bergamot: All of the above! We will be releasing a new single every 6 weeks over the next year. A new video and single. So we are working really hard right now to film, produce, rehearse, write, and get ready to tour. So keep an eye out for all of the new tracks… Then the album will be released in full sometime this summer followed by the documentary. We can’t WAIT!!!
Tristan: How do you feel like your music has changed in the last few years?
The Bergamot: First, living in New York City changes you in every way possible. You literally just soak it in – every last drop. I think our music has a new depth to it that it did not have before. Maybe from NYC, maybe from our travels, maybe just a ton of practice – or maybe just a bit of everything. Another life altering experience was the 50,000 mile journey to all 50 States in 2016.
Out here on the road, we experienced awe-inspiring stories and insights from everyday Americans. We had to go to all 50 states to find them, live with them, breathe with them. This was deeply inspirational. We are sick of a lot of the music on the radio and TV – so much posing. We are really proud of this collection of songs on “Mayflies”, the lyrics, arrangements, and productions. Matt Wiggins and his team are simply genius. We are deeply satisfied with the record we returned with from London.
Tristan: Now for the Valentine’s Day question. When I interview you in NYC a year and a half ago, your dynamic as a musician couple enthralled me (even comparing you with Johnny and June Carter Cash). For the readers out there, share the story of how you both met, dated, and decided to hit the road as a musical duo.
The Bergamot: Jillian and I are high school sweethearts from the heartland. We fell in love in Indiana (Jillian 16 & Nathaniel 18), got married by my great Uncle and partied in a barn until the wee hours of the morning in South Bend, IN (2013). We had been writing quite a bit during those years, with some moderate success, and knew that we were called to this life. Be it divine, or just mad, we knew that we were put on this earth to make music and tour. In the winter of 2014, packed up our belongings and moved to NYC and never looked back. Our single “P.D.R.” began a journey for us that culminated with us winning the “Aloft: Rising Star” competition and then traveling to London to make our new record with Matt Wiggins. I guess it was destiny…