Interview: Kody Reeder
After multiple sessions with your latest EP, I can say I’m honored to have you In the Music Sanctum. I don’t even know where to start.
Please tell me, is Kody a full-time musician or do you create on the side?
Well, it’s really my privilege that you chose to review the EP. That said, I mostly create on the side. I once was a musician that travelled and played weeks out of the year. Now I chose to play and write at my own pace, recording in my own home.
When was the first time you heard the ‘calling’ to bring your own music to life and how did it happen?
I’ve always wanted to do solo projects but always struggled with the battle of not knowing if my material would be good enough. I was going through a particularly rough time in my life when a friend mentioned therapy to me. It’s something that I thought about and even looked into. I didn’t realize the financial investment it would take. That led to me picking up a guitar and writing about memories I’ve buried for many years. The more I wrote, the more I felt at peace. Once I had a few songs together, I knew it was something that I wanted to share with the world.
Is Kody Reeder a solo project or is there a band supporting you? Are you a multi-instrumentalist?
I recorded everything but cello and drums on the EP. I have a close friend who added a few guitar parts but the majority of what you hear was recorded by myself. I wanted people to not only hear the raw emotion in the melody and lyrics, but also the music itself. That was really important to me.
That said, I do have a group of friends that will support the project live.
Do you feel there are specific artists or albums that might have inspired your sound? What kind of music stimulates you?
There are a few bands that come to mind. I remember listening to the album “Plans” by Death Cab for Cutie and it changed my life. American Football and Frightened Rabbit are two other artist that have inspired me to be the musician I am today. I would say most of my songs have been inspired by them one way or the other.
Although your debut EP ‘Anxiety’ has many moods, it feels very cohesive. I can’t help wondering, was it written during a specific era of yours or is it just pieces of different time periods put together?
They are a bit scattered over the 28 years of my life. Some songs go back from when I was just a child, others are more recent, even from the past 18 months or so. All were written around the same time but the stories themselves come from different moments of my life.
Can you please take us a bit deeper into the stories of ‘Insecurity’ and ‘Paige’? If it’s not too invasive of course.
Insecurity is a letter to my mother sent from the 6-year-old version of myself. My mom was in and out through my childhood, I’ve realized that many of the things I struggle with today stems from that. I wanted to write a song that would express the emotions of a boy who failed to earn his mothers love while also expressing the effects it had on my life. It’s the hardest song I’ve ever wrote.
Paige, I’m not sure where to begin. A close friend of mine lost his fiancé to suicide. I’ve never experienced a loss to someone that close to me. Seeing the effects it had on him, the depression, loneliness and other battles that come with that, It was hard not to write about it. The song is based on his perspective during that trying time. It was an emotional moment when I showed him the song.
I know they are all your children but, is there a song or two that feels more special and may even follow you forever?
I think Anxiety will be the song people associate me with. I’ve heard from many people that they relate so much to that song. I remember writing it, in a very fragile state mentally and feeling like it was the first time I truly expressed my feelings. Every time I hear that song, I feel a sense of peace in a way. It was a truly dark time for me, I think it will encourage people knowing they’re not alone. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Insecurity would be the other. Someone mentioned that song as “sadly beautiful”. It’s probably my favorite compliment of all time.
How did it feel to release such personal material out in the world?
I was nervous at first. Releasing something so personal, what would potential listeners think about me, not just as an artist but human being? I’ve allowed the world to see a side of me that I barely knew myself. Now that the music is out there, I’m encouraged by the response. At first, this was just therapy for me, now that it’s released, I hope it will be therapy for someone else. Mental health is so important. I want this project to bring awareness to that.
Closing the ‘Anxiety’ subject, can you please express yourself on the ‘Anxiety’ music video and its creation? It’s such an accurate representation of the homonymous track.
I wanted people to watch the video and say, “I’ve been there before”. Whether it’s dragging yourself out of bed or spending an hour in the shower, staring at a wall. Anxiety and depression feels like a weight on you, constantly dragging you down. The scene when he burns his hand making coffee, that was an important part of the video. For those who’ve never battled mental health, something that small can completely ruin your day when you’re in a fragile mindset. I was proud of how it turned out. I think it’s emotional but extremely relatable at the same time.
What is Kody’s deepest fear and what makes him the happiest?
Failure is my deepest fear, letting others and myself down. I’m happiest when I’m social. I love being around family and friends doing different activities. I also love getting to know new people.
What are you currently listening to?
Besides the favorites I mentioned earlier, I’ve been listening to a lot of Owen, KennyHoopla and From Indian Lakes. Love all of those artists.
Has the pandemic affected your artistic endeavours? Are you planning to bless us with more material in the near future?
Like most, I found myself home a lot more during the pandemic. It did allow me to focus more on writing and recording. That said, it took away the ability to see my favorite artist live. I miss concerts so much. I have two songs written and ready to record. I plan on releasing singles for a while till I feel a full album is the right thing to do. With the EP just coming out, I’m hoping to have another song or two released by then end of the year.
Enjoy Kody Reeder here: