Nathan Roberts & the New Birds to head JAM Fest 2Written by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
By Chase Will
On April 12 at 7pm, Toledo-based rock band Nathan Roberts & the New Birds will be headlining JAM Fest 2 at the Strand Concert Theatre.
“It’s awesome to be part of it, especially since it’s benefiting the Human Society,” said Nathan Roberts. “Originally they were going to have me just do an acoustic performance, but I think they got on our website and liked what they heard, because they called back and said they wanted the full band.”
Prior to the band’s formation, Nathan Roberts was a solo artist who got his start through contacts in Nashville. After playing several Toledo venues, Roberts was booked consistently by 101.5 “The River,” and he decided it would be best to have a full band. He recruited his siblings, Daniel and Joel Trzcinski.
The brothers had been taught piano by their mother, and the youngest sibling, Daniel, played melodies before he could even reach the keys properly. The band’s name is inspired by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, a musical influence.
“It was a very natural fit,” said Roberts. “I feel like it’s hard to find a band where you really connect with all the members. Having 2 of my brothers makes it very seamless.”
“I feel like we’re able to be more blunt with each other,” said Joel, drummer for the band. “Overall, different parts of our influences interweave, and you get a 70s vibe from it.”
“It was a natural, organic thing. We all knew sooner or later we’d be doing something like this,” said Daniel, who plays keyboard. “Joel and Nathan had both played in previous bands, and I’d always be around. Music is a huge part of my life, pretty much all I do when I’m not working. I think the same can be said for them.”
Toledo is unique, added Daniel. Touring is fun for the band, but returning home is refreshing because growing up in the city inspired the siblings’ work ethic and musical tastes.
“It’s a great place for getting experience,” said Joel. “I think it’s great from the standpoint of community-mindedness and meeting other musicians. For the most part, Toledo is a bunch of people wanting to support each other.”
“Toledo inspired me in the way that I fall under the category of working really hard, going to the grind and just doing what needs to be done,” said Roberts. “Another band to come out of the area was Sanctus Real. Seeing other guys that young doing something musically, that really influenced me.”
Roberts added that being in a band is a like having a second full-time job, which took a toll on the siblings as they recorded their self-titled debut album. Their official release show was Nov. 1 at The Village Idiot, and the building was packed wall-to-wall.
“You get sucked up in it, and it takes you to another place,” said Roberts. “Chasing after that feeling is what keeps me excited about music.”
“We spent so much time perfecting and recording it,” said Joel. “Walking into the release party, we were literally dragging because it’d been a long week preparing for that show.”
“We all worked full-time jobs and had to drive down to Fremont to record for what seemed like months, and we were worn down,” said Daniel. “But when we had our release show, the crowd response was overwhelming and positive, and it all kinda paid off. All the hard work was worth it.”
As their fan base grows, the band remains enthusiastic about celebrating successes of other up-and-coming artists.
“It reattaches you to why you’re doing music when you’re seeing good things happen with other people,” said Joel. “I know some people look at it as competition, but there are plenty of out there, and good music will always be appreciated.”
Nathan Roberts & the New Birds can be found on iTunes and Soundcloud. Their summer tour schedule is available at nathanrobertsmusic.com.
JAM Fest 2 is a B.Y.O.B. event, but beverages will be sold. The Strand Theatre is located at 220 S. Front St. in Fremont. For more information, call 419-355-8548.