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article imageSinger-songwriter Nick Santino preparing for fall tours Special

By Kathleen Creighton     Sep 1, 2014 in Music
In support of his debut album 'Big Skies' which was released at the end of May on the 8123 management group, Nick Santino is gearing up to tour the UK and North America this fall.
I had the chance to talk to the Braintree, MA native at the Hartford stop of Vans Warped Tour this past July. Another jewel in the crown of the Boston music scene, Santinoa played the Acoustic Basement Stage representing the indie, singer-songwriter division of that musical community.
Santino has been a musician since the age or 12. Although he has great respect for and appreciation of the Bay State hard-core artists, who are immediately associated with the area, his heart and soul are in "Americana", folk rock. Although a small faction, artists of this genre have carved their own niche in Beantown.
How did he join the bill of the Acoustic Basement. Manager of the stage and fellow New Englander, Brian Marquis approached Santino last year and they were able to make it happen for the 2014 tour.
When asked about formal music education, Santino said he did not attend college. With his band, A Rocket To The Moon, he was signed to Fueled By Ramen shortly after high school. FBR discovered the band on MySpace. Today he works with 8123 Management, where he has much freer range to do his own music. In his own words, "I prefer being unsigned and independent. I went through the whole circus of being on a major label. Going from being high priority to low man on the totem pole - bottom of the barrel. Being indie provides the freedom to do whatever you want to do. Releasing music whenever you want to release it. Being more personal with your fans. They know you are working very hard and that everything you are doing is in their best interest. When they are listening to an independent artist the thought is 'this artist is busting their ass for me because they have to'. When you're with a label there are a thousand people behind you. The people posting to your Facebook or responding to posts is someone hired to do media, usually a college intern. So fans think the artist has answered them but it's not. Whereas I have to do all that stuff myself so my fans are excited because they actually did get a reply from me. It is all more personal, more appreciated."
This response brought up the question of his "take-away" from having been on a major. Santino says that he learned a lot about what to do and what not to do, what worked, and what didn't. Today he applies all those lessons and feels stronger as a person and an artist for it.
Nick is not super-strong when it comes to technology. He does use Twitter and Instagram but hasn't attempted any crowdfunding or using sites like SoundCloud to post music. He notes that "Youtube is like Chinese to me" when speaking of uploading his own music to the video site. But when it comes to looking for something to listen to, "If I can't find it on Spotify or iTunes I will look it up on Youtube." In further discussion of YouTube and the announcement of the plans for a new subscription streaming service, like most indie artists, he is not in favor of it in its current state. It is not geared to help artists and/or their labels who will not agree to Google's terms and/or are who not in the media giant's good graces.
The 20th Anniversary edition of Vans Warped Tour was not Santino's first outing with the tour. In 2009 and 2010 ARTOM played selected dates. His answer to the "boot camp vs summer camp question"? "Summer camp. It's fun more than anything. I love walking around and seeing how all the artists work their craft. I'll go see Saves The Day, who I listened to since I was 12 or Vanna (Boston hardcore) then Echosmith who are more indie-hipster. I'm always inspired by live shows."
Beginning on October 1, Nick Santino will reconnect with old friends, label mates and long-time tour-mates, The Maine to play nine shows in the UK. Returning the North American side of the pond, Nick joins up with This Century, Brian Marquis and Austin Gibbs for a three week run around the U.S. with one Canadian stop in Toronto. For tour dates and to purchase tickets visit the Roadshow's page. Big Skies and other Nick Santino merch is available here.
More about Nick Santino, 8123, Long and Winding Roadshow, Vans Warpe, Hartford connecticut
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