NAS 10 Questions with 2 Odd Dogs
This time we get to know 2 Odd Dogs, AKA the legends that are Ed Eagle, and J.H.M. (Jeff Maiers) NAS founders that really need no introduction, but just in case... These two individuals have been present as solo acts on our charts separately more times than I can count (cue stats-man Daniel Tidwell for the facts there!) Together, this Canada-based power duo is a rock force to be reckoned with. With influences such as The Beatles, Erasure, New Order, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, their style has a really classic blues rock feel with some prog in the mix. Their latest single, Little Pocket is tearing up the charts and went straight to number 1 this week. Let`s get to know them a little more in their own words!
The track "Little Pocket" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
Jeff: I am from Newmarket Ontario. Just north of Toronto. I work full-time as a production manager of a bakery. Would love to make music full time but it, unfortunately, doesn’t pay the bills. I will always write music no matter my situation.
Ed: I am originally from Pittsburgh. I moved to the Toronto area after marrying Jeff's sister. But since Jeff and I were both raising little kids for most of the past 20+ years, we didn't start making music together until 2020.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
Jeff: I can only think so far back and the memory is always the same. A piano at my grandparent's house that a relative would sit and play for us all. When he wasn’t there I would sit at the piano and pretend to play. My father always listened to music so that was my introduction to the styles of music that would inspire me. Plenty of ’70s music as well as ’60s roll and roll. I think the new wave of the late ’70s and the original alternative music of the 80s was probably the style I started writing serious music for.
Ed: Music is in my family. My grandpa played guitar and banjo. My dad was too shy to do it in front of others, but he also played guitar at one time and had a really good, deep voice. But my mom was my biggest musical inspiration. We always had music on around the house, everything from Patsy Cline to AC DC and the Scorpions.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
Jeff: Probably the toughest question I could answer. The Beatles were the band I listened to non-stop growing up. Neil Young for guitar and catchy tunes. 80’s synth music. Very catchy music. Erasure. New Order. The Smiths pulled me into more guitar music as opposed to all the synth I was listening to and helped balance out my writing. And Coldplay helped me realize you can put the piano, guitars, and everything else together and still sound different. That has probably led me to the sound I have today.
Ed: Beatles. Jeff and I share a deep love of this band, and his wife even happens to be from Liverpool! I also love so many other acts, from Fiona Apple and Ben Folds Five to Ice Cube to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Metallica and guitar gods like EVH, Vai, Satch, and my all-time guitar idol, Randy Rhoads.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
Jeff: I’d probably be lying if I gave any other answer than have a hit single. I’ve written songs for many years just for myself. But I realize that the only real step for me would be to have a successful song. I’ll write music regardless. But that’s the only goal that I think at the end of the day I’m striving for. To be able to not work full time and just take my time writing music and not have to steal time to rush through things would be an ultimate goal. And none of that is possible without a hit.
Ed: To have our music heard by as many people as possible so that it will have the same impact on some people that our musical idols have on us.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Jeff: Very hard question. I guess I can break it down into 2 ways. The first is when a tune pops up in my head and I race to put it on my phone before it goes. Usually, the song is complete in my head. That’s the easy part. The hard part is actually trying to re-create that song in the real world. Those songs are harder to write because they don’t start with the instrument. The second way is when I sit down at an instrument and just strum or play a few strings or keys and see what comes out. I’d say I have more success this way as when the instrument is in your hands you are already at the drawing board.
Ed: For my solo work, I pretty much write and perform everything. For 2 Odd Dogs, Jeff comes to me with a song and asks me if I'd like to sing it. I typically say, "yes," because he's a brilliant songwriter.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
Jeff: A Day In The Life. It would be a Beatles song no matter what I pick. Hey Jude? Let It Be? There are so many. But I pick A Day In The Life. It’s such a big sound. John Lennon’s voice echoes and gives me the chills. Just a perfect song.
Ed: Paranoid Android by Radiohead. It is melodic and heavy and pretty much the perfect song.
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
Jeff: I’m not sure. I’d just say support from those around me. I think I like the feeling that I get when someone says “I like that”. I’m sure anyone would feel the same.
Ed: Stop being a bedroom guitarist and get your music out there. It came from my best friend, who is a pretty well-known musician back home in Pittsburgh. He saw something in me that I didn't see. It led to me releasing, "The Team," which was basically the birth of NAS.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Jeff: My family. Music is fun and all but it would mean nothing without family. But to keep things in a musical context it would be releasing music to the public. I’ve spent way too many years writing and recording songs that only I listened to. It’s nice to have the opportunity to have my material out there.
Ed: Personally, escaping poverty and breaking that cycle for my kids. Musically, it would be starting NAS. Having my first-ever song featured for a weekend on one of Canada's biggest rock station was pretty cool, too, but NAS has touched so many more people, which is what I always strive to do.
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Jeff: I remember playing live once as a kid and we were doing a cover of She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult. I had no idea who the drummer was who joined us. I didn’t know if he knew the song so I made the sound of the snare in the mic after the intro. Of course, I found out after he knew the song and was going to do it. Probably thought I lost my mind….
Ed: You'll have to read my solo 10 Questions for that one, but I'll give this hint: it includes accidentally peeing in front of my friends' mom ... and not in a toilet. :(
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
Jeff: The lowest point in music for me was the years after I was a teen. While I was a teen I was in bands and played live and really tried to do something. But it was a different time in music. I really couldn’t afford it. So then my music just went into basement recordings and no one would ever hear anything. So the highest point is now. The fact that we can record at home with such high quality and independently release music onto streaming services is almost mind-blowing. It’s allowed me a freedom that I’ve never known and am very grateful that the opportunity is there.
Ed: The lowest point was releasing "The Team," and having to beg ANYONE to listen to it. The highest point was getting that song on a major radio station here in Toronto less than 2 years later.
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