Interview | With Great Peacock, Andrew Nelson Dives Into the Mental and Emotional Struggle of a Dream

Nashville-based Americana outfit Great Peacock have made a name for themselves on the southern festival circuit, and have shared stages with everyone from Hurray for the Riff Raff and Cage the Elephant to Margo Price and Jonathan Tyler. Now the band, comprised of lead singer and guitarist Andrew Nelson, guitarist Blount Floyd, drummer Nick Recio and bass player Frank Keith IV, is gearing up to release Gran Pavo Real, the highly anticipated follow up to their beloved 2015 debut, Making Ghosts.

Recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium by industry stalwart Dexter Green (Jason Isbell, Elizabeth Cooke, Derek Hoke) and featuring My Morning Jacket’s Tom Blankenship, the 10 track collection strives to challenge the very notion of genre, dismantling tradition and blurring the lines between rock ‘n roll, conventional folk music, and true Americana. FFS caught up with Nelson to talk Great Peacock, staying inspired and getting outside.

Tell us a little about Great Peacock.

Great Peacock plays rock ‘n’ roll. Sometimes we play country music. Sometimes we play quiet songs on acoustic guitars and people call it folk music. Sometimes we jam a little. It’s a mix of soft and loud music. It’s usually all of the above.

As an artist, how do you define success?

Success for Great Peacock will be the crossroads of living/touring with a healthy degree of financial security and a healthy degree of musical joy that exists within the band and the crowd… and a sense that that situation is a lasting one.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

The greatest struggle to me is that most major steps in this career are not determined by the effectiveness of the music we bring to the world, or how hard we work at trying to find, capture, and perform that music—it’s the mental and emotional struggle of a dream. Which can also be rewarding when some success is experienced, but can also keep you grounded as an individual in knowing it wasn’t all you that made it happen.

Who do you consider your greatest influences?

The people a little older than us that had to struggle and pay their dues like we have, that didn’t quit and are now at that place of what I consider success. That’s an inspiration to keep going.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

I prefer hiking. Walking in general. Trying to open my mind up to some sense of the passage of time. If I can get to a place of quiet observation I can usually hear a melody or a phrase that has been trying to come into my consciousness. I guess even in songwriting luck plays a role.

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