The concert is in Arden on Friday, Feb. 23
If the band The National Reserve were to inspire a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune, it’d probably say “hustle.”
For nearly half a decade, the New York rock quintet has spent their Friday nights hustling in a Brooklyn bar, winning over barflies with their epic sets.
Their endless grind has earned them a headlining slot at the Arden Gild Hall on Friday. Opening the show will be singer-songwriter Jonah Tolchin.
Expect to hear some fresh tunes from National Reserve’s upcoming album, “Motel La Grange,” slated for release in May.
National Reserve frontman Sean Walsh, a bartender on the side, dished on his most emotional song on the new album, hip-hop’s influence on him, and how his music grind gives him life.
What’s the most emotional song on the album?
There’s a song called “No More” that I wrote a really long time ago about a tougher time in my life; and I’ve never been able to record it. We tried to record it a million times, I swear. But for some reason it just clicked in this last session, and we perform it all the time.
What shaped “No More?”
A lot of this record is about dealing with loss, losing the people who are close to you through different situations: whether it’s through relationships, losing a friend or losing contact with someone who you shared something really great with. The music was my way of being able to express to that person what that felt like to me. It’s almost like writing someone a letter.
So many great rappers used to live in Brooklyn. Does that sense of history affect you, now that you live there?
I live in the neighborhood that Biggie is from, and maybe eight blocks away from the ODB mural. Something that I really take pride in, and I think a lot of other artists and creators in New York take pride in, is that it’s a really tough city to do anything in.
If you just want to live here it’s tough. It takes a lot of drive; and you have to really want to do what you’re doing in New York to make it work. You have to learn how to hustle. I have a deep respect for any artist in New York who’s made a name for themselves, because I know how hard it is. And I know the sacrifices you have to make.
How do you get through when you’re riding on fumes?
For the past year or so, that’s been every day. But it’s good. I made a decision, maybe three years ago, that I’m going to finish this record and just hustle; that I’m going to make music happen. I was tired of bartending, and was doing a lot more back then. I was chasing money. I said, “I’m not really happy doing this.” It’s been a lot of work and I’ve lost a lot of sleep. I’ve been going on empty for a long time. But I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life, because I’m actually making my dream happen.