Chatting with Cub Sport: An Insightful Interview with Tim Nelson
By: Ava Butera
Brisbane-based indie pop band, Cub Sport, are soon enough going to take the alternative music genre by storm. 2018 has been a hopeful year for the band, with them touring for a good portion of the year and releasing new music videos. And 2019 is proving to be so as well, with the release of their self-titled album setting to drop on Jan. 18th. The ‘genrequeer’ band creates uniquely catchy music that possesses immense meaning, all while getting stuck in your head. Cub Sport is a band to watch. You’re going to make sure you keep them on your radar before they blow up!
I had the chance to catch up with lead singer and mastermind behind the project, Tim Nelson and chat about new music, their fall tour, and the working with the Dolan Twins. Read our interview below!
HEM: How has your tour been thus far? I meant to make it out to your Chicago show when you were in town, but it completely slipped my mind!
The North American shows were so beautiful! There’s been such an amazing, loving vibe in the room at every show on this run - it’s felt really special. LA sold out - the energy was wild!
HEM: Who are some artists/bands you like to listen to on tour while driving from place to place? Which are some ones you’ve outplayed on this tour?
Mallrat and King Princess have been on heavy rotation in the tour van lately. As well as some regular throwbacks to Neil Young - it’s a beautiful soundtrack for driving through North America!
HEM: Since a huge part of your presence as a band is identifying with the LGBTQ+ Community, what message do you want to convey to people through your music or platform?
I want to inspire people to be proud of who they are, no matter how they identify. Learning self-love has completely changed our lives personally which has fed into Cub Sport as well - I think it’s something that can transform anyone’s life.
HEM: I love how your refer to yourselves as “genrequeer”. Elaborate on that a little!
I love the word queer because it feels inclusive and allows so many different people to identify themselves without limitation. I see our music that way, it isn’t boxed in by genres or titles, it just exists in its own space and it can be whatever I’m feeling at the time of writing or performing - it doesn’t feel like it needs to be categorized to be appreciated!
HEM: I actually found out about your guys via your music video for “Hawaiian Party” that was directed by the Dolan Twins. I don’t really keep up with them, but I knew how huge they were on Youtube and Vine and when I saw the video pop up online, I actually thought it was their own song for a few minutes! But was thoroughly pleased once I discovered Cub Sport! How was it working with them? Have they directed music videos in the past?
They have a huge, dedicated following and it’s been so amazing getting better acquainted with the Dolan Twins standom! Ethan and Grayson were so amazing to work with - we face-timed earlier in the year and they told us their concept for the vid which was all based around love being love regardless of sexuality/gender identities. We loved the idea and as a predominantly queer-identifying band, it meant so much to us that they wanted to use their platform to collaborate with us to send such a positive and needed message. This was the first music video they’d ever directed and they were absolute professionals - Ethan and Grayson both have huge futures ahead of them.
HEM: How did you originally link with with the twins? Did it happen organically or was it set up through labels and managers?
We don’t have a label or management, we do everything ourselves - something we’re super proud of. When we were on tour in the US in Spring, I got a DM from Grayson on Insta just saying he loves our music. Ethan and Grayson both came along to our LA show and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. It was so lovely to see them again at our Fall LA show too!
HEM: How do you think your band and sound has evolved since being called Tim Nelson & The Cub Scouts? (A little throwback, I know!)
I’m a completely different person living a completely different life, writing completely different music. Looking back, there are songs and music videos we’ve put out along the way that I really don’t identify with now - I’ve wondered if I should take down stuff that I don’t vibe anymore, but I kind of look at it like seeing old episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians - you can track their glow-up throughout the seasons, see the growth and watch them rise up to become among the most influential people on the planet. The journey is something I’m proud of, rising from being really self-conscious, being ashamed of my queer identity and not having the confidence to harness my creativity, to learning to be myself and express that more and more effectively with each Cub Sport release.
HEM: What should we expect from your album that’s set to drop in January?
It’s called Cub Sport - it feels like the right time for us to release our self-titled record. I wrote it over the last 18 months or so while we were promoting our second album BATS which was a hugely transformative time of my life. I was opening up about things I’d kept hidden for my entire life and that prompted a lot growth in such a short time. This album is all about that growth - it’s kind of like the flip side of the whole journey that was on show, the part that was internal and private. It’s about facing inner fears, living your truth, harnessing your power, being yourself, believing in yourself, loving yourself and healing yourself. Writing this record has completely opened me up to the universe around me and within me - I’m hoping it will do the same thing for people who listen to it through.