Cincinnati’s premier Indie Rock outfit Carriers have been busy in the last year. From their frontman and singer-songwriter Curt Kiser appearing on several of the tracks on the National’s new album First Two Pages of Frankenstein to signing to a major indie label Brassland Records, created by the National’s Dessner brothers. Kiser has also been very busy plugging away at the band’s upcoming sophomore record. All while still announcing tour dates and festival appearances.
This week marks a big milestone in the band’s career as it was recently announced Carriers would be taking the historic stage at Bogart's in Clifton, opening for Asheville’s Band of Horses.
CincyMusic met up with Kiser to discuss what this moment means for him and his band, along with what to expect from them in the coming months.
This is your first time playing with Carriers at the historic Cincinnati venue Bogart's in Clifton. Talk a bit about what this means for you as a Cincinnati native, and what is your personal history with the venue as a music fan?
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity!” said Kiser. “I’ve been playing music in this city for a long time and I think this show is going to be such a beautiful first performance for Carriers on stage at Bogarts. I’ve seen some amazing shows here through the years and can’t wait to sing my songs there. Yeah, just really excited for it!”
Some fans may already know that there are some big things coming for Carriers in the future, but as far as a career milestone goes, what does this mean for you and the band? Is this affirming? Or are you looking at this as just another show?
“It’s definitely more than just another show,” said Kiser. “We’re gonna get up there and play how we always do but there’s definitely a sense of affirmation and legitimization in what you do when these kinds of opportunities arise. I played some big shows years ago with Pomegranates (Kiser’s previous band) and I’ve opened for a ton of artists I love and admire with Carriers, however, I think this will probably be the biggest show we’ve played thus far!”
You're opening for Band of Horses, a very successful 2000's indie act in their own right. Talk about how this came to be and how this feels to be hand picked by a band of their stature to open for them.
“Yeah, it’s really incredible and I’ve been a fan since high school when their albums Everything All The Time and Cease to Begin came out,” said Kiser. “Such memorable, beautiful, impactful albums for me. It was a huge surprise. Their team checked out some new music I’m gonna be releasing and I guess liked it enough to want us to open up the show! I was working a serving shift and got a text from my manager about the show. Totally shocked and stoked. Things like this take a minute for me to feel like they’re real. Usually the next day after a night's sleep, the feelings of yesterday's news hits really strongly. Definitely the case here. I’m just feeling good and excited for this show and everything else the future holds.”
What can fans expect from Carriers Saturday night? A set of entirely new music? Or a mix of tunes from the first record and new?
“Good question. In some ways it’s hard to decide but I write a lot of songs so when it comes to a show like this, it’s all about playing the ones I’m really enjoying playing live,” said Kiser. “Playing what makes sense for a short opening set and the ones that showcase the songwriting and dynamics with the band. So yeah, It’ll be a mixture of songs we’ve played for the last few years and some newer ones.”
Are you a fan of Band of Horses? What is your favorite record or song from them?
“I mean, I’m a sucker for the hits,” said Kiser. “The ones I’d hear at the bar, a party, or playing on the loud speakers at the venue. “The Funeral” “Is there a Ghost” “Ode to LRC” “The General Specific” So many hits and good memories. I remember in like 2008 feeling pretty cool putting on some of their songs, hanging out, smoking weed with new friends from work. There were some great road trips to the Red River Gorge blasting their albums or traveling in the van with my dudes in my old band Enlou.”
What have you and Carriers been up to? And what can fans expect in the next few months?
“Yeah, some really exciting things are happening,” said Kiser. “Last year I had the opportunity to work on the new National album that came out. That was a really special experience. I just signed to a label called Brassland Records started by Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Alec Bemis in New York City. I’m also working with Peyton Copes and Drover management now which is so helpful. And most importantly, there will be new music coming very soon!”
Tickets are still available for the Band of Horses show at Bogart’s. The show will be Saturday August, 5th, at Bogarts. You can also catch Carriers playing the shows listed below and stream their debut record, Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else, wherever you stream music.
August 27- Evolution Fest - St. Louis - w/ Black Keys, Black Crowes, Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlisle, Ben Harper, Modern English, Michigander and many more
September 15 - Homecoming - Cincinnati - w/ The National, The Walkmen, Pavement, Julia Jacklin, Weyes Blood, Patti Smith, Bartees Strange and more