Juliana Hatfield on Minor Alps, new band with Matthew Caws

Cindy Howes talks to Juliana Hatfield about Minor Alps, her band with Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, and their debut album Get There. 

Cindy asked what kind of symbiotic relationship the two have, and Juliana gave an answer that pretty much sums up the collaboration. “I think we write about some of the same themes, of existential longing and yearning, I really relate to his song that way, and I think he relates to mine that way. And our voices sound really good together. They blend so well sometimes I cant tell whose voice is whose when we’re in a certain range.”  Their voices do sound really amazing together, and hopefully it leads to more albums by Minor Alps. “It’s so easy to sing with him, which is so great. It’s just fun to be able to harmonize with someone and not have to worry about pitch or anything.”

Both artists really reached their stride in the 90s, having both appeared on MTV and getting radio play. They had some interaction due to these periods of high media exposure. “We would bump into each other here and there…The world of music is really a small world, and everyone kind of knows everyone.” Juliana Hatfield says she was a big fan of Nada Surf when she heard their album Let Go.

Juliana then asked Matthew Caws to do vocals on her 2007 album How to Walk Away, and later, Caws asked her to do some vocals on a Nada Surf b-side.  “It worked out so well both times we decided to make an album together.” The songs on the album are generally written by either Juliana or Matthew, but then the arrangements are collaborated on. The lyrics aren’t exactly collaborative, but Juliana says that they feel like they each speak for each other in their lyrics. “We’re so similar that even if he’s written something, it feels like it could have been written by me. That’s why it feels so natural to consider them all co-writes.”

Get There is in record stores now, so check it out!