Reviews

Euphemystic

Author: Nate Cavalieri
10/01/2001 | MeanStreet | www.meanstreet.com | Feature
"At the time I thought about it, everything in my life was in the name," says Joe Knapp of Son, Ambulance. "I was thinking about the two most important things in my life - my son, Neil, and my band, Ambulance."
Not unlike the songs of Son, Ambulance, the conversation with Knapp puts together these kind of plain statements into moving observations. People would say it was confessional if it ever seemed like he was hiding anything in the first place.
"I think in some ways I learned how to write songs from my dad. When he writes songs they are about the people he loves and filled with experiences with those people." Knapp said. "The way I write songs is similar I guess, and I don't really know how else to do it."
When Son, Ambulance made their official debut on a split EP with Bright Eyes (both of whom are on Omaha-based Saddle Creek Records) the cast of characters from Knapp's life set a highly genuine standard that his first full length, Euphemystic, easily accomplished.
"I think being genuine is something that everyone knows you can do. Right now I am not as inspired by trying to be genuine and take things as directly out of my own life. I think I have an active enough imagination that I could invent something and believe in it the same way and have the same kind of genuine feelings about what I've created. I want to make what I'm writing about bigger and push myself as a as a songwriter and father. It doesn't just have to be about me or Neil or people I know. I can derive just as much inspiration from sitting on my deck and listening to crickets or trees. I remember when I would make reports in middle school and my mom would say 'Say you swam across the ocean in your summer break.' And I know that if I thought about it enough it would be just as true to me. I know that imagination is just as inspiring as reality.
Swimming across the ocean might be easier that standing in Joe Knapp's shoes right now. As a quickly rising singer/songwriter, a full time teacher's assistant, and the father of an inspirational three year old, Knapp has more responsibilities than in the indie rock community.
"It's difficult to keep things separated in my life, and it's something I don't try to do," said Knapp. "When I was young know my dad took me out on the road a few times with him and I will probably take Neil out with me when he gets a little older. think one of my main goals in the past few years has been to have all the things that I love in my life exist together. Trying to do that has become one of the greatest challenges in my life."
Euphemystic

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