This coming weekend, Bangor will play host to the KahBang Music Festival where 75 acts will perform on three stages and assorted venues in that area. For more information you can go to www.kahbang.com/music/

One of the featured groups performing on Saturday, Aug. 11 is a trio based in Minneapolis, Minn., called Now, Now.  What makes this band one to watch is the fact that one of the three members is a Maine native: Jess Abbott (guitar, vocals), who hails from Kittery and was in a couple of groups here. The other two members are Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar) and Brad Hale (drums, synths). The group is out supporting their sophomore album titled “Threads,” which is the band’s first full-length with Abbott as a member. In a recent telephone interview from her home in Minneapolis, the Maine native chatted about her new group as well as the prospects of returning back to Maine to perform.

Q:  Will this be Now, Now’s first appearance in Maine?
ABBOTT:  Yeah, it will be — I’m from there, but I wasn’t in the band when I lived in Maine, so this will be the band’s first time playing there, yup!

Q:  Neat.  I’m curious to know, is your band’s latest album representational of what you folks are like in concert?
ABBOTT:  Yeah, we try to keep our live show as true to our recordings as we can. Live, it’s just the three of us, so people can often be surprised by the fullness of sound that we give off as a trio. We have an array of on-stage instruments: we have a bell set and Cacie — the singer — she sings as well as plays guitar and she has a keyboard set up there. The drummer, Brad, also triggers things and plays drums, so there’s a lot going on on-stage.

Q:  Have you ever been to the KahBang Festival up in Bangor?
ABBOTT:  I haven’t.  I think its first year was the year that I moved to Minnesota — about a month before the first KahBang — so I hadn’t even heard of it, but when I told my friends and family that I was playing it this year they were like, “Oh, it is awesome — we’ve gone to it the past couple of years!” So most of the people that I grew up with go to KahBang. It’s a cool thing to be a part of it this year.

Q:  Just out of curiosity, how does your role in Now, Now compare — musically — with what you were doing when you lived in Maine?
ABBOTT:  Well, any band that I’ve been in before Now, Now I fronted, whereas in Now, Now I work more with the instrumental aspects of it with guitar — I do some vocals, but mainly backing vocals — and it’s given me a different perspective on music in that sense. The three of us have very different musical tastes that all come together in a specific way. That gives us our sound. Before, any band I’ve been in was more my own brain constructing things. 
So, yeah, being a part of Now, Now has changed my musical perspective a lot, I would say.  I’ve matured musically since being a part of this band and have experienced a hell of a lot more than I have in any other musical project.

Q:  Back to the KahBang Festival — do you know how much performance time you’ll have?
ABBOTT:  I don’t think we’ve been told yet, but I would guess around 45 minutes — that’s what the normal set time is for the other festivals we’ve played this summer. It’s a nice, solid set time — it’s not too long, but gives us enough time to represent ourselves.

Q:  One of the things about band life that I’ve thought about lately is all the touring that you have to do — it must be very debilitating at times.
ABBOTT:  We’ve done a lot of touring. We started in March at SXSW (South by Southwest) and have been pretty much on the road since then. We’ve had a month off since then, but we’ve been ready for it for a while, I think. This is our second full-length record — the first one came out, I believe, in 2008 before I was in the band — and this record has been kind of long-awaited, and now that it’s out we’re just ready to put everything into it.  It’s been very tiring this year but rewarding and a lot of fun.

Q:  Is there anything, Jess, that you would like to pass on to the folks reading this article?
ABBOTT:  Only that I hope that we can end up coming to Maine more than we have. It’s pretty rare that a band tours out there, but I’m really hoping that our tour schedules are lined up so we can play there more often! (www.nownowband.com)

Lucky Clark has spent over four decades writing about good music and the people who make it.  He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions

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