Speece and Nathaniel Hoff
Recent Release: “Forget
We fell in love with Brooklyn alternative folk duo, The
Bergamot, upon first listen. This husband and wife duo create music that is
catchy, beautiful, enticing, uplifting, whimsical, infectious – the list could
go on and on. What makes it even more special is that you don’t come across
artists like The Bergamot on a daily basis. Recently, the duo announced a 48
state “Unity Tour” along with launching The Unity Collective USA Kickstarter in
hopes of raising money to help fund the tour and last month they surpassed
their goal of $15,000. Now the band is pushing their brand new album, Tones, which is set to be released on
February 11th. Get to know more about The Bergamot below!
How did The Bergamot form and come to be what
it is today?
Nathaniel: Jillian and I met in the incandescent hallways
of our high school. I had a major crush vibe for Jillian so I offered her
guitar lessons. To this day she cannot play a lick of guitar – but we are
married. So good move on my part I guess. Jillian, at first, was not all in on
me. I was a introverted singer songwriter with a skeptical outlook on life.
Where as Jillian was the proud soloist in the liturgical choir. Her
singing was on – mine was off. But after sitting down in a writing session
together at the aid of a shared art teacher, we slowly began to realize that we
had some musical chemistry together. So we started performing together. 10
years later we are still basically doing the same shake and jive – just much
bigger stages and quite a few more listeners. It was the first small writing
sessions that would eventually take us across the globe, and land us in
New York City.
Who are some of your musical influences –
both as a band and individually?
As a band we really look to other great bands
with a duo of singers leading such as Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Beatles,
Steely Dan, and also our contemporaries such as Matt and Kim, Belle and
Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens, The Civil Wars, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Shovels
back to the days of my first ever vinyl when I was a kid, I loved Bob Dylan’s
“Brining it all Back Home”. That was the album that I probably
decided I wanted to be a musician. I just remember playing Mr. Tambourine
man over and over and over – I fell in love. Then I moved into Pink Floyd much
at the aide of my father. We would sit and listen to the Dark Side of the Moon
in surround sound. He had one of those super hi-fi versions of the
recording. I remember it was gold on the bottom – my brother and I thought that
was soo cool. Then came the Nirvana teenage angst phase. I was only 5 when
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” came out, but that very much became
the anthem of my youth – as well as everyone else. Then I got into Silverchair
and the album “Frog Stomp” as well as Caroline Spine and some other
bands. I could go on, but then there was Dave Matthews Band followed by
Modest Mouse and Albert Hammond Jr. Right now I am really into Glass
Jillian: At the
tender age of nine I purchased The Beatles – Anthology 1 and Anthology 2 (1996)
– 4-cassette box set. This box set blew my mind and set me up for a diverse
musical hunger that could only be satisfied by filling my brain with more
music. There I was in 1996 rocking out in my jean overalls with pigtails,
sitting on the floor of my room singing as loud as I could to The Beatles
“Good Day Sunshine”. All this did was set me up for one of my
first vocal performances during a 4th grade show and the song of choice was,
Yesterday. My love of music and style are heavily influenced by Joni Mitchell,
Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel,
anything Motown, and Eva Cassidy, oh the glorious pipes on Eva Cassidy!!
What do you enjoy most about playing
The smell of the microphone. The silence in the
room when you hit a solid harmony or play a stellar song. The people you meet
along the way – the uncertainty of it all. The overall feeling you get of being
on stage. It’s intoxicating and then you come off of it and review and improve.
It’s a process that I honor and respect. It makes me feel most alive. Every
time I take the stage a piece of my spirit returns to home. Performing
live is true freedom.
What do you do when you’re not playing
roasted coffee, oven fresh bagels, New York slices, cheap kabobs, pointless
walks, drunk thai trips, tourists, chestnuts, oh God, chestnuts! 3 AM cruises
through Manhattan, greasy Mexican food, and wild stories – not too much. I
work on my blog, try to exercise, sketch, and write poetry. I have a
blog, natehoff.com, that
is about the songwriting experience – mostly the lyrical side. I had this grand
idea I could write a song a day. But I am just not that type of writer. I
like to really work things through. I also still enjoy the sport of golf. Golf
paid for college, as I was lucky enough to receive a D-I Scholarship in
Jillian: Two words
“yoga mat”. Inking new blog posts for my two blogs, www.thedistractedbeet.com and SHINE
ON INC, and testing and designing my exclusive new perfume line, Worthy Souls
Botanicals, which is set launch in 2016 out on tour.
cherish our Saturday morning trips to the Greenpoint Farmers Market where we
get crisp heirloom apples and carrots. Walking around the hood with friends
singing and talking about how wonderful crunching leaves sound beneath our
cold feet. Making smoothies and juice drinks. Working out with my man then
proceeding to laugh about how freaking good Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip
Walnut Cookies are after we devour one. You see, we work out to eat.
Hanging out with Paulie Gee of Paulie Gee’s on Greenpoint Ave. and then taking
a big bite into a fresh Regina pizza – OMG to die for. Finding and following
new vegan/vegetarian food blogs. I am obsessed with delicious food and
beautiful foods and just found a beautiful one this week called www.mynameisyeh.com.
Testing out new essential oils to use in my product line. Yesterday, I mixed
rose-otto essential oil with bergamot oil (trust me, it was intoxicating).
And reading, oh I love reading, but I can only fit this in right before I get
shut-eye. The book I am way into right now is A Course in
Miracles. Last but not least, holding onto Nathaniel as we dance
together late at night on Saks Fifth Avenue as the chestnut smoke billows around
us while listening to music from a O’Holy night being performed by a street
musician on his saxophone. It was so romantic and a moment I’ll never for