Cabin Essence Returns At Cactus Club

Psychedelic-sunshine rock band Cabin Essence returned with their first show in almost three months at Cactus Club Tuesday night, drawing out scattered music lovers that made it out despite the midweek disadvantage. Also performing were Boston four-piece Dutch Tulips and Chicago project The Heligoats.

Cabin Essence is the full-band project of singer-songwriter Nick Maas. His band has alternated members but currently he primarily plays with bassist Terry Hackbarth and drummer John Wythes. His debut release, a mini-album, is titled “A Place For Playing Games.”

Maas had once performed by his real name. He explains the project’s name.

“I always wanted to go under a moniker because the music I’ve created was very band-like. I had always been in a band beforehand. I’m really influenced by Tame Impala and at the time I was super into Foxygen and others artists going by different names…so I decided to do that too. Cabin Essence comes from a Beach Boys song off of Smile record…I was just looking through song names to steal for a band name and that was the one I settled with. It was a good one. Another one I wanted to use was Brief Candles, a Zombies song, but another band already took that.”

Maas describes the recording process of his first album, and says a bit about what he is working on now.

“A Place For Playing Games…I recorded almost all of it at home and in a few friends’ basements and I mixed it all myself. I’m trying to piece together songs for album for maybe by the end of the year. I’m kinda slow with writing so I don’t quite know what I’m gonna do with it. I might do it all at home again but might mix it somewhere else.”

He is dropping a new single next month, which he had limited copies of at the show. It comes with his first music video.

“The A side is called “For Your Love.” I wrote it about two years ago when I got this new keyboard and it was the first thing I cranked out on it. It’s a weird thing when you get a new instrument and you come up with something that is totally new to you. I wrote the chorus and a couple months later wrote the verses. I recorded it at a studio called Honeytone up in Neenah; it’s an old Victorian home they converted into a studio. Tim is on drums and I’m on the rest of it – Tim is a fellow from Kenosha and he got the song down in three or four takes. We hashed it out in about two days…and then the B side I did mostly at home.”

Maas has yet to tour, but is in no rush to.

“I’ve only really done regional stuff and my goal is to maybe do out-of-Milwaukee stuff on the weekends. For me as long as I’m not a high-in-demand artist you might as well just do those while people are out and about on weekends. Nothing against touring but I have no interest in doing it.”

Cabin Essence is playing with Night Moves at the Back Room at Colectivo on June 12th and the Manitowoc Metro Jam on June 15th.

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