We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacob Lauing and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacob, how do you think about risk?
I think risk should be inherent in any DIY project. This feels true in any art form, but in music that’s the beauty of being an independent artist — you’ll have less hoops to jump through when it comes to making big brand decisions, especially if they’re a bit edgier. When you’re in control of your own destiny, you can afford to take those risks. I’m generally a risk-averse person, so creativity has been an incredible exercise in taking some of those artistic risks, which almost always pay off. I think a tremendous amount of growth in life comes from risk.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I make music under the moniker The Night Prior. I blend the nostalgia and catchiness of 2000s pop punk with the cinematic and lush sonic landscapes of post rock. I grew up listening to both, and played in a number of bands before launching my solo project. I’m most proud of From Age, my debut record, because it was the first time I’d tackled such a large body of work on my own. It definitely wasn’t easy — making music alone (at least for me) takes way longer because I’m the only contributor. But it offered a strong lesson in persistence, in believing in the product you’re building and in really prioritizing the things that matter most to you. From Age is also a deeply personal album for me, so it represents somewhat of a diary entry for me, one I’ll always be able to look back on.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I think Downtown LA has so much to offer, and often gets overlooked. It offers such an honest, gritty portrait of this city and also has some pretty killer bars and restaurants. To synthesize my week-long trip’s itinerary, I’d eat in Echo Park/Silverlake, I’d drink in Downtown LA, I’d visit the handful of spectacular museums, and I’d hang out at the beach and Dodger Stadium.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe so much to the talented artists around me. Making music as a solo artist can be so rewarding, because it’s your true, individual voice. But it also presents a tough challenge for anyone used to playing in a band. I depend on the other musicians in my circle to bounce off ideas, offer constructive criticism or even affirm the work I do. It’s helpful to have some validation before finishing and releasing a body of work.