Nick Dolezal, Restaurnaut
“Don’t expect to live off of performing. You should want to play music to have fun and meet people.”
Meet Nick Dolezal. Nick is a local musician from Siloam Springs, a small town of about 15,000 people in Northwest Arkansas. Nick lives in Clovis.
I first met Nick at Old Town Clovis Farmers Market while he was promoting his first show in Fresno. He was very nice and even charmed Ben with his sense of humor. I’m always fascinated as to what brings people to Fresno and when he mentioned that he recently moved from Arkansas in February I was wanted to find out more!
Nick is a one-man band called Restuarnaut — pronounced “RES-ter-not” — and performs music he calls folk, experimental and psychedelic. He sings and plays the ukulele.
Nick says he writes his own lyrics to his songs and doesn’t do any covers. He says that when he was a child he used to write a lot of songs, but did not know how to play music. When he was thirteen he started to write lyrics and sing for metal bands. He got tired and spent one summer learning guitar with his friends, Zaq Williams of Native Son and Daniel Paz. Nick continued to write songs and felt confident playing the guitar. From there, he decided to record his own songs.
FROM ARKANSAS TO FRESNO
Before Nick moved to Fresno, he attended John Brown University, a private Christian college, and majored in illustration. “My mom wanted me to go to John Brown, but I knew I wouldn’t be there my whole college career,” Nick says. After the fall semester, Nick left home and decided to move to Clovis with his girlfriend. Nick says that his dad lives in Clovis. “For everyone, it was out of the blue,” Nick says, “but we planned it for awhile.”
EXPERIENCE IN FRESNO
Nick’s first impression of Fresno was that he was really pleased with the weather. “I thought, ‘Halleujiah! I’m somewhere where it’s hot,’” Nick says. “The winters in Arkansas are bad and I was excited that I could go outside.”
Nick hasn’t had the chance to explore all of Fresno since the move. He does notice, however, that Fresno isn’t too different than his hometown. Besides the size, Nick says that the only main difference is that Fresno is more professional. In Siloam, Nick says, “people try to be more like the people in Fresno.”
Promoting his music has been very difficult for Nick. “I have contacted every venue in Fresno,” Nick says, “but no one has responded. I’ve almost given up.” Recently, he’s had some luck. He has been approached by Afton Shows, a company that books several shows in Fresno. His fist show is July 22nd (details below). Nick says that people seem interested in his show, but don’t seem too serious. “They say that they want to think about it,” Nick says and has been unable to sell any tickets.
What Nick misses most about Siloam are his friends. He has found it difficult to meet new people because he is unable to go to school and find a job.
OPINIONS ON FRESNO
There are several things that Nick has likes about Fresno so far. “I like the heat,” Nick says. How many times have you heard that? Nick also likes that Fresno is not too big nor too small. “Fresno seems like a stable community,” Nick says.
Nick thinks there are plenty of things to do and enjoys going to garage sales. His greatest find was a 75 year-old piano he plans to use when his friends from Arkansas come and visit. Nick also enjoys walking around town, but quickly realized that Fresno is not a pedestrian-friendly city. The other day, he says, he almost got run over by a car in a shopping mall parking lot!
Nick says, overall, “there are a lot of friendly people here, but there are also a lot of mean people. I’m not used to that coming from a small town.”
Nick plan on staying in Clovis for a while and continue making music. He also plans on going to Fresno City College and major in illustration.
Nick is looking forward to playing at his first show. On July 22nd he will be playing, along with other bands, at Club Retro. The concert is for all ages and the tickets are nine dollars in advance and twelve dollars at the door. Nick let me know that if you buy the tickets online and use the promo code “RESTAURNAUT472″ you receive an additional two dollars off.
In the future, Nick wants to add new members to his band. He has written several new songs and needs extra band members to perform these songs live.
Nick says not a lot of people in Fresno care about local artists. He says that people are more concerned listening to artists that have been on the market and have been successful. Nick says that the local music scene can improve if concerts did no charge so much for tickets. “Even I wouldn’t pay $12 at the door to see me,” Nick says. he says that local artists need the recognition and this can be accomplished is the price of tickets decreased because more people would attend the concerts.
Nicks advises other local artists to get the word out about their band by becoming friends with other local musicians.
“Don’t expect to live off of performing,” Nick says, “You should want to play music to have fun and meet people.”
BAND NAMES: WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE
When I interviewed Nick yesterday I had so much fun listening to him list of the names of past bands he has been part of. “I come up with band names on the spot without thinking too much about them,” Nick says. He says that he thinks of words randomly and puts them together. “There are a lot of band names that are over-used or cliche,” he says.
Below is a list of the bands Nick has been part of, from start to finish:
- Nepal Sounds Like Nipple
- The Leviathan
- Biting Bullets
- The Hammer of Thor
- Big Daddy Skank
- Amos Moses
- The Pantaloons
- Jameson Jameson
- Satan’s Leg Hairs
- The Tenth Dimension
- Lion and Blue Tree
- Flying Fox and the Youthful Jaws
- Sadder Than Girls
- Las Nubes
- Kingsbury Run
Which is your favorite? I vote for Flying Fox and Youthful Jaws.
Have a lovely day in Fresno!