Cub Sport is a completely independent, self-managed four-piece pop group from Brisbane, Australia. The band consists of Tim Nelson (singer/songwriter/producer), Zoe Davis (lead guitar, bass, vocals), Sam “Bolan” Netterfield (keyboards, vocals) and Dan Puusaari (drums). Cub Sport are on their way to accomplishing great achievements. With over 60 million streams on Spotify, 1.2 million monthly listeners, and following the release of their most successful self-titled album, Cub Sport is back with their brilliant new single titled ‘Limousine.’
Taken from their recent album ‘Cub Sport’, ‘Limousine’ marks a massive jump, stylistically from their early sound, with seductive deep house vibes and a manipulated vocal, it’s bold, addictive and banging. “It’s about the feeling of being completely exposed while I’m still figuring myself out,” says frontman Tim Nelson. “It’s also an ode to deepening developments in love, sex, and spirituality. The end section gives me the feeling of some sort of other-worldly re-birthing or shedding of a former self.” Along with talent, charisma, companionship and true love, it seems that Cub Sport is finally emerging to their truest selves.
It’s this other-worldly vibe that the band has led within the accompanying video. The whole video was shot on super 8 so it feels really dreamy and classic. Whilst previous album ‘BATS’ chronicled Tim’s coming to terms with and embracing his identity, this new album was the product of Tim activating all the lessons learned during the process. It was the first body of work released by the band since Tim and Sam Netterfield‘s recent marriage, and delves deep into their experiences of self-discovery, learning self-love, being ‘out’, getting married, living their truths, as well as navigating and embracing the complex reality of suddenly being very open with who you are with the world.
Cub Sport has been certified Gold in Australia and received press support everywhere from the likes of big media names and publications. At CelebMix, we had a chance to sit down with singer-songwriter Tim Nelson and talk about their latest offering, self-titled album, social media, marriage, and much more. Check below to know more insights about Cub Sport.
Hey! Welcome to CelebMix. So glad to have you here today. How’s your week going?
Hii! Thank you! It’s a busy but good week so far.
Well, you’ve recently released a brilliant new single titled “Limousine”. We loved the track. It gives out a very addictive, bold and sensuous vibe. Initially, what inspired you to write and record this gorgeous track?
Thank you! I wrote the lyrics for the first verse in early 2018, then a few months later I was in the studio with my friend Max aka Golden Vessel. I was looking through my notes in my phone and I came across that line ‘my emotions are tattooed there on the internet’ and I ended up writing the rest of the song over the amazing house-vibe instrumental Max was building.
You’ve previously released the self-titled album “Cub Sport” that hit number 1 in charts and has received appreciation from critics and fans worldwide. How did you feel about such a positive response?
The response has been beautiful. It’s super encouraging seeing the album chart and reading nice reviews. This release felt like a big step for me, taking my transparency with listeners to what felt like a new level, so to see people connecting with that has been really special.
The album has evolved as a very personal record for you in terms of celebrating identity, sexuality, and spirituality. I feel Cub Sport is in progression from self-acceptance to self-love while being fully exposed to light and embracing the openness very well. It is very courageous especially to share it with an international audience. Where do you think all this confidence and strength is coming from?
Thank you! I see the overall journey like that too. I feel like a lot of it comes from learning to be proud of who I am and the things that stem from that – a developing connection with myself, connection with the songs I’m writing, a connection I feel to our listeners and their own connection with the songs. I don’t feel confident and strong all the time though, I wouldn’t describe my life path as a linear journey to peace and light at all, but I do feel like being open lets light in, it lets other people in and it creates a sense of understanding and support.
Since a huge part of your presence as a band is identifying with the LGBTQ+ community, what do you hope people to take away from your music? What would you say that this album is for?
I hope this record is empowering and healing for people to listen to. Over the last year, I’ve been especially conscious of trying to rewire my subconscious so that positive thought-patterns are my default instead of letting fears and worst-case-scenarios fill my mind. I feel like that change in perspective was a big part of what went into this album and I hope that that feeling of letting love it reaches people when they listen.
I have read somewhere how you refer to yourselves as ‘genrequeer’ which is an interesting title. Shed some light on it.
There’s freedom in the word queer. It includes so many different people who identify in different ways but it’s those differences that bring us together, we can call ourselves queer and still be our evolving selves without limitation. I see our music that way, it isn’t defined by genres or titles, it exists in its own space and it can be whatever feels right at the time – it doesn’t feel like it needs to be categorized to be appreciated!
How do you think you’ve evolved visually as a group ever since you started and released your first two records? How have the creative processes changed?
It feels like we’re being our truest selves. It takes time to figure yourself out and I feel like I’m still in the process of doing that, but with every release, it feels like we grow and with that comes the confidence and self-belief to show more and more of who we are.
Being self-managed, you have stayed independent across your releases, then the success and exposure that you’ve been receiving are enormous. How does this influence your decision-making process both at the band and personal level considering you’re also friends and partners?
We always try to follow our gut. Being the artist, manager, and label all rolled into one is a really unique position. It can be a lot for the four of us to take on and as we progress in our career it feels like every decision becomes more important but the freedom to carve out our own path feels right and doing it with people I love makes the whole thing especially special.
I feel every track on your latest album shares its own personal story. Which is your current favorite track at the moment both lyrically and musically?
I think my fave tracks right now are probably “Lift Me Up” and “As Long As You’re Happy”. “Lift Me Up” is mostly instrumental and it feels really freeing to listen to. “As Long As You’re Happy” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve written and the lyrics in the bridge feel like the purest lyrical expression of what love feels like to me. “I tell you it’s cosmic, we’re the stars / There’s no way to tell of a love like ours / I tell you I’m with you past the end / You tell me there is no end”
Beautiful. You’ve co-produced “Limousine” with Golden Vessel and also have worked on a bunch of songs together. How did it originate and what is the comfort level that you share working together?
Max and I produced “Butterflies”, “Trees”, “Come Out” and “Acid Rain” together but the production and instrumentation on “Limousine” were all him! Our friend Grace aka Mallrat put us in touch after Grace and I worked on the song “Video” together. I love Max’s musicality and it felt really natural working together on those tracks.
How’s your experience of working with Dolan Twins on “Hawaiian Party”. How did the collaboration come up?
It was seriously amazing. I knew it was gonna be a big deal but the impact that video had and the way it empowered so many young queer people are more than I ever could have hoped for. Grayson DM’d me one day in early 2018 saying he loves our music so I invited Ethan and Grayson along to our LA show. A few weeks later we FaceTimed and they told us about their idea for the music video, we loved the idea and a couple of months later we were back in LA shooting with them. They are seriously kind, smart and talented guys. We have a lot of respect for them.
Who are some of your all-time favorite artists and albums that you like to listen to while being on the road?
Frank Ocean – Blonde, both Solange albums, Hatchie – Keepsake, Lana Del Rey, Mallrat – In The Sky. A lot of Ariana, lots of Kanye, Mark Ronson, King Princess. I was listening to heaps of Camila Cabello on our most recent tour. I’m obsessed with her beautiful energy and vocals, she’s a really unique artist and I’m loving watching her rise. I really wanna work with her one day.
So if offered a chance today, who will be your top three picks to collaborate next with Cub Sport?
Ha! I segued into this question perfectly. It’s hard to narrow it down ‘cause it’s basically everyone I mentioned in the previous question but I’d probably say Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and Camila Cabello.
You have a very distinctive and strong fan base on social media who are constantly supporting you throughout your journey. Do you think it is because of your openness? Do you have any message for your fans?
It’s a really special thing, there’s a real community that I feel has developed through being open. I feel like we support and empower each other, it feels like Cub Sport has become more than just the music which is cool. I just want to help our fans be proud of who they are, I want them to feel good.
But there is a very thin line between privacy and transparency when your social media presence is pretty much like an open book. It sometimes gets hard to maintain a balance. How do you manage through this?
It’s something I’m learning as I go, I don’t know if I’ve necessarily mastered that balance just yet to be honest but I feel safe within the Cub Sport’s fandom so that probably helps.
How does it feel to perform before thousands of people cheering for you around? Is it nerve-wracking?
Performing for thousands of people feels amazing. It’s a dream I’ve been chasing basically since I can remember. Every show is a different experience – sometimes I feel completely chill on show day but other times I get nervous. I always feel supported by the angels in the audience though and my nerves leave pretty quickly once I’m on stage.
Now that you are married, it must have been so empowering for you to see at the moment how much love you have received from the fans after fearing and hiding for so long. You’ve inspired a lot of other people to be themselves, come out and accept who they are. Does it feel like a responsibility to provide them with a safe space, at your level?
Thank you so much! As cis white men, we sit in a very privileged part of the LGBTQI community and we have the opportunity to share our story without facing much backlash and without feeling unsafe. I feel like it’s really important to use that privilege to help give a voice to the greater queer community who have it much harder than we do. If we can help facilitate a safe space at the same time as creating music that means something to people that’s pretty much the dream.
2018 was a massive year for Cub Sport in terms of touring, playing sold-out big shows, big collaborations, and of course the marriage. Seeing all this as a development for a band and your personal growth, what are the lessons that you’ve learned and brought into 2019 and what did you leave behind in 2018?
I think the number one lesson I’ve learned is the power of gratitude. It’s not always the easiest thing, but being grateful helps in truly appreciating the amazing things in life and maintaining perspective when things don’t feel good.
So what’s next in the career bucket list of Cub Sport for 2019? Where can we catch you next?
It feels like we’ve grown so much in the last couple of years and we want to keep that going. We want to level up all things Cub Sport – reach new heights, reach more people and hopefully make a positive impact in doing that. We’re playing Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas in September before heading to the UK to play some of our biggest overseas shows ever. And we’ve got some exciting news for fans throughout Europe soon too!
Thank you for your time and for chatting with us today.!