The kindest praise I believe a writer can give another about their work is: I wish I’d written this. About 100 pages into Franz Nicolay’s debut novel, Someone Should Pay for Your Pain, that thought hit me like a baseball bat. God, even that title fills me with envy.
Franz, an author and longtime member of The Hold Steady, touched upon so many themes in this book that have been running through my head over the last couple of years—how brief and fleeting generations are in the world of indie rock, the artist’s life vs. the domestic family life, watching time pass through the lens of music. Franz distilled it all into a story about a fictional aging rocker clinging on at the tail-end of his career. It’s an examination of the path indie-rock lifers face that is at times bleak, beautiful, authentic, sweet, and sobering. I can't recommend this book enough for Rockers Of a Certain Age.
In today’s interview, Franz and I chatted about the years of touring experience that went into the book, his writing process, and how fast time moves in the rock scene. Listen above or anywhere you listen to podcasts: Spotify or Apple.
And if you’re going to take my recommendation for one book this year, let it be Someone Should Pay for Your Pain, which you can buy here! OH WAIT actually hang on. If you’re only gonna let me recommend you one book this year, I guess it should selfishly be my forthcoming book, SELLOUT. But if you will take TWO literary recommendations from me, then they should be my book and Franz’s book. And if you’ll take THREE recommendations, they should be my book, then Franz’s book, then, of course, the Bible.