Originally published on The Spenardian

Nick Carpenter wants to say thank you to Spenard.

The first time Carpenter came to Alaska was in 2009. He followed the path of his brother, who was working in the summer fishing industry. Carpenter, who is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, quickly fell for the midnight sun.

As the amazement of summertime sunshine waned into sub-freezing temperatures and snow, the brothers began working as busboys at Moose’s Tooth. They lived in a hostel downtown and walked through the snow to get to work. As winter set in, Carpenter returned to the south to go to school.

“I just couldn’t handle it. I was too young. I didn’t want to be cold anymore,” Carpenter said.

Seven years later, Carpenter left Nashville to come back to Alaska. His parents followed suit.

While in Nashville, Carpenter began operating under Medium Build in 2015. Today, Medium Build is still Carpenter’s project. He says he cooks up all the music and then the band learns the parts to play them out and about.

“I started operating under Medium Build in 2015, as just kind of like my joke bedroom project when I was living in Nashville. I didn’t want to tell people about it because I was kind of writing country, pop, bro shit. It was awful and soul-sucking,” Carpenter said.

The band, which was formed over many open-mic nights at the now-closed Tap Root, consists of Carpenter on the guitar and vocals, James Glaves is the co-producer and plays guitar, James Dommek Jr. on the drums and Chad Reynvaan on bass.

“[Tap Root] is a sacred place to me,” Carpenter said. “I Started playing at Tap Root and I sort of just fell in love with Spenard… Spenard is great for music because it’s real.”

Carpenter credits Spenard, and Tap Root specifically, for helping him develop his album, Falling Apart.

“I owe Spenard, and Anchorage, a big thank you for accepting me,” Carpenter said.  “Nashville… I was there for five years and it never felt like home. Whereas here, after six months people are like ‘That’s the guy! He lives here, he works here.’ People were really accepting. I didn’t have to prove myself too much, I could just be here.

When not performing his music all around Anchorage, you can find Carpenter bar-tending at Bear Tooth.

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