Homegrown rocker hopes to make it big

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PORTLAND — Indie rocker Xander Nelson says making music locally, instead of in more well-known music hubs, has significant advantages.

Not the least is the ability to “get a gig on a decent stage when you’re first starting out,” he said, because the chance to perform “helps build confidence quickly, but most importantly, the people here really do care about local music.”

Nelson, a graduate of Falmouth High School and Berklee College of Music in Boston, is holding a release party for his band’s new record, “See You on the Other Side,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Portland House of Music in the Old Port.

Tickets are available online at www.xandernelsonmusic.com. Copies of the record, on vinyl, CD and digital download, will also be available for purchase.

Nelson describes his sound as “power pop” and “garage rock” and said every track on the record is an original composition.

When asked why he launched his music career in Maine, Nelson said, “I’ve been to Nashville and NYC numerous times, and while I like both places quite a lot, they’ve never felt like home. I feel more inspired here than I do in those places because I’m deeply connected to my roots.”

Nelson picked up the electric guitar in sixth grade and joked that he chose it initially to attract girls, but “ended up falling in love with the instrument instead.” He calls playing the electric guitar “a meditative and very much a zen sort of experience.”

He said it’s now easier than ever to make a great record in Maine.

“We’re blessed to have so many great studios in Maine,” Nelson said. “The studio we worked with on this latest record, The Halo (in Windham), is absolutely on the same level as the places you’d find in NYC or LA.

“On top of that, we have Gateway Mastering Studios right in downtown Portland, which is widely recognized as the place to get your stuff mastered. We worked with Adam Ayan on this new record, and couldn’t be happier.”

Nelson said he believes music coming out of Maine is soon going to have its time in the spotlight soon.

“There’s so much talent waiting here, I’m surprised we haven’t had a moment like Seattle had in the early 90s,” he said. “It’s just around the corner.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Xander Nelson and his band are holding a release party for their new CD on Friday, Nov. 16, at Portland House of Music.