Cold War Kids on crafting personal experiences into songs that are universally understood

'This one feels like the most lived experience'
By , Audacy

Host Brad Steiner recently sat down with Nathan Willett and Matt Maust of Cold War Kids at the Hard Rock Hotel New York to explore the band's brand new, self-titled album, as well as their 2024 touring plans and more.

LISTEN NOW: Audacy Check In with Cold War Kids

Long Beach, CA-based Cold War Kids just dropped their eponymously titled, 10th studio effort on November 3, featuring 12 all-new tracks including the lead-off single, "Double Life." With 20 years now in the rearview, frontman Nathan Willett says they're "feeling strong" while also reflecting on the hundreds of songs they've managed to put out over the last two decades.

In celebration of the momentous occasion, "I bought an extra pair of shoes yesterday," Willett adds, while bassist Matt Maust admits they "really went to town" purchasing some "deep cut" posters and art books. "The really expensive stuff," he says playfully.

"I think there is something about the journey of the songs," on the new release that became introspective as well, Willett explains. "I think my life and the songs are gonna keep on having a lot in common and this one feels like the most lived experience."

"It's funny," Nathan continues, "I think so much of avoiding assuming a super-singer/songwriter confessional-type of record because we're a band so there always has to be a level of artifice in it. It's not my life -- it's Cold War Kids. I love coming from that position... being a band is just so much cooler. At the same time, there's a lot of personal stuff in it, but the trick to me is making it universal. There's family stuff, there's relationship stuff, there's friendship and band mate and a lot of reflection. I don't want it to be old guy stuff, but a certain degree of lived experience for sure."

Cold War Kids - CWK tracklist:

Double Life
Run Away With Me
Toxic Mask
Another Name
Empty Inside
Braindead Megaphone
Sunday in the City
For Your Love
Betting on Us
Starring Role

The first lyric on the new record certainly sounds pretty personal: "Since 2006 I haven't been the same," Willett sings on "Double Life," admitting, "Yeah, it's pretty on the nose. That's true for us, we started the band in 2004, but the switch was flipped in 2006 in terms of being on the road and never looking back."

2014's Hold My Home, with their single "First," was a real turning point for Cold War Kids. "I think a lot of things changed around then," Willett says. "You see the power of what a big song does and how much it changes your life. It was interesting, it wasn't like we went from nothing to something because we've already been insanely fortunate to be on these enormous stages and festivals and in front of so many people, but it was the thing that I feel really solidified something for us. It was the song that was the right time and place."

"Our bond more than anything, musically, we started off as fans," Nathan continues. "We're not music school students; we're not guys that sat around and played acoustic guitar at parties... We're listening, and appreciating, and loving music, that's where we come from. It's still there."

Four years since their last headlining tour, Cold War Kids are packing their bags for a winter tour to celebrate the new release, hitting the road early next year on a North American trek with Hovvdy and Joe P as support on select dates. The shows will kick off on January 31 in San Francisco, CA, and wrap back on the West Coast at the end of March. Grab your tickets right HERE and see the full list of dates below.

Cold War Kids 2024 tour dates:

January 31: The Fillmore | San Francisco, CA
February 1: McMenamins Crystal Ballroom | Portland, OR
February 2: Vogue Theatre | Vancouver, BC
February 3: Moore Theatre | Seattle, WA
February 5: Knitting Factory | Boise, ID
February 6: The Elm | Bozeman, MT
February 8: Belly Up | Aspen, CO
February 9-10: Gothic Theatre | Englewood, CO
February 13: Cain’s Ballroom | Tulsa, OK
February 15: House of Blues | Dallas, TX
February 16: House of Blues | Houston, TX
February 17: Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater | Austin, TX
February 23: The Salt Shed | Chicago, IL
February 24: First Avenue | Minneapolis MN
February 26: House of Blues | Cleveland OH
February 27: Phoenix Concert Theatre | Toronto ON
February 28: House of Blues | Boston MA
March 1-2: Webster Hall | New York NY
March 3: The Fillmore | Philadelphia PA
March 5: 9:30 Club | Washington DC
March 8: The Ritz | Raleigh NC
March 9: Buckhead Theatre | Atlanta GA
March 15: Goldfield Trading Post | Roseville CA
March 16: The Catalyst | Santa Cruz CA
March 18: The Observatory North Park | San Diego CA
March 20-21: Fonda Theatre | Los Angeles CA
March 23: Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace | Pioneertown CA

Don't miss Brad's full Audacy Check In with Cold War Kids above -- and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on

Featured Image Photo Credit: Audacy/Cold War Kids