“I DON’T THINK WE’VE EVER FIT INTO A SCENE…WE’VE JUST KIND OF BEEN EXISTING IN THIS WORLD FOR A WHILE AND PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF WHAT WE’RE DOING… EITHER YOU LIKE IT OR HAVE NO INTEREST IN IT”
Metal Blast: So Nate, thanks for sitting down with us, how you doing man?
Nate: I’m doing alright, can’t complain.
MB: Good to hear. You’re gearing up for quite an extensive road tour. I gotta ask for some of our listeners up north of the border, here in Canada, any plans on crossing over for a show or two?
N: I would really like to get up to Canada. We tried a number of years ago. We had some problems getting over, they wouldn’t let us cross over the border. I believe reason was that our roadie lied and said he was never arrested, when he was arrested. So they didn’t let us over. I would really like to get over to Canada, it’s something that we’ve been interested but haven’t been able to.
MB: It’s absolutely crazy how that can literally kink your plans..
N: Yeah, it seems to be a lot more strict than it used to be. I grew up in Buffalo and we used to go to Toronto all the time and you didn’t even need ID to cross the border. Now with the internet and everything like that all they need to do is an internet search and if you have a sketchy past you might not be able to get over the border.
MB: Yeah, they can be really really picky with that stuff. Your new album For The Love of Thugs and Fools comes out in a bit and I had the pleasure of listening to and it practically blew my balls off. First off, congratulations
MB: The album is really really like a throwback to that old classic sound you know? It’s a little more focused of a sound for you guys though, isn’t it?
N: I feel like it is. But it’s sort of strange that it turned out that way. When we were putting he album together … it actually wasn’t as focused when we first started working on it. There were a number of songs that we abandoned because we couldn’t make sound right or it was too… out there for what we usually do. But as we started getting the songs together… I don’t know…I feel the first song you finish sets the tone for the rest of the things you do. The first one we finished was the last song on the album “Night Street” and I think “The Parcher” and sort of got us more focused on what kind of album we wanted to do. In the end everything does make sense in the end…it definitely feels like a Bible record… at first I was worried it was gonna turn into something else, but it didn’t. It’s still us 4 guys playing it.
MB: Speaking of “The Parcher” were you guys watching a lot of Rocky movies then?
N: [Laughs] yeah, we’ve gotten that too. A lot of the times when we put song together it’s sort of what amuses us. That song was definitely a jam, where Mark playing that weird guitar pattern that he does. I think I directed guys towards the Survivor sort of beat on that thing. I think it it’s a very…in kinda of a very fucked up way…it’s a very Rockyesque part, it’s almost like the protagonist is training to be as much of a fuck up as he can. So, it definitely make us smile in a perverse sort of way.
MB: There’s actually a lot of parts in the album that surprised me like the sax solo in “I Know What’s Right (In the Night)”. That’s gotta be the most working class solo since Bruce Springsteen. What’s the story behind that?
N: [Laughs] Well, the guy who plays the sax solo is Bruce Lamont from Yakuza. He’s done a lot of different stuff, he’s been a friend of ours over the years. He does a lot of avant-garde sort of dark stuff and when we came up with the song, it was a bit of a joke for us where we said “Wouldn’t it be funny if we had Bruce come in and made him play something completely straight laced”? and you know a very tasty sax solo part. That was enough of an idea that we brought him in to it… we’re pretty pleased on how it turned out. We just brought him and said “Here’s the song” he didn’t even have time to prepare for it, we just sort of pushed him in the direction we wanted him to do it and it came out great
MB: It seems the recording style revolves around a lot of in the moment stuff. You guys naturally record like that?
N: It’s sort of in the moment, but it’s sort of isn’t. We spend a lot of time getting a good take, once we get a good drum take and we get a pretty good live feeling for the rhythm tracks you know the drums and the bass. Once we get that done… we don’t correct a lot of mistakes…we just let it go [laughs]
MB: Speaking about the sound, I’ve given it a name. It’s sort of like a Motor-City metal feel. And, despite not being from Detroit, it still has the feeling of driving down the highway without a care in the world. Is that something you aimed to encapsulate? The feeling of driving down the highway on a motorcycle?
N: I’m not that sure if it’s conscious or not, it just so happens to be the music we just all enjoy listening to. Even though I don’t ride a motorcycle, sometimes I feel like I wanna get one just given the type of music we do. I would love it if any outlaw bikers would be into the music, that is something we enjoy. I guess with this album it’s kind of like the other side of that though, the other side of invincibility. There’s a strong sense of mortality I’d say that goes with a lot of the songs…
MB: A lot more personal than I was expecting, at least from something like this…
N: Yeah, this record definitely has a lot of personal stories in it…you’d have to talk to Mark about it more, but you can hear it in the music. A lot of it speaks to Mark’s …experience in the last number of years. And… the time we don’t spend on the road we spend in Chicago. We love it, and it also gets on our nerves at the same time but it’s all part of living somewhere that’s exciting.
MB: Now similar bands to you guys, Priestess in fact labeled this type of sound as I quote “sweaty mammoth balls rock” …if you had been from California, do you think you’d be playing the same music you’re playing now?
N: Yeah, I don’t know, it’s hard to put a point on that…maybe not…whenever I think of California I think of Red Hot Chili Peppers singing about California every other fucking song. And this has been said before, coming from a northern city that goes through winter and all the seasons, things like that it definitely gives you a different perspective. Winter comes rolling a long and there isn’t much going on… a lot of the time it’s when we do a lot of the writing . Then you’ve got the opposite when summer comes rolling around and everybody’s out and there’s a tonne to do and it gets harder and harder to buckle down especially when you have music to complete. It’s kind of like a big party.
MB: You guys will definitely endure, you guys have been a round in the Chicago scene for 13 odd years and then music has changed drastically: we’re talking turn tables, rapping, breakdowns and all that jazz. But musically, you guys seem to be immune to all of that. How is that?
N: Well, thing with Bible of the Devil is that we’ve always done our thing. Stuff comes and goes. It’s our back to basics heavy music…I don’t think we’ve ever fit into a scene and I don’t think a scene has ever passed us by on this. We’ve just kind of been existing in this world for a while and people are aware of what we’re doing here and you like it or have no interest in it. Luckily it’s a big enough place that we can find enough people that are still interested in what we’re doing . It’s a good thing in that way. But as far as staying current, we don’t spend any time on that whatsoever.
MB: You’re not at all concerned about having a sound that’s current; it’s one of those things that’s either love it or hate it. You’ll be more than happy. I guess the people that are on the band wagon are on are that much more into it and dedicated right?
N: Absolutely. People can talk shit all they want. But in the end just so long as someone is paying attention to what we’re doing that can’t possibly be a bad thing. We know what music inspires us and what it should sound like in out heads. We’re pretty much in the sample place as far as that goes. So, it’s a really natural thing for us,
MB: That being said it cant be all Sad Wings of Destiny and Creaures of the Night. What are some of the newer influences you guys have?
N: Newer stuff, of course. Not that High on Fire is a new band, but they’re putting out good quality music. Trying to think…that Ghost record from two years ago was really enjoyable. I’d say that a lot of the modern heavy bands that we enjoy, Baroness is one of them, personally speaking, that I enjoy, they still a strong amount of that …
MB: Sort of the old school rock n’ roll?
N: Yeah, yeah. They’ve got the old school element. I’m a pretty big fan of vocal melodies. I’m not a big fan of… I mean, screaming can be cool but I don’t necessarily think that it should be done throughout all the songs.
MB: Right, you guys have more of a timeless sound. You’ve been around for 13 years you’ll probably be around for 13 more. Whereas, the bands with the DJing, screaming all that stuff it really puts that time stamp on it. They’re around for 4 years, 2 or 3 albums and they’re gone.
N: That’s one thing that I think, if you change with the times I feel like people will be into you while that music is current but things move so quickly these days and you don’t wanna get caught. I think it’s better to stay true to what you want to do, rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses as far as being cutting edge is. You know, everything that is old is new again anyways. Eventually, it’s gonna lay dormant for a while and kids are gonna discover it again.
[FIRST ALBUM I THREW AWAY?] …MEN AT WORK… NO, NO, NO, I DIDN’T THROW OUT THAT ONE, I LOVE THAT ONE
MB: Stick to the good stuff and keep it metal, that type of thing.
N: [laughs] yeah, yeah.
MB: First album you remember buying.
N: That would be…1984 Van Halen.
MB: Nice! First album you remember throwing away?
N: Geez, that would be… threw away… Men at Work… No, no, no I didn’t throw out that one, I love that one. Second Superdrag album, I threw out of my car window. [laughs] that’s NOT metal
MB: That leads into my next question about guilty pleasures. Maybe a something a little more disco influenced? That type of thing?
N: Guilty pleasure? Let’s see got plenty of those… Benny Mardones.
MB It’s always a surprising one to ask that one because you never know what you’re gonna get with that one. Kerry King said “Elton John”. That was the last thing I was expecting
N: [laughs] yeah, definitely quite enjoyable Elton John is as well
MB: Now, if you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, regardless of artist or genre, what would it be?
N: [whistle] one album for the rest of my life? That’s tough… I don’t want to over-think it.
MB: It’s natural, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the right one.
N: [laughs] For the rest of my life…
MB: Unless it’s an embarrassing answer…
N: Everything is an embarrassing answer in my universe, believe me. I’d have to say Van Halen…uh…fucking…
MB: Diver Down?
N: What the hell’s the name of it? No, it’s not Diver Down. Uh…it’s the brown one…what the fuck? Don’t know why I’m blanking out. [laughs]
MB: Brown one? I’m trying to think, 1984, Diver Down, Women and Children…
N: Yeah, after Women & Children First. Why can’t I think of it?
MB: I’m missing something here… [laughs] This is like the type of thing when you ask people to name all the states and they always forget either Idaho…
N: …or the one they’re in [laughs]
MB: Yeah, or something like that. But we’ll write it down that Nate is a big Van Halen fan. So probably something from Van Halen.
N: Yeah, it would definitely be something. If not the first record, then that one.
MB: Final and last question. The velocity of a human sneeze, what is you best guess?
N: Humane sneezing?
MB: Yep, a human sneezing
N: 100 mph
MB: 100 mph, okay we’ll put you down for 100. I think it’s actually closer to 25 but it does come out pretty damn fast. Close enough.
N: Glad I did okay in that.
N: Oh, it just came to me! Fair Warning, that’s the name of the Van Halen album. I don’t know why I couldn’t think of it.
MB: There we go, see? Sometimes it just takes time.
N: Yeah, for some reason I don’t get nervous on stage but I’m very nervous right now. [laughs]
MB: [laughs] Don’t worry, everybody has butterflies in their stomach. Nate, thanks so much for joining us.
N: No problem, thanks for having me.