Todd Jones of Nails (Interview)

Thanks to Todd for this!

W/R -  With both “Unsilent Death” and “Abandon All Life” receiving massive amounts of positive praise from both critics and fans a like, did you feel any pressure when it came to writing the new album?

Todd - Yes, but not because of how highly the albums were praised because we put the same pressure on ourselves to write each album that we did when we did Unsilent Death, before anybody really heard of us. It’s our goal to write the best albums we possibly can, not for our audience, but just for our own personal satisfaction. We’re extremely lucky to have people interested in our band and we love our fans, but before we answer to our fans, we have to answer to ourselves. We need to feel confident about our material. If we don’t feel good about it, then why would anybody else? It’d be a waste of everybody’s time. Our albums are statements and we only make release albums when we feel we have something worthy to put out into the world. 

W/R -  Slower material such as “Wide Open Wound” and “Suum Cuique” brought a whole new heaviness to the band. Is this something you’ve explored further in new material? 

Todd - Yes, we have some slower stuff on the new record that’s unlike Suum Cuique and Wide Open Wound but similar in spirit. Violent.

W/R - In another interview I saw you mention that you’re a fan of Neurosis. Do you draw influence from band’s such as them when writing slower material or is it just a case of whatever comes out?

Todd -We draw influence from the spirit of Neurosis, heavily. Not so much their sound. I love Neurosis. 

W/R - Do you have any completely left field influences no one would ever expect?

Todd -Yes but perhaps I will keep that to myself. Some people not might understand and be upset about the fact that I might pull ideas from bands that aren’t “metal”. 

W/R - With a vocal style that sounds like a mix between a martyr crying for freedom and a nervous breakdown, how do you try to avoid blowing your voice when recording? 

Todd - I don’t avoid it; it happens every time. On Unsilent Death, I recorded all the songs in the same order that they appear on the album, and you can hear my voice deteriorate as the album goes. On our next album, we’re going to take more time with the vocals and put more effort into them. 

W/R - In our last interview you said Taylor could possibly be contributing some riffs to the new album. Has this happened at all so far and if so did he bring any new elements to the riff department? 

Todd - Not yet but we’re still in the early phases of our album. 

W/R - Does anyone other than yourself contribute to the lyrics and have any previously not touched on themes been explored in new material? 

Todd - Yes, Saba has written some lyrics. There’s some new themes on the album but to be honest, it all comes back to being marginalized. 

W/R - If I remember correctly, for a long time you guys had very little internet presence in terms of you promoting yourself via Facebook etc but the strength of the music seemed to result in people championing the band and in turn promoting you via word of mouth, similar to how it was in the old days. Was this a concious thing or are you just not that into social media?

Todd - Yes, absolutely. We live in a time where people try to force things down your throat particularly when there’s no demand for what these people are pushing. For instance, a band with a demo who already have a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. There’s no reason for that when nobody is interested. We started out not using those tools because there wasn’t a demand for it. As the demand grew, we started to use those tools to communicate with the people who wanted to communicate with us. Timing is a very important factor with everything surrounding NAILS. 

W/R - That said, the need to be popular on sites such as Facebook seems to have become almost a mandatory thing in the minds of younger people, even if with thousands of likes they still play to empty rooms, it still seems to be something they work at a lot, if not more than putting together a solid release. Do you think the idea that having the numbers on social media sites is important for a young band or could you suggest a better way for them to focus their energy? 

Todd - It’s important for bands because booking agents and record labels take Facebook likes into consideration when doing business with bands. It’s stupid but that’s the truth. For a band looking to work with those types of businesses, it’s important. For bands who aren’t, it doesn’t matter. That’s just the bottom line. With that being said, the core of a band is their songs. If you’re looking to be in a band to get Facebook likes, people like me won’t be interested in what you’re doing. But if you’re in a band because you want to express yourself and you can convey emotions through music, people will eventually connect with that and people liking your band will happen naturally. 

W/R - Finally, although sure you can’t give away too much, can you estimate when we could be expecting the new album?

Summer 2015. 

Napalm Christ (Interview)

Interview with Little Rocks own Icons of Evil, Napalm Christ. 

W/R - What the idea of putting together a full length proposed to you by A389 Recordings or was it something you had plans for prior to working with them? 

Napalm Christ - All the songs were already recorded and released online (and then on cassette by Goatprayer rec) before we ever talked to Dom at A389. We were talking about just releasing half the songs at first and save the rest for a split.  After Terry from Goatprayer heard all 6 songs he proposed releasing them all together on the cassette.  The other songs were starting to burn a whole in our pocket anyway so we said why not.

W/R - How has the Napalm Christ sound grown during the time between the demo being recorded and the full length being put together?

Napalm Christ - The 12” vinyl is actually the vinyl version of the demo.  We have been working on new songs since then though.  It’s a little too soon to fully realize the difference in sound or playing or anything like that.  But so far some of the fast parts seem faster than before and maybe a little weirder or more spastic sounding I guess you could say.  While the slower parts seem more melodic and/or dissonant.  It just kind of differs slightly from song to song really.  A few of the things we’re working on have an 80s feel to them as well.

W/R - A389 recently put out some snippets of the new release which features the track “Life is Dimming” as well as the new A389 sampler featuring “Idols of Evil”, both originally put out on the Napalm Christ demo. Are more of the demo tracks getting a facelift for the album and have any of them they been reworked at all?

Napalm Christ - As stated before, they’re the same tracks.  But to me it almost sounds like a different recording after the all work and attention to detail that Brad from Audiosiege put into the remaster.  Everything just seems to cut through much better and sounds twice as huge than before.  The master that we released last year sounds great, but the new one makes it sound like an actual album instead of a demo as it was originally intended to be.

W/R - Considering you have opted for carving your own sound instead of jumping on current bandwagons, is it safe to say most of your inspiration is drawn from older bands?

Napalm Christ - Yeah, that’s an accurate assumption.   For the most part we’re influenced by all of the old thrash, death, doom, and grind that made the drummer and I first start playing in bands in the late 80s/early 90s.  Every now and then something just slightly outside that realm will slide it’s way into the pool though, like a mutated Yes riff here or a Swans part there.  Not sure if we’re really attempting to carve out our own sound so much as we’re just playing what we enjoy listening to and writing.

W/R - Is the less processed and more organic production values of Napalm Christ recordings something you strive to achieve before the recording process begins?

Napalm Christ - That’s not something we have to work on but that is what we prefer.  Which is good because we don’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter.  The sound we get is the product of the equipment that our bass player has laying around in his basement where we rehearse and record.  A good portion of the stuff is left over from his days as a sound man at a local metal club that he owned until a few years ago.  It’s not the cleanest, most hi fi sound around.  But it retains a certain heft to the songs that we like.  

W/R - A lot of the bands to come out in recent years seem to be a lot less inspired and rely heavily on recycling both imagery and musical ideas. Do you think this is just a phase or have all the best riffs already been taken?

Napalm Christ - What would a band with a name like Napalm (Death) (Rotting) Christ know about recycling?

W/R - That said, what process (if any) do you utilise to create the Napalm Christ sound?

Napalm Christ - I usually just lay on my side and poor hydrogen peroxide in the left ear.  After about 15 minutes turn over and scoop out whatever Voivod and Whiplash riffs that are floating around in the yellowish, orange foam.  Stick them together and there’s a song.

W/R - As is tradition I have to ask, if you could put out a split with any band, past or present, who would it be and which label would put it out?

Napalm Christ - Split 45 with Booker T. and the M.G.s on Stax records.

W/R - Finally, does Napalm Christ has any tour’s or releases planned after the full length drops?

Napalm Christ - No tours planned but we will be doing a few shows around town and in a few neigh boring states after the records out.  Other than that, we’re just working on new stuff to record, possibly later in the year.

To check out Napalm Christ you can now download the 2014 A389 sampler for free HERE

- OhJayKay

Get excited for the new EVISORAX album coming through out imprint Label 2318 and Bones Brigade Records!!!!!

Get excited for the new EVISORAX album coming through out imprint Label 2318 and Bones Brigade Records!!!!!


2318 Eternal.

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