Saturday, December 15, 2012

Posted by Vista Fanzine. |
Hey everyone! I'm back with my SECOND post here on Stuck In The Past. Believe me, I plan on posting here more often but shit (life) gets in the way man! Anyways, here is an interview I did with Nathan (I am Heresy/Boysetsfire). I did this interview in September of 2012. My band (Inner Dam) played a show with I am Heresy in my home town (Newburgh, N.Y.) & I was blown away by how great they were live. Nathan was more than happy to do the interview and as you will read it is pretty in-depth. Having been a big fan of Boysetsfire I have had a lot of these questions in my mind for a hell of a lot of years. I mean....Boysetsfire...The politics, the passion. The singing/screaming combo (from a guy who can actually pull it off!) and the breakdown/stomp parts! Anyways, check out I am Heresy. They are a band worth your attention. On that note, I hope ya dig the interview. You can always check out my zine site VISTA FANZINE and check out my band INNER DAM. "Like" us cause hell....We "like" you!
John Vista~

Vista: Hey Nathan. Can you give us the current lineup of I Am Heresy? Also tell us the history of the bands as far as ex members, year started, what has been relased so far and what's still available?
Nathan: OK...CURRENT LINE UP: NATHAN GRAY: VOCALS
CRUMBS: DRUMS
GREG KAUTZ : GUITAR
MATT BALOG: BASS
JAY SIN: GUITAR
THE BAND WAS FORMED BY JONAH LATSHAW (JOSH OF BSF'S SON), SIMON GRAY(MY SON), AND ME...WE SET OUT TO WRITE A BUNCH OF LOUD AND FRANTIC SONGS THAT MADE US HAPPY...SO WE DID. ONCE I DECIDED TO GET MORE SERIOUS WITH IT, I GRAB ON TO ALL THESE OTHER GOONS TO HELP ME OUT, AS SIMON AND JONAH ALL READY HAD A FULL TIME BAND (THATS THE SHORT AND SIMPLE ANSWER)..NOTHING BUT SOME DEMO STUFF RELEASED SO FAR, BUT WE HAVE OUR FIRST ALBUM COMING OUT ON MAGIC BULLET RECORDS ON OCTOBER 3OTH. IT WILL BE OUT ON CD, DIGITAL, AND AWESOME BLACK AND GOLD SPLATTER VINYL.
Vista: I Am Heresy has some new material coming out. Tell us about it? Album title, how many songs, record label? As far as this new recording goes, where was it recorded and how long did it take overall as far as begining to end process?
Nathan: YUP..THINK I JUMPED THE GUN AND JUST TOLD YOU ABOUT IT HAHA..IT IS SELF TITLED, AND CONTAINS 9 SONGS. IT TOOK FOR FUCKING EVER..NOT SURE I CAN EVEN REMEMBER OR CARE TO REMEMBER THE PROCESS, BUT IM GLAD WE ARE FINALLY DONE, AND THIS ALBUM WILL FINALLY BE AVAILABLE. IT WAS RECORDED, MIXED, RE-MIXED, MASTERED, RE-MASTERED, AND BASTARDIZED ALL OF NEW JERSEY UNTIL WE WERE FINALLY HAPPY WITH THE END PRODUCT.
Vista: Have you guys done a lot of touring for I Am Heresy? As a band are you able to tour or are you just doing long weekends? Is this band full-on as far as touring goes?
Nathan: NO TOURING YET, BUT WE DEFINITELY INTEND TO. WE WILL BE DOING WEEKENDS, BUT ALSO WANT TO DO FULL TOURS IN THE US AND EUROPE TO START. THIS IS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE AS FULL TIME AS THE BAND WILL ALLOW US TO BE.
Vista: "I Am Heresy". Where did this name come from? I know from past projects that you have been in, lyrics and themes seem to mean a lot to you and tie together. What are the thoughts behind the band name?
Nathan: THE NAME COMES FROM THE VERY FIRST SONG WE WROTE, AND REALLY ENCAPSULATES THE VISION BEHIND THIS BAND. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH BSF TALKING POLITICS AND REVOLUTION, BUT HONESTLY HOW DO WE DEFEAT TANGIBLE REAL-LIFE AUTHORITY FIGURES, WHEN WE ARE NOT ABLE TO RID OURSELVES OF INTANGIBLE GODS THAT WE CREATE IN ORDER TO BE SUBSERVIENT. WE WANT RULERS SO BAD THAT WE WILL LITERALLY MAKE THEM UP OUT OF THIN AIR? WHAT HOPE DO WE HAVE? UNTIL WE STOP LYING TO OURSELVES ABOUT ALL SEEING, ALL KNOWING, AND ALL LOVING SKY DADDYS THAT THROW TEMPER TANTRUMS OVER WHAT WE DO WITH OUR GENITALS..WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONFRONT MAN MADE TANGIBLE POWER THAT SEEKS TO CONTROL US.
Vista: What bands have influenced the band? Also, speak a little bit on behlaf of the other guys in the band. What bands/artists have directly influenced I Am Heresy?
Nathan: WELL LETS SEE. A LIST OF INFLUENTIAL BANDS WOULD PROBABLY LOOK LIKE THIS: DEADGUY, DRI, CELTIC FROST, AT THE GATES, BLACK FLAG, DEATH IN JUNE, CHRISTIAN DEATH, INTEGRITY, JOY DIVISION, THE CARPENTERS, AND ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS.
Vista: What was you first connection to punk/hardcore? How old were you and what bands really first grabbed your attention? Also, what was the first punk/hardcore show that you ever attended & what year was that?
Nathan: LETS SEE...I'D HAVE TO GO WITH BLACK FLAG. A FRIEND OF MINE DRAGGED ME OUT OF MY HAIR METAL YEARS WITH A COPY OF "IN MY HEAD"..THEN TOOK ME TO SEE THEM PLAY AT AN ELKS LODGE IN PENSACOLA, FLORIDA. IT WAS TERRIFYING AND EXCITING ALL AT ONCE. I WAS NEVER THE SAME FROM THAT DAY ON. I SCARED THE LIVING SHIT OUTTA ME BUT I COULDNT STOP.
Vista: Vocally, who have really influenced you early on and even as far as today? Can you name a handful of vocalists that inspired you to be vocalist? Have you ever taken vocal lessons? Do you play any other instruments?
Nathan: AS FAR AS VOCAL STYLE I REALLY CAN'T THINK OF MANY...BUT AS FAR AS WORK ETHIC, PRESENTATION, IMAGE, AND JUST THEIR ABILITY TO GRAB THE RESPECT, FAME, OR INFAMY THEY DESIRED I WOULD HAVE TO LIST DAVID BOWIE, SAM MCPHEETERS, PRINCE, JOHN REIS, AND HENRY ROLLINS TO NAME A FEW. I PLAY A LITTLE GUITAR...BUT NOT ENOUGH TO REALLY PLAY IN A BAND. JUST HELPS WHEN WRITING.
Vista: You were in a band called The Casting Out a while back. How did that band come together? It was also a big departure from Boysetsfire as well. Was that a big transition for you during this time period? Also, why did The Casting Out come to an end? I'm not completely sure but It seemed like The Casting Out came to an abrupt end?
Nathan: THE CASTING OUT WAS A STRANGE PHASE I JUST NEEDED TO GET OUT OF MY SYSTEM. IT WAS FUN, RIDICULOUS, AND SHORT LIVED...THE WAY IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. IT WAS VERY QUICK AND VERY ABRUPT. I TRIED TO HOLD IT TOGETHER, BUT HONESTLY IT JUST DIDNT END UP BEING WORTH IT..CONSTANTLY HAVING MEMBERS QUIT. WAS JUST TIME TO MOVE ON. MAYBE ILL DO ANOTHER ALBUM OF CASTING OUT SONGS...BUT NOT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
Vista: I have been a big fan of Boysetsfire for a long damn time. So, I have a bunch of questions that I have wondered about. Ok, here is the first one. When I listen to the radio and a Rise Against song comes on...I always say out-loud...This band sounds like they ripped off Boysetsfire! Every single time I hear one of their songs I really do think that it is Boysetsfire. Any thoughts? Is it just one example of how history skips over the original band that paved the way for another band to smoothly ride down that road and stumble upon success {hit songs}?
Nathan: HAHAHA...YOU AND A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE MY FRIEND. IT IS WHAT IT IS. MOST BANDS WE TOOK ON THE ROAD ENDED UP GETTING BIGGER THEN WE DID..WHY? NO CLUE. I DONT REALLY BOTHER WORRYING ABOUT IT THOUGH HONESTLY. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I LOVE WHAT I DO. I BRINGS ME JOY. I LOVE MUSIC, AND WILL BE DOING IT TILL I DIE. IF 30,000 PEOPLE APPRECIATE IT? AWESOME...IF 10 PEOPLE APPRECIATE IT? JUST AS GOOD. I AM GOING TO PUT EVERYTHING I HAVE INTO WHAT I LOVE. SOME WILL CONNECT WITH IT AND SOME WILL NOT, BUT I WILL STILL BE OVERJOYED THAT I AM DOING WHAT I LOVE.
Vista: Boysetsfire I'd imagine could write a good sized book on the experience you guys had as far as dealing with different record companies/labels. Just to name a few labels: Conquer The World, Equal Vision, Victory, Wind-up, Burning Heart, Initial...My question is: You have had tons of experience from really small labels to "Big Biz" labels. Are there any big differences? The common thought is that the "Big Biz" labels are the sharks {scumbags} but in reality are some small labels that claim to be "for the kids" just as bad, if not worse? This all being said, what advice would you give to a young band out there that are weighing thier options from a few labels?
Nathan: JUST THINKING OF THE ENCYCLOPEDIA SIZED ANSWER I WOULD NEED TO GIVE TO THAT QUESTION EXHAUSTED ME HAHA..SOMEDAY MAYBE ILL WRITE A BOOK...BUT I DOUBT IT. YEAH, LABELS ARE LABELS ALL AROUND..SOME GOOD AND SOME ROTTEN REGARDLESS OF BEING "INDIE" OR "MAJOR"..THE ONE LABEL I'VE FOUND THAT DESERVES HIGH PRAISE IS MAGIC BULLET RECORDS. BRENT IS ONE OF THE MOST UPSTANDING LABEL/BUSINESS OWNERS IV HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING, AND HE PUTS OUT ONLY SHIT HE LOVES COMPLETELY. IF HE CANT BACK IT, IT AINT BEING SOLD FROM HIS LABEL. GREAT DUDE..GREAT LABEL. MY ADVICE? READ THE FUCKING CONTRACT YA MORON!!! ITS SIMPLE. DON'T COMPROMISE. WITH FACEBOOK, ITUNES, BANDCAMP ETC. YOU DONT NEED SHIT FROM ANYBODY. DO YOUR THING AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO WITH ALL YOUR HEART. DONT COMPROMISE AN INCH OF YOUR INTEGRITY AND PRIDE. THIS IS WHAT IVE LEARNED FROM MAKING ALL THE BIG MISTAKES. KNOW WHO YOU ARE WORKING WITH, AND FUCK EM IF THEY DONT WANT YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE.
Vista: Boysetsfire were commonly known as being rooted in political lyrical content. I know in the 90's that was what a lot of bands were doing {or at least attempting} but you guys obviously did your homework on many topics and to use a slang term...You guys had your shit down! But in the 2000 era when the terrorist attacks happened and everything that was happening post-9-11...You guys were really cranking up the political stances and my question is: looking back on this time era it sure seemed like you guys pissed off everyone! Personally, I didn't have a problem with it. To me that is what the hardcore scene should/is about as far as having a band {or zine} bring ideas and thoughts to someone who may not ever have thougth about certain topics. Was there a backlash from your political stances? Did it light more of a fire in you to be more vocal in between songs when you guys played live and in studio recordings?
Nathan: OH YEAH..THE LABEL WANTED VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH US AFTER THAT ALBUM. THERE WAS A DISCLAIMER STICKER ON OUR ALBUM AND EVERYTHING. I'VE NEVER BEEN ONE TO GIVE A FLYING SHIT WHAT ANYONE THINKS OF MY OPINIONS. THAT'S WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT. YOU HAVE ONE FUCKING SHOT AT IT, AND IF YOU DONT SPEAK UP...YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE. I TEND TO TRY TO KEEP THE BANTER BETWEEN SONGS TO A MINIMUM UNLESS IT IS ENERGETIC AND HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF INCITING. OTHERWISE IT JUST GETS BORING, PREACHING, AND DISTRACTING.
Vista: As of this interview {Oct. 2012} what is the status of Boysetsfire? I think I have seen on the internet that Boysetsfire has done a few shows in Europe? How is the band perceived in Europe as opposed to here in America? What are the plans for Boysetsfire for the near future?
Nathan: BOY SETS FIRE IS HAPPILY AND PRIDEFULLY A BAND WITHOUT A PLAN. WE ARE A BAND, BUT DONT INTEND TO BE PART OF THE "MUSIC BUSINESS' WHATEVER THAT IS OR THE RAT RACE TO STAY CURRENT, PROFITABLE, AND A VIABLE PART OF THE SCENE. WE JUST WANNA PLAY AND WRITE MUSIC WHEN THE IMPULSE STRIKES US. WE INTEND TO BE PASSIONATE, INTENSE, AND LIVE BY THE SEAT OF OUR PROVERBIAL PANTS FROM HERE OUT. YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE
Vista: Going back to I Am Heresy. You have your son playing guitar. I think that is awesome. I have spoken to a few people about I Am Heresy and I have mentioned that your son plays guitar and most people actually don't believe me! As if I would just randomly make that up!? Hahaha. How is it working with your son...In a band situation? Is it a seemless situation or do you two butt heads?
Nathan: HAHA..YEAH, AS I SAID HE WAS IN THE BAND..WROTE SONGS, AND PLAYED ON THE ALBUM THATS COMING OUT, BUT HE IS NO LONGER IN THE BAND. IT WAS HONESTLY AWESOME THOUGH. HE IS SO INCREDIBLY TALENTED, AND I AM REALLY PROUD OF HIM.
Vista: I know earlier I asked you about your first exposure to Punk/Hardcore but I am wondering what was your very first exposure to music in general? What bands/groups would you say? Also, did you have a family member or friend that you would say introduced you to music early on in your youth?
Nathan: MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WAS MUSICALS...WEST SIDE STORY, MAN OF LA MANCHA, AND LES MISERABLES...STILL FAVORITES OF MINE. I COULD PROBABLY STILL SING EVERY LINE.
Vista: You have been involved in the music scene for a hell of a long time. What is your opinion as far as the Hardcore scene these days? Is it the way it has always been? Is it the same shit, different decade type of feeling? I always seem to go back to my memory and come to the same thoughts...In the 90's there were so many political/social bands/zines that people got burned out on all of it. Then the mid to late 90's came and it became "cool" to not care about anything!? Bands like Blood for Blood {just as an example} made it cool/fun/hip to not care about anything, "fuck the world/fuck society/fuck you/white trash". I guess maybe it was a reaction to what was going on? By the early 2000's...It sure seemed like bands didn't have any stances on anything. Maybe it was the world changed so much in the early 2000's and the bands broke up and/or moved to major labels?
Nathan: EH...SHIT IS WHAT IT IS. I TRY NOT TO PAY ATTENTION REALLY. I FIGURE WHAT OTHERS DO ISNT ANY OF MY BUSINESS UNLESS IT STRIKES A CHORD WITH ME. I JUST TRY TO KEEP MY EYES IN MY OWN GAME, AND LET OTHERS BE WHAT THEY NEED TO BE.
Vista: Outside of everything that is involved with being in a band: practice, recording, traveling & so on....What are your interests and hobbies?
Nathan: WELL...I WORK AS AN EMPLOYMENT CONSULTANT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. I MOSTLY WORK WITH PEOPLE WITH AUTISM AND DOWNS SYNDROME. I INTEND TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL FOR DEGREES IN PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY. BETWEEN THAT AND MUSIC...I HAVE NO TIME FOR HOBBIES HAHA.
Vista: While on tour what are your top 3 essential must-have items?
Nathan: Advil. Water. Cell phone. Fuck you, I'm old! Ha.
Vista: This is a question that I ask often when I do interviews just cause I love to hear varried opinions. What are your top ten favotite bands/albums of all-time? It doesn't matter what genre...Just your personal top-ten?
Nathan:
1. CHRISTIAN DEATH- ONLY THEATER OF PAIN
2. BORN AGAINST- NINE PATRIOTIC HYMNS FOR CHILDREN
3. BLACK FLAG- IN MY HEAD
4. THE MAN OF LA MANCHA- SOUNTRACK (PETER O'TOOLE)
5. DAVID BOWIE- LET'S DANCE
6. THE SULTANS- GHOST SHIP
7. CELTIC FROST- MONOTHEIST
8. JOY DIVISION- WARASAW
9. FEAR- MORE BEER
10. METALLICA- MASTER OF PUPPETS
Vista: I think I read that Boysetsfire have had songs on baseball and wrestling video games? Were you guys involved/consulted in that happening? I guess a better question is: did you guys receive money for this or at least some free video games!? Do you have a favorite wrestler and baseball team?
Nathan: WE RECEIVED SOME ROYALTIES, BUT I THINK A OT OF THAT WAS MORE THE LABEL THROWING US ON SHIT FOR PROMOTION. I GOT A FREE TIGER WOODS GOLF GAME AND NEVER PLAYED IT....CAUSE ITS GOLF. MY FAVORITE WRESTLER WAS ALWAYS LORD HUMUNGUS...MOTHER FUCKER CAME OUT TO WAR MACHINE BY KISS!!! YOU CANT BEAT THAT SHIT. IM ALSO A PHILLIES FAN WHEN IT COMES TO BASEBALL, AND A DIE HARD PITTSBURGH STEELERS FAN.
Vista: Over the years you have done some interesting cover songs. There was "Live Wire" by Motley Crue, "Holiday in Cambodia" by Dead Kennedys and "Rocket Man" by Elton John. Have Boysetsfire ever done any of these songs live over the years? Does I Am Heresy do any cover songs? On that note, what other cover songs have you done over the years?
Nathan: WE ALSO DID "I AGAINST I" BY BAD BRAINS, WHICH WAS PROBABLY MY FAVORITE COVER WE EVER DID. IF I AM HERESY EVER DOES A COVER, ID REALLY LOVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WOULD NOT EXPECT.. LIKE THE CARPENTERS OR CURRENT 93.
Vista: Nathan, thanks so much for your time. I appreciate it. Any final words?

Nathan: THANK YOU SO MUCH...THIS WAS A VERY GOOD AND DETAILED INTERVIEW. IF I MISSED ANYTHING, OR YOU WOULD LIKE MORE CLARITY ON ANYTHING..LET ME KNOW.

2 comments:

disurptr said...

inner Dam! That's taking it back, used to see you guys all the time in Newburgh and the chance.

Vista Fanzine. said...

Awesome! After all these years we are STILL playing in Newburgh 7 Poughkeepsie! Hahaha! If you'd like, check us out on Facebook. Lots of pictures, videos, fliers, and music is FREE to download.