Interview w/ Nathan Detroit
Have an exclusive interview today with Trowbridge, UK pop-punk sensations Nathan Detroit! The boys have been getting plenty of coverage here on the site, and rightfully so with their explosive melodies and honest, well written lyrics making a dent in the scene and turning the heads and ears of American music listeners as well. Elliot Sykes was nice enough to devote some time out of the band's ever increasing schedule to talk a little about the band's beginnings, the process behind the making of their new EP, and where he sees the band moving forward. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
Myself, Toby (drums), Kye (bass) had been trying to form bands for a couple of years before asking Jamie (vox) who was a mutual friend of ours from just drinking out in town etc to try and sing for us. We started jamming in October 2011 but didn't really start doing things until February 2012 when we called ourselves Nathan Detroit. We met Callan (guitar) when we toured with his old band 8 Days Later in April 2012 and asked him to join ND a few months later. It was only once he joined that we started taking things more seriously so in a sense it didn't really "come together" until the Summer of 2012.
What are some influences that can be heard in Nathan Detroit's music?
I'd like to think that I'm paying homage to early Biffy Clyro records I've, as well as other modern classics like the first few by Jimmy Eat World & Saves The Day. That said, it's still important to try and give those influences a more current twist in order to appeal to a wider audience & to younger people. I try and just write what feels right at the time so I never really know who's influenced it as such, but I'd like to think that a lot of bands I discovered during childhood/early teens play a part.
How important is music to you personally and can you give an example of when it has really helped you overcome adversity?
Music is incredibly important to me because it's the only thing I've ever been great at. I didn't exactly have a good time in secondary school but being good at guitar made me feel like there was a chance I could feel like a real person, or at least get laid. If I didn't play music I probably would have ended up doing some really dumb things to pass the time. I'd like to think music helped me overcome not being "cool" in the eyes of my peers. I felt like I was cooler than them and they just hadn't realized it yet.
Can you describe what the U.K. music scene is like for those in the States and which bands do you keep a close knit relationship with back home?
The UK music scene seems like it could be different because we're just a tiny island so bands need to stick together based on having even the tiniest thing in common. In the US I imagine shows to be more genre specific. IE pop punk only, or emo only...where are here it can be much more diverse. We're a pop punk band but we regularly play shows with DIY emo/indie bands and hardcore bands. Even some really artsy kind of screamo bands. I think in the UK as long as you're roughly punk related and your political views are leaning towards the left you can pretty much play with who you want. That or you'd be playing way less shows because it's so small here.
Take us behind the recording process for "Peace of Mind" and your experiences while recording the album?
Recording Peace Of Mind felt quite easy and fairly natural as it was our 4th time working with Neil Kennedy at The Ranch Production House. We just kind of got on with it. The recording process was pretty simple really. It's just multi-tracking. Recording one instrument at a time starting with drums, then bass, guitars, lead guitars, vocals and probably the most fun part of recording to finish with which is overdubs which is just adding subtle details like percussion instruments, acoustic guitar, crazy electric guitar noises, extra backing vocals. An opportunity to kind of mess about with different sounds. The thing I most enjoyed about recording' Peace Of Mind' was drinking cheap cider until 3 in the morning while watching late 90's WWF wrestling matches.
What is the food really like in England and which places around the U.K. is it better than other areas?
The food in England can be incredible but it can also be terrible. If you're by the sea, get fish and chips or some decent seafood or if it's Sunday have a roast dinner in a country pub but to be honest, I just love asian food. (Which is available pretty much everywhere in the world.)
How well do each of you guys get along and what jokes/tricks do you like to play on each other from time to time to break the ice when out on the road?
We all get fairly well on the road, but obviously we get sick of each other too. If anything it's not about playing jokes to break the ice, for us anyway. It's more a case of needing time to ourselves so that we don't end up having any huge arguments. So if I'm feeling frustrated when we're away, if we're crashing somewhere after a show I'll just go for a walk on my own late at night before I go to sleep. Things like that help keep you sane and stop you from dragging your bandmates down if you're feeling bad. We don't really prank each other though. No.
What's coming up next for the band this year, any shows coming over to the U.S. sometime soon?
We're going to just keep playing shows, probably release another video and start writing an album. We won't be heading to the US until we feel like we deserve to, and right now we still haven't grown enough as a band to do something that big. Although if we were offered the opportunity we'd obviously take it. Who wouldn't!
Lastly, what is one thing you haven't accomplished as a band but would like to do in the future?
The thing we haven't accomplished and would love to is really just making a living out of doing this. Selling enough records to never have to work again.
Thanks once again to Elliot for being so gracious in taking some time out to do this interview! I've been a huge supporter of the UK music scene for quite some time now, and I constantly draw comparisons to the music scene of when I was growing up in the early 00's and it really takes me back to those glory days where acts were churning out raw, passionate, and dynamic music at every angle and hearing all of these bands from across the pond is like a renaissance in some ways. For more on Nathan Detroit, 'Like' them on Facebook here and give them a follow on Twitter over here and also don't forget to pick up their latest EP called "Peace of Mind" right here.