The battle horn has sounded and new hordes are laying siege to the metal world; united, they are bringing about change with a sound which harkens to the days of old when it was about leather, riffs and having a good fucking time.
Outside the walls of the established scene which, during the 90's and well into the first decade of the 21st century, feasted on the flesh of those who were once holy to us, two armies have joined together in battle to demolish and rebuild the very concepts of what many believe metal to be in this day and age.
From the apocalyptic metal punks, who beat their drums for the blood of tyrants, to the inspired traditionalists who present offerings of epic lead guitars to the metal gods of old, shouts demanding the heads of usurpers are carried aloft.
Natur is one of the young bands heeding the call...
ThrashHead: Though you guys are currently in NYC, you are actually from Rhode Island aren't you? What was the scene there like and how did you get introduced to metal?
Tooth: Hello! That's correct, Well I am from Rhode Island as well as Weibust. There isn't really a scene in our town, Just a small group of guys and a few bands. I used to sneak into lots of shows in Newport when i was 14 or something; usually to see Ryans band called DEMASSEK...those were always amazing shows! Ryan would get carried out in a big black coffin with smoke machines and swords and shit.
Rhode Kill was also around then who were guys around my age that were playing some really sick shit! I started playing soon after with Gnarwhale with The Bringer of Deth and some other bros. We played a few open mic nights at some bars and people couldn't give less of a shit...haha good times.
I think I discovered Metal from watching the Zero Skateboards video 'Misled Youth' ... that had to be it. Then discovering more obscure shit through older friends, Hooked on Metal!
ThrashHead: When you guys describe yourselves, you get simply "old metal" as an answer, but I even got a touch of early Misfits on Spider Baby in the vocals and the rhythm of Vermin Rift, even if it is so slight, mixed right in there with Sabbath, Maiden and Bay area thrash as well as some more eclectic metal tastes like Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol...there's much more to it than simply "old metal" and the cool thing is that it's like a breath of fresh air, it's original...how did Natur's sound evolve from when you guys first started playing until now?
Tooth: Thanks! Shit well one of the first songs we wrote was 'Spider Baby', I don't even remember the Process of that one, which is sad! I remember us talking about Roky Erickson and trying to do some kind of "Night of the Vampire" thing. We just tried to be creepy and tell the story with the music without the lyrics. It turned into a pretty catchy number.
I suppose, after the Demo, we started getting to extend the songs and having loads of parts, "Head of Death" was one of the first songs we came up with after the Demo was finished. That song I think set the pace for all our future material; definitely has something to do with us listening to Crystal Logic a lot! I think all we ever tried to do was play music like our heroes, so hails to them!
ThrashHead: Also, one thing you share with the oldschool thrashers, is that you skate. From what I hear, where you differ from the oldschoolers, is that you and Ryan (Weibust)) are actually damned good, no front-side laybacks to percussive skull bongos....any Natur decks in the works? First, how long you guys been at it and second, do you have any idea where Animal Chin is?
Tooth: Haha! yeah, I guess you could say we skate, I haven't been on a board in months! but I'm workin' on it. Ryan went out the other day I think, Had to dust some cobwebs off I'm sure; I doubt we'll ever have a Natur board though. Maybe if someone offers to come up with a cool graphic and press it we would. I can barely bend down to tie my shoes, never mind do a Lay-back! haha, fuck. Even after almost 15 years I've never done one. Ryan probably can, he's the one with actual ability. Oh and Dino! He's probably the best on a board, He put on a great demo at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Maine a few years ago; blew some minds away. Also he can swim long distances under water. Where's Jon Rossi?
ThrashHead: It's amazing that you guys have made it relatively quickly, there are so many bands out there still unrecognized. You go from a demo in 2010, do a split with Hessian in 2011 and now you have this mind-blowing LP "Head of Death" out on Earache and you've already hit shows on the other side of the pond early on such as the Live Evil Festival in London with noted acts like legends Angel Witch, Deathhammer, Italian crusters Children of Technology, Hooded Menace, Nekromantheon/Obliteration and even recent media darlings Ghost....hell, you even got top slot on a Vice comp above bands like Ghost, before you were even signed...has your rise been overwhelming? do you like the pace things are going?
Tooth: I thought the demo came out in 2009? maybe I'm forgetting. Hehe, I think there's millions of cooler bands than us that aren't in public yet! I have hope that they will be soon though! Not sure how I feel about the whole thing. We honestly don't think we are much at all in the sense of notoriety. We just are some fucking douche bags who pay a lot for rent and equipment and write songs about Druids. It is completely insane that we have any fans at all! But it is fucking cool to be mentioned and to have played with all the bands you've listed above. We owe all of this of course to Fenriz and Arjan who started us off with the Band of the Week thing. Ghost started off on that path too! It is a great thing. Hopefully more great underground bands can see daylight that way.
ThrashHead: Do you think you moving to New York City helped with Natur's meteoric launch?
Tooth: METEORIC?? Please sir! Hell, I think we would have never had the live show possibilities where we are from. In the city there are always people going to shows and there's always great bands touring through here to play with...it is a great town for that stuff. The main problem we had in Rhode Island was that we had no place to rehearse. The last few Demassek practices were held in a Bio-Diesel factory. It was a god damn mess! In New York there's huge buildings filled with rehearsal rooms. They are expensive but they are there. We have the opportunity to play at odd hours and I think that is very important since we all work different shifts.
ThrashHead: Out of curiosity, why didn't "Zorched" make the cut for this album?
Tooth: AHHH, well, we recorded it along with "Metal Knights" for the album but when it was all said and done we felt like the album would have been too long so we left them off. They might come out on a 7" or something someday. I haven't listened to those versions since we recorded them so I don't even remember what they sounded like; probably pretty interesting!
ThrashHead: Head of Death is a straight up metal masterpiece, getting back to what metal was about, rhythms and epic singing, no growls and fashion driven hype on what's Kvlt or not... Natur and bands like Arkham Witch and Rezet among many, many others are emerging with music which harkens back to the old days, but is by no means "nostalgia" driven; it's just no gimmick, kick ass rock n roll. Why do you think there is this drive by the new school to lay waste to what some of the major labels have being calling metal for years?
Tooth: Jesus, Thanks! I know that we were all pretty fed up with what was happening in music for ages and just wanted to play the shit we like to hear. We felt that there wasn't enough of that going on around us maybe...we were all fans first. I don't give a fuck about the posers or fuckin whatever is going on in the mainstream metal world anymore, even though I think they should all die! Heavy Metal is a very serious thing and if you take it lightly it will come back to haunt you to death!
ThrashHead: What do you say to those elitist metalhead critics who disregard the new back to the basics metal as being precisely that, "nostalgia metal" only?
Tooth: I don't know man, we get that kind of shit all the time; I don't care anymore. I get that vibe from a few bands...but, who am I to say? Who is anyone? Fuck off and die in fire forever for all I care. If you don't like it, go sit in your car and listen to Goatwhore and be a true motherfucker.
ThrashHead: Now that the album is finally out, What's the touring schedule like? A lot of bands even if they are signed with a major, don't get much support, if any, from their label with the costs...are you going to pounding the road in the van here soon to promote the album?
Tooth: We have a small West Coast tour planned for the early fall; that's pretty much it for now. We all have jobs and other shit happening so we haven't had time to concoct a proper national tour. That isn't really our cup of tea anyway; we like to do a week or two and then come home for a bit and then go back out somewhere else. We don't have enough money to be away from our jobs for too long, and Heavy Metal ain't paying the bills if ya know what I'm sayin'! We would like to do a little European trip soon though. These things take time.
ThrashHead: Now, this is a question which has been asked over and over again, but it's one of those things where often times you get the best stories, and though you guys have a long career ahead of you by what I hear on Head of Death, and you're going to have many more experiences on the road what was the most insane thing which happened to you while on tour so far? And really, be truthful, no need to name names and you can always plead the fifth if any charges are raised due to this interview.
Tooth: Oh shit, This is tough. Just being on any trip with these fucks is going to be insane. Every minute of the tour we did with OCCVLTA from Germany was mental! Our friend Manute got Double Pink Eye from sleeping on a couch in the basement of Crayola House in Harrisonburg, also that next day he drank 45 beers to ease the pain. Some lurker named VA plotted to steal all the gear in our van but somehow Dino threw him off the scent.
Actually, one Hilarious story with Dino is that we left him alone at the bar on purpose with some girl in London, Little did anyone know, what a trainwreck she was and ended up puking all over the double decker bus on the way to her place, then she tumbled down the stairs on the way off the thing. Then they both wandered around for ages and she couldn't remember where she lived, probably still puking everywhere at 4 in the morning; we all cried the next morning when we all met back up at The Underworld. There's millions of retarded things that have happened but more of the kinda stuff ya had to be there for maybe.
ThrashHead: I am sure you are pretty sick of folks asking whether or not you're fans of horror flicks but...what is it exactly about horror which inspires Natur so much?
Tooth: Horror Films are perfect for inspiring musical creativity. I have always been fascinated with creepy movies since I was a child. The visuals we are trying to evoke ideally should play out like a movie. King Diamond is the master of this craft; every album of his could be the script of a horror masterpiece! We won't write songs about women or politics or fucking loyalty and brotherhood shit; we write about demons from beyond the grave and otherworldly happenings. These are the things that make us happy. Beyond the Realms of Death.
ThrashHead: If you could create your own perfect day, what would you want to do and see between the moment you rolled out of bed and passed out in the evening?
Tooth: Wake up, take a shit, get out of bed...probably eat some kind of sandwich. Hit up the local record shop and find 'Conspiracy' on vinyl for $5. Eat another Sandwich while listening to 'Conspiracy'. Do a whole can of snus then head over to the Aura Noir / Nekromantheon / Black Magic concert down the street. Probably get one more sandwich after the show. Drink a hundred beers with Manute. Puke on myself; yeah, sounds like a good day.
ThrashHead: When people go to see Natur live, what can they expect?
Tooth: You will probably see us on stage with our instruments. There will be dim lighting with a tint of red. There will be smoke machines blasting the whole time. We will probably ask you to get us a beer or two up to the stage because we most likely knocked ours over and we will be thirsty. Dino will probably break a string and have to change it while I tell a couple crappy jokes I heard on Seinfeld to kill time. During all of this we will also be playing our greatest hits.
ThrashHead: Any words for your long time fans who helped get Natur to where it is now and to fans just coming aboard?