October 24, 2011

Trip Loon Interviews The Nuclears

I sell people as how I like them as. I see Nick Vivid as a raw energy front man that drips with a messy hormonal charge. And I see the rest of The Nuclears as dudes with a great sense of humor. In an ideal world I can see Mick, Brian and Bobby in an MTV interview laying down the humorous banter of Rockstars. Similar to Ace Frehely’s or Rick Nielsen’s.

I also imagine Mick, Brian and Bobby associated with outrageous images of Pop Culture like they’re side by side with an image of a cartoon pizza or endorsing a Ghostbusters movie for some reason. Saying a really funny line with gusto then giving a thumbs up with a huge, wide grin. Wearing sunglasses. At night.

I think that the culture is too glossy and too serious and too buzzkill these days. If I were to influence culture in any way I’d campaign your songs and charachters to give everything personality again. Songs like Pay Yer Dues and The Hair Stays is written in the tongue of the common man. I feel that they’re also a bunch of fun numbers that ease everything up and make light of the daily bullshit that we have to go through.

At the same time, you have songs like Eclipso. Which feels very serious and powerful. Having a number like that in your repertoire prevents people from typecasting you as just a party band. And having a number like that proves that you can be more than that.

How would you guys sell yourself as?

Everything must go! 50% off! 5 for the price of
1! No rough stuff! $50 for you, $100 for your friend! Eye contact is
extra! All sales final!

Do you feel that the world of rock n roll these days lacks a sense of humor?

We have more of a problem that the world of comedy lacks guitar solos.

Lets talk about the sonic element of The Nuclears. This is for Mick and Brian. Who do you both take after in your guitar playing? Are there any underrated guitar players you take after that you’d like to turn us on to?

Mick: Chris Masuak and Deniz Tek from Radio Birdman, Mick Ronson, KK
Downing from Priest. Christian Datsun from the Datsuns is a great
underrated player, there's hundreds of them out there to discover.

Brian: Pete Townshend's my favorite. I'm a big fan of Mick Jones from
the Clash, his style's really informed mine and never gets enough
props. Obviously Jimi Hendrix was a great lead guitarist, duh, but his
rhythm playing taught me a lot too. But yeah, there's too many underrated
guitarists out there to count. Dudes like Ross the Boss and Glenn Buxton
and Mick Ralphs and Patrick Williams are never gonna make a Rolling Stone
top 100 list or whatever, but they're easily the equals of the guys who

What’s your playing style?

Mick: Brian does a lot of cool subtle rhythm guitar parts which
compliment my straight-ahead power chords, it makes for a good dynamic
that factors heavily into our songwriting. For leads, it's all about
trying to create song hooks.

Brian: Yeah, I'm always trying to do something a little bit different
even with otherwise straight-forward progressions, little inversions
or different voicings or what have ya. With two guitars, it's all
about us trying to find two cool ways of playing what's essentially
the same bunch of notes.

Do you give any attention to tone? If yes, what kind of tone do you chase after and why?

We start thinking about tone the second we write a tune. We have an array of
amps and guitars and pedals. Every song on the album for example uses
about 6 different guitar-and-amp combinations and a lot of
experimentation in the studio to get what we were going after. It's all
on a song-by-song basis.

Bobby? (Same 3 questions about the sonic stuff in regards to your instrument)

My playing style is "I don't want to be boring." I see too many
bassists audiences don't care about. The best bass players are like
Paul McCartney. I mean, he's like the best bass player, right? He's a
great singer songwriter but no one talks about how great he was at
bass. I like John Entwistle. Paul Simonon from The Clash had a great
stage presence and he had simple bass lines that just stuck out. I
don't like that virtuoso shit at all. Bass virtuosos just have guitar
envy. As far as tone, the less I have to bring gear wise to the gig
the better. If I could have some drive that'd be cool. Ever since we
lost the pedal board it really doesn't matter. My style is more visual
than sonic anyway.

Geoff? (Same 3 questions)

Generally the influences have been like punk, fusion, and afrobeat
drummers like Billy Cobham, Jaki Liebezeit. But for The Nuclears I
really take a minimalist approach in the vein of Phil Rudd and Scott
Asheton. As far as tone, I just tune the snare tight, the toms loose,
and beat like I just found out they were cheating on me.

Nick, what do you want to bring to the audience as a front man? More importantly, what do you want to bring out of the audience as a front man?

I like to get in their face. I make sure they know I notice them. I
enjoy seeing their reactions when I make eye contact and give them 1
on 1 time. Badass dudes with tattoos, supermodels, I stare 'em down
and they get really wierded out and I have a lot of fun with that.

Nick, who is your favorite singer?

Bon Scott. Iggy. Both those guys are very blue collar. It shows in the
urgency in the way they sing. I identify with that. You work for it
and earn it. That's what it's about. I have a whole other set of
favorite frontmen who can't really sing but can entertain a crowd, but
you didn't ask me that question, so...

This is a question for each member of the band. Who are your favorite bands? And what are your favorite songs?

Geoff: PJ Harvey, Can, Fela Kuti, the Stooges. Recent favorites
include "Telegram Sam" by T. Rex and Darondo "How I got over".

Bobby: Alice Cooper. I dunno, what's a modern band that I like...? The
Booze, and Deathrow Tull. "A Quick One While He's Away" by the Who.

Mick: Judas Priest is my all-time favorite band. The Alice Cooper Band
right after them. Hanoi Rocks, and Radio Birdman. "Cool Metro" by
David Johansen and "Non-stop Girls" are my favorite songs right now

Nick: Kiss was my first love, and they are the reason I do what I do.
Though I don't really listen to them much these days. Priest, Thin
Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult. Lots of BOC lately.

Brian: Mott the Hoople, the Kinks, the Dictators, the Clash. I've had
"Alex Chilton" by the Replacements stuck in my head for like 3 days
now and I'm not sick of it yet.

Are there any ideal producers that you would love to work with in the future?

We could say old school producers like Jack Douglas or Tony Visconti.
But those guys don't do drugs anymore so their best days are most
likely behind them. Eddie Kramer would be cool for picking his brain,
learning some of his engineering techniques, hearing old war stories,
and just saying we made a record at Electric Lady would be badass.
Someone like that that we could really learn something from would be
cool. But We will most likely keep doing it ourselves until we've
lost the ability to be our own worst critics. Then we'll need that outside ear.

Last question. Where do you see The Nuclears evolving musically in their later albums?

We don't get very complacent. We constantly try to outdo ourselves. If
you mix that ideal with whatever music and outside forces are
influencing us at the time, that will be the sound of the following

For a rare appearance in Los Angeles, The Nuclears will play live TONIGHT on Monday the 24th at The Dragonfly along with The Americana Deth Cult and Nothing Sacred.

The Dragonfly
6510 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038-1408

Doors open at 7 PM.

Nothings Sacred - 11:30pm
Americana Deth Cult - 10:30pm
The Nuclears - 9:30pm

The Nuclears will fly back to New York City on Friday the 28th of October. So if you’re in LA, this is your only chance to see them live. Be sure to make it, they’re worth every .. oh wait. I forgot that it’s a free show. Come on down and be a part of an outrageous rock n roll spectacle,,

Over and out,,


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