Seine Stimme ist unverkennbar. Sei es als Frontmann von Boysetsfire oder I Am Heresy – Nathan Gray begeistert Fans rund um den Globus. Einfühlsam, ruhig, kraftvoll, gewaltig, laut: Gray hat alle Facetten drauf, die ein Sänger braucht, um sich im vielsagenden Umfeld von Hardcore/Posthardcore/Punk/Metal einen Namen zu machen. Jetzt hat er Solopfade eingeschlagen und mit seiner EP „Nthn Gry“ einen Four-Track-Hammer ausgepackt, über den noch viel zu hören sein wird. Mir stand er für ein paar Fragen zur Verfügung (Achtung: Interview ist in englischer Sprache).
AngryNorman: Nathan, nice to talk to you. Your first, self-titled EP is now available. How does it feel to be the center of attention?
Nathan Gray: Haha… feels really good to be honest. It is very rewarding and relaxing to not have to rely on others, and get out exactly what I want to say and do.
There are four epic songs, that probably no one would have expected. Is that the „real Nathan“ we hear on the record?
Nathan Gray: It most certainly is. I picked Daniel to work with, because I knew he could help me get out what was happening in my brain. It’s difficult when you have a whole symphony in your head, and only the ability to play power chords.
You wrote it all by yourself, with the help of Daniel E. Smith. What can you tell me about him?
Nathan Gray: Daniel is my friend, and partner in crime. As I said, he helps me to extract and express what is going on in my head. He has a very specific background in electronic/industrial music, and I knew I needed to make these songs fresh and original. I didn’t want to put out just another country/folk sounding singer/songwriter thing. Just seemed boring to me, to do what has been done so many times before.
Who came up with these awesome atmospheric sounds on „Wolves“, „Tomorrow“ and „Baptismal Rites“?
Nathan Gray: It was a group effort from Daniel and I. I write a basic idea for each song, he comes in and helps me perfect it, and then we enlist friends to come in and help with the instrumentation, so it’s not all done electronically. I like the mixture of digital and acoustic instruments.
The last song on the EP, „Corson“, it fits just perfectly – especially for those in love with your work at Boysetsfire. I think that would be a song you could play with the band anytime. Did you have them in mind writing that one?
Nathan Gray: Not at all… just happened to have that feel I guess. I have been in BSF for a few years haha, so I would not be surprised if some of my material has that feel.
When looking at the „Devil’s Advocates“, as you call them, we see your son Simon is with you – like in „I am heresy“ – playing the drums. How important was it to involve him?
Nathan Gray: It was mostly important, because I knew he would understand what the songs needed. He threw in drum parts, in order to not just have the more stiff electronic drums. I think the balance between the two works really well, and he always puts a lot of passion into any instrument he plays.
Rebekah Latshaw is playing the piano – who is she?
Nathan Gray: Rebekah is a good friend, and also Josh’s sister in law (Josh Latshaw spielt Gitarre bei Boysetsfire, d. Red.). She is an extremely talented musician and songwriter. Made sense to bring her in. I have no doubt that she will be a consistent contributor to all future releases. I hope to also have her add some vocals, though she has been hesitant. Our voices harmonize well together, so hopefully we can talk her into it. Also, we have Elyse, who plays cello and does all of the phenomenal and ghostly operatic female vocals on the EP. She has been a longtime friend, and was actually involved in the super early days of the casting out.
You might want to help me out with your songs. I am terrible at interpreting lyrics. What feelings, what intentions are you trying to tell the audience?
Nathan Gray: I would tell people to read the lyrics, listen to the songs, and create your own meaning. That is the power of music. It is a ritual chamber for both performer and listener…a way to purge all of your most intense feelings and desires so that you can go about your life without being overwhelmed by them constantly. It is an outlet and a safe space to feel every desire, fear, hate, love, lust, etc. These songs are as much for those that listen as they are for me.
What’s next? Is there more Nathan Gray solo stuff coming up? Are you planning to play your music to an audience?
Nathan Gray: More recordings, live shows, touring, the sky is the limit! I intend to take this as far as it will go, and I hope that it will acquire a large fan base, that allows it to do so. An artist can do very little, without the support of his friends and fans, and I cherish each of them for their dedication, loyalty, and support.
Well, thank you Nathan for your words.
Und an euch da draußen die klare Ansage: Seht zu, dass ihr euch diese EP besorgt. Es gibt sie „nur“ digital, das aber auf allen bekannten Kanälen (sprich: Spotify, iTunes, etc.). Das Teil rockt – wirklich!