Hi Nate, last time we talked was after the release of 'Chained To Oblivion'. How have things been going for Spirit Adrift and you personally since that release?
Hey, Marcel! Things have been going great. I'm so busy I've hardly had time to catch my breath, but it's all good things. I got married a year ago, that's been great. Gatecreeper and Spirit Adrift are both doing really well.
Just a year after your debut album you've already released the follow-up ('Çurse Of Conception'). For a doom band that is really fast. What got your inspirational juices flowing?
I can't really explain it, I just get ideas for songs in my head. At this point I can determine pretty much instantly whether it's good or not. If it's not good I forget about it. It just so happens that in the last couple of years I've been getting a lot of really good ideas for songs. I don't have a whole lot of control over it, I'm just trying to keep up. Other than that, I've been listening to a lot of Judas Priest and Metallica, so that's definitely inspiring. I have a lot of goals, and I will continue to work hard until I accomplish them.
The first thing that is noticeable is that you have changed label from Prosthetic to 20 Buck Spin. How did this change of label come about?
I signed to Prosthetic for the wrong reasons. I was trying to do the right thing and help some other people, and it ended up backfiring anyway. I always wanted to work with 20 Buck Spin, since I first started doing Spirit Adrift. Fortunately I was able to get out of the Prosthetic deal without it getting too ugly. Steve Joh at Prosthetic is an amazing guy and I'm glad I was able to work with him, but the label was not for me. 20 Buck Spin is a perfect fit, just like I thought it would be. It's one of my favorite labels of all time and I'm glad everything worked out.
Other noticeable changes are that you now sport a new logo and that the artwork is now in colour and done by another artist. First off, why a new logo and why specifically in this lettering? Forgive me for saying this, but when I see the logo I am reminded of Italian power metal bands and to be honest the cover artwork doesn't help my perception in that regard either.
The "logo" I was previously using wasn't a logo at all. I had some very specific things in mind, and instead was given a stock font with the Cypress Hill skull attached. I was pretty fucking furious when I figured that out. I wanted a logo that is original and classic looking, hence the new logo. I don't know anything about Italian power metal, nor would I ever care to. The new logo reminds me of logos like Testament, Judas Priest, and that sort of thing. Striking, powerful, with a bit of 70s or 80s prog or sci-fi vibe. I think the artwork is perfect as well. If you don't like it, I don't really know what to tell you. There's no accounting for taste. I think it's the perfect visual accompaniment for the album.
Okay, the artwork. First you used gloomyish roughish black and white artwork And now you have switched to colorful quite stylized artwork. What was the reason for that? And who did the art?
I wanted a classic looking, beautiful, painted album cover like the good old days. Joe Petagno (most probably best known for drawing Motörhead’s Snaggletooth mascot, ed.) did the artwork. He's a living legend, look him up if you're not familiar.
When comparing 'Curse Of Conception' to 'Chained To Oblivion' and 'Behind – Beyond' the songs have once again become shorter and now not a single one clocks in above 7.5 minutes. How did that change come about?
I had a very specific goal in mind when I was writing the album, and the shorter song lengths are a byproduct of achieving that goal.
Production wise there is also a change in sound. It sounds fuller now. On your previous outings there was a lot more echo and reverb present. Why leave that sound behind?
I love Sanford Parker as an artist and as a person, and I wanted to do another record with him. There was no conscious decision to have less reverb or anything like that. I wanted a classic sounding metal album and we achieved that together.
Spirit Adrift seems to be drifting away from the doom sound you used to employ. Did this happen by chance or was there a reason for it?
There is a very specific reason for this, but I want people to figure it out on their own.
It seems like you changed your vocal style a bit. Or does it just come across as such due to the production of this album which is totally different to those on the previous releases? If there was in fact a change how did that come about?
I'm finding my own voice. I'm no longer worried or afraid to just sing how I sing. I'm sure my voice will continue to grow and improve with each subsequent recording.
Since 'Curse Of Conception' is once again a total solo effort, if I am not mistaken, and you have now gathered a live line-up for Spirt Adrift will the next release also be a solo effort or will you be using other musicians as well? Both for recording and writing purposes? Or will Spirit Adrift always be a one man affair with hired hands?
I wouldn't necessarily say this album is a "total" solo effort. I'll leave that up to interpretation. But the next album will be the first album we record as a full band. I definitely wouldn't call anyone in the band a "hired hand" either. I never want Spirit Adrift to be me and some random people playing my songs. I want it to be a real band, and it is. The other guys are important. Tom Petty felt the same way about the Heartbreakers. He never wanted it to be him and some strangers trying to get a paycheck. He understood the importance of having deep connections with the people you're making music with, and that rubbed off on me.
Okay, since you have a live line-up for Spirit Adrift now, is there any chance you'll be coming over to Europe any time soon? Yes, I know you personally were over with Gatecreeper, but
of course we're talking about Spirit Adrift now.
I would love to come to Europe if the offer is right.
If or when Spirit Adrift plays live in Europe are there any bands or festivals you'd really like to play with and at? If so, who and what?
I'll play whatever, if it feels like the right opportunity. We were in talks to play Roadburn earlier this year, and that's something I would still like to do. As far as specific bands, I really want to play with Oranssi Pazuzu and The Ominous Circle.
Thanks for, once again, taking the time to answer the questions. Hope to see you over here some time sooner or later. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for the interview, and thanks everyone for the support!