Interview with Nathan
Can you please detail how you came up with the name ‘My City Screams’ and what it was that inspired you to begin your metal journey?
We ended up with the name 'My City Screams' from the movie 'Sin City'. The spirit in that movie says the name quote, ‘My City Screams'. We were inspired to start the metal journey back in high school when a couple of the band members started listening to bands like Metallica and System Of A Down. We fell into this metal scene and it all grew from there.
What is the metal scene like and how is it portrayed by others in the area you grew up in?
The live scene here is pretty vast in that so many bands of all genres share bills and it’s not uncommon to see a metal band share the stage with a punk band or a screamo band etc. I guess this is because there are so many sub-genres of metal and often the lines are blurred as to what genre bands actually fit in to. I think in terms of outside portrayal it’s hard to speak for others but you’ll get electro and club kids or indie kids that might label it straight away as ‘gothic’ or ‘emo’ but at the end of the day, we label their ‘scenes’ so we don’t care haha.. It’s all about having a good time and partying.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before and how do you think your closest relative might describe your music?
We try to keep it heavy yet melodic. Crunchy guitars, plenty of break downs, lots of screaming, a bit of singing, fast and heavy drums. There’s also a pop element to it all though with some electronic synths and dancey rave parts.
Could you please detail what kind of costs went into creating and releasing your latest album? How did/does the record label help with the overall recording/distribution process?
In terms of the product, we had already paid for that before the label came on board. All up, this EP would have cost us close to $10,000 including; artwork, production, mastering etc. The label came on board and hooked us up with MGM to get physical product into stores like JB HiFi and digitally with iTunes. We work together more from a management perspective as opposed to the standard record deal so they dealt with merch, tour bookings, publicity etc.
Why did you originally choose to play your particular instrument, how long did it take for you to learn how to play and are you still receiving lessons?
I started to play synth specifically for the band because we wanted to add a new element. Still learning and never received lessons.
What would be your most memorable gig to date and why?
Most memorable gig was at a random house party in Ulladulla, NSW, Australia. Turned up not expecting much but there was about 150 people at this party. People were jumping up on the stage and a ‘little person’ came up on someone's shoulders which took us by surprise! Shit was insane! Haha..
Which would be your favourite song to play and why?
Favourite song for most of us to play would be ‘Surroundings’. We all play a pretty decent part in this track. Live also, I think, as this track is the most in-your-face, so to speak, which is reflected in the feedback in terms of crowd participation.
If applicable, which one of your music videos are you most proud of and why?
We only have one to date ‘No Mirrors, No Reflections’ off our last EP, so we would have to unfortunately say that one. It was mad fun at the time, but now in preparation for our new one, it (No Mirrors, No Reflections) will not even come close to the awesomeness of the new one!
Can you please detail what you tend to base your lyrics on and could you quote your favourite verse?
Lyrics are mostly based on life experiences e.g. girlfriends, shit times, good times and throwing in some sick ideas that just pop into our head. It’s hard to pick a single verse or phrase but I do like “I won’t catch her this time, she shatters, she breaks” and “hallucinations keep me company”.
How did you go about acquiring your first gig and how was the turn out and overall experience?
Mikey, Kirk and I played our first gig when we were about 15 at the local youth centre which holds monthly band nights for young bands. It was awesome! A lot of our mates were there and the vibe was awesome!
How have you improved your band management since you first started the band? Have there been any lessons you've had to learn the hard way?
We got approached by the guys at Difrnt Music (Cog, Regular John, Sick Section) late last year and they put a whole new system in place which allows everything to be a lot more streamline. Everyone in the band has their own roles and responsibilities outside of playing music. We’ve had some bad management experiences in the past which we don’t really wanna get into because it’s a long story but we definitely did learn a lot. We were quite young at the time.
|R E L E A S E S
No Mirrors No Reflections
What have you found to be the most expensive part of being in a band?
The most expensive part of being in a band is probably either the equipment or the production costs. For the drummer, sticks are constantly having to be replaced, along with cracked cymbals, skins etc etc. For guitarists, the strings, leads, electrical problems… It all adds up! Production as a whole is quite expensive. Add to this, rehearsal costs and a whole bunch of miscellaneous expenses that always seem to pop up! It’s not cheap, haha!
Most bands tell me metal has no money in it, so what do you all do besides playing in the band in order to earn your living?
For a lot of metal bands, money doesn’t seem to be the reason they play the music. They generally play the music due to their love for it – that’s why we are playing the music we are playing. Playing shows live would have to be one of the most exciting things. Of course, playing in a band and making lots of money would be the ultimate goal but it’s more the passion for the music that it comes down to. Most of us have full time jobs which range from office jobs (believe it or not) to labouring - gotta pay the bills!
What kind of barriers or restrictions do you think exist within the Australian metal scene? And how do you think we can improve things overall?
Well having never experienced any metal scenes around the world, I don’t know if the restrictions would be specific to Australia or specific to metal for that matter. But in terms of logistics, it can become hard to tour as cities are so far apart and the population is quite small (relatively speaking). In Europe for example, you travel 100km and you’re in another country! Do that in Australia and you’re in the same state haha!
Have you ever had any mystical experiences?
> Insert acid trip < Haha, just joking!
My City Screams Facebook
My City Screams Myspace
My City Screams YouTube
My City Screams Twitter
My City Screams JJJ
Buy My City Screams
‘Interview with My City Screams’ by Déa di Morté © 24 May 2012
Hails! to Nathan for agreeing to participate and taking the time to complete this interview
All pictures courtesy of My City Screams