Todd Jones – Nails (Q & A)

Powerviolence band Nails are set to release their third full-length album in June, and by full-length we mean less than half an hour of pure aggression and passion. The album is the first to be released through Nuclear Blast records. Keep your eyes peeled and in the meantime, check out our chat with vocalist Todd Jones below ahead of You Will Never Be One of Us:

Here’s what Todd had to say:

Great to have you hear with us at Wall of Sound, bet you guys are getting excited for the official release of the new album coming out very soon?

Yeah I’m excited for it to be out. We’ve had it recorded for about 5 months now so I’m really looking forward to it being out there in the public domain.

We’ve had a little bit of a pre-listen ourselves and it’s a killer album, your first with Nuclear Blast records, are you happy with how it’s turned out?

Very happy, the recording is our best so far and the artwork is my favourite we’ve done to date, I really love it. From the few reviews I’ve seen, it seems like other people like it too so that’s nice (he chuckles).

Check out our review here: https://wallofsound.org/2016/04/29/nails-you-will-never-be-one-of-us-album-review/

Absolutely, what a punch that title track gives straight off the cuff, the whole album is simply brutal ferocity, I mean that’s your mantra, and your albums are really short, it’s like you cut all the bullshit and delivery a pure violent attack, is that just the way you guys roll?

We have never really looked at a full-length album in regards to how long it is, nor do we care who sets the standard on how long an album is. No distributor or business person is going to tell us how to make our record. I feel like our albums are full-lengths anyway, so yeah it’s short, it’s meant to be effective. We just kind of make songs and however long those songs become, ideally define how long the album is.

I like the approach, it’s very natural. You’re probably one of the first bands that remind me of Napalm Death, are they a big influence of you and the band?

Yeah most definitely, of course. They’re the originals, they’re a huge influence and their longevity [coupled with] their music they put out today is fuckin’ badass.

Do any other influences particularly come to mind when you think of Nails?

Yeah – Slayer, Minor Threat, Youth of Today and that’s about it really.

Of course if it includes bands like Slayer, we approve! So particularly the closing track ‘They Come Crawling Back’ is one track that really stands out on the album, it’s eight minutes long but nevertheless is as brutal as all the others, what can you tell us about that one?

We like to have a slow plodding song, we’ve done it on the past three albums. We just had a couple riffs and parts in mind and we went with it and it just ended up being eight minutes long. We didn’t intend for it to be that long, but it’s just how it turned out.

That’s really cool, again it’s kind of that approach of – “let’s see how this goes and throw it on a record but we love that it’s not mixed too much in that sense.

Yeah exactly, it’s organic you know, we just wrote the song based on how we felt and that’s pretty much it. We just wanted to make sure it didn’t get boring and I don’t think it is so it definitely has its place on the album – we just wouldn’t want to put it on the beginning of the album; it’s a closer.

When I think of the song ‘You’ll Never Be One of Us, I also think of Soulfly’s song ‘We Sold Our Souls to Metal’ and after collaborating with Max recently, was it an ideology of a bit of an ‘us and them’ mentality that you were going for?

It’s hard for me to tell who influenced it directly but it might have been subliminally directed to that song. I heard their record ‘Archangel’ from front to back and it’s a really good record, probably the best Soulfly record (maybe ever). I listened to the album a lot when I wrote that song so it’s possible but it wasn’t something that was a conscious decision.

And you did ‘Sodomites’ with them on that very album, how was that whole experience?

Oh it was surreal, I actually wasn’t in the same room as Max when recording, just with someone who recorded it, Matt Hyde – so I went to his house. He has a vocal booth set up [there] and I just went and got the lyrics for the song. Max’s wife told me which lines to sing and I just put them out. A couple of days later I went to go see Cavalera Conspiracy, hung out with Igor, Max, Gloria and their kids – it was a good time and they said they were stoked on the songs. Max’s voice is still so awesome too so I was just worried that wasn’t going to be able to compete with his voice (laughs) but they said they liked it so that’s the only reassurance I really needed.

In an interview with you did back in 2014, you discussed touring Nails and how you didn’t believe it would ever be big enough to support your family and all that kind of stuff but with all the music you’re releasing, what if you explode and get huge successes. In two years has the bar been raised been higher than before?

No, not at all. It’s so hard to be able to make six figures off Nails, it’s not enough. It’s simply not going to happen and I don’t like the lifestyle that lends itself to being a touring musician. You saw that statement from the singer from Thy Art is Murder and that’s very real. Sure, they are a much bigger band than we are, but how much did he make? $30,000 a year? For a guy that’s trying to get married and have a kid, that’s just unacceptable.

So when are we going to see Nails down under?

We may not be able to get to Australia every year but we’re gonna be coming out there on this record and we’re going to make sure that we’re not playing some sort of festival, that we’re only playing club shows that’ll support bands that we pick and it’ll be the best atmosphere for Nails fans, I can guarantee you that. Look out for Nails in 2017 Australia!

Ricky Aarons (rickysaul90)

Todd Jones | vocals, guitars
John Gianelli | bass
Taylor Young | drums

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1 Comment on Todd Jones – Nails (Q & A)

  1. I became a huge fan of Nails faster than any other band I ever really got into. I’m truly looking forward to June 17th!

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