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Nails to hammer Il Motore to foundations on Tuesday night.

Posted by Lorcan / April 25, 2013

Nails band small.jpgEveryone's favourite Little Italy venue will have a severe test of its foundational strength put in place when both Nails and Xibalba roll into town on Tuesday for a casual evenings of relentless hardcore pounding. With the renowned Southern Lord touting their recent 'Abandon All Life' record, the Californians will be intent on whipping up quite the storm.

The reputation the group has for a frenetic live show is considerable, and makes for some serious worries in regards to the sound desk of the usually calm venue being overwhelmed by waves of enthusiastic crowd surfers. For those more venerable of us who shy away from the pit in general, this line-up still makes for a hell of a prospect.

Lorcan Archer caught up with Nails frontman and guitarist Todd Jones to discuss their new record, touring habits and their lightning bolt of a live show.

'Abandon All Life' is the latest Nails album, which you're touring in support of. It's possibly even more intense than your debut - does the name suggest an even stronger Death Metal influence having taken hold of the band, stripping away any shred of positivity or life?

The name is meant as a positive. To abandon everything and know you're not alone. In terms of what we were listening to around recording time...a little Suffocation here and there doesn't hurt. Also Celtic Frost, Battalion Of Saints and Repulsion.

The new album tears along nicely, but then ends with a distinctly different track in 'Suum Cuique'. Can you tell us a little about that track and the Latin title it exhibits?

Yeah, Saba wrote all the riffs in that song. It's the only NAILS song where I didn't write any riffs for it. The idea was to make the heaviest song we've ever made, and I think we did it. I gave Saba some inspiration and put his head down and ran full speed into a wall with it.

As far as the title, on our 2010 European tour we visited Buchenwald and on the entrance gates there was the phrase "Jedem Das Seine". I had no idea what it meant so I looked it up. The definition is essentially "every man gets what he deserves". After I read that I decided we were going to call our album that but putting more thought into it, I decided that was a poor choice as a lot of people take great offense to it.

Of course we wouldn't have meant it in an offensive way but I felt would be irresponsible to do that, just as I feel it's fucked up to say the word "faggot" so...we opted for the less offensive latin term which "Jedem das Seine" comes from. To answer your question, I see that meaning as more of a Karma thing. To each their own.

Xibalba are your touring partners for this particular trek into Canada. Do you think they'll give you some serious competition in terms of chaos taking place on the floor in front of the stage? What's your relationship?

I'm sure people we'll be maniacal during their set (as they should be) but I don't look at things in terms of competition. I've been following Xibalba since they put their demo out, I made friends with them, we are all friends with them, we're all from California, we all like their band it just makes sense to tour at this time. Everything worked out and I'm glad it did because the pairing of our bands is a really good one.

One of the striking things about 'Abandon All Life' is how short and sweet it is. It arrives, kicks the shit out of you, and then pretty much gets out of dodge. Can we expect a similar live performance from the group when you land in Montreal on April 30th?

We'll be playing all of 'Abandon All Life', most of 'Unsilent Death', and some of 'Obscene Humanity'. We don't take many breaks, so that's exactly what you can expect.

Your artwork for the new album is striking - dark figures wreathed in an angry red vortex. Was there any particular motive behind it or where you happy to simply let the artist express what he heard in the music?

We wanted cloaked figures and a mass grave, that's all we asked for. Farron (also vocalist for Lightning Swords of Death) killed it.

Nails is often perceived as a hardcore band playing with a style and intensity that reflects Death Metal. Is that an assessment you'd find yourself relatively comfortable with?

Yeah sure. I don't care what people call us I'm just happy that people check our band out and check out our new album...I've heard things like people are surprised when they see pictures of us and we don't look like subhuman mutants as maybe our music suggests. Yeah man I don't know or care. The music speaks for itself if people have an issue with our physical image that's their problem, not ours. We like how we look.

You have a few long drives ahead of you during this tour. What do Nails listen to while traveling between cities? Anything trusty you always reach for to relieve the boredom?

Classic albums. We try to listen to stuff that everybody can agree on.

Finally - any particular new groups or bands you've been enjoying lately? No genre restrictions!

New...I'm not so sure. I'll listen to any Evoken album at any time. The new Vhol is fucking good, and so is the new Hatred Surge. I've been listening to Suicidal Tendencies a lot lately.

Nails, Xibalba, Early Graves, Lay Waste and Dark Circles will play Il Motore on Tuesday, April 30th. Tickets are priced at $13 in advance or $15 on the door. Check out the event page here.


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