Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images Move out of the way because Beyonce is playing…
- Posted on Mar 14th 2010 11:00PM by Amber Walker
How did your band form?
The band formed in summer of 2007, and it was Ed and Bobby were in a band -- they are our bass playing and guitar player. Me and the drummer, Nick, were in a band. And we were best friends and we went on a tour of Michigan. It was kind of a joke of a tour; we were all pretty young, so it was mind blowing that we were going on this awesome four day tour. Their band broke up, and as soon as they broke up I felt like me and Nick's band had broken up. So we just go the idea to start a band with the most dedicated members, so we gathered up us four. We all get along, we all work together at the same place so it's cool.
Where are you guys from?
Valparaiso, Indiana -- on a good day 45 minutes from Chicago. On a map it's right under lake Michigan. It's a cool area, really infested with the steel industry. In elementary school the teacher was like, "How many people's dads work in the mills?" and every kid in the class would raise their hand. But it's a very strong middle class kinda feel. It is a good representation of us.
Describe your sound in your own words.
I would like to think that the drums and bass lock in really well, being very strong percussion section -- it's very pushy. It directs the songs really well, and we throw and intertwine guitar work on top of that. Something cool to me is to have good chords than to shred.
What is more important to your music -- the instruments or the lyrics?
I'll give you a good clichéd answer -- we have to find a balance. It's hard focus to write a song unless we know what it's about, and then we try to direct the instrumentation around that. But I also think that Bobby is an English major so he is really good with his words. If I had to pick one though it would be the instrumentation.
What inspires you to write your music?
I think that one of our biggest influences is our friends' bands that we surround ourselves with and really close friends. I would say eighty percent of our songs are about our friends. Our friends sticking their necks out for us, or a band breaking up. Other things, like our first EP was about being pissed off a lot -- like being s--- on all the time and being screwed over.
What are your musical influences?
I am a huge fan of Kaki King. There is the classics like Refuse -- all the punk classics. When you go on a van ride with us we are listening to top forty hits, not because they are all good but it's fun. We try to take it all in. Bobby likes some shit I will never listen to, no offense if he is readings this. I like movie soundtracks, and we like Giants and Former Thieves -- they are so good, they have a big influence on the stuff we are writing right now.
How did you come up with your band name?
Native is a satire on the assholes we are surrounded by. Like people who litter, that really bothers me. It is about the native American -- not the traditional native American but what the new native American became which is an asshole who doesn't give a shit about anything but himself and is conceited.
What's your favorite song on your new album?
I would have to say 'Member's List' because it is about death. It was the hardest song to write on the album; we rewrote it and rewrote it until we pissed each other off. The most thought was put into that song; it has really good dynamics. There are parts that people can really connect with, but unfortunately when we play it live it doesn't translate as well as it does on CD. It has a strong meaning to us and I am happy it got completed. There were so many times we were like, "F--- it, it's too hard."
What's your biggest vice?
We like to wrestle in the van while we're driving, kinda bad. On the last tour we did it was so awesome -- we started where we would get Bobby and we would get him in a half nelson and full nelsons all the time and just poke him because he can't really do anything about it. I got him into the Walter-Jericho on the dashboard in the van and Nate had this loaf of bread he had been working on all week and we annihilated it -- it was flat as hell. We weren't wearing seat belts, which is pretty bad.
What's in your festival survival kit?
I'm kinda nervous, I didn't know we should have one! I guess 'The Hunted' DVD. Oh, and Goose Island Root beer, it's our favorite.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
There was this one guy test driving a car, it was a convertible and has the stickers on it and everything and the dude pulled up to a red light -- and then just ran. It was one of the best things we have ever seen. And we just thought, "That dude is the man," and I am baffled by his actions; it's pretty awesome.
What was your favorite gig you've played?
Obviously home town shows always mean a lot to us. I always loved St. Louis, those kids are so cool and the guy who puts our shows together -- we mean a lot to him, he means a lot to us. We love that guy, Mark. He always shows us the best time and feeds us really well. The shows are unreal, off the chain ... off the hook.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Anything from the pop punk bands, like Fall Out Boy. 'Do Wah Diddy' ... and that song from the '80s, 'Jessie's Girl' -- it's so awful, and who is Jessie? And who is this girl that is so great? And is Jessie pissed that this song was written? But it's so catchy. It's always in my head.
Beatles or Stones?
Amber Walker is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.