Saturday, June 9, 2012
NAILED DOWN INTERVIEW
Nailed Down are a hardcore punk band from Perth, Australia that played a range of styles on a number of records from the mid 90's to the early 00's. Everything from blistering, chaotic fastcore to raw d-beat to even some street punk. I was very intrigued by their journey and had some questions for their main man Kim, guitarist/vocalist, and he was nice enough to answer them.
What year did Nailed Down start?
Kim:Nailed Down started in 1993 we played our first gig on Halloween (Oct 31st) 1993.
If anyone is interested Nailed Down is about the fifth band I have been in.The first was Pestilence formed in 1987 some people out there may remember us,
we were pretty popular at one stage with tape traders around the late 80s...Pestilence was a great band-it was so much fun we were all learning our instruments and Punk was still really fresh for us.
A common misconception was that Pestilence was a Grindcore band,even though the demo had that sound ,we were not.When we all first met we were influenced by the UK Riot city records bands..Chaos UK,Disorder,Varukers,Chaotic Dischord etc
We all had spikey hair,Mohicans,studded leather jackets etc ha ha the whole GBH thing. Ian Belford our singer came across the European and Scandi bands mainly by the Cleanse the bacteria and Beating the meat compilation lps,They got played over and over,we use to get drunk on cider and listen to Neos and Crude SS and just want to play fast noisy punk..we also had a rather political/anarchist grounding in those days from Crass and Conflict.Stuart our drummer was a huge American HC fan in those mid 1980s days,from him we were introduced to Negative fx,Misfits,Septic Death,MDC,DRI Negative Approach etc and you must remember that in the mid 80s in Perth way before You tube/even the internet it was hard to find out information about bands,HC,Punk etc We could get MRR and that was it.We were all just coming out of the UK82 influence,it seemed like a year ago we were all listening to Exploited ha ha ..it was very much Mohawks,tartan pants..etc ha ha ha.
Anyway I remember the day Punk for us changed from punk to HC in 87/88 I bought the Chaos UK/ENT split LP..all of us loved Chaos UK (Stuarts drum rolls were influenced by the drumming on Short sharp shock LP)...Went home called up my mates and we chucked on the lp Chaos uk was great then we flipped it over to the ENT side and went Fuckin hell!!!! from there it spread...as the UK82 sadly died with Discharge turning gay on Grave new world and then here quickly comes the mid to late 80s UK HC thing with Heresy,Concrete Sox,Ripcord,Electro Hippies etc..those records were very readily available in Perth record shops.Napalm death back then was a real urban myth the fastest band in the world..we were waiting for Scum to be released-that was a huge influence on Pestilence as well-so in a couple of years helped along with cheap wine,cider pot we went from Exploited/Disorder to Napalm Death Scum LP.Oh yeah I also liked the Amebix and ripped off one of their riffs in "winter"We recorded a demo and Nuclear blast records put a few songs on the Pleasures in life comp LP.Those days were great fun.
Years later I was talking to Pestilence bass player Matt Snashell,(who was a bit older than us and had played in some of Perths first early 80s HC punk bands) and discovered that he loved all the 80s Finish bands and was Pen pals with Rike from Bastards & Riistetyt! I said fuck Matt you should have influenced Pestilence down that path..we laughed and he said "yeah I should have"..
After Pestilence feel apart I got Todd from local Conflict Anarcho style band SDI on bass and a guy who was usually in the crowd at Pestilence gigs Mike Newman on drums and started Resolute..Resolute was mainly influenced by Unseen Terror,Heresy,Napalm Death,Filthy Christians and SOB.Then we came across this new band called Bolt Thrower & in battle there is no law LP-Graeme joined on second guitar and Brought in a more metal influence as he and Mike were secret Slayer fans ha ha.Resolute was really popular as a local band in the very late 80s.I liked the very early gigs but the later stuff up until were recorded makes me cringe!!! it became bad Terroriser /earache grind metal
we were to sign a three LP deal with Nuclear Blast records over three years,I left the band at the last minute and wished them well as it was getting too metal for me..I wanted to play Anticimex/Discharge style in 89/90 but the guys wanted to stick to metal, maybe we could have reach a middle ground but I was over it-I think Resolute kept on rehearsing for ages with a new vocalist, writing some complex metal sounds even in the Metallica style and didn't end up signing the Nuclear Blast Deal as it was too restrictive.oh yeah we recorded an expensive (at that time) demo, Resolute slowly fell apart and never gigged again.Mike went on to drum for Rupture on righteous fuck ep and Corrupture 10" etc.
around this time there was nothing in Perth for years..NOTHING,
In 1992 Matt Mansell from Controlled by fear(pre Rupture) returned from Sydney to Perth we hooked up and formed REFUSE an Anarcho punk sounding band similar to Disaffect/Conflict etc with male/female vocals..we did a studio recording, Ryuji Asada Battle of disarm was going to release a 7"ep by us but he was full of shit we sent him the recording but nothing was pressed-the band split after a year or two.
A few of my friends from other bands (Runt) and me got a side project going called "The Fucking Bastards" is was a joke/fun band playing Punk and disorderly style punk we played alot of gigs-we have a few live
tapes and a demo recorded by Matt stublefuck of hundskit studios.We would dress up in 77 style punk clothes when we played gigs ha ha.
1993 I formed Nailed Down with Nev the bass player from Refuse and Patto drums from Cachexia,In those early days the idea was to mix fast blast beats with Dbeat.(Infest meets Anticimex basically)
I recently read that there was a demo called Punk No Die. Was this an official demo? Were there any songs from this that were never re-recorded for any other records?
Kim:Yes Punk no die was official,it had three live shows from the very early days,,up until 94 I think,These sets led up to the Honour and Glory 94 recording.there might have been a live song or two that never made it onto a release.I still have Punk no die tape somewhere.
I'm curious about Honour and Glory. I've had this for years and just assumed it was recorded around the time it came out (1997) I've heard from various sources that this is one of your first recordings, from 93-94. Were you originally planning for this to be your first release but things didn't pan out?
Kim: that's exactly right,Our very first studio recording was done with the very first line up in 1993 I think it was only 3 songs quickly recorded after Cachexia had a booked a studio they recorded and went home, there was studio time left so Patto who was drumming in both bands said lets do a quick demo-the songs came out on Chaos of Destruction 2 comp LP.
Honour and Glory line up was me, Matt Egan on bass and Matt Mansell (Controlled by fear/Refuse) on drums..we started out as a steady unit rehearsing every week, playing gigs,We were going full steam ahead and the year or two of Honour & Glory days was great for ND,we even did a two song video by cam from Chickenshit who was studying media and TV at the time.We recorded the Honour and glory set and it was going to come out as a self titled 7"ep by Spiral Objective,(the first ND release)
For what ever reason it got delayed,at this point drugs were starting to really fuck up Nailed Down and the band ended.....a little while later Dean and Craig joined (Violent Distortion line up) and we wrote a new set.The honour and glory recording some how ended up as a flexi on Six Weeks a few years later and mean while the new line up started writing Violent Distortion.
Violent Distortion seems to be the fan favorite and definitely the fastest/most brutal. What were some influences at the time when you were writing this record? Do you find it obnoxious when people only pay attention to this release? Around the time it came out, did you feel any connection/camaraderie with the "powerviolence/Slap a ham" scene of the time or to you was it just hardcore punk?
Kim:The main influence was No Comment:Downsided ep.Also Infest,early SOB,Confuse and Anticimex amoung others.I remember playing the Partisans LP on 45 speed for inspiration ha ha.
I think the Violent Distortion era was very restrictive and one dimensional.I dont really like that period of Nailed Down as we pretty much became a studio project-at first it was funny,you know we would say" Fuck the Perth scene,We,re not playing live to those idiots"..but after a while I really wanted to play live,tour etc but mainly Dean wouldn't have it and refused.No i have no Connection/camaraderie with the powerviolence/Slap a ham scene.I dont like Powerviolence,I like the early bands that influenced powerviolence such as Siege.Infest,No comment etc those bands were going even before the term Powerviolence existed.To me anyway we were just playing fast HC like Zyklone A.early Heresy etc.I know we released a few crap records but I think there is more than just Violent Distortion.I think it has a thin sound and should have been half as long,maybe a 7"ep.yes it shits me that people only pay attention to this release..if you want the fast style ND, Resurrection is alot better.
In the mid 90's, with you guys, Rupture and Heist going, did you feel like there was going to be a Perth explosion and the whole world was going to start paying attention?
Kim:No.I hated Heist and Rupture by that stage had become Dickhead rockstars so far up their own faggot arsehole.I reckon after Pestilence the Perth HC punk scene was boring.The Collapse (2003) were ok kinda like Tragedy meets Scandinavian Jawbreaker.But in over 25 year the only local band I really like is WARTHREAT who are a current Perth Hc punk band playing Anticimex/Shitlickers/Confuse style HC punk.Most other Perth bands just suck.For years there will be nothing then a year or two excitement then nothing for years again; Dead by Monday were a chaos punk band a bit like Exploited/Casualties they were ok but lasted a very short time..thats what I remember about the late 80s and 90s it was boring music wise for ages, a band would form play a short time and die.Ok, when Rupture started playing live baser apes/Corrupture era it was good but it didnt last long-it went to shit-their fans were just inbred faggot retards and they ended up becoming Rockstars,and they soon sucked.
No one in Perth ever really played the raw Japanese/Swedish punk stuff I liked,it was unknown for years except now that Warthreat have formed .
In 1996, it was obvious that you wanted to change the sound and move away from the ultrafast hardcore in favor of a raw, stripped down sound akin to Kuro, Confuse, Mob 47, etc. It appears that the Leak of Deadly Bacteria EP and splits with DPPS and Dis-machine were recorded all at the same session. At what point did you start recording the demos for what would become Atrocious Damnation? I've read that these were rough versions sent to Matthias from Ecocentric to show him what your new songs were like and that he wanted to release it as is! What was your response to that? Was there a sense of relief like "phew, now we don't have to re-record them" or had you hoped to re-record them in a studio? I've grown to enjoy the raw production of it. I think it works!
Kim:No-I wish most of those records never got released! Or we recorded them with a kick arse studio sound.we should have been alot more strict about releasing any old shit..half the time we were pissed or out of it and didn't give a fuck! 1996 I started trading videos
and came across the Japanese Kyushu band 白(KURO)this band really had an effect on me in so many ways.I was aware of them from tape trading in the late 80s,the who the helpless tape I had was good but the 1986 VHS was amazing..the clubbed spikes,the leather gear the violence the crowd singing along the fireworks,violence,fist fights..it was real punk-I just wanted to play Scandinavian/Japanese hc punk.Dean the Violent Distortion drummer fucking hates Dbeat Swedish HC punk he wont play it.
Those three releases(Leak of deadly bacteria,DPPS split,Dis-machine split) were all recorded in one session at a shit back alley recording studio in the dodgey area of Perth frequented by druggies and prostitutes..I fucking hate it with a passion!!! I wish the DPPS & Dismachine splits were never released!
Their are some fucking good riffs on the Leak of deadly bacteria 7"ep I wish it had Massive production it would be alot better-that was really the style I wanted but coulnt get the sound.we recorded that on $200 and were really really rushed trying to fit in 3 releases in one recording.The Sound engineer had never heard of bands like Crude SS,Varaus..he was fucking spun out by us.
But yes it was a breath of fresh air to throw away the shackles of the powerviolence and play Mob 47 style Dbeat,,Mike our "kid" drummer wanted to play live and he loved stuff
like Shitlickers/Anticimex.We spent alot of time drinking at Mikes house where we use to rehearse and record on my tascam 4 track..I never really mastered 4 track recording...ha ha.I loved playing that style at last but wasnt happy with the sound on those releases.
You know its a real shit that we were trying to play that Mob 47/Confuse style in Australia in the 90s..no one wanted to know or was interested-they just wanted to
listen to their Toe to Toe/Hard Ons/Mindsnare style HC..now 15 years later its all the fucking rage with Kromosom/Leprosy/Pisschrist/vaginors etc and no nod to what we were trying to get going in 96 in Aust.
Kim : Well after recording those 96 releases I went back-packing around the UK & Europe for about 4 months.In that time Mike Drums & Craig (from Violent Distortion)on bass never saw each other and the band once again fell apart.When I got back Dean & Craig caught up with me and were all excited and wanted to get the "good old Nailed Down of old" going again.we started rehearsing, yes playing fast stuff again as Dean was drumming and Ive told you already about his aversion to doing a Dbeat,and made up a set Yes TOTAL Violent Distortion style more extreme even- and we recorded the rehearsal on my Tascam 4-track.(thus the 97 demo)I have absolutely no fucking idea why that version of Nailed Down never took off..it just died.Your correct in that some of the ideas and riffs ended up on Resurrection.
It looks like the Victory CD was recorded in '99. What year was Perth Wolfpack recorded? Why did you decide to include the Victory songs on the B Side of the Perth Wolfpack lp? Was the Might is Right EP recorded during this same session?
Kim: Might is right was recorded in 99.We recorded about an LPs worth of material but only an eps worth was released, Perth Wolfpack/Victory was recorded in 2000 yes its the same session.
Scott the drummer on those releases and I were both getting into OI! and Slapshot, we laughed at the whole Boston jock/thug image it was classic.PERTH WOLFPACK was recorded at the same studio that recorded 80s Perth legendary Skinhead band Whitenoise.The recording session was a real mix-the OI! songs of Perth Wolfpack and the raw Dbeat songs of Victory CD..I came up with the idea of keeping the two style separated on releases so no one would know what the fuck ND was doing.At this stage I started writing To Kenji Kawahara(KWR) trying to find out any information about KURO.
Mr Kawahara KWR wanted to release Nailed Down as he told me in a letter he thought we were the only band he had heard of in modern times that had the same "sound and feel" of the old KYUSHU punk bands..Gai/Swankys/Confuse/Kuro etc
so Nailed Down released Victory CD on Kings World Records.this is one of my personal favorite Nailed Down releases.
Thomas Power it up really wanted to do another release after Might is right but we didnt have much tracks left-I suggested a Perth wolfpack 45 RPM 12" ep- I was over this whole dumb arse HC mentality of putting 2000 songs on a release.He liked the street punk oi! old school sound but said it wasn't long enough..time wise,,fuck we should have made it a 7"ep we just added on Victory (which was from the same session-but a totally different syle) to Perth Wolfpack and it was released-I think the packaging is great but the record itself is pretty average..funny pseudo meat head /OI!/Slapshot/Boston meat head attitudes and lyrics which are I find are some of the most FUCKING HILARIOUS i ever wrote.If the shit releases of the DPPS split didn't turn the sheep like fans away, then this release would have been the final nail in the ND coffin.ha ha ha ha.I love the whole fuck you/hatecore/thug attitude of Perth wolfpack LP..but maybe it should have just been an ep.As a first LP it would have been better to do some raging raw punk stuff.Scott went back to Sydney.
Resurrection seems to be a return to the Violent Distortion/ultrafast sound. What brought this about? Did a lot of it have to do with playing with Dean on drums again?
Kim:Yes to a degree-I really wanted to get ND actually going..you know recording,gigging,touring Australia and overseas.Dean was up for it again (but on his terms) and we met a keen young HC kid named Rohan.(later Extortion)who played bass.
I wanted to do Anticimex/Kuro style, Dean flatly refused and just wanted to do Dropdead/Capitalist Casualties rubbish-I said no fucking way pal-so we found a middle ground of the old fast Negative fx Boston HC sound.It was always a pain in the arse getting Dean to play live he hated playing live with Nailed Down.
Dean and Rohan just kept on wanting to go more and more Powerviolence-I wanted to do the noisey Anti cimex/Crude SS/Kuro style-but they hated the whole noisey Dbeat style for ND,so I let the band stop and later on Rohan formed Extortion and ended up asking Dean to Drum and they played live alot the rest is history.
Is it crazy to see Rohan carrying on with Extortion after his stint in Nailed Down and them making quite a name for themselves worldwide?
Kim:ha ha ha ha no not really I'm use to ND going no where and members going onto other bands that make a name for themselves ha ha..good on Rohan all the best to him
he is a nice person and he really has his heart in music,I don't mean to Slag Extortion but they are Fucking boring for me ha ha ha they remind me of a mass produced commodity-market researched to bring maximum return.It sounds like Obituary to me,Dean gave me a couple of their early CD's and I thought it all sounded the same.
I'm gonna assume the Ruido split was recorded during the Resurrection session. Was there a conscious Crossed Out influence going into these songs?
Kim:It was recorded a little while after Resurrection on 4 track.We did it as a bit of a laugh really,yes it was a nod to Crossed out-we were joking saying we,ll do a real
cheesy "Slap a ham" style recording cause thats what the kids and the record label wants,I didnt care by this stage I did the session and said mix it do what ever you want to it..I went home and got drunk to drown my sorrows that I had sold my soul to Powerviolence and didnt get to put out a kick arse "Victims of a bombraid/WC Räjähtää style recording.
I wished I lived in Sweden or the UK,Id probably be rehearsing with Charlie Claesson on drums playing the stuff I have always wanted to ha ha ha
Did Nailed Down ever officially break up?
Kim: No Never.I have always wanted to keep playing..Im just surrounded by fucking idiots.
The interview ends there. Last I heard from Kim, he was jamming again with an old drummer so maybe we will see another Nailed Down record in our lifetime?