Nate from Take Over And Destroy has a new solo release under the name Spirit Adrift that is two epic songs of emotional doom and core release. Check out Behind-Beyond HERE. It’s gorgeous and metal as heck.
I have a new solo/collaborative album for my Walking Bombs project called Know You’re Wild HERE. It features seven years of songs with no home and collaborations with guests including Nate Hall of USX, Sean Paul Pillsworth of Nightmares For A Week, violinist/vocalist Grace Moore and Jay Andersen of the noise rock band Surmiser. It’s a mix of acoustic, grunge, garage, emo and all kinds of stuff.
Nate and I both share in common a lot of demons, serious struggles with the sauce and some manic tendencies that we are trying to learn to live with. Music is one thing that helps but so does feeling like it is ok to talk about it, sometimes.
We decided to take turns interviewing each other. It was pretty cool and unexpected. Forewarning, it is pretty intense here and there.
Read the exchange BELOW.
1.So, I think I have about ten years on you. It is weird to be pushing 40 and
still wanting to devote a lot of time to music that, honestly, is hard
pressed to go anywhere in today’s fake climate. But I think at a certain
point it becomes more than that. Can you talk about what started you on the
path of an underground metal player and why you are still doing it?
Nate Garrett- I always wonder what happened to start this whole process, and
what allowed it to transform into something that I’ll never be able to stop
doing. I was watching the Tom Petty documentary the other day for the
thousandth time, and a guy mentioned all the good rock n roll artists who
lost their mothers early. How they have something to prove to the world, how
they need recognition and affection almost like a drug. That might have
something to do with it, I don’t know. The most literal answer I could give
you is when I was about 14 or 15 years old, my buddies and I covered
“Tourettes” by Nirvana for our 8th grade talent show, and I was immediately
hooked on the feeling.
2.Ha, awesome. Mine covered “School”! But ninth grade. So, I remember hearing TOAD and it was one of first bands since Acid Bath where I felt like the super heavy and weird psych merged with some actual melodic
emotion. I was a bit envious cuz it is hard to find people adept at all those
styles. Spirit Adrift seems more personal, but has the same kind of epic yet
forlorn feeling I get from early Hammers of Misfortune, if way more doomy. Do
you feel like screaming has hit a wall or is an easy way out often?
Thank you for the kind words. Acid Bath is one of those bands that will
forever be important to me and remind me of my connection to the south, so I
appreciate that. I would say screaming, for a lot of people, is an easy way
out. However, singing, for a lot of people, is also an easy way out. Most
people look for the easy way out, period. For me personally, screaming,
growling, and death metal vocals are far more difficult physically. It really
just depends on the band and the individual. How much work do you put in? It
doesn’t matter how much you care. How much work do you put in? How much
attention and practice are you dedicating toward your art form? Mike from YOB
is the best example of a guy who is as good a singer as you could be, and as
good a screamer as you could be. To him, both styles serve an emotional
purpose. I watch that guy sometimes and I think, “he fucking PRACTICES.”
That’s what’s up. At first, I considered doing harsh vocals for Spirit
Adrift, but I sounded too goofy. I’m glad I ended up doing them the way I
did. I just wanted the vocals to have as much emotional power as possible,
and be as sincere as possible.
3.In your Noisey piece on battling alcoholism you nailed it that Pantera when
drunk on whiskey is like the best music in the world. Sometimes it is that
sugar release and adrenaline. But, like…stuff you would normally never do
becomes the obvious thing to do. Like sucker punch a security guard at a
Mastodon show for zero reason (my friend Kevin from Red Neckromancer/Tiger
Piss). But there’s a fine line between fun conversational beer and suddenly
screaming Thin Lizzy at top of lungs (cool) or becoming Nick Cage in Leaving
Las Vegas. Some people don’t even realize they aren’t wired for it,
especially if you build up a tolerance and feel invincible. How did you know
you had a problem?
This is all accurate. I used to get it in my head all the time that people at
the bar were fucking with me. There was some sort of reptilian part of my
brain that just wanted to fight, inflict damage on myself and others. One of
the many, many cruel and horrible things about being in the throes of an
addiction is that at the time, your behavior makes perfect sense. Because
you’re fucked up. You become wholeheartedly convinced of your own delusions.
It’s strange you mentioned Acid Bath, I was just talking with a buddy
yesterday about something related.
One of the last shows I went to before I
realized I had to stop drinking was Dax Riggs. It was a great night until I
became convinced the guy I was talking to was some guy pretending to be Dax
Riggs the whole time. I flipped out on Dax fucking Riggs. That’s how fucked
up I was. Not just drunk. Fundamentally, all-the-way fucked up. On the slight
chance that Dax ever reads this, I sincerely apologize. You’re a hero to me.
I realized a long time ago I had a problem, but it took me an entire drinking
career of humiliating incidents such as that, plus being incapable of
functioning, to actually accept the fact that I needed to do something about
the problem. That’s the important thing.
4.Is it hard to explain to people, or do you relate…sometimes for me
depression is like, physical. I can do all the meditating I want and eat well
or soak in a tub. But there is this empty feeling. Yawning void. I don’t know
if it is self loathing or just raw trauma.But I also realize I have huge
missing chunks of memory and not just from drinking. From childhood also.
That’s interesting man. I can remember almost drowning in the ocean when I
was like… two years old. My curiosity led me to fall of a dock. I was down
there for a long time and saw dinosaurs swimming all around me. Might have
been DMT shooting off in my dome, who knows. But other than that, most of my
memories up until I was about ten years old are kind of gone. I never really
thought about that, but it makes sense because that was a pretty traumatic
time for my family. As far as depression, I’ve come to understand that
something like depression or a panic attack is probably as impossible for
guys like us to describe to other people as it is for parents to describe
what having a child is like. You just don’t understand until you’ve
Depression is weird man. Now that I’m living a life I can
actually enjoy and be proud of, I still get depressed, but there’s not even
the slightest amount of sadness with it. You’re correct in saying it’s
physical. For me it comes in the form of a total drain of motivation. I get
really indecisive and I just don’t want to do anything. And that’s the worst
way it could affect me. I like to get shit done. It doesn’t happen as often
as it used to, and when it does I’m much better at fighting through it. But
I’m starting to accept the fact that it’ll always be there.
5.Has the living in the desert helped to sort of bring some calm out in you? There are
really great stretched out passages in the Spirit Adrift stuff that feel like
you are just opening your heart to the beauty of being alive. When can we
expect a full length?
Wow, that’s very nice of you to say. I’m really glad you felt it that way.
Waylon Jennings came to Arizona to get sober, so there might be something to
that. He’s buried right by my house. He’s probably my favorite of all time,
if I had to pick one. Him or Tom Petty are always neck and neck. I wouldn’t
call the Phoenix metro a calming environment, necessarily. If anything, the
heat and traffic in Phoenix brings out the dormant raging asshole in me. But
regardless of that… yes, I’ve definitely become a much more tranquil person
than I’ve ever been. I think inner peace is what’s responsible for my
relationships with my loved ones being better. I’m getting married in October
to straight up, no exaggeration, the best person I’ve ever met in my life. We
have the most bad ass dog we could ever imagine. My relationship with my
folks is better than it’s ever been. This sounds like some romantic comedy
bullshit, but I have a home within myself now, and I’ve never had that. So I
guess it doesn’t matter where I am, physically.
The full length is coming out this year, and sooner than I initially
6.You talked to me in an email about things in music coming together more
when you stop worrying about “making it.” It’s funny that the opposite is
true about health. You have to start caring or feel like part of you deserves
redeeming. I for one have super high standards for myself which sucks as a
manic depressive because as soon as I have anxiety attacks I literally hate
myself and feel super embarassed about whoever I talked to and probably
sounded semi incoherent or a mile a minute or repeated myself too often. Or
like super nervous I am going to blow it and person I’m interviewing or
trying to talk to will not like me. Like, booze or even more so heroin when I
was a teenager would actually make me feel a plateau of functional. I would
shoot up and go jogging. Who does that? But…do you ever feel like it is
hard to tell stories of what you have been through without being judged?
I have a similarly themed question for you too, my man. I relate so much to
what you said about talking to people when you’re manic or panicking, and
being so embarrassed. God, that hits close to home. I worry sometimes that
everyone hates me. Or just tolerates me. My manic states are crazy. Suddenly,
for no reason, everything is fucking amazing. My fiancé has the patience of a
Buddhist monk. “Hey! Watch this video! This is the best Aretha Franklin
performance of all time! Listen to this song! Appreciate this with me! Oh my
god! Look at this picture of Tony Iommi in a bathtub!” Just nonstop. She’s a
saint for putting up with that shit.
As far as being judged, we just have to
realize something. Everyone is fucked up. Everybody. If someone seems like
they’re not fucked up they’re just really good at faking it. And if somebody
actually legitimately isn’t fucked up, they’re probably gonna explode one day
and do some Ted Bundy shit. So who cares what anybody thinks about anybody
else? And if you want to get mystical with it, we’re all one anyway.
7. How does it feel to have a supportive partner throughout this who respects
your musical journey? And also your growth as a person?
It’s crucial. A lesser person would have given up on me a long time ago, and
it would have been totally justified. She’s the strongest, kindest, most
inspiring person I know. And I know some pretty good people.
1. What lead to you creating music as Walking Bombs?
Morgan Y. Evans- Believe it or not…when my old band of 7 years DIVEST fell apart
there was a big rift in the band. We had done an album co produced by Doc from Bad Brains called Ghost Town Reckoning but it was never released until a decade later and only on Bandcamp (which still feels very surreal due to some of names attached). The drummer went on to play in Kayo Dot. It’s a sick album.
But… I was drinking my brains out and my old DIVEST
guitar player Dave, who later would suffer some major struggles with
alcoholism as well, was talking shit about me to someone saying I was a
“Walking Bomb.” He had joined Coheed as their touring keyboardist for awhile
and I held a big grudge as my friendship with that band had been really
strained for many, many reasons which it has taken me a long time to let go
of with many unfortunate resurgences along the way…and I felt like Dave
bailed on DIVEST at the time to join them after some CoCa members had been
promising to help get us a new record deal and come to bat for us after the
deal DIVEST had fell through…we’re talking way back in 2003 right now…and
then Dave was instead out and was talking shit.
But to be fair I almost killed us all once grabbing a steering wheel out of
his hands and aiming a mini van at a toll booth once after 12 Long Island Iced Teas. I was not so easy to work with.
We had fist fights in the street…
Crazy shit. So I took the insult as the name for the solo music I would make
on the side with friends when I have been between bands. But over time the
name changed to be less of an immature “fuck you” rebuttal to more about
facing and living with depression and trying to find humility or see your own
flaws. It certainly isn’t about being a suicide bomber. But yeah… I saw
Dave last year at a festival and we got along and that made me happy. There
is no one on Earth other than perhaps crazy Trump supporters at this point
who I desire conflict with. Dave has a cool pop band Stellar Young people
should check out and seems to have tried hard to turn his own life around and
2.Having spent some time with your album Know You’re Wild, I feel that the
most prominent connecting thread with your work and the Spirit Adrift
material is vulnerability. Lyrically, but more importantly, sonically and
performance-wise. Maybe I’m trying to see the silver lining here, but do you
think struggling with substance abuse, depression, and other ego-destroyers
affords someone the ability to tap into that vulnerability and to be more
comfortable with putting it on record?
Yes and no. It can be crippling to share things or you feel like you have to
hide them in songs. But also liberating to go for it anyway. But yeah, I am
not a great guitar player but have sung in bands 20 years. So it is also
about getting out of comfort zone for me. Not playing every instrument that
is “your best” can be a good way to realize your human flaws and be “ego
destroyed”, haha. Punk rock, baby.
This album took seven years to come together, for various reasons. To have so
many amazing contributors involved and a generally positive response is
wonderful. My friends mean so much to me and many of them know I often can
ramble on and on at them and scarcely realize I am doing it. It happens
often. But the ones who are there for me and help me wind back down when I am
riding a rollercoaster or having an episode…it means so much. The last year
and a half especially since my dad died, and now my mom dealing with dementia
and seizures…it has been really hard for me to face how limited time is.
I have been overstating everything to many people and music helps me find a
place where I can calm all that PTSD and try and believe maybe someone will
hear a song and my intended feelings might just cut through the anxious
noise. It is hard to admit that because everyone wants to believe they are
super cool and have it together all the time, but that is total bullshit. It
is better to apologize when you are running ragged or don’t communicate well
or, in my case, never shut the fuck up and have huge, emotional and hormonal
spikes. I had a vasectomy and there were some complications and I already had
issues with majorly frazzled nerves, rape trauma and a history of abusing my
sensitive self very badly. So yay, now hormone swings as well! I really
relate to girls with bad periods now.
I have to spend a lot of time in the woods alone to feel peaceful or turn to sort of universal prayer. Jarboe got me into Kali pretty hard.
Sometimes I find my teeth chattering from nerves. It is shit city. And after…a former partner couldn’t carry twins safely. After that almost every time I drank I really overdid it and just didn’t care, which meant was time to stop. I even grabbed someone’s tit once blacked out and have beat myself up for years over that because I have personally been violated a few times and the body is a sacred space. I spend a lot of time devoted to social justice based writing but often re-trigger myself which then in turn is detrimental to others, so I am sadly really struggling to find a healthy balance.
Um, Jay Andersen from grunge band Surmiser who engineered and played a lot on
this solo record with me was a saint. His tireless efforts were really meaningful and
during a time when I was in some very regrettable conflict with people, so it
meant a lot that he knew I needed to kick out the jams really, really badly.
3.Who are the kids on the album cover? It’s a beautiful image. It captures
the innocence of youth so well. A moment we’ll never get back. Most people
would look at that image and feel happy, but it makes me feel melancholic. I
have a feeling it does the same to you.
True. Such a strong memory to forever hold of childhood innocence but also
accepting time is fleeting. It is my sister Cambria and I jumping off stairs
of the country house we grew up in. My dad took it. We grew up for years with
no electricity while he repaired this old farmhouse that had been trashed by
partying teenagers. Someone had driven a Saab through a wall. All kinds of
dead animals. We had the forest as a playground and kerosene lamps to read by
It is funny you say “melancholic” as my first band as a teenager was called
Melancholy. The drummer was first guy who asked me to be in a rock band and
he later died of an overdose. It gave me huge, huge survivor’s guilt for
Yeah, we are losing the house to my father’s cancer debtors. He died last
year. So I’ve been hyper introspective looking back at life. All the things
you could’ve done better. The album title Know You’re Wild is about accepting
that imagination and having a wild side are part of life and trying to
remember the good side of things. A recent ex is a Waldorf teacher and has a
country house. This neighbors dog ran into her yard and I looked in her eyes
at the animal happiness on a sunny day and came up with the title, but it is
also about knowing your limits, wear and tear and cycles of life.
It was also a way of saying “this existed”, because for years I was fighting with Coheed about not acknowledging my sister’s name in their band name, as we all grew up together. People were calling her a liar or whore or me crazy over the years and I thought that was so wrong.
4.I always think about people that are drawn to creating music and
obsessively listening to music, and I wonder if it’s a “chicken or the egg”
type situation. We listen to music as an escape, as catharsis. Were we born
with personalities that would predispose us to want to escape, or did all the
sad, heavy, intense music change our brain chemistry to be dependent upon it?
What are your thoughts?
This reminds me of Kurt Cobain singing “Dumb”, where he feels dumb for being
happy. I don’t know. After I quit heroin, which I abused as a teen from ages
fifteen to twenty badly then struggled for years with drinking…it takes a
long time to chemically be able to “feel” anything again. Sitting in a
cemetary with Pagan Terrorism Tactics and singing bluesy stuff with no one
around or PJ Harvey’s Is This Desire or even…Nine Inch Nails…it kind of
made me feel… safer.
I’ve also…well, I’m Welsh and Estonian so certainly born with DNA that made
me want to binge drink and be rugged. But then my soul has always felt more
effeminate. And I suffer some serious disconnect at times and major racing
thoughts, insomnia and mood swings. It is really, really hard.
Cambria and I are realizing we both have some missing memory. And my dad was a heavy drinker. He chased my older sister once with a machete apparently wasted when she didn’t carry in enough firewood, like angry stepfather nightmare verbal abuse. I just learned of this recently. Or she would hide Cambria and I in the woods when my dad was raging drunk.
But other times…he was the kindest, sweetest man. Especially later in life he doted on my mom as he was dying of cancer and concealed her dementia growing out of fear he would lose her sooner. He would cook for her and they would go to New Hampshire on drives and…he would paint replicas of Native American Kachinas and read books and discuss politics or The Tin Drum or Tyrion Lannister being awesome with me. Forgiving him helped me forgive myself more…and he also gave me the best advice ever in my life which is it is better to have ambition and look foolish or fail in love or your dreams than never get a glimpse of the life you really want.
It was really hard seeing him waste away from cancer but he saw me get dry before he died and that means a lot to me.
I never even got to tell him I was bi-sexual. I honestly thought he might have a heart attack. Life is so fucked up.
5. Do you ever experience alienation because of your anxiety or manic-depressive tendencies? Do you ever have the feeling that those close to you are walking on eggshells?
Yes. And it is a lot easier when people just say how they are feeling. Then I can adjust or not draw wrong conclusions. And beat myself up way less or be mindful. I really care about people.
I have a lot
of trauma and am constantly worried I will trigger others or worse, not be
I have become really cautious opening up to people, be it friends, people I am interested in, anyone.
But then I overshare or repeat myself or get hyper defensive (the worst) because I
want so badly for things to feel normal or to be able to trust in
things…but that usually ruins them. It happened recently with someone who’s
friendship I really valued and I have been deeply upset about it. I was
confused about some of our interactions and we were on different pages and I
overshared and seemed really manic, I am assuming. And she is in a delicate
place themselves and very strong, so I am devastated we not only had a bad
communication breakdown but also that my growing anxiety during this recent time when an ex I am friends with was undergoing a risky birth, my mom forgot my name forever and I slowly realized this person who I had been communicating with frequently for months didn’t feel the same way…that my stress level and rambling added to her and my own stress,
even if I was truly well intentioned or confused and redundant or trying to be friendly.
That kind of shit is a nightmare for me, to mean well then sound desperate or super edgy. People either are super comfortable with and adore me or I really set them off. It makes me so sad.
I’ve also…and this is not related to that person, but I’ve often felt like
people never believe anything I say unless there is something in it for them,
which is a terrible cloud to live under…especially for Aries as we hate to
be in limbo or uncertain and on top of that being manic/closeted for years as
bi and with major, major trust issues…sad music just feels more like home
most of the time.
I’ve been in rock n roll for over half my life so I have some insane, insane
stories…but I never “made it”.
How do you explain being in a bar while it is being destroyed in a riot while Immolation plays? (It wasn’t their fault)
And also people actively have had it in
their interest to discredit me at times because we were feuding. Just last
year Coheed and Cambria fans were calling me the new Justin Lowe on
Metalsucks comment threads and while I certainly was not handling myself as
well as I would have liked and the other day even wrote an apology letter to
Claudio via Facebook (which I’m unsure if he has read) saying I regret how
ugly our fighting got last year, for people to discredit me so consistently
when I can back up literally everything I say reeks of selective listening.
I changed the lyrics to the Walking Bombs song “Bulletproof Bonfires” because it was initially a lot more angry at that dude (though it still has an F bomb in it, I think).
Basically I thought they wrote a song about me last year after my dad died kicking me when I was down and
I flipped my shit really bad because I had just made peace with their ex
bassist after nine years (we have a mutual ex and I also rode him hard and with major anger when they all had bad drug problems…because I didn’t want them to end up like I did)…and I thought the new song that some people said seemed about me was really low. The chorus says “Nobody gives a fuk who you are”, whatever. But I completely
gave in to anger and that is never the best way to solve things. So I am
sorry for that. I just wanted a minority of their fans to not call my sister names. They can call me whatever they want. I have been a big asshole as well over the years and would much rather have peace and maturity between us all at this point in our lives, but I don’t think they care and act like only I have hurt their pride or feelings often and not like it has been a two way street.
6. Do you have to feel some degree of discontent in order to make good music?
I remember years ago reading an Atreyu interview and they said they had to be
mad to make music and I thought that was so wack. What about the Beach Boys?
Ironically, some members of the Beach Boys were like super tortured dudes. I
want to say…I hope not?
The shitty rap song on here was from drinking a ton of redbull one day and
kicking it into my iphone, being goofy. I think the most important thing is
that the song has to feel like “itself”. If a song is existing on its own
terms unabashedly, that is a success. The title track is a good example. It
is grungy and the vocals my friend Grace Moore and I sing sound full of
melody as well as a little rough around edges but then Nate Hall, who to me
is like the underground scene’s Jimi Hendrix of experimental rock, his guitar
just sings. It doesn’t sound discontented but very much alive, and life has
both joy and sorrow in it on most days.
7. I feel that music helps me understand myself and others, and hopefully helps others understand me. Do you think it does the same for you? Does music help you communicate in ways that conventional communication doesn’t seem to work?
I wish. Nothing seems to work, frankly. Listening to Ministry alone with my dog and she wags and barks when it gets fast and crazy seems to work. My dog and my best friend Darla (who has an excellent astrology column for feminists HERE) are the only living beings I consistently feel I am 100% able to effortlessly communicate with.