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Interview: Todd Jones of Nails

Nails

Nails play Chicago with Xibalba and Early Graves tonight (April 26), part of the larger IO-sponsored tour that will head back to the northeast. The shows are in celebration of Abandon All Life, the band’s latest release out now on Southern Lord.

With those dates about to kick off, we cornered frontman Todd Jones to ask a few short questions about the new LP, My Bloody Valentine or lack thereof, and the pitfalls of success. The results of our conversation is below.

— Fred Pessaro

Coming off of the well-received Unsilent Death, what were the goals for Abandon All Life?

The goal was simple; to make an album that inspired us and that was more agressive than Unsilent Death.

How many songs were written for Abandon All Life versus what was used? Was any material recorded for possible upcoming splits or 7″?

There was one song that didn’t make the cut, it’s tentative title is “Hateworm” as I haven’t written lyrics for it yet. I hope the title alludes to what it sounds like. It was supposed to be in the spot where our song “Pariah” is. We wrote “Pariah” a few weeks before we went to go record the album and felt as if it fit the album better. Anyhow, it’s a good song. I don’t think we’ll be releasing it on a split 7″. Maybe we’ll record it with Taylor and put it online or something.

You have had a fair amount of success with Unslient Death. What do you think are the pitfalls of a band growing to fast versus an organic growth?

The biggest pitfall of a band growing too fast is the people in the band buying into and believe their own hype and thinking that they are the shit and anything they do will be good. That’s when bands rush music/albums and don’t put as much thought into their craft and make a bullshit album. Obviously that’s not the case with NAILS. We don’t put out music until we have enough music that we feel is worth putting out. I believe NAILS has had an organic and honest growth.

Why Kurt Ballou?
Comfort, as I’ve been recording with him since 2001. I know he’ll do a good job. I don’t have to worry about it. He handles it.

You have a bunch of shorter legs of dates, but can we expect a full US anytime soon? What sorts of tours are in the works

No US tours. We don’t have room in our lives for that. We’ll do regional stuff. Some international stuff that I can’t announce just yet and mainly coastal touring in the US.

Lets talk influence. It seems like crust and Japanese hardcore are a staple of your listening habits, but outside of traditional heavy music, where else does inspiration (musically speaking) come from? How would, say, a My Bloody Valentine record change the way you played on the new record?

I’m aware of MBV and I’ve heard them but I don’t care for music like that. With no intention to sound arrogant, it’s just not my thing. You nailed it. Crust, Death Metal, and Japanese Hardcore. That’s it.

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