Thursday 16 April 2015

Interview with Nate Towle from Wicked Inquistion

Today I'm interviewing Nate Towle (Guitar/Vox) with rising Doom/Stoner Metallers – Wicked Inquistion – whose S/T debut album is going to turn a few heads within the Doom/Stoner Metal world. It's a stunning mix of 70's Classic Doom, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and all good things that fall under the Rock and Roll banner.

Soshanna Scarsella reviewed the album recently and stated:

Above all, this album will stand out as the one loaded with riffs like a freight train....heavy, coming at you full force and hard to miss. The riff-meister responsible for all this is Nate Towle and he uses his guitar like The Walking Dead's Michonne uses her sword. They don't screw around, they get in and get the job done and obliterate everything in their path.

I know I could go on and on and give you a track by track description of each song but I'm going to keep it short and sweet and just say this.....whether you are into the heaviest of heavy doom or sludge, or you prefer the ease of hard can appreciate this album for its talented musicians that have put this together. Its deserves your attention, and I bet it will earn your respect for what they have accomplished on this album. Congratulations Wicked Inquisition on your first full-length self-titled LP, I am sure we will be seeing and hearing from you guys in the future.”

Before their debut album is released upon to the world, Nate has kindly agreed to talk to us at Sludgelord HQ. So lets get started!!!

Q1 – Hi guys. How are things with you all today.

Good! Thanks for interviewing me.

Q2 – Can you give a brief history to our readers of how the band came about and where it is today.

I started the band back in October 2008 when I was 14 with a childhood friend named Ben Ackerman (drums). Shortly after, we got our first bassist named Josh LaMere and began playing a few shows which consisted of Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General, and Pentagram covers. Josh would soon be replaced by current bassist Jordan Anderson in 2010 and shortly after we would add guitarist David Harley to the fold. In 2011, David decided to leave, and we continued as a three piece for a while, before adding current guitarist Ben Stevens to the lineup in 2012. Then, Ben Ackerman left the band in 2012, and we replaced him with current drummer Jack Mckoskey.

Q3 – How would you describe your own sound. As I feel it's best coming from the band themselves.

Defiantly doom and 70’s rock oriented, though we are influenced by some things out of our immediate genre. Overall though its just really powerful heavy rock.

Q4 – We have to talk about your new album. So are you excited, nervous or thrilled what people are going to make of it.

Excited for sure. The band has been around for a long time, and some of these songs I have had written since I was 15! So I am very happy to get this collective piece out to the public. I hope people enjoy it, and I think they will, but the personal satisfaction of releasing this album means a lot to us.

Q5 – Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for. Are you happy with the final result.

I mentioned, some of the songs have been written for a while, though they have changed over the years a bit. But going into the studio was a breeze. We knew all the songs like the backs of our hands. It really only took us two days to get everything recorded. It was exhausting but very rewarding.

Q6 – What influenced you when writing and recording the album. As it has a ton of different sounds from many genres but still maintaining your own sound.

A lot of different things, but specifically Black Sabbath, Budgie, Trouble, Saint Vitus, Witchfinder General, and other 70’s rock groups. The entire Maryland Doom scene was also a huge influence on this album, and to a lesser extent, some hardcore punk as well.

Q7 – So have you been impressed with the early reviews the album has been receiving. Looks like it's going to become a firm fave within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene.

One can hope so!

Q8 – Do you take notice of reviews from critics, bloggers and webzines. Or do you only care what the fans think about your music.

I defiantly do take notice but ultimately as I mentioned this is an endeavour and vessel for us to express ourselves as a band as a opposed to try to impress anyone. That being said, we do appreciate all the support we have gotten over the years, and we look forward to getting some new fans too.

Q9 - How important is a physical product to your band being either CD or Vinyl. As some bands are relying on Digital Downloads for their first release(s).

I would say very important. I personally like to have physical copies of things, and I think everything from the liner notes to the artwork itself its just as much of an album as the music. I’m hoping that our album will get a vinyl pressing in the near future.

Q10 – Which bands and artists influenced you all as musicians. Any particular album that stands out that made you decide to become a musician.

So many to list…. but obviously Black Sabbath, Budgie, Trouble, Pentagram, Blue Oyster Cult… lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Lucifers Friend, Nick Cave, and 70’s era Judas Priest. Two albums that have been huge inspirations to me personally (amongst many) include Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and Trouble’s “Psalm 9”.

Q11 – What is your musical setup when playing live or recording new material. Do you have an advanced setup or basic setup.

I run a Marshall head through a univox cab, and I use a boost pedal for leads. Ben uses Laney Ironheart (in studio) and a fender mustang head for live. Our set up overall is pretty basic, though I am looking to add some more pedals to my rig.

Q12 – What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it down to one individual or a group collective.

I have written I’d say about 80 percent of the songs, though Ben has helped me with some songs and I have gotten my girlfriend to help me with a few lyrics. In the future I am looking at having the writing process be more of a collaborative effort as that will add a different element to our sound.

Q13 – Do you guys find it hard finding gigs for being such a young band. Or does this help you to play more gigs. Also do you play loads of gigs or do you have to travel further afield.

It was harder when we were younger, mainly playing out of state. In Minnesota, you can be underage and still perform in most bars. 3 out of 4 of us are 21 now, so I’d imagine things are going to get easier from here on out.

Q14 – Your debut album is going to be released by Tridroid Records. How did you hook up with them?

Andrew (the owner) is just a local music fan. He had seen us a few times in the Twin Cities and approached us asking if we wanted to work with him. Pretty basic story I suppose.

Q15 – Time to move onto the album cover. Such a trippy and wonderful design. Harks back to the legendary Hard Rock album covers of the 70s. Was that inspired you when coming up with the album cover. Who designed this and did you have much input into the overall design.

My girlfriend Holly Axelrod designed the front cover. I did have some input in regards to the overall idea, but I’d say she deserves the credit for creating such an awesome piece. Defiantly inspired by that retro style of artwork.

Q16 – Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans.

Thanks for the support! Hope ya dig the album!

Words by Steve Howe and Nate Towle

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for arranging this interview. Wicked Inquisition debut album will be released on May 8th 2015 via TridoidRecords.

Until then you can listen to this track – In Shackles – from their excellent debut album.

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