Let us start the week off right with some classic garage stompin from Narco States. This is from their bandcamp page and since I couldn’t agree more, read on…
Garage-psych acolytes Narco States’ first LP Wicked Sun takes everything that was exciting about Narco States’ debut 7-inch, drives it all into the desert at night, pumps it full of DMT, and holds its eyes open as the sun rises. The churning organ, the wailed yowl, the wild guitar solos all return, but they’ve grown. Narco States are a band that demands attention. Original drummer Justin DeRusha returns to join Nate McGuire (guitar), Nick Sampson (bass), Aaron Robertson (organ) and Michael Meyer (vocals, guitar). Robertson and DeRusha‘s production work reflects their wild and unpredictable live presence. This is a distinctive and pummeling rock n’ roll album that will find strong admiration from fans of The Stones, The Stooges, Sabbath, Iron Butterfly and The Cramps.
that about sums up how cool this is , at times it reminds me of Jim Carroll if he had joined a garage band in the 60’s. Has all the trappings of a nugget’s album, that organ takes you back, throw in the rest, and it’s all pretty tight , I say listen to them today and turn it up….
Hi, our name is…
People say we sound like…
A drunk Eddie Deezen singing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida through vintage RCA Rear deck car speakers in a 1977 Dodge Dart Swinger.
Michael, Nate, Erik, Aaron, Nick
We are from…
Who are some musicians/bands that have an influence on you?
Michael – The Remains, The Pretty Things, The Monks, The Outsiders, Johns Children, 13th Floor Elevators, Jonathan Fire Eater, The Gun Club…etc…etc…
Aaron – McCoy Tyner, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, John Coltrane, Deep Purple, Blue Cheer, MC5…. I could go on for hours.
Nate – The Black Angels, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Love, The Growlers, 13th Floor Elevators, Robby Krieger, Temples, Mystice Braves
Erik-Rolling Stones(Charlie Watts), Black Sabbath (Bill Ward),AC/DC (Phil Rudd) Murder City Devils, New Bomb Turks, Bloody Hollies, The Jabbers and Turbonegro.
Nick- The animatronic band from Chuck E. Cheese
How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band?
Michael – I think I was 13 or 14yrs old when I started my first band with my best friend Shawn (now in Blood Drugs). I play guitar and yell a lot.
Aaron – I started playing guitar when I was maybe 5 or 6. I’ve played various instruments in various bands over the (long) years. I play the organ in Narco States.
Nate – I started playing guitar around the age of 12, but I’ve wanted to play since I was about 3 or 4 years old. I play lead guitar in Narco States.
Erik-I have been playing drums since right after finishing fourth grade and being busted for an after school vandalism spree which my punishment was to practice the snare drum in a soundproof room all day during the summer under the supervision of my asshole dad the band director.
Nick- I started playing a couple months ago when I realized I wasn’t going to go pro in anything , I play lead bass.
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the songs out?
Michael – Honestly, I try to clear my mind completely and then start strumming random chords. When I hit a groove I go with it. I then create a loose melody. I hum that in my head for a day or more and slowly start formulating lyrics based on the mood of the song. Rarely do I write lyrics first. I like the meditative approach. From there I work on the dynamics of the song…chorus,bridge, etc. I then record it on any medium available (currently my phone) and email it to the band. Later when we get together for practice (them probably having not listened to the song and me having largely forgot it) we stumble through what I can remember, creating a whole new creature. It sounds like I’m trying to be facetious, but that is usually my process.
Nate – It usually varies with each song. Sometimes I come up with stuff at home, or sometimes during practice. It seems like our best songs have happened spontaneously during practice while taking a break. I’ll start strumming a few chords, Erik will come in with a cool beat, Nick and Aaron will add bass and organ parts, and Mike will do his thing on vocals, and sometimes guitar.
Erik- since recently joining the band I created a playlist of the previous Narco songs and try my best not to screw them up! A few new songs have been crafted with magical auralessence !
Nick- I pretend to play with my amp turned all the way down and then after vigorous online basic bass training videos I try to put my own unique spin on it, but then I don’t do it.
What are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome those challenges….
Michael – The biggest challenge has been getting noticed. We are not good at “selling” our band. We don’t go out much and tend to stick to a tight social circle. So drumming up interest is a little difficult. Luckily we have found some great friends; (Damien & Trevor from Pinata Records, Craig from Pabst, Dave from Hymies, Drew from Land Ski Records, Cameron from Lawn Chair Records, Greg from Fuck Knights, Katie from Bright Earth Photography, and many, many more), who have been extremely supportive and that has lead to great shows with more great bands and more new friends and slowly people are getting turned on to our sound.
Aaron – A couple other challenges we face are getting on the road and trying to get five people together to practice regularly. It gets difficult when people have kids and careers. We do what we can, and manage to do some out of town stuff. We just really plan well, whether it’s rehearsing or hitting the road.
Nate – Mike and Aaron pretty much summed it up.
Erik- playing too fast and trying to relax but not too much.
Nick- I haven’t overcome a single challenge in my life thus far.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it?
Michael – Late ’70’s. (’76-’77) To see and hang out with The Gun Club, X, Ramones, Richard Hell, Jonathan Richman, Dead Boys, Dead Kennedys, and on and on and on!
Aaron – around 1970. When hippies started to get into really heavy, fuzzy, guitar-driven stuff. Stuff like Leslie West/Mountain, Black Sabbath, Humble Pie, James Gang, Grand Funk Railroad, etc
I would probably go back to the year 1965 in either Los Angeles or San Francisco. Everything was really starting to take off then. I would’ve loved to have been at Monterrey Pop, and of course Woodstock.
Erik- for me the 80s was the best for hardcore and punk which I wish I could have attended more shows like Dead Kennedys, Cramps,Circle Jerks and Minor Threat to name just a few.
Nick- Probably the mid 1800’s. It’s all about the flutes and lutes.
Who are all of you currently listening to?
Michael – I could go into dozens of ’60’s garage bands (The Music Machine, ? and the Mysterians, Druids of Stonehenge, The Monks, etc. but they are in constant rotation on my record player) As for current bands…I am REALLY digging Japanese Motors and Summer People! They’s my new faves!
Aaron – The Heads, Toad, the Who, Wishbone Ash, Ten Years After, Orchid, Iron Claw, Derek and the Dominos, Crystal Syphon.
Nate – Temples, early Pink Floyd, The Zombies, Night Beats, The Growlers, Nickelback
Erik- Puffball,The Peepshows, Heartaches, Highway Murderers, Murder City Devils, Zeke, Turbonegro, Pampers and classic Stones & Sabbath.
Nick- Suicide, Deicide
If you could open for any band right now, who would that be and why?
Michael – The Sonics…because…It’s THE SONICS man!
Aaron – Iron Butterfly, and the year would be 1968.
Nate – MC5
Erik- OFF!, Hookers and Hellacopters
My youngest son is 13 and in a band. What advice would you offer him?
Michael – There are no rules! You can learn chords, theory, scales etc…but when it comes down to songwriting, you can do whatever you want, however you want. Ultimately it is YOUR music. Play what you dig and don’t get hung up on what others think. If you write something that sounds like someone else don’t sweat it. Put your own personal touch to it and just get it out there. Whatever you write is new and it’s yours so just create it.
Aaron – I think learning as much music theory as early as possible is important. That will make it so you’ll be so much further ahead when it comes to starting a band or playing with other people later in life, as well as expose you to new ideas and different types of music. I agree with Mike, don’t care what others think of what you’re doing.
Nate – Take your time. Be patient. Do it because you love it and not because you feel like you have to. Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously. Always have a back up guitar, or an extra pair of strings when you play out. I’ve learned that the hard way.
Erik- Fuck Shit Up and have a fun time!
Nick- Always tip your servers and bartenders.
The one thing we want you to remember while your listening to us….
Nick- Always tip your servers and bartenders.
Our plans for 2015…
Right now the most exciting thing planned is a show with the legendary LYRES in Green Bay. Very excited about that! Oh and we will have a new split 7″ with the band RIPPER on Lawn Chair Records.
Otherwise we hope to get more great shows with bands we love, travel to new cities, gain some fans and ultimately get a chance to play First Avenue’s Mainroom (at least once before we die!)
listen to “Wicked Sin”
follow/keep up with Narco States..