The Hard Word: Third album is hard as ‘Nails’
You 'Will Never Be One Of U's, says it all, really.
The album title for NAILS' third full-length (and first for Nuclear Blast) is directly pointed at bandwagoners and sycophants, two types of people frontman Todd Jones has very little patience for.
"You Will Never Be One Of Us is a title about people who try to latch onto something you've been doing and dedicated yourself to and making a mockery out of it," he said.
"For every person who has dedicated themselves to punk or metal, there's five people who'll attach themselves to the same thing with 1/10th of the dedication you have and they truly don't belong and if these leeches had any self-awareness, they would know that they didn't belong.
"These people aren't interested in growing and learning, but to using something for themselves in a disingenuous way.
"That's something that can be spotted 1,000 miles away."
Jones' disdain is palpable.
But it funnels perfectly into NAILS' caustic, take-no-prisoners music.
Across the two full-lengths -Unsilent Death (2010) and Abandon All Life (2013) - the Californians have parlayed their influences into a ruthless, no compromise explosion of sound, where speed and groove fight for supremacy.
The group could be labeled grindcore.
Tracks like the 23-second missile 'Cry Wolf' or the wickedly short 'Your God' or the unbridled 'Friend To All' live the values of the genre.
But that's not all that's on offer, however. 'Suum Cuique' and the gritty new 8-minute 'They Come Crawling Back' show a side of the band willing to elongate the heavy and the sick into a force that bridges classic death and sludge metal.
"I wouldn't classify NAILS," Jones asserts. "NAILS are for other people to classify. We're happy and fortunate to attract people from different genres. Some people call it hardcore, some people call it metal, some people call it bullshit, but regardless, our music is for the people to do whatever they want with."
And wait until people hear You Will Never Be One Of Us.
It's a veritable blast of awesomeness.
From the opening title track to mid-album bomb 'Violence Is Forever' to the epic closer 'They Come Crawling Back,' You Will Never Be One Of Us is an evolutionary step for NAILS.
The same uneasy genrefication continues unabated.
"We've never tried to re-create the wheel," says Jones.
"We just want to light it on fire.
We just get in a room and play our ideas.
Sometimes cool shit happens, sometimes it doesn't.
We're really lucky because Taylor (Young; drums) has a recording studio and we practice there, so we have the ability to demo every single thing we do, which is really priceless for determining if something sucks or not."
Consider producer Kurt Ballou fortunate then.
By the time NAILS hit Ballou's Godcity Studios in Massachusetts to record You Will Never Be One Of Us, they were ready to throw down.
The songs were ready for proverbial tape, to be captured with all their white-knuckle intensity intact.
NAILS were relentless in their pursuit of savage perfection.
"I hate recording," reveals Jones.
"It's stressful, but I love the finished product.
Making music and have it come to life is my favorite part of doing music, so it's a love/hate relationship with recording for sure.
We're more confident going into this session, as players and as friends. It's been three years and we've all gotten our chops up."
If NAILS impressed before, fans are sure to revel in You Will Never Be One Of Us.
Spanning an epic 21 minutes - NAILS' longest yet - the quartet's new full-length is a masterpiece in riotous violence. When asked to compare You Will Never Be One Of Us to its predecessors, Jones says:
"If Abandon All Life was a dog, it would be a German Shepherd.
Then, You Will Never Be One Of Us would be a Rottweiler.
Our new album is a bit more direct than Abandon All Life.
A bit chunkier in tone."
PRAISE FOR THE ALBUM
From getting the blessing of former SEPULTURA/current SOULFLY frontman legend Max Cavalera - Jones was floored when he heard about Cavalera's plaudits - to signing over to Nuclear Blast, NAILS aren't letting perception get in the way of their aspirations.
While this may seem at odds with a DIY underground outfit signing with one of the world's largest metal labels, it's all down to resourcing.
NAILS have a plan and inking a deal with Nuclear Blast was only natural.
"We still do things the same way we've done before, so not a lot has changed," Jones asserts.
"We have more resources to use to our advantage to help get things done.
Maybe we have a bit more confidence.
I think any changes in regards to us working with Nuclear Blast are ahead of us after our album is released.
We're looking forward to our future with the label."
Read The Hard Word in coming days to see full album review.