The Inquisition - U.S. CHRISTMAS

I first heard about U.S. Christmas midway through last year when my band got the chance to play with them. After listening to a few tunes and ultimately watching their set, I decided these dudes rule. Nate and Matt kindly took the time out of their busy schedules to undergo the watery hell that is The Inquisition. -Mr. Mogul

History in Their Words:

Been together going on seven years, all original members, no firings/dismissals or any such bullshit, only additions. Lineup is: Nate, Chad, Ben, Matt, Tim, and John. Put out three cds of our own, plus a bunch of live bootlegs. Russian Record label RAIG put out Salt The Wound for us a few years back, then we did a 4 song EP and full length album (Eat The Low Dogs) on Neurot last year. One of our guys, Chad Davis, has also done a lot of work in other bands. His metal band Hour of 13 put out a record that got named one of the top 25 albums of 2008 by Decibel Magazine. We're working on a lot of new stuff now.

The Inquisition:

1. Why are you in a band?
(Nate) So I can play guitar.
(Matt) To make music that I want to hear.

2. Do you consider your band successful?
(Nate) We exceeded everything we ever hoped to accomplish a long time ago, so yes, I think we have been successful. We have also been very fortunate to work with the labels that support us. In fact,I've already done pretty much everything I wanted to do with my life, and a lot of that was a result of being in this band.
(Matt) Yes we are very successful, in that what we do is for us and personally I love being in US Christmas, it lets me create, and has no limitations. And if anyone else happens to dig what we do then it's a bonus.

3. What are you currently listening to?

(Nate) Grateful Dead.
(Matt) At this moment Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.

4. Who are your primary musical influences and do you think they are obvious?
(Nate) My primary influences are mostly classic rock from the 60s and 70s (Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Hendrix, SRV etc.) There is a band from Idaho called Caustic Resin that is more of a contemporary influence. I think Brett Netson, who plays guitar in that band, is one of the best guitar players alive right now. And Neurosis is a big influence, both musically and personally. However, I don't think these influences are obvious, because the knee-jerk critical reaction has always been: USX are Hawkwind/Monster Magnet clones. The truth is, John, Tim, Matt and I had never heard any Hawkwind until Chad Davis joined the band in 2004. The next critic who asserts (rather than opines) that we are Hawkwind clones is likely to get a visit from me. To be clear, it is fair enough to say we sound like Hawkwind or Monster Magnet, they are good bands and I take that as a compliment. And both of those bands are a big influence on our band member Chad Davis, who is a great musician and multi-instrumentalist. And we have recently recorded some Hawkwind tracks for a collaborative project. But I know the music that inspired me to contribute to this band, and I know for a fact it wasn't those two bands. As I told one peckerhead this summer, I know more about my band than any critic in the world.

(Matt) Hawkwind, no just kidding, I would have to say Ministry, the first time i heard them it changed my life, then the same thing happened to me the first time I saw Neurosis, completely mind bending, have never been the same since that day. I always was into stuff like Voivod and Faith No More, Suicidal Tendencies...just a bunch of stuff. There is always the standards Sabbath and Pink Floyd, really I just love music, if it's good I'm into it.

5. What other band(s) are out there that we should be listening to?
(Nate) Caustic Resin. Motorhead.
(Matt) Fucked Up, Grails, Across Tundras, Minsk.

6. As a band, what was your best show/experience yet?
(Nate) Hard to beat the Brooklyn Masonic Temple show with Neurosis and Mastodon. But we have had hundreds of really good, fun shows all over the place. House shows in Richmond Virginia are always fun, away from prying eyes you know.
(Matt) Two weeks ago in our practice space, A new song we have been working on came together perfectly, I actually had cold chills for about ten minutes, it's going to be a great song to hear live.

7. What was your worst show/experience?
(Nate) We had to literally scream and yell and fight so we could play this one festival years ago when the promoter tried to pull the plug. We were supposed to play at 4 a.m. and it went past that before we even got on stage, I guess the dude wanted to go home. But we had waited a long time to play and witnessed the worst beating I ever saw, and someone kept screaming "He's got a gun" half the night. Believe me, after some shit like that, we were going to play the show whether anyone liked it or not - as a matter of principle. But that was also pretty fun at the same time. There was also this one club in Hickory that kicked out and banned Matt, Chad, and myself on three separate occasions. But those times also ruled, because we went out swinging, or at least mouthing off pretty good. Funny how the suck times are also good times.
(Matt) I don't know about bad experiences at shows, they are all just part of it, some times are better than others, but none have been BAD. There has been bad sound, bad beer, bad attendance at shows, but every time we play live we win people over... it's just part of the live experience.

8. What's your writing process like?

(Nate) We used to put stuff together more randomly than we do now. But we have always been an album oriented band, even when we did self-released stuff. Now we tend to have a theme in mind, and a goal to work toward. I have always written the lyrics and a lot of the songs, but we seem to be collaborating more and more. Writing songs is no problem.
(Matt) Nate pretty much summed that one up.

9. Do you see yourselves still doing this in 10 years? Why?
(Nate) I hope so, it is a lot of fun.
(Matt)As long as I'm still on this Earth. How else are you going to get free shitty beer?

10. Are there any shows or releases you want to pimp?
(Nate) A three-way split with USX/Minsk/Harvestman-Steve Von Till; a 7 inch split with Across Tundras; Roadburn/Beyond the Pale in April, sandwiched with a European tour.
(Matt) I have a Red 1960A Marshall 4x12 I'm wanting to sell for plane ticket money....

No comments: