Published Jun 30, 2016Nails' aggression is palpable — at least for those with a taste for the more extreme side of things — and anger takes the forefront on the band's newly released third full-length, You Will Never Be One of Us.
"I think everybody's angry, man," vocalist/guitarist Todd Jones tells Exclaim! "I think being a human being is not really an easy thing to do for anybody. I don't necessarily think I'm more angry than anybody else. I just think that maybe I'm better at conveying that emotion in music."
It's likely healthy for Jones that he restricts this anger to lyrics. "I don't walk around with a scowl," he explains. "I'm not upset all the time — I'm pretty happy most of the time."
Within the first two songs, he's spit about opportunists who take advantage of heavy music before jumping ship — the titular "Us," referring to those who truly love and live for their scene — and what he refers to as a "social-climbing cock sucker."
"'Friend to All' is about somebody who's friends with everybody, and they don't have any enemies. And that's fine; I think it's good not to have enemies, but it's to the point where they purposely make friends with everybody, so they can feel comfortable or so they can get something to gain out of it, just being friends with everybody. They don't fucking stand for anything.… I'd rather have five best friends than have like 100 people that I'm really good acquaintances with."
Nails' music also matches the directness of the words.
"Everything about Nails is lean; we were meant to be lean, sharp and to the point. There's not a lot of gluttonous parts in Nails songs. Restraint is a huge quality in our band that we have to follow in order to achieve our goal and our sound. We could go overboard on things, but we just try not to. Too much of something could not necessarily be a good thing.
"In order to play music like this, you can't fucking be timid. I think that's really for any music, though. I can say through our music we probably convey confidence, but we're not arrogant, cocky people. I meet a lot of confident people, and they're just rude and they think they're really awesome, but they're not. We don't necessarily feel that way about ourselves offstage, but when we go to play this music, we fucking mean it and we play it with power and authority."
Fortunately that attitude translated well to the studio, where the band recorded with Kurt Ballou (Converge) for their third LP in a row.
"This is the thing I'll tell you about our record. When we started this band, we had this vision in our heads — or at least I had this vision in my head — about what I wanted the band to sound like, and this record, to date, encompasses that vision more than any of our other records."
You Will Never Be One of Us out now on Nuclear Blast.