Here is a new interview with Nucleus from Illinois who play a sci-fi form of thrashing greatness.Anyone into old-school thrash mixed with death metal should defintly give this band a listen today and buy their cd's and merchandise.
Interview with Pat O’Hara, drummer of Nucleus done by Patrick
1.Hello Pat how are things going with you these days? Please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hey, Patrick. Well, where to begin? I’m still wrapping my mind around the Decibel magazine feature and a shout-out from Metalsucks.net within weeks of each other. We also just got a nod from Trevor, of Black Dahlia Murder! I’ve been drumming with Nucleus since February of last year (2015) and it’s been one of the greatest rides of my life thus far. I also play drums in another death metal from Chicago called Narcotic (death/black/heavy metal), who also formed the same year that Nucleus did, and that band just played a sold-out show with Deicide. Life is grand!
2.When did you first meet the other members of Nucleus? What is the current line up for the band? For the readers who have never heard Nucleus how would you best describe the music?
Dave first reached out to me via Facebook awhile back and we had been chatting quite a bit. Shortly following that, I actually met him, and in turn Dano and Ryan (probably at a local show. Perhaps one of their early gigs in 2013/2014, but I can’t recall.) I had been an avid fan of the band for years, since 2012 actually, before being asked to join last year. The current lineup features Dave Muntean on Vocals/Guitars, Dan Ozcanli on Vocals/Guitars, and Ryan Reynolds on bass guitar. This quote from a recent review sums us up the music quite well, " Imagine if the jumpy riffs of Death’s Human or Individual Thought Patterns played in that weird, labyrinthine Finnish way, but channeling those intergalactic vibes of Nocturnus’s The Key ".
3.Nucleus is getting ready to release their debut "Sentient” through Unspeakable Axe. How did you all come in contact with this great label?
The guys released a really great EP, Hegemony, before I joined the band and through heavy circulation and word of mouth, it was passed along to Eric of Unspeakable Axe and he was the one who contacted Dave about a possible signing. I don’t think the deal was sealed until my second week in the band, haha. Unspeakable Axe really has an incredible line up, and its awesome to be a part of it. The label has really been on fire recently.
4.Does the whole band take part in writing the music for a song or does one member usually write everything?
Dave writes most of the music, with contributions from Dano and Ryan (Ryan provided the foundations for three tracks on Sentient). The three of them are the avid sci-fi fans in the band. I am the odd man out in that regard, haha, but I do contribute all of the drum parts myself. In this case, I tightened the screws on existing drum parts with some minor tweaks here and there. The guys had been playing a lot of these songs for the better part of 4 years, and I wanted to keep things similar to what the other dudes were used to hearing prior to my joining.
5.Who usually takes care of the lyrics for the band what are some topics you write about?
Lyrical ideas and themes come from Dave, Dano, and Ryan. Only when the sci-fi stuff crosses the war line do they ask for my input, if that. As I mentioned above, the guys are avid sci-fi fans and the topics are all sci-fi oriented. Authors that inspire them include Issac Asimov, Ian M, Banks, Arthur C. Clarke, James S.A. Corey, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, and a host of others.
6.Does Nucleus get to play live very often? What have been some of the bands most memorable shows to date?
We play live much more often now than they used to. The old drummer didn’t have the availability they were looking for, and that’s part of the reason why I was asked to join. The most memorable show for me personally was when we took part in the closing of an art exhibition called Morbid Execution, which featured the artwork of some great artist friends of ours. The show took place in a basement with nothing more than a PA and vocal mics; we nailed everything to a tee. That show was also packed. We’ll never forget that one! Another memorable show I witnessed was when Nucleus played with War Master in May of 2015. That was their strongest effort to date and they killed it!
7.Are their any upcoming shows or tours that the fans should watch out for? If yes where are some places the band will be playing?
We have a headlining show on June 11th with Test from Brazil, Paucities, and Pig Champion. We are also playing KC Blackdeath Fest in Kansas City, which takes place September 16th/17th. There are about 4 or 5 awesome Chicago bands also playing that fest, looks to be one hell of a time. Those shows aside… I’ll stop there, for now. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for that announcement.
8.Besides the debut cd "Sentient" does the band have any other merchandise available for the fans If yes where can the readers buy it from?
I believe we still have some physical copies our first EP “The Colony” for sale, and you can download the mp3s for both The Colony and Hegemony Eps for free on our Bandcamp page. Other merchandise includes a few different shirt designs, including long-sleeves, and beer cozies, and of course CDs and digital downloads of our new album.
You can check it all out at Nucleus.bandcamp.com
9.Nucleus comes out of Chicago's metal scene what is your opinion of the scene in Chicago?
Chicago has one of the strongest scenes around and it’s the perfect place to come up. With so many great bands to take notes from, Cardiac Arrest, Cianide, They Die Screaming, Jungle Rot, FIN and Deathcult, to name a few, it’s easy to see what it takes to be a great band. On the flipside, there are also TONS of bands here, so sometimes it’s hard to get above the fray. There are so many releases that it’s hard to keep track, but due to the saturation, some don’t always get the attention they deserve. There have been a host of great bands to be born in this city that simply fall through the cracks because of how much competition there is here.
10.Who are some of your all-time favorite bands coming out of Chicago? Are their any new up and coming Chicago bands you can recommend?
All time favorite Chicago bands, hmm. Cardiac Arrest, They Die Screaming, Jungle Rot, Deathcult, Cianide and FIN, for sure. I have not seen a show featuring these bands that has not killed. As far as other up and coming bands are concerned, Abyssal and Discarnate are two bands that are generating lots of buzz lately. Check both of them out!
11.What does underground metal mean to you?
One of my favorite quotes comes from the prog rock band, Gentle Giant, and I think it best sums up what this question is looking for. For those that don’t know, Gentle Giant was a prog rock band from England, in the 70’s, that wished to, “expand the frontiers of contemporary popular music at the risk of becoming very unpopular.” Tying into that quote, underground metal is something you do because it ISN’T popular. You do it regardless of what the mainstream says and you do it because you have an itch that can’t be scratched. Bottom line, everyone in a band should be playing music for the love of it, and nothing else. Anything else that comes along, label signings, big shows, financial stability (maybe), should be considered a nice accolade. That is what underground metal represents for me, people who love the genre so much that they sacrifice multiple comforts for the good of quality, non-radio friendly music no matter what.
12.Besides metal do you listen to any other forms of music? If yes who are some of your favorite non-metal artists and bands?
I listen to a little bit of everything. If I only listened to metal all the time, I’d burnout. From Nick Drake to Charlie Parker, Nine Inch Nails to Ride, Muddy Waters to the Who, Dead Kennedys to Bad Brains, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Sigur Ros, Porcupine Tree, you name it. The list goes on and on, haha.
13.Other then music we are big movie fans here do you watch a lot of movies?
I’m a big fan of documentaries and war movies. Notable titles there include Apocalypse WWII, The Vietnam War in HD, The Corporation, Our World War, and Chasing Ice are movies I’ve watched multiple times. Other titles people could relate to are Monty Python: The Life of Brian, Reservoir Dogs, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Saving Silverman, Airheads, The Boondock Saints, The Blues Brothers… This list could also drag on, haha.
14.What are some of your all-time favorite movies? Do you have any favorite actor's and actresses?
All-time favorites include some of the above titles. One I’ll elaborate on is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Once someone feeds me a line of that one I could recite the whole scene back. Hell, my Dad still bets me I could recite the whole movie. He’s even offered to pay me! Favorite actors include Will Smith, Alan Rickman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and Bruce Willis. Favorite actresses include Kiera Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Watts, and Nicole Kidman.
15.When not working on new music or band business what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Listening to music is the biggest one. I guess discovering new music to listen to is a close second. I have 7 rooms in my apartment and 4 of them have speaker systems in them, if that doesn’t convey the point enough. I enjoy reading about war history and nerding out over meteorology. I also brew beer with my Dad, ride about Chicago on my road bike, and hangout/spend time with those who matter most in my life. Finally, drum porn for days. I never have the drum gear I want and my setup hardly stays for longer than 6 months, haha.
16.Thank you Pat for taking the time to fill this interview out. Do you have any final comments for the readers?
No problem, Patrick. Good to share my thoughts with you. Come see us at a show, and keep listening to, and supporting, great music and great bands! If you haven’t checked out the album, please do! If you are already one of our supporters, thank you very much, and cheers!