Interview with Nick Sundesten of Temperedcast on 11/14/08
By Barbara Fara
MI: What’s your birthdate, baby?
NS: My birthday is March 18, 1979.
MI: How has Temperedcast been together?
NS: It’s been an ongoing vision, I guess, for a while. I guess I would say the official Temperedcast lineup was formed in ’06 and that would be me, Nick Sundesten on bass, Kelly Murphy on drums, Josh Perry on guitar, Kris Tonnessen on guitar and Calvin Muma on vocals. Once we had that full lineup, that’s when we officially became Temperedcast.
MI: How did you come up with the name?
NS: Temperedcast, I guess, we have this really laid back vibe, so, and just naming the band was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done – trying to find something that best represented us, so basically what we kinda did was we wanted to do something that represented something hard, something metal and that’s where the ‘tempered’ comes in – something cast together, which is a group of guys that sets out to do something, it’s going to mean different things to different people, but we just kinda look at it as representing the music that we’re playing right now.
MI: Now, you’re the bass player of the band, correct? Give me five bass players that have influenced your style of playing! Yes, I’m going to throw the big one at cha.
NS: I guess the first bass player that influenced me, like how I figured out that I really liked rock music was Jason Newsted of Metallica. I guess if you ever get the chance to watch us play, Jason Newsted was always the guy who beat the heck out of the guitar and played really heavy and that’s kinda where I come from. I guess he’s one of my favorites. I kind of appreciate all bass players, because everyone has got their own style, so I don’t know if I could ever pinpoint my favorite bass players, but I guess he was one guy that really stood out in my mind when I first started.
MI: At one point on your new album, I got a little confused here because on the last track, it was like a Lacuna Coil thing – it seemed like you had two vocalists. Did you have two vocalists on the last track of the new album?
NS: No, no, that’s all Calvin. He’s pretty diverse and he’s got a good range – it took some time to get all of those ideas down, but once the ideas started flowing when we were doing the last track, “Crawling Away”, um, and I’m not sure if you listened to it but…
MI: I heard it this morning and last night. Go ahead.
NS: It’s one of those things where this story kind of represents our life on the road, a little bit – where it’s every emotion from being excited to tired to exhausted and angry and all sorts of different things, you know. From an outsider perspective, a lot of people would think that music is this glamorous, easy job where you get to play guitar and party and all that stuff, but it’s the complete opposite. It’s more work than anybody else has thought is what goes into it, you know? You think you just go from city to city and party and all you have to do is plug in your guitar and play for an hour and then go backstage and keep partying, but the music industry today – they don’t exactly just give out record contracts anymore and so that song just kind of what we felt best represented our struggle on the road and how exhausting it was. I guess Calvin just dug really deep, and all five of us put in a lot of different ideas on getting the emotions out.
MI: Well, what I thought was weird was I saw the new Overkill video for “Skull and Bones” with him and Randy Blythe – and I’m like oh my god, it’s him and Randy Blythe! How is he pulling that off – I have to ask him that question, but I will do it the Lacuna Coil way. But it was really like that and I was like, oh my god!
NS: When you play it live – we really have a lot of talented vocalists in our band and Chris and Josh are both really talented singers and everybody in the band, when it comes to writing, can sing and bring ideas – but Chris and Josh are really good at harmonies and Chris can really scream, too. So we’re able to pull those songs off live just because of skills that everybody carries in the band.
MI: So how is the tour going with Puddle of Mudd?
NS: Great! I mean, Puddle of Mudd are such easy-going guys, and we’re easy-going guys. I mean, we’re really new in the game when it comes to national touring and stuff like that – we’ve done stuff in our own region with big bands – but taking it to a broader spectrum, a more national level and it was definitely nice to have the chance to tour with them before, in our region, so we knew what to expect and also knew how to carry ourselves, which is to just remember who’s paying the freight – they are the ones who are giving us this opportunity and that are really bringing a lot of people out to the shows, so we do our best to sit back and watch and learn and try not to get in anybody’s way or piss anybody off but also be able to enjoy ourselves and be aggressive enough…we push the boundaries a little bit, you know, times on the tour where we’ve had a really good response and our merch line is like, just lined out the door and we’re overwhelming Puddle of Mudd’s table and the other band’s tables. Part of the tour ran through Oklahoma City and we were just like…everybody wanted everything signed and blah, blah, blah so we were on their table, everybody’s tables…
MI: So nobody got to sell their merch but you guys! (laughs)
NS: …so they would go to stand out of our way and get out of our way – but you never know how many times you’re going to get this opportunity to be able to get out there, so…
MI: So how did you land this tour?
NS: Well, like I said, when we toured with Puddle of Mudd in the Northwest last winter – I think it was kind of like a pay it forward – every band that is as big as Puddle of Mudd is at one time or another has had some band help them out and get them out there and they kind of did that for us and gave us that opportunity and thought we were good enough to play at their level and we’re just really excited to be here and really excited they gave us this shot to be able to do that. It all kind of started with how we learned to stay out of everybody’s way – if someone gives you a set time, you don’t go over it, you know, you just abide by the rules and just make their lives easier and then obviously you’ll get the same opportunities again because if all they see you do is…if you’re kind of just like a fly on the wall and you stay out of everybody’s way and everything is going smooth for them, but then every time they DO see you, you’re busting your hump and busting out onstage, keeping the crowd right for when they get out on stage and they see you busting your butt trying to sell a bunch of merch and get everybody excited about the show, then you’re going to get an opportunity again. They gave us the shot to do and then we got the chance again because of how hard we worked to make their lives easier.
MI: So is it true that Cher is Wes’s mommy?
NS: Cher is Wes’s mom!? (laugh) I’ve never heard that!
MI: You have to ask him – that was the latest rumor mill that I heard – it’s been going around for five years.
NS: I would almost say that that’s a complete rumor because…maybe I guess because they’re both skinny, but I think his mom has got to be some sort of…he looks like a surfer guy, like a super cool laid back…
MI: I know! But the thing is, he looks so much like an ALLMAN, you know what I’m saying? (laughing)
NS: Yeah…I’ll have to ask him – I’ll see him here in about an hour, so…
MI: Just say, “I heard your mommy’s Cher – why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
NS: He’ll probably look at me like an asshole or something. (laughs)
MI: Now, supposedly you started your own label, but soon you’ll be moving on to a new label – is that correct?
NS: Well, it wasn’t our own label that we started, it was actually our first producer that we did Proximity Fuse with, he started a label and um, don’t get me wrong, we love the guy and had a great time recording and everything, but it just didn’t really pan out and it just seemed like, not just toward his label, but every label in general at this point and time in the music industry, it just seems like that anybody can start a label but our level, we are just in between…and we feel like we are at that point where we need to step up to a bigger level. So if they can’t help you with tour support, which is the one place we need help – because we can pay for our recording cost, we can pay for our practice space and that kind of stuff – it’s getting out there and being able to market and push yourself, it’s a lot of money and basically on this tour, we are the one band that is not on a label but we also know that if you sit back and wait for somebody to find us and decide if they want to help us out, we could be here forever, so we kind of took it in our own hands and put ourselves in our own…we all took our personal money to be able to do this. We all stepped up and decided to make our own dreams come true. Everybody that’s involved with it, like our parents and girlfriends or wives or kids or whatever…
MI: Ah, so you ARE married…
NS: I’m not married – but I am engaged to be married. But anybody that’s been a girlfriend or a wife to a musician and I think a lot of girls at shows think that, once again, that it would be a glamorous thing to be a part of, but they don’t get to see the nonstop practices and the recording time when you’re gone and the touring time when you’re gone and then like, we were lucky enough to have our girlfriends fly up to Philadelphia to see us play and we haven’t seen any of our family or girls in like, months. So it was just really neat to go to a city we’ve never seen before and see some of the sites and share the experience with them because realistically, you know, they might not be up there playing the music but they’re battling the same battle we are. They are going for days and months without seeing us and all of us, when we’re not playing music, we have day jobs and so when you come home, you’re either working or playing music. I just think it’s funny that a lot of outsiders think it would be so awesome to be a musician, but I guarantee all of our girls would beg to differ at times. (laughs) It’s a big commitment for anybody that’s directly in contact with our band. We have a great manager in Scott Moorehouse, Doug [Weber], our publicist has really helped us out…
MI: How did you end up with Doug, Doug is so good!
NS: Doug is GREAT! Actually, like I said, there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes that even we don’t know about but once again, Scott Moorehouse really busts his hump for us and basically he confronted us with Doug the publicist and said that we can get him and at the time, he has actually had some national touring experience with some friends of ours last summer and did some national tours for them. Basically he reiterated how necessary Doug will be to our business and especially for this tour, hiring him was the best thing we could have done, because he’s busting his hump and he’s also a believer, too. That’s the thing about Temperedcast – we surround ourselves with people who believe in our music and our manager, when he first started, he didn’t really have a whole lot of managing experience, but he believed in our music and believed in what we were doing; also, at the same time, the five of us didn’t have the most experience with national touring. We just wanted to surround ourselves with people who and willing to learn and willing to work with us as a team to get coverage out to the next level – and we have learned so much in the last year or two.
MI: Tell me about your experience with Jerry Cantrell.
NS: Uh, Jerry? Jerry, oh man, he’s a great guy. Man, Alice in Chains…the music scene in Seattle is definitely not what it was, but the really neat thing is guys like Jerry, and Sean Kinney and Mike Inez – those guys, when they’re not touring are still hanging around the Seattle area. Like our singer, Calvin, he’s really good friends with Sean Kinney, the drummer from Alice In Chains and you have that common bond from being a Seattle musician and getting to play with them and even when you’re not playing with them, sometimes Jerry Cantrell will pop into a bar and just jam acoustic and they all understand where we’re all coming from.
MI: I heard that Alice In Chains are getting back together…
NS: Yeah, they’ve been touring for a while and I’m not sure if you ever heard but a little over a year again, maybe two summers ago, he did this thing called..man, I forget his name but he’s a singer and he almost looks like a smaller version of Lenny Kravitz, but this dude’s got pipes – but they found him and did an Alice In Chains Opens At Bangkok – they did it at the Moore Theater in Seattle and it was almost like, if you had the chance to be there, then you better have been there, because everybody – the who’s who of music in Seattle was playing with them, like Duff McKagen of Velvet Revolver, because he’s from the Winward area and Kim Thayil from Soundgarden and Chris Degarmo [from Queensrÿche]and all these different people jamming on a couple different songs and that went really well and they toured that summer and I think now, to be honest with you, that they are in the studio recording so um, I think the reunion tour went really well and obviously it’s hard to fill the shoes of Layne Staley, he was a unique soul and creative guy and like the front man for Alice In Chains, but the guy they got to replace him or fill his shoes for the time being, I crap you not, when we went to see that show and if you closed your eyes, you would have thought Layne was standing right there. He did a really great job and never tried to play like a rock star role like “this is me and I should get the credit” – he sang the songs, entertained the crowd, had everybody go nuts and really did a good job and I think those guys are really cooking right now.
MI: Out of every tour that you’ve done so far, has this one been your favorite so far?
NS: This couple of months here? Yeah, I would say that because this tour we’ve just really clicked really well the guys – like some of the tours we’ve done and some of the big bands we’ve played with, not everybody is really open to hanging out and just…like Puddle Of Mudd – they’re just all really easy going guys – like, we’re the opening band but they just make everyone feel like they’re equal and that we’re all out here for the common goal which is to entertain the crowd. It’s like coworkers I’ve worked with – you’re just not going to go six weeks without talking to each other and just hide out – we all hang out and get invited to go out and do things that they’re doing and they make us feel really welcome and that inspires us that much more to uh, play our butt off for those guys and work really hard to make the shows big in each town for their fans.
MI: Who did the artwork for the album – it’s beautiful.
NS: Oh, the artwork? That was a combination of our guitar player, Kris Tonnessen, and our drummer, Kelly Murphy – those guys are…we’re a very lucky band to have two graphic artists in our band that both went to school for that. So all our artwork, our t-shirts, cds, on all our stuff, we don’t pay anybody to do anything, it’s all our guys working together to come up with something really cool. They’re both very creative.
MI: How do your parents feel about your career?
NS: Actually, my parents and Kelly Murphy’s parents are, since the beginning of Temperedcast and even when we were kids, me and Kelly have known each other – we were like little kid neighbors growing up and so we’ve been jamming together for like 15 years on and off – he had the drum set and I had the bass guitar and just tinkered around through high school. But they were always supportive and gave us a place to play and I swear we are like the only band in history that has never had to pay for a rehearsal space because we either jammed at Kelly’s house like up until a certain point where we were getting too big for that and then my parents own an electrical contracting outfit out in the northwest where we got to use an old office in the building so we always had a place to play. We’ve always had very supportive parents – Josh Perry’s dad is a musician himself and basically all the parents understand the music industry and made sure we had the proper gear and a lot of the dads like to tell us what’s right and wrong, like Josh and my dad are both musicians so they drop some knowledge for us and at the same time it’s cool for them, because we are getting to things that they didn’t get to do.
MI: So do your mommies run the street team? (laughs)
NS: (laughing) Uh, no. We have an awesome girl named Shawnte who runs our street team who we actually met in Tri city, Washington. She was there a lot because her friend’s band was there and we started traveling to that area a lot, which was like 3 or 4 hours away from Seattle and we became really good friends and that’s the cool thing about Temperedcast, we’re all about meeting fans and they all become friends. We’re not one of those bands that if you get on the Myspace, there is someone that works for the band that’s responding. If you are talking to someone on Myspace from Temperedcast, you are talking directly to a band member or a manager, but at the same time, yeah, you might be talking to a manager but there is a direct connection – he tells us immediately if there is someone we need to respond to or if it was someone we met at a show – we have a pretty good thing going with that in that we really work our tail off to show fans that we appreciate them.
MI: Do you think that Myspace, Facebook, Imeem, and My Yearbook and all those sites are helping the newer bands and older bands out there?
NS: Oh yeah, well I think it’s probably good and bad for the music industry, but I think with the internet, it’s not ever going to go away. Myspace is THE greatest thing to happen to a small band in general, because you can be a small band in your parent’s basement and recording stuff on an 8 track and you can get it down on your hard drive and actually get your music out to a world wide audience.
MI: I’ll give you another site to check out – My Arcade Friends.com, they are starting something like like Myspace, but they’re giving you unlimited access to put up anything you want. Check them out.
NS: I could go on for hours about the internet and the pluses and minuses of music or just the internet in general.
MI: So what would you warn any young band that was just starting out in this industry?
NS: Well, I guess you could consider us that – but you know, we’re finally getting the ball rolling when it comes to large exposure. We’ve been working at it for years and at the very start we were kind of scared to put our pride on the line and get out there and actually do it, but the one thing I could recommend to any band that wants to do it, would be that you can’t just sit at home and hope that, you know, we’re the best band in Seattle and we’re just gonna jam here till somebody finds us. It doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to go out and regionally tour your area – as far as you can go on the money you have. It doesn’t count if you’re a half hour away from home – you’ve got to get hours…if it doesn’t take you a full tank of gas to get there, then you’re not far enough away. You’ve got to build it up and there are going to be shows where you may walk out and there will be five people there in the crowd because you’re playing on a random day and not playing for anybody. But you have to play every show like you’re playing for a thousand people so that when an opportunity comes where Puddle Of Mudd or Three Days Grace or Drowning Pool is coming through that area, that you can say, hey, I know for sure in each one of these towns that you’re coming through that we can bring 150 people that will help your ticket sales. But if you are just in Seattle, yeah, you may get that show and tell but what’s the point? How much farther are you getting by playing that same crowd – 70% of people that are there at that show, you’ve played in front of anyways and you’re not getting that much farther. You have to get out there and build it up in your region to do that.
MI: What about if they were to be offered a record deal with an indie or a major record label, what would you warn them?
NS: That’s really hard because I haven’t even been faced with that kind of situation yet. But that’s where entertainment lawyers are involved – where the first thing you want to do is get an entertainment lawyer who is going to look after your best interest. We’ve been offered things out of somebody’s little label in their parent’s basement, but don’t sign with a label just because you want to be on a label because if there is somebody out there who is serious about your music, all of a sudden you just signed with someone who now owns your music and now this label has to deal with them and try to buy them out or something. If they have this lockdown contract on you, then you just shot yourself in the foot. With Temperedcast, where we’re getting to at this point, in order to take it to the next level and nationally push it, we’re going to have to take that step. Till this point, we’ve tried to do as much as we can on our own, but that ups our net worth, because a label can come in and see we’ve already recorded two albums on our own, we have our merchandise already ordered, we have the touring stuff and all they really need to do is put money behind our marketing and distribution and get it out there and guys like Doug can help us with the media and our manager can help us with all the other stuff. We know when it comes to us looking for a label, we really just need the tour support and the marketing support. When you’re doing a big show in Saturday night and you want to do like 30 radio spots at 500 bucks or a thousand bucks, imagine doing that every other night on tour across the country – you’re going to be spending a fortune. You’re going to need people who know the markets and understand how it works to get us the best deals and all that stuff. We learn something new everyday, whether we learn the good way or the hard way. We almost need to do another interview in like a year from now and see how this album did and see how we finished out the year…
MI: We should, because I was just going to ask you how you would compare this album to your first album.
NS: Our first album, we didn’t have Josh Perry yet in the band and basically when we recorded the album, it was almost like a raw, more underground – I mean, it was recorded really well, and it sounds really good, but it’s a little more like this is Temperedcast, and we’re doing what we want to do and we don’t care what the industry’s doing and then we did it and we did a lot of layering on the guitars and right there we knew that to bring it to a live show that we needed a second guitar player and the name Josh Perry kept coming up and so we jammed with him like three times and everything really clicked. Josh and Chris really get along, and you never know with guitar players, with any band members really, both Josh and Chris are really both laid back guys and understand each other’s talents and if Josh’s style is needed in this song then Josh will do the solo and if Chris’s style is required, then he does it. They really work together to get it to be sounding really good. So once we had Josh, we started doing the album, Reach and you’re adding one more head to the idea pot and we all learned a lot that year and a half where we can’t just be married to certain things – we need to really break things down and figure out what’s best for the songs, we went through every piece of the songs and now you can see how bands can take a year or so in the studio – to make things good, you really have to take the time. You can’t just hodgepodge together and just force the music to be really good. You have to take the time to nitpick and critique everything. We’re all really anal guys when it comes to our music and I think on this album, Reach, that there is something for everybody. We have crossover songs that are a little more light or more moderate and then you have songs like “Crawling Away” and “Riddance” that are just have a little bit of old school heavy metal flavor to it or hard rock. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re into, guy or girl, metalhead or average rock listener, there is going to be something on this album for you. That’s the big difference between our first album and our last album is that we learned to really write our music and really break it down and figure out what’s best for the song and not just what’s best for us to play it. We’ve basically matured as songwriters and we’ve been working together long enough that we’re friends but we’re also all business partners so we don’t get pissed off and if we do, we’re able to talk about it and work it out.
MI: Like manlove.
NS: Um, yeah. It’s one of those things where it’s like a marriage and if we get in a fight we have to be able to talk about it. Right now, its five guys living together in an RV for six weeks. It sounds really good when you first get in there, but everyday it gets that much smaller (laughs).
MI: And that’s where the manlove comes in, you have to talk things out before you kill each other.
NS: Oh yeah, there’s been times where you just have to say, I need a second, and step away and go have a cigarette and just recalibrate before you say anything stupid. Just make sure you don’t say anything dumb and do any permanent damage before you say something that you don’t really mean to get across what the problem is. We’re a team, and like a team, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. All of us have to be on our game and this tour we’ve all really found our niche and selling merch and all this different stuff.
MI: Do you expect to release this album and your previous album on vinyl, since vinyl is making such a huge comeback?
NS: I guess that if we get signed to a major label after this that that would be really neat to have. Even if we didn’t press it – just to have one to have it.
MI: What did you think about the recent election, darling?
NS: Well, we don’t usually ever talk politics, but I guess that the only thing I can say politically wise is that you always hope for the lesser evil to get into office. I don’t really ever want to talk bad about anybody, but I don’t understand why anybody would want to be president right now (laughs).
MI: I’m trying to figure out – how is he going to get us out of this financial bailout now?
NS: I know, and that’s the only thing I’m really willing to talk about politic-wise is that it doesn’t matter who it is, even if I had the chance to be president this term, because you are inheriting a mess. It’s a mess that’s been coming a long time. All I’ve got to say is best of luck to him and I hope he can get us out of this bind because from a music standpoint – the economy is directly involved because the first thing that goes is people’s entertainment money, so people won’t go out and buy cds, and they won’t buy tickets to go see shows. So if we can the economy going back in a positive direction, then it will be great for everybody – then housing prices will go back up and cd sales will go back up and across the board, everybody’s lives will get better if Obama can get this ship turned back up.
MI: So when is the wedding?
NS: I’m getting married on June 6.
MI: So you are a taken man.
NS: Yes ma’am.
MI: And no woman can touch you – or your fiance will kill them…
NS: The great thing about my fiance is that she knew me before music, which…we’ve been together for a long time. You know you can’t trust all those girls alot of the time, like when the music’s over and they look at you just like a musician..
MI: But she doesn’t look at you as a musician, she looks at you as a person.
NS: Yeah. But she also laughs and gets a kick out of going in the bathroom and hearing all these girls talk about us – because we’re the same old fartin’, burpin’, burger eatin’ dudes that she knows when I get home. (laughs)
MI: So basically she’s the band’s spy. (laughs)
NS: She’s not the band spy, she just laughs because we’re just normal guys to her. She’s known us all for so long now, but she’s also the person that keeps me level headed, you know. It’s quite easy to get jaded or get a big head when at every show you’ve got people blowing smoke up your ass and telling you how awesome you are – and then I come home and she keeps my ass in check. I think anybody in a relationship can identify with that, because there’s always somebody in the relationship that keeps it all together. She keeps my finances in order when I’m gone, keeps my house in order so that I’m not losing it and I get home and I’m homeless. (laughs)
MI: Now I know you’re a bass player, but how did the death of Dimebag Darryl affect you guys?
NS: Oh man, I would say that Pantera is one of the very biggest influences to every band member. When that happened, I think it was almost unreal, like didn’t believe it was true and it’s been years now and I still think, ah, Pantera’s gonna come out with another kick ass record and Dimebag’s going to be all over it and I think it was just such a freak accident how it went down by a person that was pissed off that Pantera wasn’t going to get back together and now…you know over time, Pantera maybe would have gotten back together and now we’ll never know if they would have gotten back together, which is even more frustrating to know. So he was a person that was not only a nice person – Calvin was lucky enough to meet him and got to hang out with him backstage a long time ago. He was a really cool guy and not like what a rock star was supposed to be.
MI: Just down to earth.
MI: How did the death of Jennifer Hudson’s family affect you guys?
NS: I didn’t actually hear about that!
MI: Yeah, they found her mom and brother murdered and a few days later found her 7 year old nephew in the backseat of a car, and he had also been killed.
NS: Oh, that’s horrible. We don’t really have a whole lot of time to watch TV because we’re always out playing music.
MI: Ask the future wife.
NS: (laughs) Yeah, I’ll have to ask her. It’s one of those things that’s so horrible, I would never wish it on anyone. There are some people who need some serious help out there. I saw that they found Paula Abdul’s stalker dead outside her house the other day and the things they were saying about her, critiques and stuff. With music, you know, you put yourself out there to be critiqued – for every good thing you hear, you’re going to hear about 20 bad things – but there are people who aren’t all there in the head and I’m not saying that they’re looney, but when you do things like that, bad things are going to happen.
MI: So do you believe in psychics?
NS: Psychics? I personally don’t – I don’t know. I’ve got to see to believe stuff – maybe if I was a psychic I would believe it. I’ve never really vistied a psychic, so maybe I should have a psychic reading done on me and hopefully find out good stuff.
MI: What are your feelings on the legalization of marijuana, honey?
NS: Well, I do come from a very progressive state – Seattle, Washington, and they have their fair share of weed up there and I think there are pluses and minuses about legalizing it. I think that especially for clothing or for medicinal uses, that it’s awesome, but then there’s like the extremist that just want to use it to get stoned out of their gourd everyday and just kinda being a lump of meat and that’s not great, so I think for anybody that can use things in moderation, it’s great.
MI: Well, I was reading in High Times…yes, I’m a smoker, okay….
NS: I used to everyday, but my day job won’t allow it…
MI: …but there was a rumor that certain states like South Dakota, North Dakota, Massachucets, have or will legalize it – do you see it getting any bigger than what it is?
NS: I think maybe over time, because a long time ago, if you had a tattoo, you were just a crazy rebel and now our generation is getting older and you’re starting to see business men that take their suit off and are covered in tattoos. A long time ago, gay marriage was just rediculous and it would never be accepted – but over time it will be, I think.But just like everything, people have to do things in moderation. Like drinking is legal, but if you drink like crazy then it’s not great either. Everybody has different limits, and everybody has to know their own limits, then they will be fine. It comes down to responsibility.
MI: Now when you are done with this tour with Wes, who IS Cher’s son, and you are going to ask him, do you know who your next tour is going to be with?
NS: (laughs) Umm, we do not yet and basically we will be working on that the minute we get home and actually on the way home. When we get home we will probably do some shows back at home because we have alot of friends and family who are waiting for us to get back home because basically when we got our album done, we had a release party and then a week later it seemed like we were out! We haven’t really had a chance to play with our new stuff yet.
MI: How was the release party?
NS: It was fun – locally, we try to keep things real orginal and try to be a little groundbreaking, I guess, because alot of people in local bands have their release party and fill it up and it’s basically like just a regular show but you have new cds at the merch stand – and it doesn’t seem like the band really gets to hang out so what we did was we got a small intimate venue where nobody could really hide out and you’re forced to interact with all your fans and we did an acoustic show and played our videos in the background while we were doing it. We got to hang out and talk with fans and friends and have our street team come in and hang out and be a part of it and we really got to show them and everyone how much we appreciate them. Teh rest of the time, it’s so go, go, go and you never really get a chance to sit back and talk to friends and fans and tell them how much we appreciate everything and how cool they are to help us out and that show was really neat because we sold alot of albums, had a really cool vibe and get to hang with everyone before we took off. We’re excited to get back and do a big welcome home show and all our radio stations back there, 99.9 and 104.9 have been spinning our records and keeping us in the back of their mind and when we do get back there in a month or so in December…
MI: So you’ll be home for Christmas.
NS: Yeah, just in time. It will be cool.
MI: And meanwhile the poor fiance has to eat turkey by herself?
NS: No, actually, I have a really supportive family and my brother’s wife’s family is in Minnisota and we will be in Minnisota on Thanksgiving so my family is all flying out and they’re going to take us all out for a Thanksgiving dinner.
MI: If you could open for any band in the world, living or dead, who would it be?
NS: I think every band member has a different one – if you were to ask that of Kris or Josh, they’d probably be like Metallica or something. Kelly would tell you like Sevendust or something like that – everybody’s got different stuff. Alive or dead? that’s a really hard one. for an olders school band, we’d want to open for like AC/DC and 80’s 90’s band would be like Metallica and today’s band, it would be awesome to play with like Atreyu or Bullet for My Valentine or something like that. Seems like 8 years or something a new power comes out. And what’s really neat right now is that we DO have alot of guitar solos and tight rythyms and stuff and with our back vocals and lead vocals we have a lot of harmonies and stuff so it’s a big collage of what’s happened in the past and now it’s coming back around. The harmonies are coming back with screamo and stuff and the guitar solo is coming back and there’s all this stuff that is working in our favor so it’s really exciting that for once it seems that everything is lining up in our favor.
MI: If you were god for a week, what would you change?
NS: I’d just make world peace and make Temperedcast the biggest band in the world.
MI: What is the wierdest thing you’ve seen so far on this tour?
NS: Man, that can kind of change day by day, but nothing freakish so far. We’ve already started getting some of the fans where I won’t name any names because he’s on our Myspace all the time, but he really doesn’t believe we should be on this tour and feels we should just put our career in god’s hands, which is fine but we just get all kinds of crazy lyrics sent our way and it’s almost uncomfortable when he emails us some of the most bizarre stuff because we’re a band that’s just starting to clumb that ladder and to me that’s the kind of thing you hear about with big bands. And you’re scared to say anything – we try to just say “thank you!” and try to be polite because you never know just how crazy people are so we’re just like “thank you for the advice!” I don’t want them to shoot me on the way back out to the car. They want you to quit the tour you’ve been working your butt off for and all of us have different beliefs. Everybody in the world have different god’s they believe in and that’s half the reason that there’s problems in the world is people trying to force their beliefs on other people. You’ve got to like people for who they are. There are two people that you can’t ever change about a person and that’s politics and religion.
MI: If you were stuck on a deserted island and you could bring one person (and we know who she would be!), your favorite bottle of booze, your favorite drug, your favorite cd and one book, what would you bring?
NS: Obviously, I’d bring my fiance, some either Jager or Captain Morgan’s with me – I try not to drink too much. My favorite cd? I guess I’d bring Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”.
MI: What were the three albums that inspired you to become a musician?
NS: I’m just going to kind of round them all toether because I could never pick just one. All the early Metallica stuff, Alice In Chains was a big influence, and then from today, Sevendust would be one of the standout bands in my mind – coming from the rythym section, I just love it’s just one big kick ass deal and I really appreciate the rythym section – you can have the best guitarist in the world but without rythym you might as well just pack it up and go home. You’ve got to have a good back bone and right now it just seems like Sevendust stands out as having one of the best rythym sections.
MI: When you’re not on the road, what do you do with your time off?
NS: Well, we’re either writing or I have my day job – I’ve got my dog and just spending quality time with my girl. Seems like these days I don’t really have any time off.
MI: Let’s go back to when you were a kid – what was the worst job you ever had?
NS: I work for a family owned electrical contracting outfit, so I’ve been an electrician all my life.
MI: So when you come into town, you can wire my basement for me.
NS: Sounds good – I might need some side money! I’ll get it banged out pretty quick for you. (laughs)
MI: How do you compare yourself with other bands in the business?
NS: It just seems like that with bands in general that we’ve toured with or crossed paths with, it just seems like that we are really outgoing, like we’re all really personable people who want to meet everybody, and seems like alot of bands don’t really take advantage of the opportunity and just hide out in the greenroom and live up the rockstar life like “oh yeah, we’re in the back partying” and you might as well not even give us the greenroom, because all we’re going to do is throw our bags back there and be out meeting fans. So for Temperedcast, that’s probably one of the big differences is that we treat every live show like it’s our last and we’re going out, rockin out as hard as we can, and after that show we are going to be going out and telling you to meet us at our merch stand and walking around that venue, trying to meet you. Even after the show, we’ll be outside the venue trying to push cds and trying to meet as many people as possible. There’s alot of bands that refuse to sign stuff or charge you money to sign something – at one point on this tour I signed a dude’s forehead.
MI: How old was he?!
NS: It was this whole group, their pants were signed, their belts, their necks, their face, their cheeks, and the one spot of this kid was his forehead so I just took that spot.
MI: I bet his mama took a pic of that on her cellphone.
NS: Our demographic seems like it’s anywhere from 12 year old kids to 50 year olds – it seems like our music just kind of fits with everybody and everybody seems to get it and really like it so…even if a 50 year old wanted me to sign their forehead, I’d do it.
MI: If a movie was made of your life, who would play you and what would you want the themesong to be?
NS: Oh my lord. Well, I’m going to go with Brad Pitt, because he looks like me, so I’ll have him do it and then uh, music to represent my life…”It’s Raining Men?” – that’s horrible, no. (laughs) No, Josh, was just joking and he said that…but no, I would just chalk it up to “Freebird” because it would fit into anybody’s life story.
MI: If you had a million dollars and could donate it to any charity, what would it be?
NS: Umm, any charity…actually, my grandfather had Parkinson’s Disease, so I would probably donate it to Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Foundation. That was a big part of my life growing up.
MI: If his foundation, or say, a cancer foundation came to you and asked you to play a benifit, would you do it?
NS: Alot of times we play shows for free because it’s an opportunity for us to sell cds and get our music out there – we’ll play anywhere. At this point we can’t be concerned about the money, it’s more about anyway we can get our music into people’s hands. Like, Parkinson’s was just a huge part of my life – I don’t know if you’ve ever seen pictures – but my whole sleeve is actually a dedication to my grandfather; his initials are on the inside of my arm and there is an angel on my forearm and then on my upper arm kind of represents life after death, kind of the unknown, so my whole arm is kind of a tribute to him.
MI: So he was a huge influence in your life, then.
NS: Yeah, he was like a second parent, and also like having another brother as well. He didn’t yell at you like a parent, but he was like another parent as well.
MI: Do you plan to release a new video for this CD?
NS: Yeah, I think we definitely plan to do another video – we’re probably going to wait to see what the next single is. There’s a few songs we’re kicking around because everyone who listens to it names a different song, it doesn’t seem like the same two songs come up any time. We’ll probably say the song “Coming Down” – we let the fans name that song really because we played it for the first time opening for Puddle of Mudd in Spokane, Washington and we had named it something different and all of a sudden, the chorus, which is “coming down” the fans on Myspace kept saying, “Oh, you’ve got to play that song “Coming Down” and we didn’t really know what they were talking about at first and then we were like, well, I guess that name is taken. Everybody seems to identify with that name, so… if there is a song that you really want to see as our next video, start getting everybopdy out there pushing for it and we’ll start working on it.
MI: Do you have a message for your fans?
NS: Our message is just thank you so much for supporting us and helping us get our music out there. They may not know this but we couldn’t be where we are today without them. We love our fans and they get excited about meeting us but they don’t understand that we are way more excited to meet them. This is one of the greatest experiences to be able to do – something that we had daydreams about growing up was being musicains that have a large fan base. So for this to come true for us right now is a total treat. We just want to thank our fans for being our fans and making our dreams come true. Don’t ever be too shy to come up to us because we want to meet you more than you want to meet us!
MI: Do you want to tell your fans any dirty little secrets about your bandmates?
NS: We don’t have any dirty secrets – at least not any that I know of! I wouldn’t want to KNOW any dirty secrets. I don’t think there are any dirty booger pickers out there…
MI: So where can the kids find your websites at?
NS: www.temperedcast.com or myspace.com/temperedcast or super easy – just google temperedcast
MI: And what’s your favorite quote of all time, darling?
NS: “Lookings for free, but touching is going to cost ya.” and that’s by Chaz Michael Michaels which is Will Ferrell in “Blades of Glory” (laughs)
MI: A Will Ferrell quote…you should have that tattooed on your girlfriend’s shirt and have an arrow pointing at you. I want to thank you for the interview.