Artist We Love [Nine Inch Nails] [Atticus Ross & Trent Reznor]

NAVASA are Nine Inch Nails advocates through and through, being fans of all the albums since Pretty Hate Machine all the way to the newest release Bad Witch. We appreciate Trent Reznor’s ferocious appetite to push every musical boundary possible while using every last bit of state-of-the-art technology. Trent implemented MIDI, drum machines, Pro Tools, Reason and other software way before a lot of people. We must admit, some of the material gets a little too noisy for our taste, but we accept these forays into pure industrialization as a part of a greater whole.

Atticus Ross came on the scene as a producer and programmer in 2005 with the album “With Teeth”, Trent’s return to greatness after bouts with alcohol and cocaine after the disappointing reaction to The Fragile., and has been there ever since. Atticus seems to be a solid foundation for Trent to bounce his ideas off and keep his head up.

NAVASA also have a small personal connection to the Nine Inch Nails story. Greg’s late great friend Bill Kennedy, who he had met in Toronto and eventually followed down to Los Angeles for a number of years, had engineered tracks on the Broken and Fixed EPs as well as Trent’s first full album for Interscope Records The Downward Spiral. Greg states, “Bill and I were roommates for quite awhile. I was there when Bill first got called to work on some sessions with Trent. Interscope needed someone to guide him through the mechanics of an SSL console and other equipment at A&M Studios, where Bill worked full time on a lot of albums. He was ecstatic at the chance to work with one of his true heroes.

“So as it goes, I wound up bumping into Trent and mentioned that I was Bill’s roommate. I also mentioned that I had dubbed him “Kill Bennedy” as a friendly barb because Bill was a little crazy in a good way. Time passes and the Broken EP comes out, and there’s Bill’s engineering credit and it says “The Kill Bennedy”! Bill didn’t talk to me for weeks, he was so pissed. After a while though, everyone started calling him “Kill”, the name really stuck and it became his calling card, so what can I say? Shit happens.

“After Downward came out and became the biggest thing ever, Bill got commissioned by Trent, along with Scott Humphrey, to produce some remixes of the track “Closer”. They got Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) to play drums and Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West) to play bass, both uncredited. I wound up contributing the staccato guitar riff on “Closer (Further Away)”. It was a combination of me hammering away while Bill grabbed the neck of the guitar.”

You can check that remix out here:

“Bill was one the greatest engineers who ever lived and I miss him a lot” explains Biribauer. Kennedy passed away in 2012 from drug and alcohol abuse.

Check out the wikis, there’s a lot there. NIN will forever have a deep place in our musical hearts. 

Artist We Love [Radiohead]

Like Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and a few others, Radiohead are an institution. One could say that they are the last great band in history. Their worldwide appeal has consumed the modern musical terrain with release after release of re-invention, but where other artists would eventually lose their grip on quality, Thom Yorke and company have retained an excellence unmatched by their peers.

NAVASA’s Tammy Sue Everett might explain it best: “They’re the only band out there were I love every track. You can’t say that about anyone else. We admire a number of artists, but there always seems to be a few bits here and there that don’t quite live up to the standard. Radiohead blow right through that with a severe attention to detail, art, adventure, surprise and solid songwriting.”

A lot of new bands will site Radiohead as an influence, but how can one say that about a band that is impossible to pin down? Are you influenced by “The Bends” or “Kid A”? Those two albums are at opposite ends of the spectrum. How about “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box” or “Pyramid Song”? Those two songs are back to back on Amnesiac and don’t sound anything alike. You probably say that about any two of their tracks. So, as much as we admire them, we can’t possibly say they are an influence because their output is too varied and vast to pin down.

One thing we can say is that we do subscribe to Radiohead’s mission to never repeat themselves, to express themselves through light and shade, by being simple and bombastic, symphonic and guttural, cerebral and low brow, loud and soft, far out and extremely close. And that’s just in the first two minutes of each song.

We salute this band. No one comes close. We are all just disciples.

To get a glimpse of just how good Radiohead is, look no further than Live from the Basement. This one is from 2011, featuring their album King of Limbs (there’s another from 2008). What we noticed is that the live versions ARE BETTER THAN THE ALBUM VERSIONS!! Who does this? Who has the balls? Who has the wherewithal to pull this off? We’ll give you one answer…