For those of you who don’t know about them, Natur is a sick ass metal band from NYC. They are reminiscent of metal bands of yesteryear, such as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal era including Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Witchfinder General, and many others who are lesser known. These guys shred on board and on guitar, so if you’re into metal read on and check them out.
by Jonathan Mehring
- SKBR: As a kid when I read band interviews I always wondered one question: Do you guys skate?
Tooth: Technically we do actually. (laughs) How recently have you had to skate to qualify?
Ryan: Christmas time was the last time I skated
Damian: It’s been a snowy winter.
Tooth: We don’t have the Autumn Bowl anymore. And there’s the Vans thing but they ain’t letting us in.
Damian: We did skate there on the Autumn night at the Vans park. Dino skates.
Tooth: Yeah he’s the best one out of all of us.
Dino: (laughing) Yeah, Bangor, Maine. Wal-Mart parking lot. I left burning tread marks there. Back to the future style except for the skateboard if you can picture what that looks like.
- SKBR: Didn’t Ryan skate for 5boro for a while?
Weibust: Yeah I used to come down with Seamus all the time. That was when he was still working for 5boro. We used to just get in his van and come down and raise hell for the weekend and then go back to Rhode Island.
- SKBR: Were you thinking of starting a band at that point? Did you play music at that point?
Weibust: I guess no I wasn’t. I mean I was always into music but I’d never been in a band. I think it was right at that point when I realized I didn’t want to follow that path [pro skateboarding]. I was just doing it for fun. I was working at Water Brothers and me and my friend Logan just decided to start a band out of nowhere and then we started Demassek.
- SKBR: So you played guitar for a while then I take it?
Weibust: Well I always messed around with guitar but Natur was the first band I ever played guitar in. I had always just sang.
- SKBR: Did you ever take vocal training?
Weibust: Nah, I would just drive around you know. Sing in the car. That’s pretty good vocal training.
Dino: In the shower
- SKBR: Do you see a correlation in between what got you into skating and what got you into metal?
All: Yeah for sure.
Weibust: Yeah music for sure and also metal.
Damian: It’s the same thing you know. Like you become fascinated with something and you just want to learn everything about it.
Weibust: It was something that you really had to delve deep into the world of it to really figure out what was going on.
- SKBR: How did Natur come about?
Damian: Uh. Pantera. (Laughter)
Weibust: Honestly. Pantera “Power Metal”. Damian got it for cheap.
Damien: Yeah I figured it was the sickest gift.
Weibust: But you gotta say why you got it: Out of guilt! For stealing the fuckin bat staff.
Damian: Oh yeah! The bat staff!
Weibust: That’s like the whole point of this.
Damian: That’s kinda at the root of the whole band. The bat staff and Power Metal.
- SKBR: What’s the bat staff?
Weibust: The bat staff was when we were headed up to Rob Stock, big party up in Maine and High Tower and Demassek were playing and Ginch bought this sick staff with a carved bat on top of it. While we were up there someone stole it and left it at one of our other friends houses. And Ginch came up to Newport, RI one weekend and stole it back. And then it became this thing. Like the bat staff is ours.
Tooth: Yeah we were skating the Autumn bowl and I cut myself and I didn’t even clean myself up because I wanted it to get worse so I could have a good excuse to get into the Ginch’s house to steal the bat staff back. Otherwise he would never have let us in his house. So I had him cornered in the bathroom getting gauze and saw the bat staff in the corner and kinda signaled where it was to the guys in the van.
Damian: Yeah so I grabbed it and put it in the van.
Tooth: So we got it back to Rhode Island and had this huge fucking party. And we were taking photos of it.
Weibust: We were all “fuck you Ginch” and so we had it for a while and I used to do this metal night up in Newport and one night Tooth called and said “the bat staff is gone, someone just came in a stole it.”
Tooth: Yeah I was hanging out with Zoe and she kept trying to get me up to the room to listen to this Cirith Ungol record. I new there was something fishy going on, like why are you on your phone so much? You are never on your phone. And I grabbed it and saw she was texting Ginch and Pensyl and this asshole (Damian) who had sneaked in and stolen it back while we were upstairs. So I ran down stairs and saw a car speeding off.
Damian: So yeah Ginch had rented a car and driven from NYC up to Newport RI to steal the bat staff back. He knew they would all be out of the house and Ryan’s metal night.
Tooth: So I immediately look in the corner and see the bat staff is gone. So I call these guys up and they all rush back to the house and kick my ass like I had something to do with it.
Damian: So me Ginch Dan Pensyl, Alicia Torello all rented a car. It was Newport, we knew we could just walk in and take it. And I was all “Cool, I’m in. And Ginch has an actual website called thebatstaff.blogspot.com
SKBR: So where is it now?
Damian: Ginch still has it.
Tooth: Yeah we’ve made some major chess moves to get it back. That’s pretty much why we all moved here [NYC].
Weibust: The next day we were so pissed. I was doing construction and I was just calling all their phones and no one would answer so I’d just cut a piece of wood with a circular saw for the voicemail. Damien felt so bad. He said, “I got something to make up for it man.” And I was all, “You’re a fucking traitor!” And it was Power Metal. And he was like, “Let’s start a band”.
Damien: Then Dino came along.
Dino: Yeah I was playing in Total Social Suicide. And Tooth called me and I came in and we just started playing then and there.
Tooth: We had a show within the month, a whole west coast tour. And that was the first time he played with us.
Weibust: That was with Space Vacation and High Tower.
Tooth: High Tower is a skate band if anybody reading is into reading skate mags. They are official skate rock.
SKBR: How is Natur different from your previous projects?
Weibust: Well the only other band I was in was Demassek and Antone was the lead guitarist and wrote most of the riffs. And I’d always have to kinda sing to his riffs which is a lot more of a challenge I think. So with this band I can write and sing at the same time. I can have to vocals in my head. It’s just a different dynamic of people. They are both great bands I think.
Tooth: There wouldn’t be a Natur without Demassek.
Damien: Yeah they laid the groundwork. They left a high watermark.
SKBR: What happened with BBQ booking and Earache?
Weibust: Well we went to meet with Earache because they were showing an interest in the band and they wanted to get us on a show with Hour of 13. They said, “We’re talking to this company BBQ booking.” And we were sitting there at the table like “Yeah that’s us”. It’s me, Tooth, and our friend Henry. And BBQ booking was our company that we’d created probably a week prior to that. It’s just funny to see how fast things move sometimes.
SKBR: They didn’t care?
Weibust: No they thought it was funny. It’s mostly Henry though. He’s the main force, pretty tightly knit in the metal scene. He’s known the Earache guys for a while. He has a blog – http://www.revolvermag.com/metal-kult
SKBR: Any upcoming tours?
Weibust: Norway and Sweden in early June and a few shows in NY in June as well.
SKBR: How’d you get the name Tooth?
Tooth: I believe it was Aquil Brathwait gave it to me when I was like 10 or 11. I think he thought my teeth were a bit too big for my face. If anybody knows Aquil they know he’s a loud mouth motherfucker and that shit sticks.
SKBR: You guys used to skate together?
Tooth: Yeah totally.
SKBR: What ever happened to that dude?
Tooth: He lives in Newport apparently. He hasn’t changed a bit.
SKBR: Can your 7” be found anywhere?
Weibust: Yeah totally. www.theyearisonerecords.com
Damien: Or come to our shows. That’s the best way to get em.
Tooth: We also have a radio show.
Weibust: Yeah it’s called Metal Inquisition on East Village Radio. Saturdays from 8pm to 10pm.