Summer Survival Guide: Todd Jones of Nails

Nails, by Emma Parsons Photography

Nails, by Emma Parsons Photography

In Ghost Cult’s continuing series of how bands deal with touring all summer long, we chatted with Todd Jones of Nails about touring behind their new album You Will Never Be One Of Us (Nuclear Blast), getting props from his heroes, opening for legends like Black Sabbath later this year and more.

On who Nails likes to tour with most:

I’d like to share a stage with pretty much all of the bands were currently touring with. If I had a wishlist of bigger bands to play with, I suppose it would be Hatebreed, Soulfly, Carcass, it would be pretty cool to tour with them guys. Those bands are all on our label so maybe it can happen.

 

On getting humbled by respect from the metal community:

I woke up one day to go to work and I looked at my phone that somebody had texted me and told me about this article that they saw where (Max Cavalera) said he was proud of me. I lost my f***ing mind because when I was 13 years old, I saw the (Sepultura) ‘Territory’ video on MTV, and I’ve been a fan of everything that he’s done since that. It’s someone that I’ve looked up to, that I’ve admired for a long time. To get him acknowledging me is big, and it’s basically what I’m doing in my writing.

(‘Territory’) That came out, I think I saw it on Headbanger or MTV. Maybe they were playing it during the day which is f***ing crazy. I don’t know, man. I still listen to ‘Territory’. I think they might be one of my top 5 metal bands. For sure one of my top 3 metal bands for me anyway.

 

ozzfest knotfest 2016 ghostcultmag

 

On opening for Black Sabbath at Ozzfest/Knotfest:

That’s one thing I’ve learned above everything else is, that nothing is impossible. Like you start by yourself at a small rehearsal stage like seven years ago, eight years ago, and we’re going to have to play with Black Sabbath. If it’s not pessimist to say anything isn’t possible, then I don’t know what is.

Other cities Nails will hit on tour this year:


London, U.K. Mexico City. We’re going to go there in October, and of course, our hometown of Los Angeles. Let’s not forget we’re sold out here. Those are probably the cities where we get the most wowed at the reactions.

WORDS BY HANSEL LOPEZ

CONCERT PHOTOS BY EMMA PARSONS PHOTOGRAPHY

Summer Survival Guide: Levi Benton and Ryan Neff of Miss May I

miss may i warped crowd 2015

The start of the summer music festival season is here and Miss May I are no strangers to touring all summer, in a van or a bus. We met up with Levi Benton and Ryan Neff at The Rockin Derby in New York, and right before they headed to Europe for a tour. They also had stops at Rock On the Range, this weekend’s Amnesia Rock Fest, Chicago Open Air, and many more. We asked the guys how they survive the grind of the road in an interview with Ghost Cult.


Levi: For me, it’s been the front man, and trying to direct the crowd. Festival crowds are the easiest to direct. It’s a blast to have them do crazy, insane stuff that they can’t do at a venue. That’s my favorite.

Being touring veterans like you guys are, I’d love to ask the question what is your survival kit like? What do you need to take on tour for the summer, five things, a bag of things, specifically what is it that makes your touring experience bearable?


Ryan: We’re about to try and do the U.K. without suitcases, which is not normal for us. Normally, the tour is so long that you’ve got to have one. We’re about to do it backpack wise. I think it comes down to … You’re going to get soap everywhere, that sort of thing, you need a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a phone charger.

Levi: Phone charger. A phone charger that works in the U.K.

Ryan: If things work … Yes, yes. If things work out for you there, then you’re going to be in good shape. You’ll probably get good luck. You find soap. You find all that sorts of stuff. I shave my head every couple of days, so maybe some razors for me, but you really don’t need that much because you’re going to run into … the venues are usually really generous to you, especially on the festivals, they’re sort you out with anything you need. A good attitude would probably be … if you can buy a good attitude, that would get you through a lot of tours.

Since the band has a big following already in the USA, we asked what they look forward to most when touring Europe. What is the bigger draw: sight seeing or the food?

Levi: Yes, the food.

Ryan: They’ve got different food than we do.

Levi: I’m trying to think. Food, big thing. There are other things … I love the shopping there.

Levi: The stores they have. It’s really weird, like the Nike store, or anywhere else there, it’s different stuff than you see in the U.S. It’s awesome because it doesn’t cost any different, but you get that there, and then you come home, and everyone is like “Where did you get that?” You just giggle because you know they can’t get it. It’s pretty … I love the shopping over there.

Ryan: Yeah. Man, the Wagamamas and Nandos, two of my absolute favorite foods.

Levi: Two more days!

Ryan: Yeah. We’ve been counting down. There’s only two Nandos in the entire country, I’m pretty sure, here in America, and you go over there, and you find them every five minutes.

Levi: They have Wok To Wok will be everywhere.

Ryan: Wok To Wok. That’s another one. Loads of them.

KE_MMI_08 Miss May I


We next asked about essential tour bus music:

Ryan: We are very eclectic. We are very eclectic as a group. Different guys like different things, like I go CD obsession. I don’t go song obsession. I go CD obsession until the CD is just so played out that I can’t even stand it.

Levi: I think Jared, our drummer, is the DJ of the bus.

Ryan: Yeah. He always, he finds goofy songs or like happy songs, like he just … The most outrageous things, and he always will grab the chord. No matter where we’re at, if he hears something playing that’s ridiculous, he’s over there giggling with his iPhone playing it.


Describe ridiculous.

Ryan: I don’t know if you’ve heard of … Group X is one.

Levi: Group X. Turquoise Jeep.

Ryan: Turquoise Jeep is one.

Levi: That’s a band with these two like rapper dudes.

Ryan: A lot of goofy stuff.

Levi: Talk about fertilizing some eggs. Yeah, so that’s the stuff we listen to.

turquoise jeep

KEITH CHACHKES

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