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Rob Nowak (Drummer/Manager of Against The Grain) – Interview

Posted in Shattered Platter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 03/25/2013 by Shattered Platter

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  1.  Tell me about yourselves, how did ATG come to fruition?  Who are you guys, what are you doing, why are you doing it and who is going to stop you?

The story of ATG coming together is actually pretty sweet.  I and Nick are child hood best friends and Chris (my brother) and Kyle are best friends from childhood.  Chris and I played in a band since he was 9, and I was 12, and after that fell apart about 6 years ago we had pretty much cashed in being in a band.  It been about 2 years since we rocked, and Nick started mentioning how he wanted to jam.  Well Nick got hit by a speeding car, and got hospitalized right in front of me.  After about 6 months of intense physical therapy he told me all he wanted was to jam.   Meanwhile that happened; I (Rob) just started working in the meat department at my job, and met Bryan, an avid music lover and jammer.  Bryan was obsessed with the blues and old rock, and I was into punk and speed rock like Zeke.  After talking about music, we decided to get together to jam.  Chris was upstairs with a broken couple fingers, heard the jam, and came downstairs.  Next thing you know, I got at nick and me Bryan, Chris, and nick started jamming.  Kyle joined the band later after Bryan revealed he could not tour.  Bryan still helps write and plays any close to home shows with us.

2.   You guys come from Detroit, MI; an area that has its fair share of killer bands come out of that scene in it’s past.  What kind of response have you been getting in the Detroit area and can you describe what is happening in that scene currently?

 Detroit has an incredible scene, you just have to work hard and flier/promote.  We were lucky enough to catch the attention of the bands we really admired like Hellmouth ( featuring  Jay of the Suicide Machines), The Meatmen, Easy Action, and a bunch of other great bands so we were able to be apart of a lot of great lineups and tours.  After a couple great starts of shows a lot of the venues in Detroit started to let us rock there and put on great shows.  The hometown support we get from friends, fans, promoters, the venues, and other bands is incredible and really helps us. That kind of support makes touring feel necessary.  Right now the scene is getting bigger and bigger, and because of that we’re able to bring bands like The Hookers through and show them great times.  Detroit truly is “Detroit Rock City”.

3.  In your relatively short time of existence, you’ve shared the stage with some serious players in heavy music (i.e. Valient Thorr, Holley 750, Zeke, and Jello Biafra to name a few).  What would be your pinnacle band to play with (besides Motorhead)?

 There are literally hundreds of bands we still want to rock with from stoner, to punk, to rock.  Dream tour to be a part of; Zeke, Red Fang, Valient Thorr, and Against the Grain.

4.  You guys have been around since 2009; Detroit was going through some heavy stuff around that time with the Recession and all.  Was that an element that played heavily in the topics of your guy’s first album release?

 I’d say it had way more of an effect on us with the feeling of needing to get out on the road.  Detroit can swallow you whole, and you can spend your whole life there trying to get respect or “make it”.  We knew that there was no way the rest of the world could be doing so bad, and used it as motivation to want to get out there.  Detroit is our home, and sometimes being parts of a recession like that can drive you get out there.

5.  Besides the new album, what can we expect from the ATG camp in the near future?  You guys got a huge domestic tour coming up.

 ATG is just getting started.  We’ve done 9 tours so far, and plan on touring as much as possible. At least 125 shows a year, and if things pick up hopefully a lot more.   We want to keep releasing records and bringing speed-rock to the forefront. Expect some sort of release every year (hopefully a ton of 7” and splits soon). Musically, it’s be safe to say we plan on covering a lot of grounds, but all within raw rock and roll grounds.  Punk, d-beat, speed-rock, stoner, rock and roll, all mixed in. We love all forms of heavy and raw music, and each release will continue to show that.  We like to throw a couple different elements into each record.  Our first record was a lot softer. In Motor City Speed Rock, we wanted to write a rip-your-fucking-head-off record.  Surrounded By Snakes is more rock and stoner orientated, but definitely still has some speed-rock fast as shit moments.  Basically, we’re here to stay and are going to keep on rocking as long as its fun to us.   

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