Im Interview: Nathan Gray.

Foto: Sven Hoppmann, Melancholie Maritim

So, liebe Freunde! Ich weiß gar nicht, ob das die meisten von euch mitbekommen haben, dass es ein kleines Interview mit Nathan zu lesen gibt- thematisch dreht es sich grob gesagt um die erste turbulente Jahreshälfte: von der End Hits Records Tour zu Corona und #blacklivesmatter. Am gestrigen Tag feierte der Herr seinen 48. Geburtstag und deßhalb gab es als kleine Überraschung eine nagelneue Seite: Fans und WegbegleiterInnen, die ein wenig über das neueste Album Working Title sprechen oder etwas über die Freundschaft mit ihm verraten und über so vieles mehr! Da ich diese Geburtstagsseite in ein bis zwei Wochen wieder offline nehmen werde, bzw. nach den Klickzahlen entscheide, wann das tatsächlich passiert, wühlt euch gerne mal durch da! Mit dabei sind zum Beispiel Oise von End Hits Records, Robert Ehrenbrand, Alonso (in der Band von Nathan und Norbert Buchmacher), Jaelyn & Jake (wer etwas über einen Shot namens Smokers Cough erfahren möchte, der klickt bitte unbedingt rein!!!), Frank Turner, undundund! Ihr wollt den Link zu der Seite? Nichts lieber als das:

RiseUpMyFriend

Und hier jetzt das Interview für euch! Vielen Dank an Nathan, der sich für die Beantwortung die Zeit genommen hat!

End Hits Records Tour: Some words about…

Swain: Didn’t know them before the tour, but found great respect for both their music and them as people. Was a treat to have them on the tour.

Norbert Buchmacher: An absolute blessing. Especially the folks who did double duty playing both their own songs and mine.

Matze Rossi: Quiet, warm, and personable. He exudes kindness, and I was immediately endeared to him.

Ben Christo: Adorable, talented as all hell, and a dear friend. Having him by my side on tour is always an honor.

Oise: Grounding. A dear friend for decades, and I trust him with my life.

Tanner: An absolute angel. She does a job I would absolutely hate, and does it with joy and efficiency. She knows the right mix of business and kindness because it all just comes naturally to her. To the point, assertive, genuine, and real.

Sven Hoppmann: sneaky hahahah… He got shots i didnt even know he was getting. When I was able to sit down and talk with him, or go on late night walks for stores that were never open (or had 0 of what we were looking for haha) we would have wonderful conversations. A wonderful person.

Your crew: Best on the planet hands down.
funniest moment(s): too many to count and wont be as funny if I explain them :-)
most emotional moment(s): Any time I stepped foot on that stage surrounded by
love and support.
saddest moment(s): When the tour ended.

Corona

At the beginning Corona was not taken seriously in many countries and was labeled as a
normal ‚flu‘. What was going through your mind when the infection and death rates
continued to rise?

I knew it was real when the last few shows of my U.S. tour were cancelled, and then in what seemed like rapid succession, the schools closed, the stores closed, everything. My first (and remaining) thought was to keep my family safe at home and that we were going to shelter in place as long as it took. We are still doing exactly that.

How did you describe this situation to your children?

As simply and frankly as possible, as will all things. We explained to them that there is a virus making people sick and that in order to keep each other safe, it was best to stay at home. Honestly, I think kids handled lockdown better than adults. They really didn’t seem to mind – they missed playing with their neighborhood friends, but there were never any meltdowns about not being able to go to the park or the store. If we would say no to something, Sophie, our 3 year old, would ask “because Coronoavirus?” and when we should say yes, she would go find something else to do.

Which views/statements by Trump have left you speechless?

If you know me, you know I am rarely rendered speechless. I call things as I see them, and have never been one to keep my mouth shut, for better or worse. At this point, it’s fair to say that everything that comes out of that man’s mouth or fingertips is complete garbage. It’d be too hard to pick and choose from his awfulness to even begin to pin some of his top ten shitty moments.

It’s a difficult and hard time for everyone right now, but I think that Corona also has a
good side: we spend more time at home with our loved ones, learning new things and
stuff like that. Do you also see any advantages?

There’s definitely been more time together at home, and it’s forced our hands a bit in terms of creativity – live events from living rooms, collaborative recording, etc.

It’s definitely not easy for people with mental health issues: how do you handle it?

That’s a great question. I handle it better some days than I do others. Being at home 24/7 has it’s own chaos attached which can make me feel a bit trapped in my mind, but I try to remind myself that none of this is happening in a vacuum, that it won’t last forever, and that everyone I love is healthy and well. I set up a home gym in the basement as well which has been helpful.

Which thoughts and worries are your constant companion?

All of them. =)

Your birthday is in June- how will you celebrate?

I’ve never been one to make a big deal about my own birthday, so typically its celebrated quietly at home with family. Sometimes we make a fire in the backyard and neighbors come over to hang out. It’s always very perfectly low key.

Which pro and cons do you see in live streams?

It’s definitely amazing to be able to be “live” for people all over the globe at once. It allows my show to reach more people that ever, but, it does lack one very important element that I have always been very attached to – the energy in the room when it is filled with other people and their emotions.

How did the idea for Boysetsfire Live from home come about?

We really wanted to do something special for everyone who had been looking forward to seeing us live this year. It was such a huge blow to have to cancel so many shows – it’s been quite some time that we had so many scheduled in one year, and we were really looking forward to a big year, both in Europe and the U.S.. This was the second-best way to celebrate with our friends and fans from all over the world.

More importantly: who won the cuddly toy battle?!

The kids. Hands down. They showed no mercy.

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#blacklivesmatter

What went through your mind when you heard about the tragic death of George Floyd?

Absolute sorrow, anger, and a feeling of hopelessness… Until… I saw people standing up, and the hope came back. I knew it was going to be huge… there was a feeling that the people were not letting it go this time. We have to make sure that these beautiful lives (not just Mr. Floyd..so many others) did not die in vain..their lives mattered and this must count this time.

If you were the President of the United States: how would you deal with such apalling acts?

Hard to say… Although I believe that both Barack Obama and Joe Biden are doing a very good job of showing what leadership should be in opposition to the horrors Trump pulls out of his ass.

How do you manage this issue when your children ask you about it?

I speak to them about empathy and show them empathy. I speak to them about kindness and show them kindness. I speak to them about being humble and show them humility. I speak to them of the struggles they will never understand. Struggles that their black friends at school and daycare will have to face that they never will, and that they must stand up for their friends and recognize true racism isnt as out in the open as they think.

Your thoughts, when you hear/read such comments:

1.) „when the looting starts, the shooting starts

Fuck that racist fascist pig directly in the face. That was my exact thought.

2.) ACAB

I cant pretend to not understand the sentiment, despite my aversion to the statement. I never correct anyone for saying such a thing in anger, because they are speaking to systemic racism and abuse within the police force. However I prefer to take a different route with such statements when I speak. Slogans and acronyms just are not really my thing.

3.) „I think he would have done that to who ever was in his way that day. People chose to make
this about race.

Absolutely short sited, privileged, thoughtless bullshit. Opinions like this are pointless. They work to clutter minds and deprive them of what we are really up against. Systemic racism purposefully ingrained in our system. It must be ripped out all together and we must rebuild beyond it.

Something else you wanna add?

Black Lives Matter, Black voices matter. Amplify black voices every chance you get. Bring black leaders to the forefront of the movement. It is time for us to life up Black, Brown, LGBTQ, and female voices. NOT in the background… UP FUCKING FRONT.