Hot off the heels of a two month mini-tour to support their third and newest release, Mongoloid Monarchy, Straight Outta Junior High shows no signs of slowing down. In their 5 years together, they've played in just about every state in the US, played in the last 3 Warped Tours, won the Ernie Ball online battle of the bands which is decided by fan voting.
SCS: How and when did SOJH form as a band?
Nate: We were dicking around in the basement one day with
our crappy instruments. There was a battle of the
bands coming up at Abel in a week so we got 3 songs
together and played them. We got 2nd place. we lost to
Ass Backwards but we beat Westside Proliteriat. It was
their first show too. The highlight of our set was
when the shirts we made to throw out to the crowd got
caught in the ceiling fan. We sucked. That was 5 years
ago. We are a little better now.
SCS: How would you define your band or your sound to someone who’s never seen you
Nate: We sound like sweet cherry awesomeness.
SCS: How would you describe a SOJH show? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?
Nate: they can expect us to play at least 5 songs. at least.
I want people to get thier money's worth.
SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?
Matt: Beatles, Metallica
Nate: London Beat, Rick Astley, Tone Loc
Louie: Mandown, Ultimate Fakebook, Motion City Soundtrack
Benji: Poison, Joan Jett, AC/DC
SCS:Tell us about Total Eclipse of the Heart, from Kiss of Deaf. What made you pick that song as a cover?
Nate: I thought it had a lot of potential as a song, but it
was too pretentious and drawn out the way it was. we
just took the best parts and trimmed it down by about
SCS: You’ve just released Mongoloid Monarchy/. How is it selling so far?
Nate: It is exceeding our expectations since we weren't sure
we'd sell any when we recorded it.
SCS:Now that it’s been done for a while, are there parts you’d like to go back and change?
Nate: There's tons of harmonies we've thought up since then
that we'd like to put in. Every CD we've done we've
wanted to add more stuff but it's hard to do when you
only have 8 days to record. I'm pretty happy with the
way it came out.
SCS: How have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?
Nate: We've changed a lot since we started. we started out
playing a lot of goofy surf music. Then we went to
catchy pop punk. then we got matt and started playing
a little harder rock. Now i'm not sure what our next
record is going to sound like. We’ll probably do some
death metal and some screamo. Screamo is really neat.
I love screamo.
SCS: Do you have a favorite song of yours to play live?
Nate: Track #2 on Mongoloid Monarchy "Just Like" It's tough
and has a sweet drum fill.
SCS: Are there any you don’t like playing anymore
Nate: There are songs I got a little sick of but we stopped
playing them for a couple years. Now we are excited to
play just about everything we have, but some songs do
SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go
Nate: Our first real "show" was in Westside Proliteriat's
garage. WSP, Settle For Less, System Failure, and us.
All 8 of my friends came. We were all nervous and
weirded out. I was the drummer then so we sucked.
SCS: You guys have been played all over the country, been on the last 3 Warped Tours. What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?
Nate: Our most memorable show was at the Key Club in
Hollywood for the Ernie Ball thing. We had VIP status
so it was ridiculous. We got free food and beer all
night. We played first so after that we didn't have to
worrry about anything. Joe Escalante said we were
NOFX wanna-bes (which is good, he said), Louie offered
Dexter Holland help with a show in Nebraska if
Offspring ever needed one, Matt Pinfield took us to
the Rainbow Room for drinks, I hugged Chyna and Judd
Nelson, then I saw Avril Lavinge in a bikini in the
hotel elevator. I apologize for the name dropping but
it's all true and ridiculous.
SCS: Most embarrassing moment in a live show?
Nate: Stu fell over twice at a place in Houston. Fell backwards into this little backstage room. I also get embarrassed everytime Louie takes off his shirt.
SCS:Are there any fan experiences that stick out in your memory?
Nate: I like the young kids that email us asking for us to
give them guitars and stuff. It's like we go through
guitars like we go through pics. I autographed a kids'
fake leg one time.
SCS: In addition to the Warped Tours and winning the 2003 Ernie Ball online battle of the bands, what other musical goals would you still like to achieve?
Nate: I think we'd all like to tour Japan, do the whole warped tour one year, and have a tour bus for a while. I'd also like to learn how to actually play the guitar. My ultimate goal is to make a living playing music, which seems tough to do without being in an 80's cover band.
SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?
Nate: I like the kids are honest. They like what they like
and the music kids are not into music just because
it's ”hip”. I don't like the fact that it seems like there's not
as many bands around as before. The scene has died a
little I think. I hate the fact that everytime kids
get a venue going on their own, the community and
police shut it down. Thanks.
SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?
Things to get:
good at booking
Things to avoid:
sounding like everyone else
SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?
Nate: It sounds weird but I admire the fact that Saddle Creek can sell so many records. I'm not really into their music but I think they have things figured out.
I also think Darren Keen has things figured out too. That's about it though.
SCS: Who’s your favorite local band to play with?
Nate: I like to play with JV Allstars because there are so
many teen-age girls there.
SCS:Do you think living in Lincoln influences your music in any way?
SCS: If you could wipe any two bands off the face of the planet, who would they be?
Nate: I hate the fucking Eagles. Creed.
SCS: Was there one defining moment which led you to a life of rock and roll
Nate: Constantly being teased through high school caused me
to lose self-esteem which made me search for something
to compensate for that. Being in a band constantly
feeds my ego and helps me forget what a fragile little
person I am.
SCS: What's your take on the current state of modern rock music
Nate: It sucks. I can do without almost every major label
rap and rock group. I listen to sports talk radio or
SCS: If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?
Nate: I'd tour with Metallica because Matt and Benji would like it.
SCS: Who was the first person or band you saw that made you want to play music?
Nate: I don’t remember. I’ve been playing something since I
was five. I think I really wanted to be in a band when
I say Nerf Herder at the Ranch Bowl.
SCS: What was the first album/CD you bought?
Nate: My first tape was the Cocktail Soundtrack. My first CD
was Weezer's blue album.
SCS: Whose music are you listening to right now? -- What other bands would you recommend people check out?
Nate: I actually have Weezer Pinkerton in the van. I would want people to check out Billy Talent, Brand New. Like i said, I just listen to NPR all day. In the van I've heard a lot of Bayside, Coheed, and the new JVA.
SCS: List off your top five albums of all time.
Nate: I don’t know the answer to that. Here’s the top five
albums I’ve had the most fun with.
Weezer - Blue Album
Green Day – Dookie
Offspring – Smash
Radiohead – Kid A
SCS: What single song, in the entire history of music, do you most wish you'd written?
Nate: All Along the Watchtower
SCS: What’s the best gig you've ever seen, local or otherwise?
Nate: I saw Radiohead at Red Rocks.
SCS: Have you ever stolen a riff??
Nate: A few here and there. The solo to Over Now is way too
much like a Bad Religion song. That was back when I really sucked. Now I don’ t do that anymore.
SCS: Who do you think is the most underrated artist in the music industry?
Nate: Probably some guy I’ve never heard of.
SCS: Who/What do you think is the embodiment of evil in the music industry?
Nate: Major Labels and Ashlee Simpson’s Dad
SCS: When you're an old man, sitting on your porch in your rocking chair, what will you remember most about being SOJH?
Nate: That we did what we wanted to do.
SCS: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?
Nate: We have a new release planned, a few compilation
appearances, more shows, and hopefully new songs.
SCS: Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Nate: I want to thank anyone that bothered reading this far.
I would have quit 10 minutes ago.
- Tery Daly