Bands come, bands go… Nomasta are a new act, but have risen from the ashes of an older one. Bassist Kris Allen tells us the tale (and more)…
All over actually! Owen and Andy are North of the Wall and I’m from the South. As a band we are currently based in Leeds.
How did you meet?
Andy and I met in college and studied together in the US and the UK. We performed with various bands and projects and as a result we are now part of an awesome network of friends and acquaintances who all share a mutual love for music. After Andy and Owen left their previous outfit Canaya, I was asked to join the pair writing as a three piece which would very quickly become Nomasta.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We’ve been gigging continuously since September 2015. After our first show we started picking up offers to play. This was the perfect opportunity to refine song ideas and hone our sound so we ran with it.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The name is actually derived from the saying “No Gods, no masters” which was an anarchist and working slogan repeatedly used throughout French and English political and musical history.
What are your influences?
For this band specifically I would say Mastodon, Metallica and Gojira are the absolute daddies when it comes to influence. They are all bands we look up to live and as studio artists.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We try and work a considerable amount of melody and harmony into the heaviest music. I love a big chorus, Andy really focuses on arranging the songs and creating interesting dynamics using changes in time signatures and tempos. Owen loves sitting on a groove and delivering a certain riff quota across every song. We never set out to write complex songs, but sometimes Nomasta tracks definitely sit on the more intricate side of the fence.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The ongoing theme throughout House of The Tiger King are these huge fantastical atrocities that the human race has endured over time. Inspiration came from all over; Spanish conquistadors invading Peru in search of lost gold, Vlad the Impaler and his barbaric rule, the burning of books during World War II that didn’t agree with National Socialism. We have a track called “Alchematic” which was an adaptation of a story by Lovecraft called “The Alchemist”. Telling these stories in a way that could immerse a listener was our main aim.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Loud! Andy is the world’s loudest drummer so Owen and I need to match that. We always throw ourselves into the performance, and there’s a balance, ensuring we perform the technical aspects just right. At the end of the night we want to gain fans because they love our set and remember us for being a great live act.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I accidentally punched the guitarist in a previous band midway through a solo. He hit the best wrong note! It was a genuine accident, I got carried away with my mic.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I play a Fender Jazz Bass through a 1,000 watt Hartke head. Owen uses a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier and a Gibson Les Paul loaded with Railhammer pickups. We both use custom Zilla cabs, we love them, probably the best cabs made in the UK, if not the world. It’s all gear that will not let you down and it’s loud! Andy plays Tama drums and hardware, Paiste cymbals, Evans drumheads and Vater sticks.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Our debut album House of The Tiger King will be released on 3rd November. We are currently working with UK brewery Northern Monk on an event called Dark City on the 4th November celebrating everything about dark ales and beers. Our designer Steve Myles has also been working on limited edition merchandise for them. Finally, on the 27th October we are supporting Ginger Wildheart’s Mutation band at Brudenell Social Club in Leeds.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
After releasing the album, we plan on playing as many shows as we can get on. We also plan to shoot a total of three videos for singles. I’m excited about the videos, the next one is going to be a Ralph Bakshi-style mix of animation and live action. We try and learn how to do the majority of the functional aspects of the band ourselves as we’ve always had that DIY mentality. When it comes to press, I Like Press manage our campaigns because they are the best in the business!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Although we would love local boys Oceansize to reform and make them headline we would all love to open up for Metallica. They are a huge influence musically but were also a big part of our lives growing up. Supports would definitely get offered to Krokodil, Conan, Hawkeyes and Corrupt Moral Altar. They’re all bands we’ve got connections with, who we would love to see doing bigger and better things!
From previous Band of the Day Jukebox Monkey: What is the local scene like in your area?
Leeds has a great music scene, it’s really varied and encompasses fantastic artists and promoters from all sorts of genres. Anything from rock to electronic music can be found, and whether you like commercial or underground music it is readily available most days of the week.
From another BotD, We Are The Catalyst: What is your writing process like when writing new songs
Owen fires out riff after riff after riff like a machine, Andy and I try to keep up!
And from Crejuvent: Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
Ah you mean the vultures… well they’re here to feast on the bodies we leave behind.