The Cast And Crew
Myself and my friend and photographer Sinclair were given the chance to not only review Nanowar Of Steel in Glasgow when they played alongside Tragedy but to be able to catch up with 3 of the guys in the afternoon and ask some questions about the band.
Of course, great thanks go out to the PR and record label folks, the band management and the artist themselves (oh and the staff at the venue) for making this all happen. We were joined by Mr Baffo, Uinona Raider and Mohammed Abdul. Sometimes on the recording, I am not 100% sure which person is speaking especially as they cross-chat and finish each other’s sentences at points. The speed of interaction is funny (the guys are an absolute hoot and very personable) but that makes it hard to transcribe, so apologies to the guys if I get anything wrong. If in doubt I will put NOS down as speaker. I will put // at points where they crisscross each other. So let’s get started and find out what the guys had to say…
CGCM: So can we start by asking him the band came about, did you know each other before you started the band?
All About The Beginning
Mr Baffo: Yes, we know each other since we were in school. Long before Nanowar Of Steel started as a project we were all doing the same bullshits and we used to listen to the same kinds of music, so things matched.
Uinona Raider: So the bass player (Gattopanceri666) started the band and calls the guitar player Abdul, then the singer (Potowotominimak) joined and they needed a drummer and they called me and after a while, a couple of years in fact, Mr Baffo joined us and then the full band starts like that.
CGCM: So was it always the intention to do comedy? (everyone says “yeah“)
Abdul: The thing started with comedy stuff, but before we started, before the bass player founded Nanowar we were playing together in a cover band, when we were kids you know. Then he came out with this record “Nanowar” and the first thing was done completely by himself, it was made to be comedy stuff, but it was so shit (he starts laughing at the memory), he gave it to me and I couldn’t finish listening to it.
It was the creepiest crap I have ever listened to in my life so I just said to throw it out of the window (at this point there is lots of laughter). After some months he came back and said he wanted to start a new band and I said that I had listened to it and thought it was crap.
I decided to join as I was doing nothing else in my life (laughing) and all the people who were part of the first band doing covers joined the new band and then we got Baffo who were not part of the original band but happened by co-incidence that we met up with each other. We met up with the drummer and then we knew he was so good so we took him and we needed a fucking good vocalist and we got him. The comedy was however right at the beginning of it all. Sorry for being long… (in answer)
CGCM: So how do you go about writing, even like the way you put other people’s music in your music which is superb fun as well as coming up with an idea for a song?
About The Writing Process
Uinona: Oh, this is the HARDEST question of my life, I mean to come up with a good idea is really really hard, especially a good comic idea. In the end we are just friends and we are hanging around, drinking some beers and brainstorming shit and that’s it. Something comes up and we think it’s a good idea, we start with that a good comedic idea.
Mr Baffo: The process is quite similar to a normal artist, maybe a painter, maybe a musician or a writer. The fact is we have this kind of attitude with same bullshits, we are artists of the bullshit… (pauses and we all laugh) but it is serious stuff, we have to put out something deep within us or maybe not, bullshit comes out of us very easily. In fact bullshit can be the new bitcoin for us… (again everyone starts laughing, it is obvious no one knows what Mr Baffo is going to say including perhaps Mr Baffo😂). Let’s sell that as a product, I don’t know, it’s gonna be something so let’s sell our bullshits (laughs)
NOS: It is just natural dumbness.
CGCM: So you more or less come up with the idea then you work out the melodies and stuff?
NOS: (Battling the drums being tested) Yeah. For us the lyrics always comes first because you know it is really difficult to find the comedy idea but with music we will just go with a couple of chords, a drumbeat and that’s it.
CGCM: Am I right that one of you is an expert in languages…
Who Can You Trust?
NOS: Yeah but he is not here (laughing) // he is downstairs
CGCM: I read it was 9 or 10
NOS: I don’t know, I lose the count. Every time I ask him he says something different, one time is more and another it is less so I don’t say any number anymore.
CGCM: And one of you is quite an expert in science…
NOS: It’s the same guy. // An astrophysicist, we trust him // we don’t know of it is true (everyone laughing) // Talking all these languages and we don’t talk them so we can’t tell if he is or not…
CGCM:He must know a fair few with all the languages used in the songs…
Uinona: I can barely speak Italian so don’t ask me anything about that (laughing)
CGCM: The good news you are in Scotland and some people say we barely speak English…
Abdul: It is OK, he says he can’t speak Italian so we don’t expect you to // PIZZA // That is the only word you need // It is the only word necessary//
At this point, they all say the word “Pizza” in various silly voices until one pipes up with “PASTA“.
NOS: That is 90% of all Italian there (everyone laughing and joking about)
CGCM: One of the things I have found interesting about you as a band is that you seem to do a lot of interaction on YouTube channels. Is that you yourselves or does someone do that for you
Their View On Chatting On YouTube
NOS: No, all the stuff on social media platforms are managed by us. We like to have direct contact with our fans
CGCM: It does seem like a good way for helping to create a bigger fan base
NOS: We don’t just do that to create a new fan base // We just like to interact, I mean our concept in general is making people happy and having a good time. If we have time to make people laugh we like to share it that. // We are happy online but even offline after concerts we hang out with people, share some words, that is good for us. // Then we tell them (puts on a pleading voice for a laugh) please buy our cds, listen to our music, PLEASE…
CGCM: You are a band that seems to be OK or happy with reactors online. I have heard of some acts that don’t appreciate that.
NOS: Really? Some don’t like it? // Why? It’s a cool thing. When a guy is reacting to your music and especially if he is enjoying it, it seems strange that some other bands don’t like it. // OK guys, I think we should start being disappointed at people who make reactions (everybody laughing and going “yeah”) // We actually made reactions also to people who had reacted to our videos so I think it is fair // Yeah during the pandemic we were becoming reactors reacting to people reacting, it was fun.
CGCM: I loved the idea that you had (and actually did) of meeting fans in Ikea. I take it some stores were happier than others at you doing that?
Chat About Furniture Stores
NOS: Oh yeah. Maybe the workers were not happy but the fans were really happy about it, we don’t care about the workers (everyone laughs) // It was about the fans // We did it and it was cool // We started showing people the furniture // I played drums on pots and pans // We danced // We had a lot of fun.
CGCM: I saw a video of that, it looked hilarious…
NOS: That was before we got thrown out (laughing). We were making so much noise in the building which was not so good for them, but we could do this again, they could change their minds as we are very famous now (everyone else starts laughing) so next time we enter they will excitedly go “It’s the Ikeagods” and praise us, // Maybe (laughs)
CGCM: The odd time I have been in an Ikea I tend to say “valhalleluja” to the staff hoping one day one of them might react (Sinclair adds laughing “yeah he does that every time with me”) and want to chat with me.
NOS: We know some people in Ikeas in Italy so if you want that tell us and we will tell you where to go (laughing) // Mr Baffo: I don’t know the English but went hunting treasures in there, we put cds, shirts, hoodies, stickers and even posters in the picture frames and the fans had to search around for our stuff (he is laughing as he thinks back to doing it).
CGCM: I love the new single as such “Pasadena 1994” (they ask me who I support so we chat football for a minute or two) you have the singer of Sabaton joining in. How did that come about? (We also discuss and argue over how Joakim should be pronounced😂) Did you contact him?
All About The Guest Artists
Abdul: The story is quite simple, strange for being that simple. I knew that he was going to be in my town, he was going to the radio station for an interview like what we are doing right now, and I knew the interviewer and he told me that I had to come down as he had Joakim coming in. So I went there with a pack of stuff and to say that I play in a band and this is our stuff and asked if he would accept them as a gift and he just went “Oh, I already know you” and I was like “oh really? Oh fuck” (laughs).
He then went to me “This is the email, you can write us whenever you want” and of course we wrote them and they asked us to join their festival last summer and when we asked if they would like to join in on this song and they said “OK“. That was it. The funny thing is was that we had a pre-recorded version of the song in which there was me imitating Joakim. I was so embarrassed, I said “This is what we want to put out, sorry” (laughing). I sent it and asked that they say sorry to him for my attempts. They were like “It’s fine, it’s fine”. (Laughs)
Uinona: Joakim is such a great guy, such a cool guy.
CGCM: You have had what 3 guests now on your albums or songs? You also had Ross The Boss
NOS: And Madeleine from Eleine
CGCM: I take it that was much the same you just asked and they said yes?
NOS: It was the bassist who got in contact with them so I imagine it was much the same // We have a friend in common with her and we were searching for a female vocalist for that song and I spoke to Gatto and he agreed and asked her if she wanted to join us on that and she accepted. First of all she heard the song, everyone wants to be sure it isn’t something that will ruin their career or image. She listened to it and loved it and recorded it.
CGCM: Is there anyone you would like to work with yet that you haven’t?
NOS: There is one name but (starts laughing) // we had a new song come out a few days ago called “Sober” which talks about pirates // We wanted a pirate guy // (Sinclair quips “Johnny Depp? which the band laugh away at) //
CGCM: Am I right in saying you are in the country of his birth at the moment?
NOS: everyone goes “yeah” several times…. We would love to have done the song with him but there was no time as we needed to get the song out.
CGCM: So can I ask is this now your actual work or are you still doing what we call day jobs?
Juggling Work And Music
NOS: Yes we all have jobs
CGCM: It is a lot to take on, working back home fitting in writing, recording and now touring abroad along with answering folks on YouTube
NOS: Yes it’s a pain in the ass (laughing)
One of the band explains how due to his job he was still working whilst travelling between gigs during the week. He was delighted that it was now the weekend and he didn’t need to be on his computer. Speaking personally it made me appreciate even more what bands like NOS do, a real dedication and love for music.
CGCM: Just to wrap up can I ask what your future plans are? Is it more touring or writing and recording?
Special Event To Come
NOS: We have more shows along with summer festivals and we have something special in September which we will announce shortly. It will be something to celebrate that we have been playing for 20 years so we are planning something special in Milan. We will give all the details soon about it // It should be Nanowar and Friends so hopefully have some guests along with us //
At this point we thanked the band for their time. After we stopped recording we chatted for ages about general things like travel and languages etc. Mr Baffo stayed chatting for another 20-odd minutes! A genuinely nice bunch of guys who are not only a hoot to listen to but were obviously delighted to be touring the UK and Europe. Again thanks to all who helped to facilitate the interview and the band themselves for their time.
Official Website // Official Facebook
Check out my other articles and reviews here. Tom
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