The Format

By paul

Paul: Please introduce yourselves!
Nate: im nate…i sing..and sam plays guitars and keyboards and whatnot.

Paul: For the uniniated, please give us a brief history of The Format and what you sound like.
Nate: sam and i decided we were bored working in the two previous bands we had been in and wanted to free ourselves from any specific genre…especially because the music we were making at the time didnt influence us…so we started writing some songs that didnt really relate to anything we had ever done but was a lot more like the artists that did influence us…i cant really describe what exactly it is that we sound like because it can be all over the place…thats the reason why we started the group…to be free of any classification…although we do have our boundaries and whatnot. (im ending every answer with whatnot)

Paul: Which bands would you say are influences on the Format‘s sound?
Nate: Although i doubt we sound like any of the bands ill list (keep in mind this is very contradicting to the answer of the last question) we both have different sorts of artists that influence us both in different ways. sam is into a lot of the old timey stuff like scott joplin but at the same time he digs a few modern bands. pavement and the cure to name a couple. lately ive been listening to prefab sprout (non stop) and the new spoon record. oh and obviously we’re obsessed with the beatles and harry nilsson……….and…whatnot.

Paul: How did the deal with Elektra come about?
Nate: we had recorded a few songs on our own time…not really planning on doing anything with it other then showing it to our friends..and one of our friends worked at an indie label and another worked at a radio station. next thing we knew we had an indie wanting to sign us (which had always been a dream) and due to a bunch of requests the radio started to play a song…a few months later we found ourselves in the middle of some weird major label mess…but we decided to go with elektra because they seemed the most interested…oh and we liked their roster from the 80’s (the cure, violent femmes, television)…in hindsight we were idiots…it was the worst situation ever…but fortunately atlantic picked up the record once elektra folded…the only problem is by the time atlantic had gotten it there was nothing they could do…elektra already wasted all the time and money doing nothing…wait…they were doing something…they were pushing that ac/dc ripoff band…im not bitter…i swear.

Paul: You also released an EP on Western Tread…how did you come to Jim Adkins attention and is releasing records on lots of labels something that interests you or was this more of a one off?
Nate: we had mutual friends with jim..and when he decided he wanted to start a label someone had turned him onto us. we grew up huge jimmy eat world fans…so it was crazy going out to dinner with him…since then theyve taken us on tour..and weve been golfing (hows that for a name drop)…unfortunately western tread has taken a bit of a back seat to the new jimmy eat world record…but if anyone cares they should go buy the labels latest release. its from a band from tempe arizona called reubens accomplice…easily the best band in arizona..and one of the best bands making music today…oh and as for us releasing things on other labels…im all for it…id love to do seven inches or split e.p.’s…nofx always does it…i love when bands dont just make full lengths…it can get boring having to wait two or more years.

Paul: How come so many people were involved in the mixing of ‘Interventions and Lullabies’? Were you not happy with certain versions of songs or were they recorded at different times?
Nate: Thats the brilliance of elektra right there…if it were up to sam and i tom rothrock would have mixed the whole thing. but we were young and nieve..and elektra was elektra.

Paul: Was ‘The First Single’ so-called for sarcastic reasons? Is there a story behind that song?
Nate: it was the first song we wrote…and the person who had recorded it said “what do you want to call it?” and as a joke i said “the first single”…he thought it was stupid and told me a lot of people were going to hate us for it….i still think its funny. we really didnt have any intentions of making a living making music.

Paul: All of the songs from that album seem to be very personal…are they real life stories that you have drawn upon?
Nate: yeah…and that was good for me at the time…i had a little bit of teenage angst to write about…so i got it out of the way…but by the end i thought “i need to stop complaining…a lot of people have it far worse then i do” so i started writing ficitional songs..or observational songs..then some things happened that made me go back to “im angry” mode….its been two years since all the bad stuff..and ive finally started to calm down about it…and now im gonna get back to writing fiction.

Paul: ‘Tie The Rope’…is that a metaphor for feeling a bit suffocated in a relationship because that song sure sounds like it?!
Nate: yeah..i think so…but if someone wants to relate it to suicide thats fine with me.

Paul: ‘On Your Porch’ is another really ‘heavy’ song lyrically…is a true story?
Nate: yeah…it had a lot to do with where i was going in my life…i was excited about the music and i had never really left home for a significant amount of time…it pretty much takes place sitting on my (ex…not ex…ex..not ex) girlfriends front porch and just thinking about how it was going to be the last nite i was home before we went off recording..and how much our lives were about to change…it also gave me the chance to tie up some loose ends with some family issues.

Paul: Will the ‘Snails EP’ ever be made available to us here in the UK?
Nate: id rather be made available in the uk then the snails ep…will anyone adopt me? but odly enough the song has a line about how much i would love to live there. (keep in mind ive never been)

Paul: How did you get involved in the Bob Dylan is Cool project and why did you choose to cover ‘Simple Twist Of Fate’?
Nate: ha…the drive thru people have always been great to sam and i…theyll help us whenever we need it…and so when they asked us to do it we couldnt say no…i think dylan is great and i understand what he means to society… but we thought we’d let him down if we covered a song…after much coaxing someone suggested “simple twist of fate” and after a few takes in our friends laundry room (jim adkins old laundry room might i add…name drop) we had a song for the comp.

Paul: Have you any plans to make the live backing band full time members of The Format?
Nate: that defeats the purpose as to why we started the outfit…sam and i have a hard enough time dealing with each other…to bring in 4 other opinions would be a bit too much…but with that being said i think the live dudes are wonderful and just as important in the scheme of things as we are (touring is the only thing keeping us afloat)…and i would never rule out doing an album with the band…they would just have to get on the same page that sam and i have taken 6 years to get on with each other (i can be impossible)…

Paul: Any plans to tour the UK this year?
Nate: please take us…we are all yours. we will be your slaves. someone. anyone. bring us to the uk!

Paul: When will we hear new The Format songs and is a new record due to surface this year? Any confirmed titles?
Nate: i just got done writing some lyrics for the new record…we’re in the middle of doing demos..and then we are going to find a producer and record for a couple of months…i think the record is going to be called dog problems…it should be out in early 2006…then we’re going to tour the world and whatnot.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]