Nate Newton plays guitar and sings in Doomriders and Old Man Gloom and is the bass player in Converge. He's a skateboard enthusiast, avid music fan, and wonderfully friendly. Doomriders play with Heiress, and Baptists at the Highline this Saturday night.
Where do you currently live? I kind of remember you buying an old house maybe? If so, can you tell me about it?
I live in Ipswich, Massachusetts and this town has the highest concentration of homes built before 1800 in the USA. I bought a historic home that was built in 1801 a couple of years ago. It's pretty interesting because nothing is up to code because it was built before building codes existed. Fixing anything is like a history lesson because they just don't build them this way anymore. I look at this place sometimes and think, "Who the hell let me live here?"
What old things have you found in your house? Trap doors? Relics of the past? Is it creepy at all?
We've found a ton of cool stuff in here. I found a huge two person saw out in the barn that's easily 150 years old. It's hanging in our living room now. I don't think the house is creepy, I like old things. Honestly, this house gives nothing but good vibes. The first time we walked through the front door we looked at each other and said, "This is home."
Photo Courtesy Nate Newton
What are the living creatures in your home?
There are two humans, and a dog that I'm aware of. Last year there was an infestation of wasps in our bathroom closet. Before that there were carpenter ants. I'm pretty sure there are mice in the basement, and probably skulking around in the shadows somewhere in the house. In that backyard we've seen deer, coyotes, fisher cats, and one weasel who liked to hang out under our back door.
What is your dog's name?
Little. She's somewhat of an internet celebrity. My wife entered her in the Boston Dog Halloween Costume Contest a few years back and she won and a picture of her got picked up by the Associated Press!
We met though Elisa Ambrogio, have you talked to her recently? Are you a Magik Markers fan?
We did meet through Elisa, so thanks to her! I talk to Elisa every few months or so. She's in MA now so she has been known to randomly show up at a show I'm playing and vice versa. I think Magik Markers are a great band. I've known Elisa for a long time and I think she's incredibly talented. I used to tell her she needed to start a band and I was so glad when she did. I think the 200 Years record she did with Ben Chasny is great as well.
You know Elisa from back in the Jesuit days, right? Are there other people from that scene who you still see on a regular basis today?
Yes. I met Elisa at Buddha's Delight in Chinatown after a show at the Middle East. I think it was Converge, Jesuit, and believe it or not AFI. I'm friends with quite a few people from that scene still to this day and many of them are from Seattle. The Botch guys, Demian and John from Undertow/Nineironspitfire...I could go on all night.
What have you been listening to lately?
It changes daily. Yesterday it was the new Martyrdöd record over and over and over. I've been revisiting the Fidelity Jones LP and 7" lately. I recently discovered Karen Dalton and I'm kind of obsessed. I am always digging on old psych/rock/prog stuff. The first Wishbone Ash LP has been getting a lot of playtime lately. I listen to Slade so much that it probably annoys everyone I know. I was recently on a Crime and the City Solution kick. I just dig music, man. If its good, I'll listen to it.
photo courtesy nate newton
W/ Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus.
Are you planning on doing any skating in Seattle while you're here? Do you have any favorite spots in this area?
Unfortunately this weekend no. I'm not going to be in town long enough. I usually head to the Pacific Northwest once a year for a skateboard excursion though, and in Washington I always like to start at Orcas and then sorta head south and inland. There's a bunch of new stuff since I was last out there though, and I haven't been by Marginal Way in a while so I'm excited to finally check it out. I'm planning on being back out there in the not too distant future, and I will have my skateboard.
Are y'all on tour or just coming for this one show?
One show. I can't believe people do this.
Whose idea was it to come out for one show? Is it a special occasion?
Lori Lefavor of Infinite Productions has been doing shows for my bands since the early 90s and her company is having its 25th anniversary this summer so to commemorate it she's been putting on a ton of great shows. We were honored to be one of the bands she asked.
Have you spent any time in Seattle? How do you feel about it?
I feel great about Seattle. If I could convince my wife to move there I'd do it.
Are there any bands in particular that you like from the Pacific Northwest?
There are many. The classics of course: Wipers, Poison Idea, the Accüsed, etc. As far as newer bands go: Black Breath is great, Heiress, Great Falls (and generally anything that Demian Johnston is a part of), and Helms Alee. I know I'm forgetting a ton.
Have you seen the Manwolf videos on YouTube?
No, but now I know what I'll be doing when I finish this interview.
The third Doomriders record is coming out soon, yeah? When? Will it be on Deathwish Inc.?
We plan on recording in the winter so I'd guess it would be out next spring maybe? Does that sound like normal turnaround time? Truthfully I don't know much about that stuff. Deathwish is home!