Tight alt-rock from Atlanta's animals of the night, aka Nocturnal Animals.
Atlanta, Georgia's alt-rock band Nocturnal Animals recently dropped a new EP, Writing On The Walls.
Prior to reinventing themselves as Nocturnal Animals, the band was known as Rude! The new handle exudes an aura of visceral magnetism missing from its predecessor, as well as signifying the band's alt-rock sound made up of low-slung heft with hints of pop.
Popdust sat down with front man Mason Jones to find out how he got his start in music and where Nocturnal Animals is headed.
Nocturnal Animals - Margot youtu.be
How would you describe yourself?
I'd have to say I'm very passionate, driven, energetic, and I love long walks on the beach. But not too long. Swipe right, please.
What is the most trouble you've ever gotten into?
I have to bring it back to Kindergarten. Once upon a time, a kid in my class was being mean to others. So, I went up and punched him. The end. I remember my mom's comment of that situation. She said to the principal. "Well, whatcha gonna do?" Then left.
What's your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
"Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. Easy.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
That is probably the toughest question out there. So, Rick Astley.
How did you get started in music? What's the back story there?
I got started in music by participating in musical theater. It's always been a love of mine and the second I was on that stage for the first time, back when I was oh so very young, I knew I loved performing. Which eventually got me obsessed with the live aspect and writing my own songs to accompany.
Nocturnal AnimalsCourtesy Nocturnal Animals
What musicians influenced you the most?
Angus Young was the first to get me into guitar, but then Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco inspired me in the performing/singing side of music.
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
I found influence from them in the way I write, for sure. I write for the live performance. When writing a part, I visualize how it would translate live. I've learned that their style comes out of my writing without me knowing, as well.
What kind of guitar do you play? And why?
Currently, I'm starting with my 2003 Gibson SG Standard in the classic dark cherry finish. I've always loved how the early 2000's played and sounded. I float between that and a couple of Fenders (Telecasters). I do miss playing a Suhr as well as a Duesenberg. You can't really go wrong with either.
What brand of drums and cymbals does your drummer play?
Derrick plays a custom Mapex kit live, but also rocks a DW acrylic kit as well. All Sabian cymbals.
You're based in Atlanta, Georgia. What the music scene like in Atlanta?
If you love tribute bands, we got em! Atlanta is known for some really amazing venues as well.
Has the band's sound evolved since Dark Lit Places? If so, how?
We are definitely on the hunt for our "sound." I feel like the new record really points out an energetic side to us but also shows how diverse we can be. Our sound can definitely cater to many genre lovers.
What' the story behind the name, Nocturnal Animals?
We were brainstorming for about two weeks. Then one day I received a text from a past band member that said, "Nocturnal Animals." I replied with a quick "yes" and so we were born. Then we found out it was a movie title. We love Jake Gyllenhaal so I'm dedicating this whole band to him.
You recently released your new EP, Writing On The Walls. What's the story behind the title of the EP?
Dark Lit Places was a lyric in one of the songs so we wanted to continue the thread of that style. Writing On The Walls is one of the last said lyrics of the EP on the song titled "The Haunting."
Your music has been described as alt-rock. How would you describe your sound?
I would describe it as alt-rock with a pop flair. Some say we have an identity crisis.
My favorite track on Writing On The Walls is probably "Dirty Eyes." What was the inspiration for this song?
Yes! Glad to hear that one is a favorite. Well, it's basically a part 2 to the song "Margot." It was inspired by the topic of that song.
What's next for Nocturnal Animals musically?
We can't wait to bring out even more new music soon. I feel as if we are finally finding our footing. The next you hear from us will be our best. We will not put out anything that has no sense of growth. We want to improve.
Will you be doing any touring?
That is the goal, and the dream. See you soon!
Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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Summer Walker returns and is no longer playing games.
Summer Walker loves creating music but despises the music industry.
She regularly considers retirement and ended her 2019 tour early because of social anxiety. "I hope that people understand and respect that at the end of the day I'm a person, I have feelings, I get tired, I get sad," she said in a video post. "I don't want to lose myself for someone else." She was relentlessly vilified for her decision. Fans cited stiff meet-and-greets and chalked up Walker's cancellations to a sense of entitlement.
Then she was presented with the "Best New Artist" award at the 2019 Soul Train Awards, and her hurried acceptance speech was dissected by tasteless memes all across the country. Walker's candid cries for understanding remained completely ignored by years end. The truth of the matter is that Walker suffers from anxiety and stage fright that is all but totally crippling. So she did what any misunderstood artist does, she disappeared and stopped saying anything at all.