On June 23, Texas troubadour Salim Nourallah will launch eighth album A Nuclear Winter. Though it was recorded along with his longtime band, the 10-track LP is a stark distinction to 2018 double-LP Someplace South Of Sane, a extra acoustic-oriented affair.
A Nuclear Winter attracts on songs written by Nourallah over the previous decade, and it was reduce principally reside within the studio with Joe Reyes (electrical guitar), John Dufilho (drums), Jason Garner (bass) and Richard Martin (keyboards). However one other main distinction this time round was the addition of ex-Church guitarist/vocalist Marty Willson-Piper as each participant and co-producer.
After all, the pandemic performed an element within the making of A Nuclear Winter, delaying it two years, but it surely’s not solely performed now—we’re additionally proud to premiere the album in its entirety at present at MAGNET. Test it out whilst you learn our Q&A with Nourallah.
MAGNET: What impressed you to assemble this assortment of songs collectively?
Nourallah: Marty Willson-Piper was actually on the middle of rounding up this assortment of songs. We’d change into pals in 2018, and that led to me eager to make a report with him. I hadn’t recorded with my band since 2010, and I believed it is likely to be enjoyable to drag Marty into the combination. So the songs that fell into being thought of for the report have been ones that I felt lent themselves to electric-guitar-centric band preparations. A pair examples of this are “Invisible Man” and “I Can’t Take One other Heartbreak.”
What was the songwriting course of like? Had been these songs all penned across the identical time/period, or did you pull collectively songs from disparate instances?
The songs on A Nuclear Winter have been truly written over the span of a decade. One cause for that is that the double album I launched in 2018, Someplace South Of Sane, featured songs with a extra acoustic-guitar-based slant. There’s solely drums on one of many 21 songs. So if I ended up writing a track that required extra of a band method throughout the 4 years that I used to be engaged on that album, I’d simply set it apart. The rockers, like “The Sound Of Struggling,” are apparent examples of these songs.
What sort of vibe did you need this album to have?
The tone of this report lyrically is pretty severe. I’d say I typically make “severe” music that doesn’t take itself too significantly—a la the Beatles—however you gained’t discover my “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” on A Nuclear Winter. It’s positively extra paying homage to “darker” guitar bands just like the Home Of Love or the Church. With regard to the way in which the album sounds, I needed it to revolve across the electric-guitar part of Joe Reyes and Marty Willson-Piper and be a “band” report a la Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. For probably the most half, Joe is panned to the left speaker and Marty is in the proper. I needed to maintain overdubs to a minimal and get the speedy sound of the band enjoying collectively. You’ll assume that striving for simplicity is straightforward, but it surely’s not. Particularly in the case of getting the electrical guitars and drums proper. It’s important to work even tougher to make every half rely when coping with a minimalist method.
What are the general themes and ideas that run all through the album?
The overarching theme entails the wrestle and dissolution of a conjugal relationship and the following 5 levels of grieving: denial (“I Can’t Take One other Heartbreak”), anger (“Invisible Man”), bargaining (“Cherished By You” and “I Don’t Know”), despair (“Underneath Assault” and “Avalanche”) and acceptance (“Hazy Morning Glow” and “Let Go”).
Along with working along with your band for the primary time shortly, which needed to be fairly thrilling, the studio time was in all probability made much more particular because the aforementioned Marty Willson-Piper was there, too, co-producing with you. What was the recording expertise like?
It was an exceptional, thrilling time. We’d pulled ourselves out of our common consolation zone of recording in Texas and traveled to a studio we’d by no means been to earlier than. We additionally went to Nashville, a city well-known for nation music. I needed to make a decidedly “non-Americana” report. Being in Nashville made the expertise much more vivid as a result of every part was a brand new expertise.
What are your favourite facets of the album? Why do they converse to you?
I feel I’m simply pleased with how properly this band performs collectively. The rhythm part, John Dufilho and Jason Garner, have been pals and bandmates of mine since 2004. We’ve positively bought chemistry collectively. Richard Martin has additionally been enjoying music with me for nearly 20 years. Joe Reyes entered the fold in 2009, and I mainly wrote your entire Hit Parade report whereas being impressed by his magnificently fluid, melodic guitar enjoying. I needed to provide him songs he might actually apply his fashion to. Marty simply slotted proper in and pushed your entire group excessive. “Underneath Assault” is an effective instance of how properly these musicians play collectively. Take note of the guitar interaction subsequent time you hear and the way Richard additionally contributes with out getting in the way in which. That is the type of factor all nice bands do!
What does the album title imply?
Nicely, it got here out of one thing my accomplice mentioned to me just a few years in the past. She was reflecting on a side of our relationship and mentioned, “Once you’ve survived an emotional apocalypse, even a nuclear winter feels heat.” I assume she was humorously referring to herself because the “nuclear winter.” It truly made me giggle, and I used to be impressed to put in writing a track known as “A Nuclear Winter” (which got here out as a digital single in 2022). Later, after I was engaged on this album, I had an epiphany that “a nuclear winter” completely summed up the entire affair—so I used the phrase but once more.
You are inclined to report a whole lot of music. What else do you have got within the works, both for this album-release promotional cycle or for future releases?
We’ve bought a mini Texas tour deliberate in late June, and Marty shall be becoming a member of the band for the primary time reside. It’s fairly rattling thrilling! San Antonio (June 22), Austin (June 23) and Dallas (June 24). I’ve additionally been engaged on two albums’ price of fabric with my pal Billy Harvey. We began the mission greater than two years in the past. Billy produced my fourth album, Constellation, and in addition all of the songs that got here out on my Bandcamp-only boedx set, The World’s Weakest Man. Anyone may discover that materials on 4 EPs I launched individually between 2020 and 2022.