Shred Then Shred: Nathan Joyner of Hot Nerds

Hot Nerds

Hot Nerds

Hot Nerds pumps out smirking, throbbing synth-punk with a vibe every bit as acidic as that of The Locust or Arab on Radar.  Their forthcoming record, Strategically Placed Bananas (which drops via Three One G on March 10), drips with vitriol and humor in equal doses. Lyrics about anxieties, addictions, and nihilism, delivered via Nathan Joyner’s nasal whine, clash with bouncy hooks and illustrator Josh Freydkis’ ’80s-defiling cover art. 

The San Diego band has deep ties to Three One G and its 20-year history of oddball hardcore, noise, and electronics. Joyner plays in All Leather with Three One G founder Justin Pearson and also formerly played with Pearson in Some Girls. The album was recorded and mixed by Nathan Joyner at his own studio, Cereal & Soda, and mastered by Brent Asbury (Retox, Warsawwasraw). It follows a self-titled EP, also on Three One G.

As an aside, Joyner also played in Revolution Mother with renowned skate pro Mike Vallely, and also skates. Ghettoblaster caught up with Joyner recently to discuss wearing a cup while skating, feelings of inadequacy conjured by the sport, and playing Bam Margera’s bachelor party.

What are the best places you’ve skated?

I skated at Burnside in Portland one time. I left blood all over that place.

What is the most difficult trick that you’ve landed? How does the feeling of landing that compare to the feeling of conquering a difficult riff or part in your music?

A 360 flip on flat ground.  It’s a good feeling, it’s a lot like having seven shots of espresso. It gives you so much anxiety to land it again so you just keep fucking yourself up until you land it again. Kind of like music. Except for with music, all you have to do is log into your social media account(s) and say hey I landed this riff, look at me!

What kind of deck, trucks, wheels, or other gear are you currently using?

A 2×6 piece of wood with Thunder trucks and Dingleberry wheels. I use a helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, a cup, and a big mouth piece.

What other bands who have members who skate have you toured with or skated with? Were you impressed?

I played in a band called Revolution Mother, which had Mike Vallely singing. I never skated with him. But I was impressed with him, obviously. Do you seek out skate shops on tour? What are the best ones?

I’ve never sought after one on tour. Growing up in San Diego, I am spoiled when it comes to skate shops. There are so many. Pacific Drive Skate Shop in San Diego has always been my favorite skate shop.

What is the worst injury that you ever suffered skating and how did you recoup from that? Did it affect your playing?

I’ve never injured myself, I still haven’t recovered from the emotional damage skateboarding brings me on a daily basis. The feeling of inadequacy.

Which of your band’s songs are the best to skate to?

The dead space between the tracks are the best Hot Nerds Songs to skate to.

And… tell us about playing in a band with Mike Vallely!

I was in a band called Revolution Mother with Mike Vallely. It was awesome! He is the nicest guy on the face of the planet. Also the scariest guy, not because of his personality, but just because of all the veins bulging out of his neck. He’s was super enthusiastic and supportive. There’s no way to say enough positive things about the guy.

It was really cool being in that band.  The guitar player, Jason Hampton, is a seriously awesome shredder. I met the other dudes, Colin and Brandon, who were also very awesome people and musicians. So it was like playing with a bunch of really awesome people who looked like they just left a biker rally with a skinny guy to do their taxes (me).

I do recall the most memorable time of being in that band:

We played at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas for Bam Margera’s bachelor party. I believe the party was televised on Bam’s MTV show “Bam’s Unholy Union.”  So, playing at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, check. Bam Margera’s bachelor party, check. Mike Vallely and a ton of professional skateboarders who I looked up to, holy shit, CHECK!

Revolution Mother hits the Hard Rock stage.  I think there was strippers or just scantily dressed ladies working poles on both sides of the stage. A VIP balcony filled with all kinds of people – the kind of people I looked up to and just plain ol’ pieces of shit.  With the clasp of four hi hat hits, Revmo started playing, Mike’s neck muscles in full bulge, Jason Hampton’s beard glistening in the seedy strobe light glow of a Vegas rock venue, Brandon and Colin shredding some serious rock roots rhythms. Just like that it was over…

Vains of Jenna (a band on Bam’s record label who I had met in Europe on a ferry ride from Sweden to the UK) takes the stage… Tthese dudes are rad people. Hair rock in the new millennium. Yep, that good. That’s it, the show is over.

Cue open bar and a microphone still plugged into the house PA. I started asking all these people if they wanted to see Revmo play again.  Shouting at the top of my lungs “WHO THE FUCK WANTS TO SEE MIKE VALLELY PLAY AGAIN?”  It got a good reaction, as I suspect everyone was two sheets to the wind by this point in the night. So Revmo played again and Mike jumped off the stage. Not sure of its height, but it was well above the ground, five to six feet maybe?  He jumped off the stage and belly flopped on the “stripper” box. I think he ended up breaking a bone. People were cheering and that’s the last thing I remember about the night.

I woke up in the green room, while housekeeping was vacuuming the stained carpet and cleaning up. I couldn’t find my shoes and wandered through the Hard Rock Hotel back to the Revmo room.

Playing with ALL those dudes was awesome and a very memorable experience in my life.

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