An interview with vocalist/guitarist/programmer Brian Threatt
by Scott Hefflon
Blending schlock mysticism and a techno/industrial battering ram rhythm section, Nature (Zoo) should be played extremely loud. The vocals lean frighteningly toward the post-glam rock snarl at times, and the massive cyborg blast turns Killroy Was Here, but there’s usually a shredding guitar riff, explosive sample, or thunderous bass attack to keep it pleasantly evil. It’s strange to picture Alice Cooperish shenanigans, clear, warbling vocals and cock rock guitar wizardry coming from a bunch of bald guys that look really intense in their band photos.
What’s the difference between “You Only Live Twice” and the other songs?
We have a really strong sense of our own aesthetic. When we approach something, it’s like, well, how would Nature do it? It seems only fitting that we put that song through the meat grinder. Or how would we approach the tripped out Summer of Love kind of paranoid fantasy of the Zodiac Killer? We got a song that some people say is almost Santana-esque. I don’t really think of us as being an industrial band, even though we have some of those elements. There’s a lot of guitar. We’re really concept-oriented.
What about “Justine”?
People into the Marquis De Sade will criticize me for not going far enough, and other people will say, “Oh, this is really violent.” That’s the kind of thing that amuses me – taking the Marquis De Sade, and in a Marvel Comics sort of way, combining it with a cheesy sitcom actress. It’s like the Mötley Crüe football chorus vocals in the chorus and stuff.
You grew up on “Shout at the Devil”?
If you take the Marquis De Sade and Family Ties, the middle ground is Mötley Crüe.
Few people actually admit, “We were going for a Mötley Crüeish feel on this.”
What we’re getting most is White Zombie. It’s heavy music with samples – it must sound like White Zombie. They even called my vocals austere. Are Rob Zombie’s vocals austere?
I’m an Editor, and I don’t even know what the fucking word means.
It means somber and disciplined. It doesn’t make any sense at all, that’s obvious.
I heard a King Diamond giggle in there.
The Mexican laugh thing in “(Z Man)”? Where we rehearse in Boyle heights, which is about 90% Mexican, out of every van there’s music that’s just guys singing in harmony and horns going and then the guy goes, “Ah-ha-ha-ha.” That was right off of the Mexican oom-pa-pah station. It’s kind of like this wailing half-laugh, half-cry thing that typifies the culture.
We just shot our video for “Cometh.” Jonathan Stearns directed it. It’s performance set in this cyber-Japanese bomb shelter. They spent a lot of time hanging us upside down and making things fly up, stuff like that. I swallowed a mouthful of confetti and vomited. It was great. We wrecked everything.
What about live shows?
Is it going to be incredibly freezing in November when we’re up there?
It’s not that bad. Greenhouse effect.