For some artists, music opens up a doorway to new worlds, new forms of expression and new ways of seeing the world. While Nate Bohnet is first and foremost a metal fan, he appreciates all types of genres, and it’s evident in his work. He is constantly evolving and creating new works of art and expects his listeners to evolve with him. Bohnet opened up to CULTURE about upcoming musical projects, how his music is being received and how he feels about cannabis rules and regulations in Canada.
Band Name: Nate Bohnet
Genre: metal, experimental
Location: Alberta, Canada
Most Recent/Upcoming Album: Therapeutic Destruction
How did you get started making music?
I started making music when I was around 17 years old. I was always into playing, but never really got past learning a few songs or riffs from songs until then. I started hanging out with a buddy around then, and from the hop he and I started jamming and writing. Over the years since then we have managed to play in a few projects together and are actually playing in one together again now.
How would you describe your sound?
Well it really depends on the project I am in, to be honest. I personally love melodic metal, as well as various forms of “core” music and progressive music. But I also have a soft spot for hip-hop and Michael Jackson. So in my solo work, I sort of have a little bit of all of that. Nuclear Oath [one project] is its own weird machine. It’s like a sludgy hardcore groove metal that takes a lot from everybodies influences in the band, from Lamb of God to Slipknot and Sylosis. Lastly, my newest project, Deadlights, has a bit more focus on the groove side of things, though we still have a lot of thrash and “core” elements. That project is still finding its sound, but we have a solid five or six songs that we are working on.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
For guitar, James Hetfield, Daron Malakian of SOAD, Dan Jacobs of Atreyu and Adam D. of Killswitch Engage. For bass, Ryan Martini of Mudvayne, John Myung of Dream Theater and David Darocha of Born of Osiris. For drums, Travis Orbin, Mike Portnoy, Matt Halpern, The Rev and Dirk Verbeuren, formerly of Soilwork. Lastly for vocals, Jesse Leech of KSE, Spencer Setello of Periphery, Chris Barreto of Monuments, Chad Grey of Mudvayne and Hellyeah, Cory Taylor of Slipknot, Bjorn Stride of Soilwork, Anders of In Flames, Alex Varkatzas of Atreyu and Shane Told of Silverstein.
How do you feel about your local and national music scenes?
I love our local and national scene. Here in Medicine Hat, AB, things have been a bit slow due to some bands taking breaks or ending, but we are getting to that point where a bunch of bands are getting ready to come out and start playing shows, which is always exciting as a show booker myself. I love seeing musicians create and perform live music, and when there are more and more acts around, the more vibrant the scene. Take Calgary for example; they have so many bands out there and every show delivers something. Personally that has been my favorite city to play over the past few years.
“So what I did one night was lay on the couch with about six joints rolled and basically wrote a song based on the concept of how much better things would be if we all just took a second to calm down, take a deep breath and smoke a joint before we go about trying to debate intricate and delicate topics.”
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
In an older band I was a part of I wrote a song called “J Time.” We never recorded it but we did perform it a few times. Essentially it just had this really laid back vibe to it, with a bit of a chaotic feel midway through. So what I did one night was lay on the couch with about six joints rolled and basically wrote a song based on the concept of how much better things would be if we all just took a second to calm down, take a deep breath and smoke a joint before we go about trying to debate intricate and delicate topics.
How do you feel about legalization so far? Should anything be done better or differently? Honestly here in Canada, I am a bit disappointed with the process. To have a party campaign the concept of legalization, only to not have a plan even thought out once in office, was rather telling of how they actually view the process. Ideally, I think decriminalization before legalization is the best route. If we already believe it should be legal then I don’t see why we are charging people for possession of a plant. Down the line once a plan is in place I do believe that having it treated in a similar way as alcohol and tobacco would be the best route.
How has cannabis influenced your life or your creative process?
It’s great for those instances where say you are working on a track and have hit a dead end. Taking a break from something after working on it for extended periods of time regardless is a good idea. But having a few hits during that break I find has really helped in maintaining a creative mindset going back into thinking of how things could go or sound.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for having me. It has been a great time having the chance to talk about all of this. Be sure to go to check out Nuclear Oath’s music as well as my solo album, and keep an hear out for some Deadlights when we get our single recorded and ready to release. Now it’s time to pack the bong and work on some tunes.