First off, I’m gonna be that guy and gush on how honored I was to interview Nick Oliveri. He’s been jamming and singing to me since I was nine years old, especially with Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and Mondo Generator. Being an artist can be a thankless job, but it must be pretty cool to know that you’ve influenced generations of kids like myself. In anticipation for the show tonight, I’m releasing our chat. The interview was taken in the middle of the night after a long day for the hard rocker, but luckily Oliveri is a super chill and down to earth guy, and he did his best answer my questions. Enjoy.
How and when did The Uncontrollable begin? Cuz I know you were doing some acoustic shit with Blag Dahlia from the Dwarves recently.
The Uncontrollable began as a name I used to draw on my peachie folders in sixth grade (hahaha) that I would someday turn into a band, but I didn’t. Eventually, we started using it for an acoustic tour I did with Blag Dhalia in England and it was a name for the both of us playing at the same time, like a lil duo-band.
Right on thanks. It’s easy for me to transition from going softer vocals to harder vocals, but going hard vocals to soft vocals is not as easy I guess. I’m not very good at singing but I can scream my ass off though. So yah, that’s a tough one for me. I guess I just do the best I can do, sometimes it’s off (laughs)
Yes and no. Yah it’s good to play in bands that you like, its great– I’ve been very fortunate on that. But I’ve been home for a bit, haven’t been working or touring for some time, a few months now. So I’m getting ready to get back going and start back up with this new tour. I guess theres some sense of freedom to that and it’s a lot of fun to collaborate with some of my favorite musicians. Fortunately I’ve been able to play with a lot of really cool bands. So yah there’s a sense of freedom but at the same time theres a lot of free time-you’d think that there’d be every minute would be taken up, but everybody’s got their lives as they get older, lives that they’re tending to. You know when you live at mom’s house you have that all for one, one for all band thing going when you’re a kid, and lots of my friends are parents now, like Mark (Lewis from Doors to Knowhere). It makes things a little more difficult to go down and jam on a nightly basis, plus I’ve got my band in the Desert and now I’m in LA.
I’d known Clifford for a long time and he’s come to see some of the first Queens shows that were in Santa Cruz, and I’m sure he was at some of the Kyuss stuff too. Anyways, he was at the Catalyst and we (Mondo Generator) played on a tour with Wino and The Saviors and it was the last night of our tour. He asked me and my drummer Hoss if we would do this BL’AST thing they were doing, the remix of Blood. They were at Dave Grohls place and he was remixing it. He asked if I would do it and I said, “yeah sure, I’d love to do it” and same with Hoss, he was down with it too. So we did that for awhile and it was great, had a lot of fun. Now we have Joey Castillo and it’s even better, you know. I mean, nothing against Hoss, Hoss is a great drummer, but I think Joey comes from that hardcore school of drumming and he really just fit the bill better—he plays his ass off and I think he understands the music more, he understands BL’AST more. That’s pretty much all it comes down to. Hoss grew up up with some Skynard, which is great, but Joey was in some really hard core bands so it makes sense to him—he’s seen blast in the old days and Hoss was like, “BL’AST Who?” So that was the difference.
Of course I’m fans of Doors to Nowhere and BL’AST. Yeah, the Highway Murderers. Those guys are great. They are a fantastic band. I played with them last time I played at the Catalyst and it was rad, totally, totally rad. Those are the bands I like from Santa Cruz, but I’m sure that there are some others that will come to mind after this interview (laughs).
What inspired me to go on tour with You Know Who, is that they kick ass. It’s also Mike Pygmie’s band who also plays in The Uncontrollable and Mondo Generator as well, and he’s a fucking ripping guitar player, and he writes some cool stuff. Doors to Nowhere, they’re my friends and they kick major ass, just a group of great guys. That’s why I was inspired to do it- my friend Mark (Lewis of Doors to Nowhere) called me up and said, “Hey, you wanna do this tour, and these shows?” I was like, “I dunno if I can” cause I had some overlapping stuff going on with the Dwarves, but that fell through till April so it just so happened I had the time off and the time to rock with the Uncontrollable and my friends. So Mark set it up. It’s his fault that we are going to have a good time. So I’m really looking forward to seeing all those guys. Sorry my interview is so jumbled…I’m pretty thrashed. Thanks, see you at the show!