Nature of City
Nature of City
He began his career under the mentorship of some pretty heavy hitters in the music industry including Tony Maserati (Jason Mraz/Beyonce/Black Eyed Peas), Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow/Bruno Mars), Vaughan Merrick (Mindless Self Indulgence/Chemical Brothers/Amy Winehouse), Zach Hancock (Mos Def/Alicia Keys), and James Sabella (Marcy Playground/Public Enemy/The Gathering). He single handedly financed and built his own commercial recording studio, Angry Lamb Studios, all before turning 19. Pillbox toiled on his own record for six years - writing, shaping, and perfecting it all to create an unapologetic, subversive sound plucked straight out of his twisted mind. At the same time he was producing local artists of all genres, gaining valuable experience for an up-and-coming producer and recording artist. This album is born in morose dejection where vocal melodies suspended in catatonia are surrounded by saw-toothed, slap-basslines in a genre-bending ejaculation of mutant confetti.
NOC’s lineup alone is enough to make you want to check them out for a night of beguiling musical reverie. Pillbox met drummer John Badamo while playing for synth-pop sensation Mike Del Rio. John previously worked with Mike Del Rio as a member of Alexa Ray Joel’s back-up band. Don’t get the wrong idea though, Nature of City is anything but pop. Badamo’s roots in gospel and progressive rock make him ideal for such an audacious band.
According to Pillbox, “John is the only drummer I’ve met that has the innate sense of time to play in an act like Alexa’s, but also has the chops to rock out Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta/Keyshia Cole) style.” Guitarist Ramsey Modiri is no slouch either. His career began touring internationally with the School of Rock All Stars and composing/performing with John Anderson from YES. Josh and Ramsey met years ago outside an open mic on Long Island and instantly bonded over their love of Zappa and all things eclectic. Last but not least, guitarist Chris Prema, the latest addition to the group, is a childhood friend of drummer John Badamo. A music student all his life, Prema studied classical guitar, music performance, and composition.
Citing Allan Holdsworth and Fredrick Thordendal's “Special Defects” as influences, he is the perfect piece to the NOC puzzle. Anyone who has seen NOC live knows that each and every member of the band is a devoted master of their craft. Between Pillbox’s ethereal vocal style and slap-bass insanity; Badamo’s intricate syncopations and wild demeanor; Modiri’s face-melting, jazz-inspired lead lines; and Prema’s charismatic rhythm performance, Nature of City shows are a spectacle in the true sense of the word. Did we mention they tour with their own laser/LED light show and cast of costumed characters? “The album is a concept album,” says Pillbox. “It’s set in the present, but alludes to a rapidly approaching time where our children will need heat-resistant hazmat suits to take out the trash.
Some of it is tongue-and-cheek, almost comical, but the majority of it can get pretty deep and pretty dark. I like to use dissonance and intricate layering in my writing. Couple that with strong metaphors and imagery and you can really tap into the most interesting part in people - the part just beneath the superficial. The best music comes from that dark place inside all of us.” Read more on Last.fm.
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