Congratulations to Brooklyn’s Natur, who have signed a deal with legendary metal label Earache so recently that the blood is still wet on the contract. Natur have been kicking around in New York for a minute now, boasting a sound somewhere between NWOBHM wail, horror-rock spookage and a rotting VHS collection full of camp classics. Dudes clearly know their metal—frontman Ryan “Weibs” Weibust and drummer Tooth host East Village Radio’s Metal Inquisition Radio Show—and their debut single “Spider Baby” (out now via The Year Is One) is an amalgam of cult-hero influences, containing Priestly soar, Motörhead chug, Pentagram smoke-haze and Danzig’s crypt-rattling theatrics.
What is “Spider Baby” about?
Weibust, guitarist/vocalist: “Spider Baby” is 100% inspired by the 1968 black-comedy horror film my friend Erin McCord let me borrow—thanks, Erin! There are some strange themes in the film that I felt would be a great premise for a song. It’s perverted, grotesque and sinister with a pretty amazing back-story. Originally the movie was called Cannibal Orgy; can’t go wrong with a title like that, if you ask me. The three orphans in the movie all suffer from a disease called the “Merrye Syndrome.” Once they reach the age of 18 they begin to slowly regress into cannibals as they get older/younger. So the lyrics are pretty much based around this idea, but also giving them the personification of a spider, which one of the daughters already has throughout the film.
What inspired it musically?
Weibust: The melody just came out of nowhere. The breakdown is the soundtrack to the tortuous death one must encounter while being caught in the web of an unknown predator.
Tooth, drums: I just wanted it to be scary and catchy. Real horrible parts that could be the soundtrack to your nightmares, if your nightmares had little cannibalistic girls in them.
What about Spider Baby the film appealed to you?
Weibust: The name itself sparked a lot of interest. For some reason those two words together sound pretty obscure. I’m a huge fan of strange and unusual movies, so I fell in love with it right off the bat. The movie has a pretty bare-bones production value as well, which I like. It gives it an eerie feeling and allows it to survives solely of the acting and the story alone. It’s pure!
What do you remember about the session for this song?
Weibust: I remember Dino being really late. We were pretty pissed at him and a bit worried cause he wasn’t answering his phone and was a couple hours late which isn’t very like him. Turns out he was mugged and had all his stuff stolen the night before including his cell phone. I’ll let him tell the rest.
Dino, guitarist: I lost the keys to my apartment, my roommates were asleep and I passed out on my stoop. I woke up and realized I had been robbed of pretty much everything except my shoes. We were recording that day and I showed up late and hungover. With that song not having guitar solos, it was a breeze.
Damian: We recorded the demo version in our old practice space that had a little studio in it, with a walk in freezer as a control booth. Sick set up! We recorded the seven-inch version on two-inch tape at Moonlight Mile in Hoboken. Weibust added some xylophone at the end that really gives it a sound.
Tooth: The first time we recorded “Spider Baby” along with the three other songs on our demo, we were sitting around in Damian’s room mixing the tracks and he started cursing. I said, “What happened? Did you delete everything?” He said, “Uhhh… yeah.” He hit a wrong button and wiped out our first demo, except for a few parts. That sucked.
How do you sing that big note at the end?
Weibust: It’s a struggle every time. Sometimes it sounds like I’m being stabbed in the neck. Maybe that’s a good thing; maybe it’s not, depends on how anal the listener is, I guess. There’s an explosion in the background that helps me out.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever played in NYC
Weibust: As of lately, the most memorable show would have to be our friend Matt Lilly’s Fourtth of July party. We played on his rooftop in Bed-Stuy. It was amazing, tons of friends, food, beers, a mini-ramp, and fireworks. We played right before the infamous “Mr. Move,” which is a pretty amazing spectacle if you’ve never seen him perform. The only dude to fall off the roof lived at the house. He fell straight to his face down the ladder he constructed for the party—a bit ironic, don’t you think? He was all right, though. Matt even filmed the whole party on VHS surveillance cameras.
Tooth: For me, the Ghost show at Webster Hall’s Studio was very memorable. It was Ghost’s second U.S. show besides Maryland Death Fest a few days before. That band has something very special going on, and the crowd was very anxious to see what those ghouls were going to be like live.
Damian: Dennis McNett’s art opening “Reaping Waves and Vital Vessels” was one of my favorites. He built two 24-foot Viking ships, one that was pulled through the streets of Chelsea with two drummers in it and a renegade parade blasting off fireworks around it. We were in another Viking ship in front of the Joshua Liner gallery with all of our amps and drums in it. The parade pulled up to the gallery and we kicked into our set. It was amazing!
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Weibust: I’d have to say L.A. Burrito. They give me free salsa sometimes.
Dino: Taco Chulo.
Damian: I have to say Taco Chulo also. It’s one of the few places were you can get chips and queso and migas, true Tex-Mex shit.
Tooth: Cuchifritos on Broadway and Marcy.
Natur play Union Pool on August 26 with Aggressor and Mutant Supremacy.