Spirit Adrift Mainman Talks About Shamelessly Aping His Influences
Spirit Adrift frontman and chief songwriter Nate Garrett recently joined us for an episode of The MetalSucks Podcast to discuss the band’s new EP, Forge Your Future, the compliment that he got from Fenriz of Darkthrone, how he turned a Donald Trump phrase into a line on the track “Invisible Enemy,” and more.
Among the topics broached during the chat was how Nate loves paying tribute to his biggest influences directly through his music, making no effort to obfuscate those homages. Describing certain parts of Spirit Adrift’s music as “identical” to other bands — for the record, I totally called the Pink Floyd “Dogs” connection when that song came out! — he said:
“Sometimes I intentionally try to sound identical to other stuff because it’s fun to me. And I don’t do that all the time, but we have this song, “The Way of Return,” its an instrumental from ‘Divided By Darkness,’ and I literally wanted to recreate — and I changed the notes, it’s not a steal as far as the notes and everything — but it’s a section from the ‘Animals’ album by Pink Floyd and we went so far as to use the same amps and stuff. Just because I like the part so much and I wanted to pay tribute to it.
“So there will be moments of that, but I’m going to blow everybody’s mind here real quick. All… all… 100% of your favorite bands take shit from other bands. Because not one fucking musician on this planet is existing in a vacuum. They listened to music growing up that made them want to play music. The difference is a lot of them don’t fucking talk about it. ‘Cause they’re scared or whatever. They don’t want to look like they’re ripping people off. Metallica fuckin’ stole riffs from David Bowie. You can go on YouTube and listen, it’s identical, it’s way more of a lift than anything I ever lifted. The only difference is that I talk about it.
“I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care. You know what bands I like when you listen to my band and I’m trying to take the torch and run with it.”
Elaborating on some more of his biggest musical influences, Garrett said:
“I feel like we are really unique because of the way that I was brought up. I got into metal at an early age but I was driving around in a small town in Oklahoma listening to the classic rock station that was coming out of Tulsa. So I heard Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, Bad Company, Blue Oyster Cult, all that stuff. And then I would go to parties on one side of town and hear Three 6 Mafia, ‘The Chronic 2001.’ I’d go to parties on the other side of town and hear David Allen Coe and Waylon Jennings.
“That all got into my subconscious. I [also] grew up reading ‘Guitar World’ magazine around the time of Opeth coming up, bands like that. Learning a lick from Dimebag Darrel from Guitar World.
“Sometimes I’ll hear one of our songs back and I’ll be like ‘Oh my god, that sounds like something from ‘Deliverance’ by Opeth’ and not once have I ever consciously drawn from Opeth as an influence. And that’s the funny thing, ’cause sometimes I’ll consciously rip stuff off and somebody will be like, ‘Whoa this sounds like ‘Bark at the Moon!’’ And it’s like, I was ripping off ‘Two Minutes to Midnight.’ It doesn’t matter if you do it on accident or on purpose. I am who I am and my music is going to sound like me no matter what I’m doing.”