Nato Coles (Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2017? (In order 1-5)
NOT REALLY IN ORDER, label names in parentheses/
- Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires - Youth Detention (Nail My Feet Down To The Southside Of Town) (Don Giovanni)
- Vacation - Southern Grass: The Continuation Of Rock'n'Roll Volumes One and Two (Recess)
- New Swears - And The Magic Of Horses (Dine Alone)
- Chinchees - s/t (Dirt Cult)
- Steve Earle & The Dukes - So You Wanna Be An Outlaw (Warner Bros)
2. What band did you discover in 2017 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
I might have first heard them in late 2016, but it's close enough to say that Lee & the Glory Fires are my favorite discovery this year. And it seems fitting that a band of white boys from the deep, deep south playing kind of rock'n'roll and singing the kind of songs that ought to wake Woody Guthrie from the dead stormed into my life right around the time that the current president - who will go down in history as one of the two or three worst of all time, mark my words - took office and the Republican party and their donors ramped up to turbocharged levels their all-out class war against the poor, working, and middle class. Music for the times, when the time is right for fighting in the streets.
3. How will you remember 2017? (In terms of music)
The year Tom Petty died. It overshadows everything else for me. But there was plenty of good music being made, too.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2018?
A new album of original material. We're mixing it now. Regional shows in a new van. We need a van. Our old one crashed and died. Luckily none of us did.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2018?
Bud Bronson & the Good Timers need to put their next record out as soon as possible. Other than that, if I'm being 100% honest... as of July 2018 it will have been 5 years since we put out Promises To Deliver, so a new album of original material from Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band is something I'm really looking forward to! We've taken far too long to do this, and it's almost all my fault. Too much touring and extracurriculars, not enough focus on the process.
6. For most, 2017 will be remembered as a year of political and social conflict. How does that cultural atmosphere influence your own music or artistic life?
On the mic, since Trump was elected, I've spoken much more about the injustices in the world that piss me off. Specifically the dangers that we now face if we want to maintain a progressive multicultural state and society, and at the same time as a society where wealth has become increasingly stratified - this ain't new, but it's even worse now - and many of our elected officials seem to equate societal progress and justice with whatever fucking number the DOW ends the day at. Any thoughts of "too much preaching to the choir" are banished. It's pretty clear that, to paraphrase Billy Bragg, in 2018 the choir needs all the ammunition it can get.