Wrestling With Whitey
An interview with Another White Male
by: Adrian Bromley
Vancouver's Another White Male's lead singer/bassist Nathan Dillon is very happy just to have another band recording out, not to mention on a major label, A&M. The album in question? The 12-song collage of _Cattle_, a follow-up to 1994's rousing and hard-grooved independent EP _Yesterday Rolled By..._, which by far has captured the band's (rounded out by drummer Daniel Wiener, stand-up bass/sax player James Cowan, and guitarist Sean Webster) insight, intensity and intuition as musicians. Characteristics of groove and passion flow from the debut album.

"We really didn't care what the label thought," laughs Dillon with a sinister yet secure smile when talking about making the record for a major label. "We knew they supported what we were going to create. The president of the label, before signing us said, 'I want you to go in to make a record that I don't want to listen to.' That was a vote of confidence which allowed us to make the music we wanted to create. We made a record we felt comfortable with."

And so they did, allowing the creative process to emit variety. With just one listen, it is quite evident that _Cattle_ has an assortment of loud bass lines, strong riffs, and crisp vocals in numerous numbers, i.e. "Exit", "Angst", "Do" and "Tis", a feature which Dillon finds to be one of the finer qualities of the release. "We feel the record became more concise than what we had done in the past. We tried to find songs that were more cohesive and sequence them in a way. We wanted to make a record that you can put on and listen to for 43 minutes and come away happy with what you have heard. That was our own goal, as well as to capture a live studio feel with what we did in the studio. That was important. For us variety is key. We aim to reach that within all our songs," explains Dillon. "But some bands stick to one style. Take Helmet for instance. I love that band but they play one style, but they do it the best though. We don't do that. For us it is very much important to express our styles and voicings. Doing something poppy one time and then the next time abrasive. We thrive on variety and that carries over well into our live shows too. My preference is to be really dynamic. I want to be able grow sound-wise in many different directions in the future."

Talking about the album Dillon says, "We progressed a lot in the two years in between the album. When we made the first record we had never played a show before or done real studio work as two of the guys were in high school. That is why I think the first record sounds ridgy, dry, and abrasive. These songs on _Cattle_, we have played for two years and they have changed." According to Dillon, so has the band: "When we started the band and made the first record, we weren't working as a band or living as a band. Now we are doing so and that is showing up in the way we are as well as the way we create the music for the band. It is now moreso a group effort than just one person deciding how we should make music. We feel the need to work off each other now."

In finishing the interview Dillon says, "It's weird the way we are as a band and focusing with what we do," says Dillon with sincerity in his voice, "I think we are different because our only guideline is that if we are not having fun with what we are doing then it is over for AWM. No matter what we are doing. I mean if you aren't having fun, get out."

Adding, he says, "I know so many bands that have to be at a certain point in their careers at this time or sell so many records. I couldn't do music that way. Having deadlines doesn't cut it. Just enjoy it and get the most out of it."

(article submitted 11/10/1996)


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