Nebula (Interview)

by Scott Heller

From Aural Innovations #13 (October 2000)

NEBULA, for those who don't know, is the band that formed out of the splitting of Fu Manchu. Eddie Glass and Rubin formed Nebula, which has produced some of the best ass kicking guitar dominated ROCK around. You really have to catch these guys live to appreciate the great jamming aspect of the band. I caught up with them 30 minutes after their last date of the 7 week Europe tour supporting their latest CD called To The Center. Here is what the guys had to say... (Backstage at the Roskilde Festival Yellow Tent).

Scott Heller: I'm going to ask a few questions…

Eddie Glass: What's this for?

SH: A magazine in the US called Aural Innovations. It mainly covers Space Rock but also the area of Stoner Rock gets some coverage as well.

EG: Power Rock, that is what it should be called. That is what Dicky Petersen calls it. He's the godfather of it all. We met him in Bielfeld near Cologne, he lives there. He came down to the show.

SH: It seems like a reasonable progression, at least for a group like you.

EG: At least for now.

Mark Abshire: Dinosaur Jr. That was the first band that I ever saw that blew me away as a three piece. The first time I had ever seen three people make so much, effect on me.

EG: Marshalls, Bigmuffs, the wahs...

SH: Have you started recording any new stuff?

EG: No recording yet. We have been working on stuff. We have recorded some little demos on DAT, live in rehearsal. We are working on shit. When we get off this tour, which is right now, this is the last show, we are going to work on some more.

SH: Have you put up any new songs for 7"s or anything?

MA: Yeah. There is one out right now, a B-side called "Humbucker". If you buy the CD, it has an extra live track. It is a song that Rubin sings on.

EG: It's on the single "Clearlight" and Rubin sings it.

SH: Have you guys ever been asked to play on these compilation tribute records?

EG: Yeah. We always get asked.

MA: We are so busy actually, that when we are home we are trying to work on our stuff and there is no extra time or money for us to go into the studio and record extra stuff.

EG: It takes a lot of time to do that. We would like to do stuff, if we have time.

SH: How has To The Center been selling?

EG: Platinum.

SH: You have to sell a million in the US for that. (lots of laughs around)

EG: It's close, lets just say its close.

SH: Did you guys play with any good bands on this tour?

EG: We did the tour with our friends from Boston, Roadsaw. He also played with the Heads in Bristol.

MA: We also played two shows in Holland with Orange Goblin and Goatsnake.

SH: How do your songs develop? Do they develop from jams in the rehearsal room?

EG: No, not really. Some parts do, but the other parts I make up and when we get to rehearsal, we just hook them altogether. I think that there are a few parts that we plug in and if it's cool we try to remember it. And I will try to write another cool part and hook the two together and go from there.

MA: Most of the songs come in with some sort of form and come into shape once we all start playing it. Some parts get changed or rearranged. Eddie writes most of the parts.

SH: Some of the songs live you seem to go more into jam style. You don't play it exactly like it was on the record.

EG: I do that a lot with my leads. I pretty much play whatever I feel. Sometimes I play it like it was on the record. But most of the time I do what I feel at the moment.

SH: It must get boring to play the guitar solo exactly the same all the time, like Tony Iommi.

EG: Some songs call for it to be played like that. You know what I mean. But when we go off and kind of jam, like at the end of "Clearlight", we just sort of freeform it.

MA: Fly on...

SH: Do you see you guys going more in that direction, jamming?

EG: No, not really. It is hard to say. I don't really think about it. When I write new songs, I don't think about it. If you try, it makes it harder to write new songs. If you say I want to write a song like this it makes it much harder to do. When I write songs I try to sort of shut myself away and not listen to too much other music and do what I am doing and not try to write a mellow or heavy song, just do whatever and see what comes out.

SH: I thought on To The Center there were some of your first of what I would call Psychedelic songs. With really cool effects and experimenting with stuff.

EG: Yeah.

MA: That was the first time we had that much time in the studio. All our other stuff was done really quickly, like over weekends. For To The Center, we had like 2 1/2 weeks.

SH: Last time you came to Denmark you had a guy joining you on conga drums. I thought that was really quite cool.

EG: That was our friend Steve.

SH: Does he join you when you guys are at home.

EG: No, not really.

MA: He has before.

EG: He was with us that time tour managing.

MA: Because he was coming along and he is also a drummer, we said "Hey, if we rent some congas, do you want play?" So we rented a set of congas for the tour.

EG: We made him play actually. (Ralph is talking about Loppen in Christiania, where the band has played twice before.)

EG: I am looking forward to that place every time. I think about that when I am at home. The Loppen. It's so great. That place rules, man.

MA: Denmark... Good food, good location.

EG: I would love to move here, close to Copenhagen.. I have a friend, a professional skateboarder named Steve, and he moved here and he speaks highly of the place. Now I know why.

SH: You guys have been touring like hell the last 6 months straight. Are you going to take some time off?

EG: No, not really. Maybe in a couple of months. But probably not 'cause this is what we like to do. I hear a lot of bands say they need a lot of time off. What are you in a fucking band for if you are not going to tour and play. If you want to do this, do it 100%. I enjoy touring. We all enjoy it and so we are going to keep doing it. We have to have time at home to write new songs.

SH: You don't write new songs on the road?

EG: There is too much shit to do.

SH: You don't make time at soundcheck to just jam a little bit?

EG: We do sometimes but not really.

SH: When will we hear a new record?

MA: We plan to record in October and throw in a west coast tour in the middle. Should be out in early spring.

Well, these guys are a great band and really jam live. The guys played a great set which included a new song called "Giant". The band has also been playing another new song called "Shaker" but they only had 60 minutes today. Look for the band on tour nearly all the time and back in Europe in April or May next year!

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