NateWantstoBattle another one of those YouTubers trying to make something out of something or other. In the case of NateWantstoBattle he is a musician, so he makes music from cover tunes to original works. Some of his works can be found on his latest and newest release "Sandcastle Kingdoms". In which he has taken influences of such bands as Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, and 30 Seconds to Mars. This album was self-engineered/ produced and mixed/ mastered by Shawn Christmas (Sleeping with Sirens). "All I See" is his latest song turned single which can be seen HERE. NateWantsToBattle himself took the time to talk about his YouTube fame, future plans of activity, and much more!
1. NateWantsToBattle came upon the scene through the form of YouTube. But how did it all happen, can you give us a brief summary? Would you say that this is a solo project or an actual band or a YouTube only thing, what is the deal going on here?
It came up pretty unexpectedly. I was creating music and posting it on YouTube but only had a few random things take off that started out as silly passion projects. From there that kind of found my audience that have stuck with me over 4 years of evolving the type of music I make. NateWantsToBattle, while at it’s core is me, would definitely not be possible without my band and team I work with to produce everything.
2. Why did you want to call yourself NateWantsToBattle and use it towards the band's namesake as well?
The name NateWantsToBattle was originally my side channel/place where I was going to put silly or random projects. The first thing that took off was a song about Pokémon that I didn’t really think much of. So, I put it on my second channel thinking nothing of it. After that took off that became the focus. And it definitely is used for the band’s namesake since it’s just become a name that more people recognize.
3. What or who has influenced your sound and style?
The many many phases of music I went through from high school through college for sure. Some of my earliest influences were from the Green Day, Sum 41, pop-punk days. More recently, bands in the younger alternative rock scene like Fall Out Boy, Pierce the Veil and Panic! at the Disco definitely play a huge part in my writing. I think what I’m writing now has kind of found it’s home in the middle.
4. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Anything and everything I find influence in. For a while they were mostly about video games and tv shows I watched. Not necessarily by name, but often times the message that I took out of them. A lot of indie horror games connect with dark feelings like anxiety finding yourself. While some other games are all about getting excited and feeling ready to tackle anything.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
I do. While my engineer and guitarist Shawn Christmas makes a lot of the post production happen, at it’s core I’m the only songwriter that’s been involved with NateWantsToBattle so far.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
I used to struggle describing it because I know a lot of my songs come from a more niche scene. “Post-Hardcore” isn’t exactly a household genre. But after a while I kept getting told by listeners who are only casual to rock that I sound like Fall Out Boy so I kind of ran with that.
7. What is your take on "Sandcastle Kingdoms" as a whole?
It was definitely a scary leap to go from writing songs that derived from someone else’s IP to an entire album that consists pretty much entirely off of what’s going on in my head and the life experiences I’ve gone through. But I’m very glad I did. The reception has been very uplifting. I feel my fans are very supportive and very sweet and I’m much more at ease and proud of it thanks to them.
8. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Sandcastle Kingdoms”?
Every song is so different that it is hard to pick one form of media to compare it to. I’d say some of the harder songs I’d want to reflect Fight Club, one of my favorite movies, with them being chaotic but at the same time energizing. A lot of the songs, I’ve been told, sound like they’d be used for anime opening themes and I kind of like that.
9. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
That’s actually something I only recently started incorporating into my writing. Most of my lyrics are much more internal and feeling based and don’t make a vivid visual image. The main song I DO manage to do this with is “Perfect by Design” which is actually one of my favorites. Songs describing being surrounded by faceless strangers in a cookie-cutter world really resonates visually.
10. What is your favorite song off the album right this second?
Branded. The first song on the record. It’s strange because I wrote and recorded that song about a year before I really locked down on completing the record and it shows that, at the time, I had a different mindset with my influences. Most of the album revolves around a more post-hardcore style sound while Branded is definitely poppy-er with more personality. It’s exciting because the new record I’m working on definitely has more of that vibe to it.
11. What can fans expect when listening to ""Sandcastle Kingdoms”?
I hope they can take something away from it that resonates with them. I wrote these songs to help myself with a lot of feelings of self-doubt, stress and confusion. Hopefully, it can be a little motivating to someone who’s between a rock and a hard place.
12. How did you become a YouTuber and how can someone else become one too?
YouTuber is an interesting title because it’s an occupation that still tells you so little about the creator. A YouTuber could be a musician, songwriter, creative, animator, etc. Or it could even be someone who’s just riding SEO and getting tons of clicks off of trends without really having a creative vision. More times than not, I consider myself a musician before a YouTuber. For other people that want to do it? Find your passion. Create based on that. Don’t upload for the sake of uploading. You will have a pretty hollow existence if you do.
13. If you had not become a YouTuber, what would you be doing with yourself?
I’d probably go back to tutoring music again. That was my job for a few years before making music online and was what I was doing the first couple years before I was an independent musician.
14. When did you decide that music and YouTube were going to connect and create NateWantsToBattle?
YouTube kind of decided for me haha. Even before the YouTube era I was posting my music online. MySpace was the big one before. YouTube was simply the one that helped my career the most.
15. Why do you think NateWantsToBattle is different or compares to other artists, bands, and YouTubers out there?
By no means is it better or worse than other artists. But I will say, we have something different. One thing I notice is that venues consistently compliment us on how tame and easy-going our crowds are on tour. I think the fact that posting online let’s you have influences over your listeners and I’ve done everything I can to try and influence fans to be respectful and positive. Every show we’ve ever played has the best vibes. Everyone is happy to be there and are accepting of everyone at the show. I think that’s a powerful thing that I haven’t seen at a lot of shows.
16. What does the rest of this year have in-store for you?
We’re releasing a very fun video for the track “Heroes Never Die” coming out in late June. As well as multiple other videos down the pipeline that will be everywhere over the next few months. I’ll also be continuing my headlining tour “The Cool and Good Tour” with my friends Mandopony and Amalee throughout 2017 in the US with a bunch more tour dates to come.
17. Can you describe NateWantsToBattle in just three words?
Cool and Good.