You know Peter Nash from his bass playing in early DOOM and EXTREME NOISE TERROR. He then went on to play in FILTHKICK and CAIN that were two great UK bands, but short lived. And he disappeared. He wasn’t taking break from making music though. He created the project called CORVUS, he describes as Ecocide Doom, and has been composing and recording demos for the past few years. The result of which you can hear on his 73-minute CD that contains his two demos “Adust” and “Tears of the World” just released on Sanctus Propaganda. To celebrate that, we talk to Pete on CORVUS, his view on the planet, his past days in crust legends and the future.
You can get the CD in our shop here: https://sanctuspropaganda.com/shop/
Sanctus Propaganda: Let’s start from the very end. Your solo act, CORVUS, hidden from the real world for many years is finally available on records. The first demo was released on Black Konflik and now two demos come out on one CD on Sanctus Propaganda. What made you want to release them?
Peter Nash: I have always wanted to release them, but no-one showed any interest until now. I did have copies made of the first two demo’s and sent them off to various places, but no-one got back. Also, none of the demo’s were mastered and I do not know how to do that. I asked Bri if he could do it and he said he would (poor bugger). The quality of some of the recordings are quite poor, as i was always in a desperate rush to get stuff down (as i did not have any money) so Bri has had a very hard job to do with imperfect material.
SP: Tell us then about how these tracks were written. Looks like they were written over as longer course of time. Did you do all of them on your own start to finish?
PN: Yes, they were all done (and doing) over a couple of years. I did and do all of them on my own, except the first demo, when Bri said he would do the drums. I sent him a load of recordings, so he knew what the song structures were and I went up to Bradford and put the tracks down in two days i think it was. It was funny, as i had not seen Bri since the end of the Doom /Sox/ euro tour in ’89, but it was as if no time had past and we just got on with it. Although he de say it was hardest session he has ever done! Hahaha!
How they were written. I just jammed on the guitar until what I thought was a good riff came out. Recorded it, and played along to it with other instruments, until I felt that they were finished. However, i still think they need playing about with.
With the first three demos, I went into a studio and put the tracks down. I could not afford to keep doing that, so the demo’ Umbra’ was recorded on a four track at home and after that I recorded them at home on my computer. The amps go through an interface.
SP: Did you decide to go for the drum machine for the lack of the drummer, the distance or Bri had enough, haha ?
P.N. Yes, a lack of a drummer. I couldn’t play the drums at the time, so the only option was a drum machine. Bri lives too far away to keep going up there etc. Now, I have taught myself to play the drums. The last demo, ‘Oculus’ has me playing the drums and that will be the end of the drum machine. I can do basic drum stuff, but that is all I want, so that’s that for now.
SP: Yeah, I know you live at the end of the world and judging by the pictures you post it’s a beautiful end of the world. Did you have a plan to escape?
PN: We sort of planned it. My wife and I were sick of living in the city; walking through polluted streets, became a real drag. You couldn’t hear anything but the noise of traffic and industry. You get on the bus when it rained and it was jammed full of people looking like the living dead; living in some sort of distopian horror film. We just wanted to be surrounded by the natural world, rather than a built up industrial area, where we had space think and breath and be free.
SP: You must have a long way to see gigs then … not that there are any at the moment .. but before that, did you travel go see gigs and keep in touch with the DIY punk scene?
PN: Yes, it is long way to see gigs. I think the last one I saw was in 2009 or 10 I think. Electric Wizard . I have not kept in touch with the punk scene, other than thru’ facebook. I think the last punk gig I went to may have been the last Filthkick gig in 1993. I may have gone to one or two afterwards, but i can’t remember.
SP: Why was that so? Did you lose interest, were you fed up with something?
PN: Yes, all of that. You would go to a gig and all you got was bullshit off people. The Doom song ‘Agree to Differ’ rang true. “Vicious rumour and gossip mongers”. We had been playing music for so long and then someone would say some spurious bullshit and everyone instantly believed it, even though you had spent your whole musical life against certain shit. Political point scoring became more important to a lot of people than what punk was really about. I still love punk, it’s just at the time it had all become jaded.
SP: Didn’t CAIN play any gigs after 1993 then? How long did CAIN go for, by the way?
PN: It’s all a bit hazy i’m afraid. Cain started around September 1990 out of the ashes of ‘Make them Die Slowly’ (a band with two member of Cain and NikNapalm). We were then called , ‘Born Loser’ and we fell apart around 1993ish. Both ‘Filthkick’ and ‘Cain’ disintegrated at about the same time. Filthkick did a demo for an album on an american record label and they turned it down and at the gigs less and less people were turning up(not just us hahaha! , but most punk gigs.) There seemed to be fewer and fewer people into it. In the end, you could not keep going around the country and not getting paid to cover the travel expenses. Cain released the album and as far as I remember (might be wrong) there was a problem with distribution and the CDs were just left in a warehouse somewhere. These were very ‘heady’ times and lifestyle got in the way of the creative process in both bands. Also, with Filthkick, three of us lived in the same house and Neil(the bass player) fell out with Leggo and were not talking for each other for about six months and I couldn’t be bothered with all that bollocks so left them to it.
SP: What happened to that FILTHKICK album demo? Do the recording exist and is there anyone from the band willing to do something with them now, you know, in terms of publishing them?
PN: I still have a copy of it on a tape. I asked the other members if anyone was interested in releasing it but, there is a lack of interest. It was of a time and probably not worth it. It was a very nihilistic time for us (with the collapse of our punk dreams etc.)and some of the topics are, let us say a bit grim….hahaha!!!
SP: Do you miss those late 80’s/early 90’s times in terms of being in bands, touring and recording from the perspective of an adult?
PN: There’s nothing like playing and recording live, it ‘s a buzz. I wouldn’t say I miss the ’80’s and ’90’s, that sounds like nostalgia. It was a total doss and it would never be the same again but, there was a lot of shit to do deal with also; which I certainly can’t be bothered with. Like spending hours in the back of a boiling hot or freezing van with a load of stinky fuckers and no view!
SP: So how about turning CORVUS into a live act and start gigging, once it’s OK to do so of course? Has this idea crossed your mind?
PN: Oh yes, but who will play in it? The only people I trust live miles away and no-one local could do it. CORVUS was supposed to be a band, but everyone lives too far away, so at the moment it will be a solo thing. But never say never; it would be a blast to shred the skin off people with these songs.
SP: I know in pandemic times it sounds terribly ironic and we all of a sudden live very far away from each other with no possibility to fly freely, but there are bands that live on different continents, work over the internet and meet once in a while to rehearse before the tour. Do you think such work would be something up your street or do you prefer the regular contact and regular rehearsals just like we all did before the internet era?
PN: Give anything a go i suppose.
SP: Is that a classified ad for CORVUS musician from across the world?
PN: Oh god!
SP: What are the requirements then and if so, what instrument would Mr Nash pick? Good old bass or guitar? What’s more of your thing now, ha?
PN: Guitar is more my thing at the moment. I would get someone to do vocals, so they can struggle with the lyrics. It will need another guitar player who can understand my crap playing. They can all leave their ego at home. I can’t be doing with some egotistical arsehole. It is and always has been about the band and not the self.
SP: Seriously? That it is just the other way round. Back in the 80s/90s did you also play guitar or you started with bass and guitar came later. Tell us about your progression.
PN: I did a few guitar lessons when I was about eight or something, but all the songs were things like, ‘She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain When She Comes’ and all that and even as a child it was really boring. So after about two years I stopped. I do have a memory of smashing the guitar over someone’s back, but, I can’t remember why. I started bass when I was around twelve or thirteen. When I say play, I mean pressing a finger on a string and strumming; had no idea how to tune or make up songs. After watching the rubbish film, ‘The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle’, it had a fundamental affect on me as a young child, it changed everything! Something in the world made sense! I continued with bass through the eighties and played bass with Filthkick. However, the guitarist left and i took over and started learning/playing guitar with them. The ‘Hand Crushed Heart’ single was my first attempt. It was easy, as we wanted to do very simple, ‘Drunks With Guns’ style guitaring; dirty, crusty, neanderthal riffs. I think that was around 1991 until the end of Filthkick around ’93. There were plans to start do more ‘Kiiling Joke’ style stuff next. After that, I gave up all instruments for about ten years. I just had enough of anything to do with music. I do enjoy playing the bass, but I prefer really aggressive ‘Motorhead’ style bass playing and for what I want to do musically, is not that all the time, just some of the time. Anyway, I bought a guitar in about 2003 and started learning to Sabbath songs and ended up with a load of riffs.
SP: I do hear some Sabbath echos in CORVUS if I may say so. Otherwise I would not try to define CORVUS style. Would you?
PN: No, it’s a bit of everything I listen to. You don’t deliberately try and copy something; it’s a filtering system that comes through the subconscious. It’s a mutation. Each demo, to me, has different influences, but probably they all sound the same to anyone else. Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Hawkwind are always present. St Vitus, Monster Magnet, Turbonegro, Trouble etc.
SP: Sure. And it allows the listener to find time and actually listen to/read the lyrics. And they are largely about what we have done to the planet Earth and our life on it now. I must say the line “Abused and raped by her hating son” hit my head the most. Are we that bad? Do you still have hope?
PN: Well, you have to try and retain some hope! With regards to global warming, I think even if we stop everything now, the knock on effect will still see warming for another fifty to a hundred years or more. We just have to do something now and hope the natural world can adapt quickly enough. Humans can adapt quickly, but seeing as tho’ we are a part of nature, we cannot hope to survive the loss of our fauna and flora. Just look at all the fallen empires of the past in South America and Africa. Same old problems, going around and around, the greedy naked ape still has not evolved enough. It still likes to hoard shiny things and try and kill all competition. It has to co operate to survive, even with things it does not like so much. Rant over!
SP: In lockdown here a year ago when everyone stayed home we had wild animals in the streets and I am sure you have seen similar pictures. I too hope nature will adapt quickly but do humans still want to learn something, especially about their mistakes and the change of their comfortable lives? Punk, along with ecological organisations, has been talking about it since the 80’s, now everyone is talking about it and we, humans, still haven’t learnt a thing. Why do we still have people who disbelieve global warming, etc? Are they resistant to education and the question is whether they are in minority or majority?
PN: Some people just want power and they deny anything that might threaten it. Why? Fuck knows.
SP: How do you take writing your own music and lyrics these days? Still as a weapon like in the past, or something else?
PN: I think it depends on the style of music I am playing. Most of the time there is a social comment involved, but with the style ‘doom’, it becomes more imaginative and layered in other meanings. Punk is a direct attack with no compromise. I’m doing an aggressive demo next, with black metal and punk influences, which will be sharpening the lyrical sword.
SP: Sounds very promising. Does that mean you will be throwing in some crusty elements here and there to spice things up or perhaps this will show new path for CORVUS in the future?
PN: With CORVUS, the next demo was supposed to be the last demo, but already there are around twelve songs, so it will be in two parts. Musical direction will be whatever riffs come out of the subconscious. I’m defiantly overdue with some punky stuff; it’s in you and can never leave! I had about six songs for a ‘d-beat’ single I was going to release about ten years ago, called ‘Mood’. There is another 4 demo’s in total for CORVUS to be done. One was supposed to be a separate entity called ‘Of the Grave’, but I’m using that as the name for the demo, under CORVUS. Crusty, stoner rock, up tempo, based on the film ‘Psychomania’. Then, a compilation of the best songs off all the demos, reworked, with real drums, called ‘A Millimetre to Oblivian’. And then an epic doom demo with riffs that will crush planets.
SP: That’s a lot of good plans man! Have you got it all recorded or it’s just written and pre recording phase?
PN: Pre record stage. I have the riffs and ‘sort of ‘ structure. They need to be ‘jammed’ and worked out. No lyrics yet. I’m not very good at lyrics and they don’t come naturally.
SP: In “Can’t You See” you wrote about closed minds, comfort zones … what do you think is the biggest comfort zone for humanity these days?
PN: It was written along time ago. You keep on reading all these scare stories from the media and if you believe them you will never go out; keeping you caged inside your home a prisoner of their fear. Is it social control?
SP: I know what you mean. Reading and watching too much news can really get you down and depressed. Especially when it’s all bad news. Shouldn’t one start with a news channel that shows only good news. But then, what will they tell us?
PN: Haha, yes indeed. They’d tell you you’re the best country in the world if you will vote for us. Sensationalist stories to sell papers and ‘justify’ the reporters job position and people believe that shit. It’s so obvious. Hahaha.
SP: And on that disappointment I think it is time to finish. What would you like to say to people who will get your CD and listen to it at home?
PN: Don’t let the fuckers grind you down!