Mars Attacks Podcast 235 – The Ugly Kings

Nick Dumont The Ugly Kings Strange, Strange Times Mars Attacks Podcast Episode 235

NICK DUMONT OF THE UGLY KINGS JOINS THE PODCAST

During this week’s episode of the Mars Attacks Podcast Nick Dumont, bassist for the Australian band The Ugly Kings joins us to discuss the band’s new album Strange, Strange Times. He discusses his gear, lockdown in Australia, and fields a bunch of questions for the live chat.

This episode of the Mars Attacks Podcast is the audio version of the August 27th, 2021 episode of the Signals From Mars live stream.

Join us live, ask questions, partake Fridays 6 PM EST / 3 PM PST / 11 PM UK / 12 AM Saturday CET

You can listen to, watch or read the interview with Nick Dumont from The Ugly Kings below

Victor M. Ruiz: Welcome everyone to the Friday. August 27th edition of the Signals From Mars Livestream brought to you by the Mars Attacks Podcast and VMRIT.com. And we are spanning the globe tonight because I say that it’s August 27th, but it’s August 28th for me because it’s midnight in Europe.

And then you’re in Australia, Nick. So, it is what time for you right now.

Nick Dumont: it’s 8:00 AM. Just straight out of bed.

Victor M. Ruiz: So, you have to put on your a good face right on early in the morning to have it.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, absolutely. A bit of moisturizer and everything.

Victor M. Ruiz: Awesome. I appreciate you joining me under the circumstances and I’m glad that we were able to connect.

Nick Dumont: not a problem. Thanks very much for having

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, absolutely. I just have to switch up some of my questions. Won’t be lead vocalist questions, but I think we’ll do right. alright.

Nick Dumont: I can be in his brain. I can be in his brain.

Victor M. Ruiz: I want to say hello to the people checking in the chat, Rob Rowe. In Missouri, we have Jose up in Connecticut, Jeremy in Manchester, in the UK. Thank you, guys, for spending Friday with us here. And this is Mr. Nick Dumont from The Ugly Kings and

Nick Dumont: thanks.

Victor M. Ruiz: yeah,

Nick Dumont: Hello everyone.

Victor M. Ruiz: If you can’t tell from his accent, he’s from Louisiana, a band out of Australia

Nick Dumont: Yeah, Australian.

Victor M. Ruiz: I love what Napalm is doing.

I wrote about this today, because I wrote about one of your label mates who released an album today Jinjer. And what I love that Napalm is doing is that it’s almost like an old school label feel in the sense that they’re releasing a lot of different music from a lot of different types of bands.

So, it isn’t every band doesn’t sound the same. Like they’re not the label. Isn’t pigeonholing itself. You guys sound nothing like Jinjer or sound nothing like Warkings or sound, nothing like Sumo Cyco and so on.

Nick Dumont: The, to all these bands.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. So, what was it like? What drew you guys to Napalm to begin.

Nick Dumont: It was really lucky to be perfectly honest because we were about to record the new album in March 2020 and literally tenders before lockdown. Before we were meant to record lockdown happen here. So, we had to put everything. We had to put everything on hold by that time. And we used that time to refine the songs in lockdown, no matter what.

So, we took advantage of it, but through the process of lockdown, Napalm got in touch with us. In October, November, something like that. And then, so the discussion started with them. So we chatted for a few weeks and then yeah, we decided to John and they wanted to release the new album and that’s how it worked out.

But if it wasn’t for lockdown, we probably would have recorded this and released it on our own, which would have been a very different process. So we got very lucky here.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. That’s funny. That was one of my questions, because it seems like with a lot of the bands that I’m interviewing. I think the silver lining from the pandemic is that a lot of these bands have been able to spend more time working on the music than they would have beforehand. So, you have a lot of bands that have really been able to step their game up and really from a composition standpoint, and even from a sonic standpoint, I think a lot of bands have maybe taken a little bit more attention to detail and wanting to make, having the time being able to do the best possible.

Do you feel that you guys have done the same?

Nick Dumont: I completely agree. Yeah. We when we were about to get in a studio last year, we had about three pre-production sessions, but obviously a fair amount of rehearsal. But when we got into lockdown, we worked on the songs at home individually, and we kept bouncing ideas back and forth to each other and adding little bits, little riffs here a little change here, and that gave us so much time to do that.

That was really ideal. At the time I was still studying, so I had plenty of time at home and I wasn’t working from home. The others were working from home. It gave us so much more time here to bounce off ideas. Refined the lyrics refined the arrangements that’s going to make the songs.

Yeah, completely. Yeah. Game changer.

Victor M. Ruiz: Awesome. Okay. For you as a bassist, was there anything that you were able to do on this album that maybe you hadn’t done on the first album, or maybe given the time you tried out different things that maybe you didn’t intend on doing initially?

Nick Dumont: Not necessarily intend on doing, but it definitely gave me time for myself to work on my basslines a bit more. Because you don’t know it like until the last minute until you hit record the basslines change nonstop. So, it really depends on the moods you’re in and how much time you’ve got to work on it.

And I had so much time at home to do it. I refined every single line to the best it could be. And until the moment it, yeah, we hit record and the studio was still changing. This could sound better. This can sound better. So there needs to be a point when you say this is it needs to be on the record now.

So yeah, it was 10 months of pulling hair and be like, this bassline can be a little bit better couldn’t it.

Victor M. Ruiz: Awesome. What do you feel you guys have been able to do outside of refining or some of the stuff that you’ve already described, if you listen to the new album Strange, Strange Times, what do you take from this album that you feel is superior to the first album?

Nick Dumont: The stories, I think the stories are more relatable to everyone because with that being about COVID itself, we w we’re not talking about COVID, we’re talking about the mood that have been brought through. By what’s been happening. If there’s one experience that we all have at this point in our life, now it’s the COVID experience.

We all have this. We can all relate to that one experience around the world. And that’s what all the songs talk about that. Talk about different moods, different mindsets that we’ve been through in the past year, the lyrics. Poetic in my opinion, I think Rusty has this way of using lyrics as poetry and talked, use stories like this.

Storytelling and these songs, explain the moods, explains exactly what we all going through without mentioning the big C anywhere. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about your emotions and how you travel through what you get given by the world at the moment. Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: Gotcha. So, the title of the album is very much intended based on what’s going on.

Nick Dumont: absolutely. Yeah. And also Strange, Strange Times. The song itself was meant to be a medley with Technodrone. There were at first, there were two songs in one Technodrone and being the first one. And then we cut them and separated them. And then Strange, Strange Times, given how it relates to the whole album, he has the emotions and the meanings of the whole album and even musically and sonically, it changes so much throughout that.

It was meant to be the opener. It was really meant to be like this. Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. When you’re saying that they were both together, Technodrone is much farther down in the album and the title track kicks everything off, which

Nick Dumont: Yeah, it was at first it was a medley with Technodrone was first and that slow down. You get, as at the start of Strange, Strange Times at the fast pace was coming off to Technodrone. So, it was slowing down into the next one in one big song. So, we made that little change at one point.

Victor M. Ruiz: How long would the song have been with the two? Because the title track is pretty long as is.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, it was about nine minutes, eight or nine minutes.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. So, you’re

Nick Dumont: Not radio friendly.

Victor M. Ruiz: I was going to say you’re getting into prog territory there. All of a sudden,

Nick Dumont: Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: one of the things that I’m lucky to have is that I just mentioned where everyone who’s joining us in the chat is from one of the things that we’ve done is that we’ve had different discussions about specific bands. And it’s cool to hear people from different parts of the world and even different parts of the states where, you know, how they interpret, how a band came up.

 What I wanted to ask you, being that you’re in Australia, I think you’re only the second person that I’ve ever interviewed from Australian 12 years. For you, what was the first band that spoke to you and said, I want to be a musician.

Nick Dumont: well, funnily enough. We are a band from Australia, but on French Christos, the guitarist is Greek Rusty. The singer is from New Zealand and only our drummer is from Australia. He’s from Queensland. So, for me, the person that said I need to pick up a guitar is Stevie Ray Vaughan. The blues singer. Yeah, with the first, at the moment I was 14 and the moment 15, the moment I saw a video of him at the start of YouTube, I was like, I need to pick up a guitar.

And I started playing guitar because of Stevie Ray Vaughan. And then after that it was Van Halen, ACDC. I had a big Slash phase on the guitar and then the day I picked up a bass when I saw Lemmy and Motorhead, and I was like, alright, that’s changing the game right now. The moment that I started listening to Lemmy and Motorhead, I was like I’ve got to change instruments.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. You got Motorhead right behind you, right over your shoulder there.

Nick Dumont: Exactly. Yeah. So actually, that’s actually my two favorite bands, Motorhead and Airbourne. Airbourne for Melbourne. And they’re the reason I moved to Australia to become a musician, to try and figure out what the music scene is like in Australia. So, it’s symbolic,

Victor M. Ruiz: where in France are you from?

Nick Dumont: I’m from Burgundy. So middle east of France and near Dijon. If you know the Dijon mustard

Victor M. Ruiz: I know,

Nick Dumont: just on the

Victor M. Ruiz: yeah, I know the Dijon mustard.

Nick Dumont: Yeah. It’s good. It’s good

stuff.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. I’m about an hour, probably about 90 minutes away from the Southern border of France. So yeah.

Nick Dumont: Are you?

Victor M. Ruiz: I’m in Spain, right outside of a city called Bilbao.

Nick Dumont: That’s amazing.

Victor M. Ruiz: yeah, so that’s what I said. We’re all spread out around the world here.

Nick Dumont: Yeah small

world.

Victor M. Ruiz: yeah, absolutely. What is it about Motorhead and Lemmy?

That really spoke to you,

Nick Dumont: his attitude, his integrity, the fact that throughout all the years throughout the decades, he’s never changed for anyone. He made the music he wanted to make for himself. And it turns out people liked it at the first people didn’t like it, but that made them the worst band in the world. And that helped them out a lot.

 But he did what he wanted to do on his own terms without compromising for anyone. And that’s what I really, and his attitude and the way he plays as well as just bombastic hit just makes you want to hit the walls everywhere. It’s awesome.

Victor M. Ruiz: Absolutely. Getting back to the album, this is your second album. Once again were these songs all specifically written for the album? Were there any that were left over or like pieces floating around from even before the first album?

Nick Dumont: Not from the first album. I can’t think of a song that we had ready to go at the time of the first album that’s on this one, this song, some of them have been written before. Before lockdown that had been worked on, and there’s a song like Mr. Hyde, that we wrote in lockdown it was an idea between Rusty and Joel, where there were bouncing back home recordings of something.

And then when we were able to get back into the studio and we started working on that song, so this one was completely new to the concept. However, for this one, there’s a lot of leftovers that we haven’t used on this album because it just. Didn’t mesh sonically. So, we’ve decided we’ll put them aside for now refine them and put them on the next album.

So, there’s a few leftovers that we didn’t want to record or rush for no reason when we had the material to get 10 good songs that really worked together, sonically and lyrically as well.

Victor M. Ruiz: Could you see putting that those songs out sooner than later, if things persist? I don’t know exactly how what’s going on in Australia, but if you guys were anything, could you see putting that stuff out maybe next year already? Or do you have, do you guys have enough music for that.

Nick Dumont: If we can, for another record we’ll have to make, to get a few new songs as well to get on top. We’re in lockdown, number six in Melbourne. Right now, we haven’t it’s two days, 200 and about 10-ish at the moment of lockdown. So, we haven’t as a band, we haven’t been able to see each other for a few weeks now.

 We haven’t rehearsed. We’re meant to be on tour right now. In Australia everything’s been postponed because we can’t tour at the moment. So that’s really up in the air. We need to be able to tour this album first. So now it’s looking like summer in Australia for this to happen. All our shows that were meant to be now, and September and October are now pretty much canceled, but at least postpone because we’re not getting out of it for another few weeks.

I reckon until the vaccines gets rolled out a bit more, but we hope that sometime next year they will, or the year after we can do that, but we’ll need a few more songs to do it for sure.

Victor M. Ruiz: And I don’t want to get too much more into COVID, but what’s the lockdown like there. For me last year, here in Spain, we were locked down without being able to leave between March and June. We couldn’t leave the house.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, yeah, we had this last year in Melbourne from about June to November. And this time Sydney had a flare up about a month ago. So, two months ago now, which bled into Victoria and that is why we’ve been in lockdown on and off. For about nearly two months. So, we had a couple of weeks off, locked down and then it flared up again so now we locked down.

We don’t know how long it’s going to be for. So, it’s an hour an exercise a day to go out of the house. Otherwise, it’s staying at home for the time being.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah,

Nick Dumont: Yeah. And because the vaccine is really slow at the moment to get rolled out. It’s not an ideal look as it is to be perfectly honest.

Victor M. Ruiz: What is it? Roughly what’s the percentage is like there with people getting yeah. With the vaccination now.

Nick Dumont: I think we’ve just reached about 30% nationwide of two doses and about 55% close to 60% of one dose. So, we’re well behind on that at the moment, compared to the rest of the world.

Victor M. Ruiz: And I thought we were behind, but that’s

Nick Dumont: Yeah. We have gold for a while where we were able to eliminate the virus and beyond zero for a long time. And it was all parties and all happy. And then the moment there’s a flare up. If you don’t have the vaccine, then we can’t get anything out of it. So, we have to wait a bit more for that. Yeah, it’s pretty, pretty frustrating, but make it work to make the best of it.

If it wasn’t for this, Napalm would probably never have gotten in touch with us. So

Victor M. Ruiz: Again,

Nick Dumont: you to take the best out of it.

Victor M. Ruiz: The silver lining is there that it helped it happen. There are so many things that I hear from the different press things that I’ve read that. Oh, The Ugly King sounded like this band sounded like this other band sounded like, but you guys really have a lot of different ingredients that make the band what it is.

 What do you think is the weirdest comparison that you guys have heard?

Nick Dumont: The widest comparison, I think, I recon Danzig for me, stands out for the style of music. I like Danzig, but I never pictured it to be anything close to what we do, especially since. Neither of us, I think, listens to Danzig. I’ll listen to it, and I like it, but I don’t get into it. So, I don’t hear that comparison.

We get a lot of Jim Morrison at the moment. So that first saw the band for joining Jim Morrison. I got it because Rusty’s voices. That roar that bombastic roar that he’s got is very Jim Morrison. Someone once said as well that we sounded like Jack White, if Jack White grew a beard and balls, and I love this comparison as well, because we all love Jack White and the White Stripes in the band, especially Christos and Rusty.

So, I can see that comparison. We’ve heard, I’ve heard a lot of Queens Of The Stone Age. The other, the others love Krota I’ve never listened to Krota, so I can’t relate to that comparison. But yeah, there’s the strangest one for me might be Danzig, I reckon, because I don’t think either of us have ever been influenced by Danzig in that sense.

Victor M. Ruiz: Okay. I’ll give you a response to that because.

Nick Dumont: Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: There are songs that sound like Danzig to me. And I’ll tell you why. Often, we I’ve talked to artists where we talk about how a lot of people drink from the same well of influence. Jim Morrison was a huge influence on Glenn Danzig’s voice. So, there’s that approach to it.

And then there’s Lawman, if you listen to Lawman, there are parts of Lawman. That sound like stuff off of the things off of the first two Danzig albums. And the reason being is that albums are straight up heavy blues rock, which is some of the stuff that you guys do as well. So, from that heavier blues rock approach and some of the things in the voicing. Is where that Danzig comes from. So

Nick Dumont: I’m glad you said that because I really liked Danzig and what he does, but I never dug into it deeply. So, I don’t think I know the ones you’re talking about. And now I’m really interested in listening cause I like what I hear from Danzig without having to get into it. So now that you say that it’s got that hip heavy blues element, that Rusty sounds like then I’m really interested to listen to that.

So, I’ll have to dig into this for

Victor M. Ruiz: I would honestly say check out the first two Danzig albums. They’re both self-titled and then there’s an album that he put out like 10 years ago, which is called Death Red Sabaoth, but it’s not Sabbath like Black Sabbath had spelled like in the old Hebrew term. So, it’s S a, B a O T H. And that’s from 2010, those three albums.

There are specific songs where he goes. Into more of a really heavy blues approach. And obviously since you’re in the band, you’re going to see it from a different light, but maybe there are different things that you can pick apart and say, ah, this sounds like X band that influenced us that possibly influenced them as well.

 Yeah.

Nick Dumont: most definitely. Yeah. And I’ll have to dig into. That sounds good.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. It’s funny because a lot of the other ones that you mentioned, like Queens Of The Stone Age and White Stripes, that’s all over the press releases,

Nick Dumont: Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: a combination between both. And I see aspects of it, obviously. That’s why I said there’s so many different ingredients to make you guys what you are that, that sure.

 Again, Rusty doesn’t sound like Josh Homme or Jack White. It’s got more of that heavier blue sound, but definitely some of the instrumentation. I could see exactly where those comparisons are coming from as well.

Nick Dumont: Agree. Yeah. Especially on the latest one as well when Technodrone and came out people compared it, straight away to it. And I didn’t see the reference cause I don’t know Krota too much. And then I think it was Rusty at Christmas. I’ll listen to, I can’t remember the name of the song now. And I was like, oh yeah, I can definitely see the reference now.

And especially since we, we’ve never written a fast-paced song like this before, or at least not one that goes all the way phosphorus like this. I could definitely see the comparison after that when I heard it. And Chris has mentioned that. Yeah, absolutely.

Victor M. Ruiz: Cool. Okay. You guys are very much involved in social media and specifically you guys are one of the first bands that I’ve seen. That’s really embraced Tik Tok. I’ve seen a lot of other bands say, oh no, that’s not for us. That’s for kids. That’s for this. And for that. And my thing has always been, if that tool is there, why not leverage it?

If that’s going to help you get more people to check your stuff out. Yeah. So, what’s driven you guys to use Tik Tok and what’s it like for you guys to put all these videos together?

Nick Dumont: It was a suggestion from someone we know that said, maybe you guys should try that out and we’re doing, we’ve got Instagram, we’ve got Facebook obviously, and Twitter a fair bit as well. And that’s always been what we’ve relied on, but someone mentioned Tik Tok and we’re like, might as well try it.

Why not? It won’t hurt anything. We’re just trying any, and every avenue. That can potentially bring attention to what we do and to our music really in terms of usage and how does it add to create all this videos? I don’t think we use it in the way that everyone else has on Tik Tok in terms of doing more catchy videos and that sort of thing.

It’s also because you need to build a platform for that, for people to interact that much with your videos. So, we often use the same sort of videos that we use on other platforms. And adapt the language to, to Tik Tok for example it is a different world altogether. We, I think we’re still learning a fair bit, but whatever can bring attention.

If some of us in the band, two of us are teachers as well. So that means my, my students absolutely love the band that they’ve discovered I’m in a band and they absolutely love it. So, if by chance someday, they realized that it’s on Tik Tok and just share it with everyone and everyone starts sharing it.

Then what’s the harm for the band?

Victor M. Ruiz: Absolutely. Yeah. A recent marketing lesson that I learned was that don’t be ashamed to repurpose what you’ve already prepared. So, if you’ve got it already ready for other platforms, why not throw it on Tik Tok

Nick Dumont: There’s no harm in it. And also, I’ve recently started using the iMovie app, which I’ve never used before, and it’s opened the Pandora box for me. I’m just having fun with it. And just using videos, like every clip we did, I was just having my friend recording everything we could do for behind the scenes stuff.

And then I’ll just edit as much as I can at the moment to let people see what’s happening in the background and all that sort of stuff. So that’s really. With just creating content really and staying relevant and showing people what’s happening with us.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s my interpretation as well from the outside. Looking in that, even though the videos are different from what other people are using that platform for, it really is like a look inside of what you guys are doing. And small glimpses little behind the scenes things when you’re getting ready for videos or when you’re getting ready for different things, or just seeing the different band members.

Just riffing on their instrument or whatever it really does give you that feel that wow, this is really inclusive where you’re getting that fly on the wall type look.

Nick Dumont: That’s exactly. That’s exactly that. Any, anytime I’m looking at YouTube videos in digging for say a video of Stevie Ray Vaughan at an odd rehearsal somewhere, I’m just like, this is gold. This is amazing to see how they came up. With those riffs. So, we first songs to the same one. We’ve just done recently with Christos in his bedroom.

The day that said Technodrone or Strange, Strange Times were created, that was in his bedroom. He was just having fun and mucking around. It turns out he turned on his phone to just record it. And now we’ve been able to share with people, see habits can forget where this came

Victor M. Ruiz: Yep. Absolutely. And I’ve, I saw that. That’s why I’m mentioning what I’m saying is really cool to see as a music nerd myself. I can appreciate all that stuff.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, it’s awesome. I’m glad. I’m glad you picked that up too. That’s good. That means that it’s doing something for someone somewhere.

Victor M. Ruiz: Absolutely. Yeah. I, again, I think it’s really cool to be able to use that to just as another way of getting to casting a larger net and bringing people in, because I also that platform you do see random videos. So, if there’s things that are similar to what you guys are doing, it may come up in someone’s feed all of a sudden.

So, someone who hasn’t, who doesn’t know who The Ugly Kings are, all of a sudden maybe, hey, wait, what was that video? Who was that playing the guitar? What song is that? So that’s why when I promoted this interview or when a few weeks ago I featured you guys when the album came out for my new releases post, I wanted to include a snippet of the music.

So that people also hear what’s going on oh wait, The Ugly Kings sound like this. So, I dig that. So let me check it out and see what they’re all about.

Nick Dumont: Nah, that’s good. That’s awesome. And thanks. So that really appreciate that, that sort of sharing in between people that it’s the

best.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. As far as gear is concerned can we talk a little bit about your bass and what you use? As far as amps are concerned and all that.

Nick Dumont: yeah. Other I’m a Thunderbird guy. The Thunderbird bass is my go-to and that also goes back to Lemmy where I know he’s got the Rickenbacker. But that’s not the one I fell in love with I first saw a video of Lemmy it was, he was just jamming a Thunderbird, up high, and that was just the attitude that was.

The key. So, I was like, I need a thunder. So, I’ve got two Thunderbirds here. And in terms of amps, I’ve always loved the look and the sound of the Orange. So, I’ve got my, I’ve got my little Orange combo in the bedroom. He that I bought the first boat when I first got to Australia and that stuck with me.

And when we’ve got gigs, always hire from a friend of mine, because they’re, they get the big the big cabs that we have in the clips as well. Because it’s got that natural gain that comes from the amp. And I don’t need, I’ve got a pedal for shows when we’re touring, and I can’t access an Orange.

So, it kind of mimics that that sound, I’ve got a dark glass pedal, but otherwise I like to go natural from the Orange, which is that growly distortion, which I love on the bass that, that Lenny sound without being Lemmy

Victor M. Ruiz: Oh, I wonder why he was playing a Thunderbird. Was he like jamming on stage with someone and that’s why he had that.

Nick Dumont: No. It was, it’s a really early video. I think he might’ve been Bomber on Top Of The Pops from the late seventies or early eighties where they’re playing, and he’s got the Thunderbird. I think I’m pretty sure it’s Bomber or Iron Fist, one of the two and it’s cranking it and I just fell in love with the look of it.

It’s just found it so elegant. Yeah, it’s rock and roll in it. Obviously. Lemmy makes it rock and roll so it works out.

Victor M. Ruiz: awesome. They’re asking in the chat, if there’s any way that you have the Thunderbird with you and if you can show it.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, I do, I’ve got my first one, actually. Just let me get it. I’ve got, so this is what I first moved to Australia. So that’s that, that she kept a few rings on the body.

Victor M. Ruiz: Okay.

Nick Dumont: So that’s the first one I bought. When I got to Australia, I came here with a Les Paul guitar. And after about a year of being here, I sold it to a cause I used to run a venue in Melbourne and the dude was looking for Les Paul.

So, I sold it to him. And then I bought this straight after. And my silver, the silver Thunderbird that I’ve got as well. I can take it out as well. If she wants in the case, I was on a run one day and I went, I was running in the city and I just stopped for a breather in a guitar shop as you do, when you go on a run.

And then I go at the back, and I see these silver vintage Thunderbird. Like I could not get out of it without it. So, I just bought it on the spot, and it’s been with me ever since. That’s the go-to

Victor M. Ruiz: So, you continued your run with the Thunderbird in hand,

Nick Dumont: yeah, always Thunderbird. And so, I’ve put this one out recently for The Devil Comes With A Smile clip. Cause she’s got that, that raw blues look

 But the silver has become my go-to now yesterday. I think it was last week. I’m on a Thunderbird appreciation page on Facebook. And someone posted a gold one and I’m like, I don’t have the money right now, but I will get a gold one at some point.

I reckon it looked fantastic.

Victor M. Ruiz: The silver one, you’re saying it’s a vintage. Do you know what year it’s from?

Nick Dumont: Not vintage, as reedition, I think they’ve re-released a vintage-ish reissue looking I’m not sure exactly what the model is, but it’s, I’m gonna actually take it out if you want to have a look

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, sure.

Nick Dumont: But I saw someone posting the same line and they said it was a reissue when I bought it.

It definitely wasn’t used, it was like brand new, but company visit ratio, they call it of some sorts, but I haven’t dug fully into it. So, this is my favorite one.

Victor M. Ruiz: Cool.

Nick Dumont: It said it’s a little duty there. I absolutely love it. Yeah, all Epiphone as well.

 But yeah, they’re awesome. Then their sound, they play so well.

This is so easy to play, and they just look absolutely. How can you say no to this? When you walk into a shop?

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, to answer my brother in the chat. No, that I sold that 12 string Rickenbacker to a guy up in Canada. And no, I’ve never bought another Rick because they’re so damn expensive and hard to come by here in Spain. And I actually had the owner of a shop that I used to go to all the time that has since closed down.

He said to me, why did you sell that before moving to Spain? I could have gotten you three times as much here in Europe. I was like, had I have known that Rickenbacker would have been in the container with all the other instruments that came over.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, they are really expensive. That’s also why I like the look of it and the sound of it, but it’s Lemmy’s bass. Let’s be clear on this it’s Lemmy’s bass. So, I was not going to pull that off.

Victor M. Ruiz: right. How much difference is it in price for the instruments in Australia? Because they’re all being imported, right? They’re not being made there. Obviously coming from France, you know that from the States to Europe, the prices do go up, but I’m assuming that in comparison to France in Australia is probably even more expensive.

No.

Nick Dumont: I would say, so I think this one in particular would have been 500 bucks or maybe 600 bucks. So that’s what it’d be about 350 euros of some sort four hundred euros, which is nothing for this, which is nothing for this one. When I bought my Les Paul in France. That was nearly two grand euros back then it was 2009 or 10, 2000 euros.

And I sold I would have sold it here for a thousand Euro equivalent. So, I lost money and I don’t know if it’s much more expensive than that, but for this one, I’m not sure how much this one is in Europe, but here I can tell you it was 600 bucks brand new. It was from the shop brand news. I don’t think that’s much more expensive.

I think they might go for 500 in Europe. But yeah, most of everything is definitely more expensive.

Victor M. Ruiz: I’m wondering if, because a lot of the Epiphone stuff has made now in Indonesia and stuff like that. If maybe because Australia closer, maybe that could be why it costs less.

Nick Dumont: Yeah, that might definitely help. Yeah, for sure. Especially, yeah, especially these ones I don’t think this is expensive. I don’t, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what it is in Europe, but I don’t think five or $600 for this, which is yeah. Three 50 euros is expensive. I wouldn’t say this.

this quality.

Victor M. Ruiz: I’ll look believe me. I’ll look it up after the interview and I’ll see if that model’s available, we can compare notes after as far as keeping

Nick Dumont: See the head. I can see if someone asking for the head,

Victor M. Ruiz: Oh, wow.

Nick Dumont: is the head.

Victor M. Ruiz: Okay,

Nick Dumont: Yeah, she’s a beaut limited edition custom shop.

Victor M. Ruiz: cool. Yeah, Jeremy you’re in the UK. So even with that, there’s the prices are sometimes crazy there. Both headstocks the same on both of the bases.

Nick Dumont: I think one, one is black Okay.

movement. Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: But the,

Nick Dumont: see this one?

Victor M. Ruiz: The sunburst, the tobacco sunburst, the head looks slightly wider. Isn’t it?

Nick Dumont: Let’s have a look, I’ve never actually looked at that. It does look wider. Yeah, it does look a bit wider. It does that. Absolutely. That’s interesting never noticed the difference

Victor M. Ruiz: There you go, you learn something new every day

Nick Dumont: it is. Yeah, absolutely. I usually just take them and plug them. I don’t even look at them anymore.

Victor M. Ruiz: So, in the chat they’re asking money, not an object. If you could buy any bass, what bass would you buy?

Nick Dumont: I think to be honest I’m such a massive fan of Thunderbirds that I would go again for a Thunderbird, but at the moment, Christos recently showed me cause he plays Hagstrom guitars, the Swedish brand, and he conveniently tagged me into an Hagstrom bass. I’m not sure what it’s trying to tell me, but he’d take me into Hagstrom bass which is a hollow body and goes all the way around.

So, if you can picture Christos’ guitar, which is a beautiful, it looks like an, a, like a Gibson blues guitar, like a, I can’t remember the name of it. But it’s a hollow body that goes all around. And back around and the guys would very similar. I would probably go for something along those lines if I was to go for another shape than the Thunderbird.

Yeah. Most definitely. There’s old school blues looking basses. Yeah, hollow body.

 I dunno. I dunno how sorry. Go

Victor M. Ruiz: No, I was going to say like what a BB king would play.

Nick Dumont: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s exactly this that’s what, that’s the model I was looking for. Chris has guitar looks a lot like this that orange, but in our own shiny color. And I think the bass tagged me in was pretty much this whole body. They had; I think you had a cherry sort of color that would be a sort of ES-35.

Victor M. Ruiz: Okay. So, another question from the chat here, what do you think about all those five and six string bass guitars? I guess used by some bands and they’re only playing two strings.

Nick Dumont: If that’s the sound that they need to do to play the music, that’s so bit that’s up to them. If they only use two strings, then that’s expensive too, because buying strings, here for basses of every time, it’s 60 So I think that’s expensive enough for four strings. I can’t imagine for six strings. So, if they’ve got the budget and the we’ll do it one up each to their own but yeah, they need to use more than two strings that’s for sure.

Victor M. Ruiz: I’ve a producer friend who always says that. The hardest thing to do is to convince a bass player to buy new strings.

Nick Dumont: It depends on that time of month when you get paid too

 But it’s so expensive.

Victor M. Ruiz: in his case, he always talks about the needing the brightness and new strings to record. And that a lot of that the common argument is, oh, but these old strings give my bass a certain feel and a sound to which he’s always said that it doesn’t sound that great on an album. If they’re old strings.

Nick Dumont: I will agree with this where the old string feel is not that great. It’s okay. When you play through an Orange amp that distorts the hell out of it, that’s okay. Especially live, but when you want that crisp sound, I’d like before we went into the studio, I got this bass reset up and change the strings as well.

So that would have been about a week before recording. And then during the week I played it, so it gets a bit of wear, but I would not enter this studio with six months old strings there for now. It doesn’t have that crisp element that needs to be on a record live. No problem. Absolutely.

No problem. It’s drowned in the rest, but on the record and this to be crisp.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah. Would you consider Lemmy to also be your most influential bassist to, as a player or would you consider a different bassist? Excuse me, as the as your biggest influence to learn the part.

Nick Dumont: As a player, the way I play, especially if you look at the most recent clips, I’ve really hammer the hell out of the strings. So, in terms of playing style, Lemmy would definitely my go to no questions. But in terms of melody style, I’d say Geezer Butler or John Paul Jones would have more, I’d have more elements of those two.

Then Lemmy was way more balls to the wall powerful than melodic. He’s got some melodic moments, but that’s not what he built his career on. I definitely have more melodic elements in some songs in our music, which I think are being influenced by John Paul Jones and definitely Geezer Butler as well, Sabbath and Zep definitely have that melody Kellerman’s.

Yeah.

Victor M. Ruiz: Makes sense. Do you have go-to songs by either one of those bassists?

Nick Dumont: I’d go Dazed And Confused for Led Zep that’s the best song for sure. And for Sabbath Into The Void,

Victor M. Ruiz: Oh, wow.

Nick Dumont: That’s the two songs that for me, the bass has everything that needs to be there without being too much. They play it the perfect note at the perfect time in each of those two songs.

Victor M. Ruiz: Have you ever caught yourself writing a song or maybe recording a song and saying, oh no, that sounds too much like Into The Void or it sounds like this other song, so you have to change it.

Nick Dumont: So many times, there’s one that was about to get onto the new album that we removed last minute, which has a lot of Dazed And Confused vibe to it. A lot of it. Yeah, it was it’s insane. How much it sounded like it without being Dazed And Confused. Yeah. Big time.

Victor M. Ruiz: Cool. Earlier this week, we all found out about the passing of Charlie Watts. Rolling Stones, a big, they’ve done everything basically, but they really did start out as like a blues rock band. What kind of a blow do you think that is to not only the rock community, but for you guys as a rock band?

Nick Dumont: It is a massive one. Especially Joel who’s, the drummer was influenced a lot by the Stones. And I remember discovering the Stones in my teenage years as well on that one on specifically Gimme Shelter. There’s a live version out there that I discovered the band on, and I just fell in love with the Stones at that moment.

Because of that. And from everything I’ve heard since then, especially about Charlie Watts, where he was apparently the gentlemen of all of them, he was the go guy. And it’s just, it’s sad to hear. It’s definitely sad to hear it is a massive blow. I wonder what they’re going to do after this because they’re, we’re still planning things.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, Steve Jordan is going to be playing with them. Who’s a ridiculous player. Who’s actually played with a Keith Richard solo band, and he’s played with so many people over the years. He’s played with Tom petty. He’s played with Duran Duran. He’s done a lot of jazz fusion stuff. So, this guy can play anything.

 I don’t know if they keep going until just one of them has left who knows?

Nick Dumont: Yeah. That’s, it’s the same vibe as ACDC. When Malcolm passed a few years back, it was like, what’s going to happen to them. Who’s going to take over and they’ve got the nephew, and which is great because it stays in the family. But it’s yeah, it’s exactly that question. When do you stop or ZZ Top as well recently.

 Whether if they’ve, I’ve seen some photos, some footage of the new bassist as well this week. So, I haven’t heard the music itself, but it’s great that they’re continuing, but that’s exactly what you said. When do you stop? When do these bands actually stop?

Victor M. Ruiz: It’s well it’s definitely difficult when you’re used to living a certain lifestyle and making a certain amount of money to just say, yeah, we’ll just give it up. It’s, money’s got to come someplace for a lot of these people. So

Nick Dumont: Yeah. To be honest, I dunno if they’re need money and more of this point bands like the Stones or ACDC, but I think it’s my grandfather, he’s probably 80 years old and he’s a winemaker in France and he hasn’t stopped. He still does make; it is 84 years old. If he was to stop, he would die for guarantee that I think it’s the same for these.

 You need to keep your body and your brain active in what you love and what they love is making music and playing for people. If they were to stop them and just be at home and just crackling completely, it wouldn’t work for them. So, I can definitely see that. I can definitely see that.

Victor M. Ruiz: I agree with you for you as a musician, what you, we keep bringing up Lemmy but to you, what was, what musicians, death had the biggest impact on you? Was it Lemmy or is there another one?

Nick Dumont: No, I was definitely Lemmy, because when it happened at the time, I was running a venue in Melbourne, which is very rock metal alternative oriented. And we built such a community, and I was known for being the guy in the short shorts and the Motorhead t-shirt behind the bar all the time I was known for that.

And when he died, I put out a call for everyone to come down and we had 300 people in the venue just drinking to the life of Lemmy. So that was one of them. And then a year after that to celebrate the anniversary of his death, I created an event called Murder One. A party for Lemmy and every year we’d have guest musicians from Melbourne, just playing Motorhead songs and 300 people just rocking to it all day and getting I had a tattoo not shop, but a tattoo.

A pop-up shop in the back of the venue where people would get tattooed Motorhead, whatever Motorhead designs work for the day. So, it was an event I turned his death into an event, which was phenomenal. So that definitely hits. There are Van Halen recently, Eddie Van Halen. That really hit me as well

Victor M. Ruiz: Yep.

Nick Dumont: because it was my second guitar hero.

And when I was 15, 16, and that was obsessed with Van Halen and learning to play guitar like him. And when he died and so young as well, that really hits recently. Most definitely.

Victor M. Ruiz: Gotcha. Okay. Another question that I saw flashed by there, the question was if you were a fan of Kiss, and do you think that Gene Simmons is an underrated bassist?

Nick Dumont: I am not a fan of Kiss, and I don’t know the material enough. To even say that he’s either overrated or underrated, to be perfectly honest with you. Nothing that he’s done has pop to my ears, as in, I’m going to have to dig into this more at this point. I like the bangers, but I never, I’ve never dug into it enough to answer whether he’s overrated or underrated.

Victor M. Ruiz: Fair enough. Where should people go to keep up with the band?

Nick Dumont: Tik Tok! No, I’m kidding. Every single platform or social media that you can think of, especially with very active on Instagram and Facebook, a lot as well, different use. We don’t use them the same way now, if your ha, if you aren’t Tik Tok, you can follow us on Tik Tok, but same thing, different. So, the most up-to-date stuff, we’ll definitely Instagram, for sure.

We’ve got a mailing list as well that you can sign up to. But yeah, Instagram is the most up-to-date stuff for sure.

Victor M. Ruiz: Awesome. And where do you want people to go to pick up Strange, Strange Times?

Nick Dumont: They can go anywhere it’s available. We have it on Bandcamp with the band exclusive color, that yellow marble color. We’ve got a few neon green records as well available in Australia, mostly because the other part is for Cosmic Artifacts in Europe, otherwise all the other exclusive colors Napalm has got them.

So, you can get them on the. On their website and apparently everywhere in Targets and Walmarts and stuff like that. They’ve got the black edition now these days. So, you can find it there any way you can get it, steal it find it, but whatever you want, as long as the music shared, that’s what matters.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, I got to look into picking up the vinyl. I saw some of them, they look sweet, but my, the biggest issues that Napalm charges so much for shipping that I got to look through other sources, unfortunately, I,

Nick Dumont: yeah, it’s tough.

Victor M. Ruiz: yeah, I meant it’s Germany to Spain. You would think wouldn’t cost close to 20 euros to ship.

So

Nick Dumont: Yeah. We have on the Bandcamp as well. We do store some of our stuck in Europe for this edition. So, whatever is what it is ordered in Europe or for the states is shipped from Europe. So, for that, very reason that shipping from Australia is exorbitant. And we could wait, it’s just not worth doing that since it was shipping from Europe in the first place.

So, we just dropped him at a company that takes care of the shipping from Europe to just to reduce those shipping costs that you’re talking about.

Victor M. Ruiz: Yeah, makes complete sense. Awesome. Nick, I appreciate you jumping in at the last second. I hope that everything works out with Rusty

Nick Dumont: my pleasure.

Victor M. Ruiz: yeah. And I hope that everything going forward, nothing but success with you guys this interview I’ll post it in about a week’s time. So, I’ll send you guys the link through Instagram, and I’ll tag you guys and everything when it goes up.

Nick Dumont: Sounds good Victor. It was amazing. Thanks for having us. Thanks for having me promoting Thunderbirds. Never forget I had a ball now. Thanks very much. Really appreciate

Victor M. Ruiz: Thank you, Nick. Best of luck to you, man. Take it easy.

Nick Dumont: Thank you too. And take care. Be safe.

Victor M. Ruiz: Alright. You too, man.

Nick Dumont: Bye.

Nick Dumont The Ugly Kings Strange, Strange Times Signals From Mars August 27, 2021

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