Published on November 13th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
tUnE-yArDs bassist Nate Brenner recently released his excellent debut album Dirty Gold under his Naytronix alter ego – why, click here to read our four-quail review – so we fired him over some questions in the hope of finding out a bit more about the project. First, though, have yourselves a simultaneous earful of and butcher’s at this choice cut from the album…
Congratulations on a terrific solo debut. How much of the album’s instrumentation did you handle yourself? Who else contributed to it?
I did most of the foundation of each track myself, then brought in friends for the extra finesse. I played most of the bass, drums, keys, and then have friends play horns, guitar and also provide some backup vocals.
What do you say to people when they ask you to describe your music?
I usually say it’s a funky, synth, psychedelic disco band.
Is this the start of a fully-fledged solo career, or are you just dabbling in between other commitments?
This is the start of a fully-fledged solo career. I will still collaborate with other people, play in other people’s bands, etc. but definitely plan on making many more Naytronix records.
If there’s more to come, have you given much thought yet to the next album? If so, what can you tell us about what direction it might go in?
I’ve been thinking about it a lot; since we’ve been on the road I have plenty of time to ponder from the backseat. I think on this album I was wanting to reference my influences a lot: R&B, soul, etc. For the next one I’d like to look more toward the future and instead of borrowing from different genres, work on creating a new one.
How did you come to release the album on Plug Research?
I’m good friends with another Plug artist, Dave Reep, a.k.a. Elephant and Castle. He introduced me to them, and it felt like a perfect fit, musically and personality-wise.
How did you come to play with Merrill in the first place? Is she working on a third album yet?
We met back in 2005. We were both camp counselors at a summer music camp in New Jersey. Since then we’ve become big time music collaborators. She hasn’t started working on the next tune-yards record yet, I’m guessing this spring.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
There are a lot of great acts coming out of Oakland right now: Mwahaha, Yalls, Clipd Beaks, and Kapowski, to name a few.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Naytronix, thank you.