Interview: Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator

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Before playing an intimate show at Camden’s Black Heart, Nick Oliveri and his Mondo Generator consisting of himself, Jeff Bowman and Mike Pygmie sat down for a beer and an interview with yours truly, before I had my photographer extraordinaire Ellie Smith drag them into an alley to have their picture taken by some bins. Oh the glamour.

First of all – Welcome to England! You’ve just arrived in London after playing in front of thousands of people at Speedfest in the Netherlands, how was that?
It was great! The show was really good, and so was the festival, it was organized really well, the people behind it did a fantastic job. Everything was inside as well, so you didn’t have to walk for miles out in the cold. We’re from California, we’re not used to temperatures like this.

It must be quite a contrast coming from that to playing an intimate show upstairs in a pub, which ones do you prefer?
It varies; sometimes it’s great to play small and intimate shows, other times it’s cool to do the bigger ones. We’d rather play a smaller venue with a lot of people than a big venue with not so many people. We’ll still just play and have a good time either way.

You released your last album ‘Hell Comes to Your Heart’ in 2012, can we expect a new album sometime soon?

We want to do a new record in the new year, we really want to get started on it in January, it all depends on peoples schedules. Hopefully it will be out by next summer.

You’re all playing in different bands, is it hard to find the time to tour and record?

It’s easier than you think, it’s a matter about people communicating about when their schedules are happening, you know?

While face to face with a man I’ve seen naked oh-so many times, I gotta ask – Nick, why are you always naked on stage?
Nick
: I originally did it for shock value, but it also just gets too hot. Like, at the end of a show, Jeff will be behind the drums…

…behind the drums what? Naked?
Jeff:
Hah! Oh no, sweaty! Do I have to be naked? Did I miss something? Was that part of the deal?

Nick: To be honest though, I doubt there will be nudity tonight. It’s too cold.

Mike: Last time we were here we played just across the street, and despite Nick not getting naked, loads of other people did, so you never know, that might happen tonight as well!

In which case I’ll tell my photographer to be ready for to capture some full frontal nudity.

Last but not least, can you please share your five favourite albums with us?

Five favs

It ain’t easy picking a top five, so Nick added the following:

Subhumans – The Day the Country Died, Band of Gypsies – Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop – Raw Power, Iggy Pop – Fun House, The first Stooges record, The whole Ramones catalogue, Slayer – Reign in Blood (best metal record of all times for me). There are so many great records that changed my life, it’s impossible to pick just five.

Words: Ella Stormark.
Photography: Ellie Smith

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