Nuclear Dudes Interview

We at Metal Utopia were waiting for this album. Born out of the unrestrained mind of Jon Weisnewski of Seattle-based Sandrider, Boss Blades is a frenzied collection of industrial, extreme and synth metal. I had a chat with Jon about his new project and its unique sound.

Hello, this is Rick! Introduce yourself, and what you do in the band!

Hello Rick. This is Jon. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. I do everything in the band. I had some help from some very talented people on this album.

Boss Blades is the debut LP of Nuclear Dudes, a project born out of quarantine. Did you enjoy the creativity and the freedom of being by yourself in the studio, or did you feel trapped at times?

Yes, I greatly enjoyed the freedom, and no, I never felt trapped. I think the only downside is that when imposter syndrome kicks in I have no way to diffuse that energy and it’s full on self loathing. Luckily that comes and goes so for the most part I’m pretty creatively satisfied with the project.

Also, once you started this in lockdown, how did it feel to keep working on Nuclear Dudes once the lockdown was over?

Very very good. This project fits really easily into my boring adult life full of uninteresting responsibilities. I’m going to keep doing this for a long time I think.

You have stated that this music is the answer to “What if Gary Numan and Carcass HAD to make an album together?” so, why these two bands specifically? And how did you choose what characteristics of each artist you had to take to make this?

Both those artists are two of my all time favorite musical groups on different ends of the swimming pool. They’re both huge inspirations and if you’re fans of either I’m sure you can pick out the similarities when you listen.

I’m not shy about wearing my influences on my sleeve. I don’t think it’s bad or lazy to make music that is a direct homage to artists you love. Fucking celebrate that shit. 

As we said, this is your first LP, but it comes after a couple of EPs. Where do you see yourself going from here? Do you think more material will follow, or this was a one-time adventure?

Yeah, I’m going to keep releasing a ton of material. Everyone’s going to get so sick of it, it’ll be great. The next challenges I’m pretty focused on at the moment are figuring out how to do a live set and branch further into collaborative projects. Longer term I’m interested in soundtrack composition. 

You said most of the titles and lyrics are nonsense, save for a few ones.  I’m curious about this: why the nonsense parts, and how did you coordinate them with the “meaningful” ones?

I tend to approach vocals more as texture than “words you should listen to”. I’m going for emotional impact and rhythm, so because of that the actual words I’m using tend to not matter most of the time. The project also has a ton of vocal FX always all the time, and that’s an intentional tonal choice, which further erodes the importance of understanding lyrics.

That being said, occasionally I get inspired to write some lyrics that are meaningful to me, so it’s a mixed bag. End of the day texture and visceral impact are what I’m going for.

The standard question is, any plans of bringing Nuclear Dudes on tour? It certainly feels as if the songs are made to mosh by.

I need to figure out how to do this live in a way that isn’t awful for the audience. If I can do that, then I’m open to tours or weekend warrior fly-in shows.

Thanks a lot to Jon for this interview! Boss Blades was released on July 7th and it’s on Nuclear Dudes’ Bandcamp page. Don’t forget to follow this project on Twitter and Instagram!