Interview with JASTEN KING
of Nancy Fullforce
By Devin Tait

Nancy Fullforce is a relatively new band.  When did you form?

The band came together after the last band I was in, KILLRADIO, disbanded a year or so ago.  The drummer, Duke, and I always got along really well and had very similar interests in music.  We both fans of bands like THE BRONX, MURDER CITY DEVILS, ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, etcÖ so when I started writing new songs and coming up with the idea of a new band, he was the first person that came to mind to ask about working on it all with.  The other guys in the band, JAKE CHAOS and ARMAND, have been friends of mine for years so they came to mind right away when looking for musicians to do the shows with.

Previously, you were involved in the bands KillRadio and The Confused.  What was your background in music before those bands?

I have grown up playing guitar and being involved in music since a kid.  I had played in the school band in middle school.  It didnít last long though cause I was using a flying V guitar and playing through the keyboardistís amp whom Iíd drown out in volume constantly. So I ended up leaving that to start a band and play for friends after school while in high school.  It wasnít until I moved to San Diego as a teenager that I joined a couple bands and started doing real gigs.  Other than playing music, Iíve been involved in music photography and journalism in the past.  Iíve done work for SKRATCH, BIG WHEEL, VICE and other random web press. I never thought I was that great at any of that though, it was all just an excuse to get into shows for free and meet the bands I enjoyed.

You DJ around town quite often, when did you start DJing and what type of records do you spin?

I started doing that when Iíd have time off between tours with KILLRADO.  It was hard to maintain any sort of job while touring so much that DJing just came up as just a way to make money.  Iíve always been one of those ďmusic nerdsĒ that owns a million albums and was always making mix tapes for people.  So it came pretty natural to me and also itís just really fun to do; playing all your favorite songs to a crowd of people.  I prefer to do more indie/punk/rock n roll style of clubs or events, but also enjoy doing a good party where people appreciate a good Sylvester or Madonna track right after a Cazwell or KIDSONTV song.

One of your regular DJ gigs is at Chi Chi LaRueís Dirty Deeds at FuBar in West Hollywood.  How did you get lined up with this crazy night, and what it your favorite thing about it?

I got that gig through my friend, Michael Schmidt.  We met years ago through Miss Guy of the TOILETBOYS and have good friends since he moved out here from New York.  He has seen me DJ places like Rage and Sunset Junction so I guess when the ďfill inĒ was needed for when Chi Chi was away, I got the call.  That night is seriously so much fun- one of my favorite places to DJ.  Itís like a little bit of sleazy New York inside West Hollywood.  Some of the stuff that you see there never happens anywhere else in this city unfortunately, so itís a great experience for people looking for a little shock value in a night out on the town.  I really love the sexual openness of it all and how itís all just part of another Wednesday night.  Iím so glad to live in a city like that.

Nancy Fullforce recently played a show with The Randies and Girl in a Coma.  How did that show go? What did you think of those bands, and what are some other bands who you would like to play shows with?

That was great!  Both those bands were a lot of fun to hangout with and I love ALEXíS down there in Long Beach.  Iíve seen so many great shows there as well.  If I could have my fantasy of list of bands to tour with I think itíd include CSS, DEATH FROM ABOVE (if they got back together), YEAH YEAH YEAHS, PEACHES.

Your music is pretty fast, loud, and energetic.  Who would you say are your influences?  Who writes the songs for Nancy Fullforce, and what is the process normally used?

When we started we made it a point to avoid any slow songs.  The whole idea of the bad is to be a full throttle rock band and I think we take a lot of our influence from bands like ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, BILLY TALENT or QOTSA.  I usually come up with a riff or some sort of messy order of a song then Duke will fix it with some magic on the drums.  We do all the music first and I usually adlib all the words until it sticks.  Sometimes he starts with a drumbeat and we just jam it out until itís done.  Weíve been writing some new stuff for the next EP lately and that seems to be how itís coming about.

The track ďDead and AliveĒ was remixed by Mikey B, can you tell us how that came about?  How do remixes fit into the world of Nancy Fullforce?

I really enjoy a lot of electro music while DJing or just when out at clubs.  I donít really have any interest though in being in a band like that so I guess the remix came as a happy medium.  Mikey B. is a friend of mine from New York whoís a rad character of that city; he also worked for Heatherette whom I love.  So I knew he was the perfect guy to make something I could spin in clubs but also would be something still in the ballpark of the band.  Iíd love to do more in the future for sure.  As long as itís not some house-music-raver-glowsticks shit, I think itíll fit into the Nancy collection just fine.

I know you have an affinity for musical theatre.  What are some ideas you would have for a Nancy Fullforce show if you could do anything?  (Meaning no limitations on budget or resources)

You know, that was actually one of the initial ideas for the band.  I wanted to make a rock musical that didnít suck and was edgy that people who usual hate theater would enjoy.  Itís still something Iím keeping mind for the future.  Iíd love to keep the set up have when playing live when weíre in the crowd in the set up for the play.  Itíd be great to have the different stages of the show surround the crowd the same way we do when playing as a band.  I also picture using a lot of video screens instead of stage sets to really make it all visually exciting.  So, yeah, eventually there could be something to put together.

Whatís the story behind the name of the band?

I knew I wanted something with ďNancyĒ in the title to represent the gay undertones and overtones of the band visual identity.  Then when I wrote a note to myself that listed ideas of the band, I wrote ďfull forceĒ to remember to keep the sound of it all as loud as possible.  So the two just looked good together and really represented what I wanted the band to be.

I know you have already recorded an EP.  How can a person get their hands on this?  Can you tell us a little about it?

We want to go around the usual process of putting out music.  Instead of trying to get signed or putting all of our money into printing up CDs independently then complaining that everyoneís just downloading it anyways, we figured weíd just work with that whole system.  We plan on just keeping any ďreleasesĒ online as a digital album or EP and then possibly printing up limited vinyl for sale at shows.  No real plans to struggle to get our Cd on the shelves of Best Buy unless someone wants to offer.

What are your future recording plans?  Touring? 

Yeah, weíre going to record with Nick Jett again from the band TERROR this Summer.  Doing another 4 tracks or so as well as a couple cover songs for some possible compilations coming out.  We hope to get that all up before we plan on heading to Eastern Canada for a small tour and surprise shows.  The music scene is really amazing up there and itís such a nice area of the world to see.  Iím really looking forward to going back and hopefully stirring up some trouble.

You do video editing a lot on your own, have you made any vides for Nancy Fullforce, or do you plan to in the future?

We actually just finished a video for ďDead & AliveĒ this past week.  I directed it with photographer Alicia Cheatham and Queerpunks.com writer Jeremy Alva.  We lucked out living in a city like Los Angeles and managed to make a professional video with all borrowed equipment and staff.  Itís currently being edited but should be online in a week or so.  Thereís a chance soon after itíll be added to LOGOís NewNowNext program this Fall.

What do you think about the current state of the music industry?  Are digital downloads and all the new technology helping small bands get started, or is it making it harder for new bands to stand out amongst the thousands of other unsigned bands?  What do you see happening with mainstream music in 5 or 10 years?

I think the internet all together certainly has made it easier for bands starting out to get their music out to the people.  On the other hand, itís hurt a lot of the process of how a band excels and can grow.  I think the whole thing is in a transition phase right now and in 5 years or so music downloading will be working in some way for everyone for the better.  The hard thing about it now is that labels all still rank a bandís success by album sales as well as people on the business side of music such as booking agents and press.  I think itís all sort of confusing for both sides right now, the bands and the labels, but will eventually turn into a great system of making and releasing music.

Back to Interviews

     
1