Nathan Wiley talks about his new recording
by Michelle René Sexton
The City Destroyed Me sounds like an apocalyptic movie epic. Instead the title belongs to Nathan Wiley’s new CD. I sat down with Summerside’s superstar at his favourite hangout, Peeks & Perks Café. Chilled from the cold weather outside, Nathan in a flannel grey shirt and jeans warmed me with his smile, his excitement for the new CD, and a warm cup of coffee. We immediately talked about the music of his new CD of which everything is different and new.
“It’s darker, weirder and more abstract than my first two albums. I made a conscious effort to make this one different,” smiled Nathan. He says that he wants to expand his music and to make each CD different than the last. The difference in this CD is the sound of the music—not as traditional as his previous two, and Nathan plays more guitar on this one, something he’s wanted to do for some time. The music has more edge, and it will be a change for fans.
The new recording is produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) who hails from LA, and has been involved with the music business since age fourteen. Steve enjoyed Nathan’s other albums and wanted to work on the third, so he called Nathan who also wanted to work with Steve, and the two got busy. Nathan flew out west for two intense weeks of recording. “Steve made the job easier because he helped with choices, decisions, and song cuts,” said Nathan.
The pair then met up in Halifax and hung out in a few clubs to check out other styles of music. “Steve loved experimenting. He would hear a band and say ‘we should get this guy for harmonica’ and ‘that would be nice mixed together with that.’ He made this CD fun to work on. We had no real plans we just used what worked,” smiled Nathan, sipping his coffee. Steve also plays the sax and keyboards, Geoff Arsenault is the new drummer, and on bass is Brain Bourne and on some songs Uncle Dale (Desroches). They brought Mike Fraser on board too, who’s engineering and mixing skills are well known in bands such as Aerosmith, Rush, and AC/DC.
Nathan writes songs for himself and others. “I have to be in the mood and alone when I write. I can feel when a song is a ‘me’ song. It’s like a muscle, the more you use it the more it gets used,” smiled Nathan. His goal is to eventually branch out of Canada into the United States. For now he plans on touring across Canada once the CD is released. When asked what his life will be like once he’s a huge rock star, Nathan simply replied, “I’ll stay grounded and close to my family.” Nathan Wiley fans can reach him at nathanwiley.com, and he will personally answer your email.