Interviews The_33_s_bandchristopher mathes)*

Published on May 14th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with singer Nathaniel Irvin of the 33’s

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, singer Nathaniel Irvin of local punk five-piece the 33’s tackled the questionnaire.

1. What is your favorite local hang?

“The 33’s’ band room or Treehouse Studios. In the bar front, I’m going with A.C’s … when it’s near empty — especially if Eric Rickert and Kevin Young are working. They play good music, and you can talk with them about any movie or music project on the planet. A very high Midi-chlorian count they have.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“Your body is wrecked with physical pain, yet your soul is swimming in a salacious sea of complete self-contentment. When you don’t care about the ringing in your ears or the bruises or the chipped tooth or the sciatica pain; that’s a good show.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“The Barbwire Dolls at the Royal American, or Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs at Artfields in Lake City. Both bands played with pure unadulterated emotion and musical conviction.”


The 33’s (photo by Joshua Curry)

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

1: Audacious
2: Blithe
3: Cacophonous
4: Ardent
5: Frenetic
6: Multifarious
7: Obstreperous
8: Vaudevillian
9: Jocular
10: Frolicsome

5. What’s your theme song?

“‘One More Chorus’ by the Battlefield Band. The lyrics pretty much sum the ethos of my musical career. You play and you play, and then you always play some more. Music is like the Force: the more you use it, the stronger one becomes with it. Sometimes, after a late show, we’ll all end up in some shady place and play a guitar or three … and sing and drink and laugh in a slew of new memories ’til the sun comes up and tells us to pack it in and get some much needed shut-eye. That and this particular song reminds me of my former highland home. Ardmore!”

6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?

“With the 33’s, I’m quite a fan of my wireless mic set up. We tend to get a little hyper on stage, and I’m about as graceful as Bambi on ice when it comes to tripping on cables. Kinda like Chunk from the Goonies when it comes to holding vintage framed pirate maps. But, by far, my favorite is an archaically old Blonde Guild acoustic guitar that I play with my dad whenever we get a chance to sit around and pick out his originally written bluegrass spirituals. The sound is so rich and soothing it puts my cats in a trance. But when we play fast, they go into jungle-death mode and do wind sprints back and forth through the house.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. It’s my go-to album. It grabs me and holds me tight from start to finish. I love it.”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?

“When I literally ran into author Bernard Cornwell on Tradd Street, I immediately turned into my own version of Brody from Mallrats — the scene when he runs into Stan Lee; yeah, that was me. I’ve been reading Mr. Cornwells’ books for years, so I pretty much lost any sense of mind-body-soul cohesion during our conversation.”

9. What’s your poison?

“Good Rum or Hobo Ground Suckers — i.e.: a 40 ounce of Malt Liquor mixed with Spark and Four Loko.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…

“Laughing with my two brothers and playing music with anybody who is down to jam.”

Local punk band the 33’s have been cranking out loud, fast, heavy, politicized rockstuff for years. In 2011, they issued an impressively thrashy 16-song album titled Sons of Iniquity (the name refers to a pre-Revolutionary War era military group). Lead singer Nathaniel Irvin’s aggressive style could be brutal. Thematically, the album railed against what the band considers to be the bullshit side of the contemporary American political climate.

These days, the 33’s roster features Irvin alongside bassist J.R. Tindal drummer Ryan Phillips, and guitarists Ryan Wham and Jesse Kaasa. They still sound amped up and pissed off.

The 33’s are set to play at the Recovery Room (685 King St.) at 9 p.m. on Tues. May 21 with support from local metal band Wolf Lord.

They’ll share the stage with California punk band Guttermouth and special guests Pinhole Down, Dirty Circus, and Laughing at the Sk8 Park North Charleston (4791 Trade St., Unit A) on Thurs. June 20 at 7 p.m.

Visit and for more.

Top photo by Christopher Mathes.




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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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