Now don’t be too afraid with all that facial hair because even RPM has to occasionally make an exception and let a few in through the door but the Nuclears have just about maxed out our quota for the whole of 2019 its bloody lucky that they managed to release one of the best debut albums we’ve heard in a long time. With ‘Barrage Rock’ not far from the player we couldn’t resist getting under the flag and finding out what makes Mike Dudolevitch and his rock n roll comrades tick.
Tell us a bit about the band and where you guys met?
I’ve known my older brother Brian forever and he became friends with this guy Bobby early in high school because they both liked the Doors and Led Zeppelin or something. They started a beginner band with beginner guitars and basses respectively and then got a battle of the band’s gig at a real venue nearby. They said to me “hey you’re starting to get pretty good at guitar, want to join the band?” I said “Ok I guess” and half my life later here we are. We couldn’t hold down a steady drummer for years until we met Kevin in our apartment building in Brooklyn, who has since become integral to the sound and style of the band. Briana rounded out our lineup during the recording of this album- she’s guested on previous records and live shows but stars aligned and we decided to ask her to be a full-time Nuclear.
What’s your background in music? What influenced you growing up that made you want to pick up a guitar and play in a Rock and Roll Band?
My brother and I didn’t come from a background with a lot of musicians in the family, but our folks got us onto some good music early on- The Who, R.E.M., the Cars, etc. As a kid in the 90s Nirvana and Alice in Chains were exciting to me. Hearing Black Sabbath for the first time made me feel like I had to play guitar. After I started playing early in high school, the rabbit hole of inspiring Rock ‘n’ Roll just kept on going- the Datsuns, the Dictators, the Hellacopters, Alice Cooper, the NY Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, etc. That’s where all my musical sensibilities come from.
Is there a healthy live scene where you are? whats a Nuclear show like?
There’s no shortage of live music in North Brooklyn where we are located. It can get overwhelming! It feels like there’s usually a handful of good concerts going on every night and not enough time and money to come close to catching them all, which is a blessing and a curse. At a Nuclears show- expect tons of energy, lots of times bordering on out-of-control, sometimes not just bordering. Three of us take lead vocals, and we give a damn about strong song hooks. Brian and I try to melt your faces off with dueling guitar leads. When the cylinders are all firing there’s a lot of band chemistry onstage, and it ought to be evident from the crowd that we’re having a great fucking time and trying to be contagious with it.
Lets move onto the record. Where did the title come from what’s that about?
The title ‘Barrage Rock’ was one of a few sub-genres we half-jokingly made up about ourselves because of how surprisingly difficult it is when people ask “What kind of music do you play” or “What do you guys sound like?” without having seen us play. Just saying ‘Rock and Roll’ means like Eddie Cochran to one person and Poison to the next so that gets ya nowhere. I don’t know, like a garage rock band with a bit more B.O.C. and early Judas Priest sonic influence on it- Barrage Rock. Lots of riffs, solos, harmonies, all kinds of shit comin’ at you. Figured the shoe fit enough with this set of songs to give it that title.
Tell us a little about whats on the record. Where was it recorded that kind of thang. Who’s responsible for writing the songs?
It was recorded in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with our friend and engineer/producer David Pattillo behind the controls. The songwriting process starts with myself or Brian coming up with a guitar riff that’s got potential to drive a song and have a good hook to go with it. Then we make a little phone demo, bounce it off each other, figure out a lyrical angle, add and subtract from the original idea, bring it to the full band to work up, give it some reps live, and then record it with David while scrambling to finish a couple of songwriting loose ends in the studio.
What was the plan when recording? Was it always to just have so few songs? There must be more written, right? What about more recordings in the can?
To be honest, the plan was to lay down some tracks we were writing and see where it went, but there was a lot of challenges and things in transition during the recording of ‘Barrage Rock’. Brian relocated from NYC to the Washington DC suburbs, where we grew up, and the recording studio was a shared space so we’d have to hope to sign out recording time when he was in town, then have a lot of pressure to get as much done as possible in a limited window until we could track again, maybe a month or two later sometimes. For some of Briana’s vocal tracks on the record, she was just guesting, she wasn’t in the group when she recorded them. There was some learning on the fly about how to factor in her versatile vocal abilities when she joined for good. As far as the track count- Producer David called me and said the money squeeze was getting put on him so we ought to get final mixes and masters of this crop of songs before the rate he was giving us had to get hiked. We decided we had a good, dynamic set of tunes to release and shopped for a label to put release ’em to our fans ASAP. We’ve already begun the recording process for the next release at a studio outside of DC- I want to accelerate our turnaround time to get Nuclears Rock n Roll to hungry eardrums so while we’re gearing up to put out ‘Barrage Rock’, I’ve got an eye towards the future with some killer material we’re all really excited about.
Are you taking the band across the states on tour?
We spend the Summer going on tour to push the record, but it’s all broken up into separate manageable runs of shows in different directions. One month we head to the Midwest and back, one month we head to the South and back etc.
What about anything further afield like Europe?
I’d love to bring the Nukes to Europe to play- hearing from friends’ bands that have toured across the Atlantic, there’s a supportive audience for Rock n Roll music and we’d love to bring the party that way, just gotta clear some logistical and financial hurdles.
Who would you ideally like to hook up with for shows?
As far as bands we’d like to link up with- we always have a good time sharing some shows with our friend’s Indonesian Junk from Milwaukee, WI. I’d love to play with Hammered Satin from L.A. again. but apart from that, we’re open to offers.
So there you have it folks the Nuclears your new favourite Rock and Roll band from The US of A. Thanks to Mike for accepting our advances and letting us into some Barrage Rock.
Live shot credit to Johan Vipper
opening band pic Credit Nate ‘Igor’ Smith