Contributed by Shogun, Posted by Hydra Head Interviews

While it's a strange experience interviewing a person about a band that they're no longer in, it is also an interesting one because they can paint a unique – albeit slightly biased – picture of the music. This was the case with Nicholas Andrew Sadler, the former guitarist and vocalist of Daughters, who had recently left the band at the time of the already booked interview. Now in Fang Island, the nostalgic Sadler chatted with Punkews contributor Gen Handley about the trials, tribulations and recent album of his former band, while attempting to navigate the Fang Island tour van from the SXSW festival in Austin to New Orleans.

So the Daughters' self-titled album was released in early-March, how would you describe the sound? It’s getting really good reviews…

I would say that it’s getting closer to where Daughters could go and closer to where I thought we were finding our own voice. It’s like, if you were to take what Daughters has done in the past and add a thick, almost hip-hoppy rhythm section underneath everything. It’s faster and more manic and frantic, but it’s also heavier with a lot more groove and low-end to it. I figured out we needed that by touring endlessly off of Hell Songs and becoming really sick of playing that album, especially in larger venues. That album really doesn’t work in larger venues in a lot ways because it’s just a lot of dizzying, high-pitched sounds, which can get lost in a large room. I started to really crave a low-end, stronger rhythm section for our band - that was the goal I had when writing the record.

Who was involved with writing the record?

Essentially, it was me making demos for three years at the house and then taking songs, song ideas and some riffs to the practice space to hash them out with Jon (drummer). This album really caught up with us. People were getting a little older, the whole band was extremely poor from touring over the years, so life outside the band really caught up with us and it became hard to really do anything. I’m very proud of this record just because we were able to make it, you know? It was a real struggle.

Was it so much of a struggle that you left the band? Is it true that you left Daughters recently?

Sort of. It’s a hairy situation in that we made the record and some time in August last year, our singer Lex (Alexis Marshall) and I got into a bit of band argument. It was pent-up energy that built up over the years, which came out. Funny enough it was over Gmail where it’s much easier to air out any bullshit for both Lex and I (laughs). So we got in this argument and Lex decided he had enough and quit the band. So that put us on, what we decided, a hiatus. I continued with mastering the record and hashing out the artwork and I even worked with this artist, Dave Fisher, on a trailer video. I was essentially trying to keep the band alive for who-knows-what, you know? Maybe I was hoping Lex would come back or maybe in few years we would start playing again. Eventually what happened was I moved to Brooklyn, released a Fang Island record and Lex decided that he wanted to come back, but that I should be out. So basically the band just dissolved - not everyone was into playing with Lex, while not completely willing to dismiss the band.

From my perspective, I don’t think I’ll ever play with Daughters again - I’ve been through way too much stress and I’m in a way better place with writing and being in a band with Fang Island. With the new album, I think we ended on a really good note with Daughters and if Lex carries it beyond that then I‘m happy for him and that’s cool. So I didn’t really leave, the band just fell apart. In some way, I guess I was kicked out by the guy who quit. (laughs) I don’t know where that leaves me or the band, but I’m using that as an excuse to step out officially.

That’s such a strange situation…

Yeah, it’s ridiculous.

Alright, so about the band you might be in…


…where did the name Daughters come from?

That came from our original lineup in our seven inch days, which was Lex, Jon, Pat Masterson, myself and a guitarist, Jeremy Wabiszczewicz, who cracked the name. I don’t know where it came from, but he came up with it and it was Daughters before we even started writing anything.

Something that struck me right away with Daughters are the interesting song titles - like, "The Unattractive, Portable Head.". Can you talk about how you came up with that one?

You’d have to ask Lex about that one - I’m actually not a big fan of the song titles off the new record. I’ve actually come to hate a lot of the song titles on that album, but at the time, some of the other shit was kind of funny and clever to me and flowing with pop culture or whatever culture we were involved with at the time. It made sense to me then, but songs like, "Pants, Meet Shit" or like, "And Then C.H.U.D.S. Came" and stuff like that…I don’t know, song titles is not a good subject for me to talk about.

But on the other hand, I think the lyrics on "The Unattractive, Portable Head" are really sweet and I think they really match the music well. I think it’s one of Lex’s best moments on that album - I’m really proud of how that turned out.

So I’ve read descriptions of the Daughters sound as being math rock or mathcore. Do you agree with that title?

No. In fact, I’ve always disagreed with that - even sort of hated it. We’ve always been a kind of calculated band, but not in a math rock way. None of us are classically trained at all and I don’t think anyone in Daughters has taken a lesson in anything. The music just comes out that way and it’s always been the nature of the band. Math rock, grindcore, mathcore, hardcore, metal or artrock - there’s never been an intent there, you know? One time we were called skronk music and we really laughed at that because who the hell wakes up one day and decides they want to start a skronk band?

And we didn’t wake up one day and decide to start a math rock band. It was what was coming out of the band members for a really long time. I always felt like it was an expression of the inner conflict among the band members or maybe personal struggles within the members themselves. It’s really agitated music to me and it’s always been really dark. - I always felt we had more in common with Bauhaus or something gothier like that.

What’s life going to be like post-Daughters?

Well, I’m just hanging out now and things are going really well with Fang Island. In terms of life after Daughters? I don’t know man. I’m really proud of everything Daughters has done and I’m really sad we can’t get along because we’ve all known each other for a long time - I’ve known Lex and Jon since before I had sex. Like, I remember some of those dudes telling me about the birds and the bees. We played in a band long before Daughters and it was just an awful, awful band, but they took me on my first road trips and official tours, so I am sad that we don’t get along. So life after Daughters? Just keep making music and I’m working on eventually doing some solo music as well. I keep making jokes that I’m going to make a follow-up to the Daughters record we just released, but call it, Nick Sadler just to be a bastard or whatever.

So the new Daughters album was released in early March and the Fang Island album was released in early February. What was that like releasing two albums within a month of each other?

Yeah, it was big release year (laughs). I don’t know, it certainly makes me feel productive because it took so long for the two albums to be written, recorded and released. There was a period of a couple years when I felt like the biggest bum, living on couches and floors and in spare rooms or in a warehouse in Providence - right now, I’m staying on a floor in Brooklyn. It’s really helped me to feel like I wasn’t doing nothing. All I can say is that it’s made me feel really productive and happy because it’s all I want to do.

Is it even more rewarding in that the sounds from those two albums are so different?

I feel happy that I can reach past what I’ve done in Daughters and be involved with a variety of different sounds and styles and to have some range. I’ve always said that Daughters is my bad guy band and that Fang Island is my good guy band. It’s funny because as a person, I feel like I need both. When I was in Daughters, it was always refreshing to have Fang Island and to exercise a positive outlook on life. To go play Daughters would always allow me to exercise some demons in a way. As cheesy as it is, now that Daughters is gone, I’m looking for an outlet for some aggression in music. I still need to write another record where I can be aggressive, but I also need to make a record that’s like the classic singy song writer record or something.

What’s you fondest memory of Daughters?

Fondest memory? There was a lot of good times and good memories - I don’t know. I can say that on every single Daughters tour I got seriously hurt. The don’t sound like great memories, but they are. On the last tour I ended up smashing a glass of whiskey on my amp in San Diego and almost cut the tip of my pinky off and ripped open my finger on my guitar-playing hand. For some reason I got a kick out of that and it was kind of fun.

As a group, we all had a similar sense of humor with a lot of potty jokes and black humor. Looking back, I’ll always cherish that as a group we were able to come together make like really inappropriate jokes or stupid dumb bullshit (laughs). When I’m not in Daughters and making those jokes, I really feel like I’m on the outside of the realm of distasteful humor - I feel like there’s a spotlight on me in that sense (laughs). It might be appropriate in Daughters, but is completely inappropriate during all other times.

What’s your least fondest memory of Daughters?

Man, there are equally as many not-so-fond memories as there are good ones. One particular crap moment was when we drove from Western Canada all the way to Montreal and it took like three days. That was fucking hideous and a total bonehead idea. Now I know that when you’re in Western Canada, you need to go back to the States where there are populations of humans and then get back up to the eastern side to Toronto and Montreal.

Most regrettably, I wish we could have gotten along better in the end so we could be out there, hitting the road, playing the fucking record. I think the new record is fucking awesome and my heart is totally behind it. I think it’s totally legit. I could go on about it’s artistic merit and about the thought process that lead to what was released. So I wish we could be getting along and fucking ripping it up right now. Actually, our booking dude was trying to get us on a Marilyn Manson tour, at which point, I could of put the guitar down and gone to bed after that - everything would have come full circle. Sounds funny, but when I was a kid, I was super into Marilyn Manson (laughs). Oddly enough, I like him a lot more as an adult. Don’t put that in the interview (laughs).