Darth Nater // Feature Friday
Written by: Kayla Lee
Buffalo based singer-songwriter Nate Noworyta has been releasing music under the clever name Darth Nater for the past seven years, with his most recent release having come out at the end of March. A Century Ago, aptly titled due to entire album revolving around events that happened (you guessed it) a century ago, is an indie folk fueled trip through time that proves to be a guide of the most detail oriented sorts.
In a world driven by technology and futuristic mindsets, A Century Ago is a refreshing offering cultivated from history itself. Presented as a mostly first hand recollection rather than regurgitated facts, each song breathes life back into its subjects which have otherwise been forgotten.
With characters pulled from professional baseball (Smokey Joe Wood), the silver screen (Charlie Chaplin), and the past political climate (Jeannette Rankin), in addition to historical events including the great fire of Thessaloniki, the story telling aspect of Noworyta's lyricism is detailed and precise.
The addition of flute, clarinet, and trumpet provide a lighthearted air to the album, meanwhile Noworyta's vocals are truly the driving force. However, digging up stories of the past isn't always all fun and games. "Love Field" has a stark element to it with the lines "I know it ends but it's infinite to me / Closest thing to forever that I'll ever see" revealing the fragility of mortality.
Who's to say that 100 years from now, there won't be an album written about the current affairs of 2018? Now that would be something.
Q: How did A Century Ago get dreamt into existence -- what inspired you to write about events from 100 years ago?
A: There was a two year period (2016-2018) where I forced myself to write a minimum of one song every week. During this time I started developing different song series -- a sort of framework or pattern that I could write in instead of starting completely from scratch.
One series was all songs centered around animal metaphors, which eventually became my last record People Are Animals. Another series followed the adventures of a rogue pirate named Camilla Cadence (which I have not and may never finish). It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment I came up with the century ago idea, but I do remember that the name came first. I was drawn to the simplicity of it. You can read the album title and instantly understand the concept.
Q: Each song has its own personality so to speak. Which song taught you the most while learning about the events that it's based around?
A: Bere Ferrers. 100%. I put in the most amount of research on that one and it was a story I'd never heard even the slightest bit about. The more I read about the train accident, the more it felt like the whole thing was simultaneously preventable and inevitable. These soldiers were in a foreign country, on their way to the most devastating war the world had yet to see, and fell victim to this gruesome, freak accident. It's a lot easier to reflect on devastating historical events when there's someone or something to blame.
Q: What artists would you love to share the stage with, and why?
A: Johnny Marr of The Smiths has been my favorite guitarist for a long time. His riffs are absolutely brilliant but also understated. I also admire his disinterest in the showboating that has become almost expected of lead guitarists.
Q: You've been playing shows mainly in the Buffalo area, so do you have any plans to tour in the near future?
A: I'd love to tour eventually. My heart definitely lies more in writing and producing than performing live but nothing beats a great crowd!
Q: What local spots are a must see for people visiting the area to catch a show at?
A: Nietzsche's (as in Friedrich) is a Buffalo landmark in terms of live music. Mohawk Place is fantastic as well. Sugar City is a great all-ages venue for DIY shows.