Nasari: The punk rock band rising from Edinburgh’s dying music scene

8 mins read

The four-piece punk rock band from Edinburgh, have just been longlisted as a part of Glastonbury’s emerging talent competition 2019 and released their latest single The Box. I caught up with the guys this month at their Edinburgh gig supporting The Pale White.

The gig was at Mash House, a small but well-known venue brimming with character. As I arrived there were buckets everywhere from an on-going flood. Everybody was fretting about if the gig would go on. Everything is fine in time for the gig, with the odd bucket still sitting around.

The band is made up of four guys: Dave who plays bass, Cammy who plays drums, Mackie on guitar and Josh on lead vocals. The three of them met at college studying popular music performance, and found Mackie the fourth member through an artwork competition for their joint first singles, ‘Robyns Room’ and Afterglow.’

Josh said, “Mackie won the competition, it was really nice. We met through that as we came together on taste”.

The guys describe it as everything just falling into place. It felt like the right time- it was just meant to be.

It’s clear it was. The guys all look effortlessly cool, punky and grungy standing in the alleyway outside Mash House.

Five minutes in, they were chatting away to me. All of them seem like down to earth guys with a rugged nineties-esque sound that works electrically.

What instrument would you like to learn / play other than your own? 

Dave goes first with a quick answer: saxophone, Josh follows suit with saxophone.

Cammy says voice, to which if he can. Turns out he definitely can and has done backing singing before.

Mackie leads me into a tangent of a conversation claiming he’d choose a ‘lute’ describing it as old, gnarly and medieval. No idea? Look it up and you will know what a lute is.

We move on to the lyrics of their songs, do you all pitch in when writing songs?

Collectively they tell me Mackie has written a few, but it’s mostly Josh. They do work together too.

I imagine you bounce off each other?

Josh replies: “Yeah totally, we used to be flat mates, so we have a great dynamic, me and Mackie are like the song writing partnership we bring it into practice.”

What Genre does Nasari fit into?  

“Post punk’s what we go for, post punk with grunge, ‘spooky punk’ a bit nineties, all of our big influence bands are from the nineties. Apart from Ice Age – a Danish rock band.” They continue, saying that they are “definitely inspired by nineties punk bands- Placebo. We love Placebo!”

I compare them to Hole which they agree is what they are going for. Dave mentions for bass riffs he takes inspiration from eighties post punk and modern, like Fontaines DC, Joy Division and Idles.

I then ask where was their first gig, the guys tell me it was at Cab Vol, another prominent venue in Edinburgh for music. They told me about What’s the noise, really good for starting bands, they aren’t really kicking about anymore. Edinburgh scene is dying down. They all agree It’s slowed down a lot, definitely not dead but slowed down a lot. Most bands play in Glasgow now.

How did you get your name?

They all pitch in, so who wants to tell it?

“Actually should we start with the first names?”

They decide that is a bad idea. We had a couple before, really shit names.

“We wanted something with a bit of meaning.”

Josh takes the lead and asks me, “you know the turkish eye? It’s called the Nazar Eye, it brings good luck and fends away bad spirits and stuff. The blue eye represents positivity, keeps bad vibes away from the band. It also has meaning because Josh is half Turkish.”

We finished off with some quick-fire questions. 

What is your pre-gig drink of choice? 

Cammy: Lucozade sport the orange one I was drinking it during the gig!  

Mackie: If I could have anything it would be a red stripe. 

Dave: Yeah, Red Stripe or Buckfast for me to keep the energy going.

Josh: We’ve been trying to drink wine on stage more, but we haven’t really done that. 

Dave: Yeah, a nice pinot grigio usually.

Mackie: No merlot bro!  

Josh: I want to get to that stage where I have the audacity to drink a glass of wine on stage. We aren’t at that stage yet.  

Dave: We’re bams that’s what we are. 

Everyone: Intellectual bams. 

Best band you’ve supported?

Mackie: Ninth Wave.

Cammy: before Mackie was here Canadian band called Peach Pit at Sneaky Petes.

Josh: Peach Pit.

Dave: I’m excited about the Pale White but Peach Pit, Rascalton aswell

Biggest influence that made you want to get into music?  

Dave: My dad was a mod back in the day so a lot of punk, Buzzcocks, the Clash, Joy Division, The Smiths. I also went through a big hip hop phase.

Josh: My dad got me into Nirvana, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park. Not going to lie that got me into music! I still love Linkin Park.

Cammy: My dads punk records, The Adverts and The Stranglers listening to it on repeat and fucking loving it. Also The beastie boys, theres a video of me dancing around to beastie boys in my living room.

What is a song your fans would be most surprised you like?

Dave: Horrid Henry theme tune (the updated one). I watched the movie the other night and it’s been stuck in my head.

Mackie: Kelly Clarkson, Since You’ve Been Gone.

Josh: Early Taylor Swift, there’s some bangers in there!

Cammy: Bad Liar by Selena Gomez is my song of the summer, every summer.

Best best song ever?

Dave: Too real – Fontains DC.

Josh :My Sweet Prince by Placebo.

Mackie:Living Dreams- Wild Nothing.

Cammy: Stoked and Broke- Fidlar.

Favourite venue ?

Everyone: Sneaky Petes. We have the most fun playing Sneakys. 

Josh: Mash House.

Nasari’s new single,’The Box’ is out now. They are playing Punk Against Poverty on the 6th of April in Glasgow, and Sneaky Petes in Edinburgh on the 19th of April.

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Film Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Editor in Chief at Brig Newspaper. Edinburgh / Stirling

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