Nash Bridges the Gap

Nash Kato and Urge Overkill were aping cock rock way before the Darkness. Now they're back to reclaim the title.

Ask him about his well-documented enthusiasm for narcotics: "Pish posh," Kato quips. "That's the kind of legacy that follows every band. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. That's the job description. That's the good part of being in a rock band. It's the kind of stuff I dropped out of college for."

Ask him about the strange popularity of the band's Neil Diamond cover, which dwarfs that of any of his own compositions: "We can't complain about that runaway load of shit," he says. "I just wish I had written it. I'd be speaking to you poolside at a place in the Hollywood hills." (Diamond Dave, anyone?) "That fucking song did more for us in two minutes of a movie than 10 years touring. The real punch line is that we only recorded it to get out of contractual obligations, and we did it for a six-pack and a bag of weed."

Ask about his dodgy reputation as a vain egoist, about how indie kingpin Steve Albini called his band "freakish, attention-starved megalomaniacs," and he doesn't bat an eyelash. "There was a while where we were burning pretty hot, things would snowball out of control. Vain? You could call it vain if you wanted to. But I always enjoyed looking good, even though it wasn't cool to look good for a while. But style is part of a show. That's an old-school idea, from one old-schooler to another. When you get onstage you have to look good, and we did. We still do."

This is an old photo (the guy between Nash Kato, left, 
and King Roeser is no longer in the band), but look 
how drunk they all look! And the matching jackets! We 
had to run it.
This is an old photo (the guy between Nash Kato, left, and King Roeser is no longer in the band), but look how drunk they all look! And the matching jackets! We had to run it.

Imagine Nash Kato. Imagine him looking good, in impeccable, spotless white, just like the back of Debutante. Imagine him blowing by in the passing lane of some Chicago highway, the top down in some nearly out-of-style muscle car. One hand holds the gold cell phone to his ear, the other is draped over the wheel as he weaves through traffic with the casual dignity of a slow dance.

Now, try to get him to say something that means anything. Try to get him to talk about something that is actually happening behind those mirrored sunglasses. Ask him if he has any regrets.

"I spent a lot of time chasing the sun," he says. It's impossible not to imagine the white orb of that picture, the one that envelops his head in a divine halo. "Sometimes I got too close to see anything else."

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