Naam Stealing Some Hardcore Style For Their Stoner Rock Sound
If you are one of the blessed ones to experience the live pummeling of Naam, you were sure to have left shaken and energized by the captivating onstage presence of drummer Eli Pizzuto. “He beats the living s— out of the drums,” bassist/vocalist John Bundy exclaimed to Noisecreep on his band’s own drummer. “His cymbals are always broken. Every time we play he has to fix his drums because he plays so hard. That’s incredibly intense.” Before Naam, Pizzuto had only been in hardcore bands.
Through placing a Craig’s List ad for a drummer, Bundy and guitarist Ryan Lugar came to meet and play with the then recently relocated Pizzuto. Having only a past in hardcore bands in Boston, much of the enjoy-the-high style of Naam was a new experience for him. But as Bundy explains, it didn’t take long for Pizzuto to take to his menacing form behind the kit. “Dropping the tempo down and laying down in the pocket — these were totally different ideas for Eli, but he adapted to them incredibly well.”
Naam is not alone in being a stoner band to grab someone from the hardcore scene joining with them is Tee Pee labelmates Quest for Fire, who’s drummer Mike Maxymuik used to be the speed beat behind the Cursed. In fact this whole style shift is becoming more and more common as many musicians are leaving the fast paced stage action of hardcore for the low and slow of the stoner variety. “It’s like all the punk and hardcore guys are smoking weed now. And this is the result,” Bundy laughs. It’s seems like a new scene is being created.
“It’s totally cool. You have all these guys who have been die-hard punk, hardcore and metal for so many years and now all these guys are smoking weed and taking it easy. This is the result: an aggressive stony groove going on. A new fierceness is becoming standard live because of these new influences. “Maybe everybody chilled out, or maybe we all just got older,” Bundy speculates on what started this departure from hardcore. “It just happened.”
Beyond stage presence, it seems a new wave of sounds are getting gestated and tweaked. “It’s a heavy weirdo scene,” Bundy says. “I want to get that term going because that’s what it is. None of these bands fit anywhere in particular. They’re weird and they’re heavy. There not necessarily metal bands, there not necessarily psyche bands, but they all fit in this miscellaneous category.”
The scene getting much eyes and ears turned their way is the one Naam calls home within Brooklyn, N.Y. “Brooklyn has one of the best scenes around,” Bundy asserted. “My idea of Brooklyn as far as music is really pretentious indie rock assholes and it makes my blood boil. But then coming into it now and seeing this huge family develop that makes me feel great.”