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Backstage with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

“We were a little bit of outsiders on the bill at Coachella, basically to what that kind of festival caters to. We had some great shows there, but this feels pretty right on the money as far as what we want.”

By Kaelyn Sturgell | Oct. 4, 2016

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MOVE Magazine sat down with Missouri natives Nathaniel Rateliff and Joseph Pope III of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats before their performance Friday night at Roots N Blues N BBQ.

MOVE Magazine: What’s it like for you guys to be back in Missouri?

Nathaniel Rateliff: I always love coming back.

Joseph Pope III: The weather speaks to us. Physically, like our bodies understand it, you know? We grew up here so it makes sense physically to be here.

MOVE: I had the opportunity to go to Coachella this year and see you guys perform. It was a fun show, but how does Coachella compare to something more homey and low-key like Roots N Blues?

N: Totally different experience really. I prefer this.

J: It’s kind of hard to compare.

N: Coachella is kind of a massive thing to go to. Even if there’s more people, I don’t know, I’d rather play for a smaller group of people who are interested in what we’re doing.

J: We were a little bit of outsiders on the bill at Coachella, basically to what that kind of festival caters to. We had some great shows there, but this feels pretty right on the money as far as what we want.

MOVE: Definitely. It’s really receptive here. You have people wearing Nathaniel Rateliff shirts and it’s very catered to your style of music. So what’s your guys’ favorite song to play live?

J: Mine is “Trying So Hard Not To Know.”

N: I like playing that one. Probably one of my favorites.

J: Or a song called “What I Need” that we don’t play very often. It’s pretty fun too.

N: Man, I just always feel like my part’s cheesy, but I like to play it.

J: I just love playing in this band because no matter what song it is, we really are paying attention and I can look around and see everyone’s face and everyone’s in it, you know? There’s not time to space out or get lost in the moment. We’re just doing it together.

MOVE: That’s definitely something I noticed at Coachella and just from listening to your music in general. You guys really do make it about the music and I think that’s something that your fans appreciate. Speaking of, can fans expect any new music anytime soon?

N: Yeah! We have some stuff coming out sometime soon, not a full length but some extra stuff. And we’re just working on a new record too, but we’re pretty much touring until the end of the year.

MOVE: Yeah, you guys are playing Austin City Limits later on?

J: Yeah, in two days!

MOVE: Do you have any advice for other aspiring Missouri musicians?

N: I don’t know, just keep working really.

J: Either don’t give up or give up now.

N: That’s better.

MOVE’s take

Nathaniel and Joseph went on stage at 9:30 p.m. to close the festival with their other five band members. The group began their performance with “I Need Never Get Old” and immediately gained control of the crowd. The Night Sweats played older songs for longtime fans but also introduced three new songs with the announcement of a new EP. The show was filled with crazy dance moves from the band and lots of clapping from the crowd, but before Nathaniel finished the night with popular single “S.O.B.,” he told fans, “If you promise to keep coming out, we’ll promise to keep busting our asses.”

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