Hitting The Reset Button with Nural
Hitting The Reset Button with Nural
Nural has returned after a 13-year hiatus with a tremendous new single entitled Hit The Reset – sounding just as impassioned as when their dynamic Weight Of The World album was unleashed in 2005 via Hopeless Records. After the unveiling of their second release Entitlement in 2009, Nural would disband after a legal battle with their management. Vocalist Kyle Castellani pursued an exhilarating solo career while bassist Kyle Black would become a much sought after producer and engineer, whose credits include the likes of Paramore, 5 Seconds Of Summer, and Pierce The Veil. After the announcement of the reformation of Nural and the premiere of Hit The Reset, Highwire Daze invited Kyle Castellani and Kyle Black over to Dystopian Studios for an interview and photo shoot. Read on the find out more about the return of this epically underrated band from Southern California…
We’re here with Kyle Castellani from Nural. Nural is Back! So, what made you decide that the year 2023 was now the time to bring Nural back after all this time and a solo career?
Well, the solo career has just been going since Nural dispersed in 2010. But honestly, we’ve just been doing an annual Korean barbecue hangout for the past 13 years. And me and our guitarist Charley got together. Kyle Black was busy in the studio, but we still all were trying to hang out, and me and Chach just decided to sit down and write a song. And that ended up being our new song Hit the Reset, and it happened so naturally – it was like riding a bike. We hadn’t picked up guitars or even tried jamming together in all that time, like the 13 years since Nural broke up last time. So, the fact that all of a sudden, we had a song! We finally had the song, and we were just like, “We should demo this out.” We were at KB Studio anyways, so we demoed out the song and showed it to the other two original guys, and that is what brought everyone back. It was just all of a sudden everyone said, “Let’s see where this goes. Let’s put the song together.” And that was that, and now here we are.
Let’s talk about Hit the Reset. What’s the inspiration behind that song?
It’s pretty obvious that after 13 years of not doing anything and finally coming back together, there’s a lot, I feel like in any instance, if it’s a relationship or in this case a band – there’s a lot of things that you want to talk about and mull over and kind of squash or whatever. But in this case, it was just like, “Listen, a lot’s happened, we’re all different now. Time does have a way of healing wounds, or maybe it has a way of making us forget the wounds.” And we just decided to go for it. So, as opposed to us having to go through any sort of counseling or therapy to get back to some common ground, we were just like, “Look, we’re still all brothers, basically, let’s just put out a song.” And this song lyrically just made a lot of sense. So yeah. Hit the Reset. Let’s start over.
Do you think there’ll be any more Nural singles, an EP, or an album?
We are in the process of doing all of that. We’re going to be doing singles, releasing one song at a time, and gather enough by the end of the year to have it live on an album together, possibly an EP, however many songs we end up getting together. But the goal is to just get one song at a time. We’d like to do a video for each song if we can. But we’re kind of scattered, like two of the guys are in NorCal, three of us are here in SoCal. So, it’s a little bit more difficult. Some of us have kids and stuff, so this time around is different, but some of it’s for the better. Some of it is not as convenient, but we’re doing it.
Will live shows be convenient for you?
That’s definitely going to take a minute to get back into the (groove) – we jammed the last time we did the video shoot for Hit the Reset. We were in NorCal two weeks ago and it was the first time we were all in the same room with our instruments jamming and it felt like old times. It was seriously really easy to get back into the groove. So, I imagine if we were to rehearse maybe a few times we could get back into a live band, be ready for live shows again. But we’ve talked, about like a holiday show when people are in town or something like that. We’d probably do an LA show first.
You’ve been active with the solo career ever since Nural ended. I just want to talk about a few of your latest singles. I Don’t Want to Miss You. Tell me about that song and the inspiration.
That song, in particular, was one I’ve had for years, like 10 years I want to say. That’s kind of just one of those songs that sat waiting in the wings, and I figured it would never do anything. And during quarantine, I was just pulling up a bunch of old sessions, and that was one in particular that I pulled up in a session and it was like almost done. So, I just said, “Screw it, I’ll throw vocals on this and fix the guitar.” And then I sent it to Doug, the guitarist in Nural, and mixed that one. So, it was just ready to go. It was sitting there. As far as the inspiration goes though, it’s kind of similar in concept to a song I’ve got called Admit It You Miss Me, where it’s kind of just past relationships thinking about this one chick in particular. I just couldn’t stop thinking about her even though the relationship was dead and over. It was just like a ghost still haunting me kind of thing. That’s all way past now, but the fact that the song was still sitting there ready to go, I just said, “It’s a good song, I like it.” So, I finished it finally.
I want to talk about one more of your songs that I was really impressed with, That Damn Train. Yeah, tell me about that one.
I was actually living with my wife – my girlfriend at the time – in a house that had train tracks right behind it, and trying to record all the time – it was really difficult because the train would pass every hour. So, I’d be in the middle of recording and a train would come and it’d sometimes be a long train that would take forever to pass. So, in that song, I ended up using it as a metaphor. Just life, it’s a train that you either get on and take it for a ride, or it’s passing you by and you’re just kind of waiting for the next one. In that case, it was me just kind of wondering where I was at with music. The music industry or whatever you want to call it, is just like still going, still moving on the tracks, and here I am kind of on the sidelines figuring out where I fit in it all. So yeah, it was just basically That Damn Train just keeps going with or without me.
When you look back on the album Entitlement now, what do you think of it in retrospect?
The band was peaking at that time. With Hopeless, we were being up streamed to Atlantic Records. We were produced by David Bendeth, who is an amazing producer and definitely a taste of a drill sergeant.” You guys got to get your chops up,” he was telling me, “You got to be running like five miles a day, your lungs got to be ready for these live shows” and whatever. And we were ready for it. It was boot camp, we were ready to do it! And that album in particular, I have mixed feelings about – sonically I think it sounds great. I’m really happy with the songs and everything, but it ends up dredging up a lot of old memories. That album was a great process. It was also a very stressful process and ultimately, we didn’t even get to officially really release it because we ended up getting held up in lawsuits and whatever. So, it just didn’t get its time in the sun that we wanted it to, or at least its introduction that we wanted to. But we’re still very happy with it. I’m happy with it and I’m just glad the B-sides got taken down off the internet because they were pretty embarrassing.
Yeah, we had written and recorded a lot of demos for that and thank God Hopeless let us release the B-Sides as an album to fulfill our contract with them because we owed them an album – and they let us release the B-Sides, and we’re pretty embarrassed about it because it was incomplete songs. But Hopeless was cool enough to let us fulfill the contract. And then now that we’ve regrouped, they let us take the B-Sides down because they always knew it was kind of an embarrassment to us.
I wonder if I still have those. Anyway…
They might be out there still somewhere.
Now that Nural is back, do you still feel the Tension in the air?
(Laughs). From time to time, I think it’s actually, less tension. We were young kids. It’s hard to think that I see kids now that are my age that I was then. And I thought I had it all figured out. I think we all think we got it figured out when we’re 16, 17, 18, and then you get to be 25, 30 and you’re like, “Wow, I don’t know, shit.” So, I don’t know. Less tension between the members. We’re just matured. We’ve matured. I like to think we’ve matured a little. Just a little more professional maybe. So, yeah…
Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Vivian Ortega of So Finch Photography
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