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Who is Natternet?

Natternet is a Musician, Digital artist, Animator & Content Creator. Originally from the UK, Natternet began playing guitar in the late 1990's after becoming a fan of iconic bands such as Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin, Metallica & more. After taking a hiatus from playing for almost a decade, Natternet began playing guitar again in 2023, later recording & releasing his music on all social media platforms from 2024 onward.

Natternet Q&A

01 How did you first become interested in music, and when did you start playing guitar?

I became interested in music in the late 1990's after watching a pro wrestling show on TV in the UK called ECW. During the show they played an altered music video for the Guns N Roses song 'November Rain'. I was gripped. Days later I bought all GnR's CD's and VHS Tapes, one of which was their 1992 Tokyo concert. During the concert Slash played the theme song to 'The Godfather', doing his rock star thing. A week later I bought my first guitar.

02 How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Guitar driven instrumental music that veers more towards classic rock with plenty of riffs and soloing.

03 Where did the name 'Natternet' come from?

'Natter' in British English means 'to talk/chat' and 'Net' is of course from Internet. I knew I wanted to do informative videos on Youtube, which would mean I'd be “talking on the internet”, so Natternet seemed to work.

04 What is your recording process for your latest album or single and what approach writing songs?

First I'll play a generic drum track at whatever bpm I want the song to be, then I just jam on guitar for about 10 minutes whilst recording the audio. I listen to the audio back and there's always something in that jam I can work with and construct a song from. Then it's off to the races.

05 How do you deal with criticism on Youtube, both constructive and negative?

Constructive criticism is always welcome if it's coming from a good place and from someone who's opinion I value. Negativity is not something I get involved with. Negative comments designed just to hurt/or be rude get deleted and the commentar gets blocked. I don't want people like that anywhere near my channel or my life. The same goes for the spreading of lies. On Youtube it's easy to moderate, however on places like reddit there's little to no moderation and people are openly allowed to lie and spread hate. It's why I avoid reddit and why most reputable artists and companies avoid it too.

06 If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why?

That would be an endless list. But anyone with talent in their field I'm happy to collaborate with, famous or not, makes no difference.

07 Who are your top three artists that have been the biggest influence on your music?

In no order - Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin & Buckethead. 

08 What are some of your favorite live performances or concerts you’ve attended?

Guns N Roses at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2006 is probably my favourite gig I've seen. The crowd was great, there was no cellphones ruining the experience, Axl sounded like vintage Axl and at the very end of the show he threw his microphone into the crowd and I caught it. I have it framed back home in the UK.

09 If you were to introduce someone to guitar instrumental music, which album or artist would you recommend they start with?

I'd start with Buckethead's 'Electric Tears' album.

10 Are there any particular albums or songs that changed the way you think about music?

The one I just mentioned above, Electric Tears by Buckethead. A 70 minute album with no vocals and no drums was alien to me when I heard it around 2002/2003. It made me realize that I didn't need an Axl Rose or Freddie Mercury caliber singer to complete my music. I just needed a guitar and the ability to write songs.

11 Which musician or band do you most aspire to be like and why?

I wouldn't say I aspire to be anyone, I'm okay with being me. But I think Paul Gilbert is a great bench mark. He's a master of his craft, he's unselfish, has taught countless people across the world, he always has time for his fans and never let's them down and always does everything with enthusiasm and a smile on his face.

12 How do non-musical influences, like literature, film, or visual art, shape your work?

Film is huge for me. I probably watch on average 5 films a week and have done so since I was a child. And without music in film, certain scenes and moments would 100% lose their impact. So when it comes to my own music and construction of songs, there's often times I'm thinking “if this was for a music video or movie what sound or riff or lick etc would accentuate the video/scene?”

13 How do you stay updated with new music trends, and how do they inspire you?

 

I don't and they don't haha. Almost all of my influences are from pre-2000 artists. Most of today's music that I hear feels generic or 'same-same'. I'm also incredibly disappointed that so many of today's guitarists have plenty of technique but instead choose to use it doing 30 second Tiktok, Instagram or Youtube shorts videos. Seeing someone do 30 seconds of sweeping and tapping licks does nothing for me. Serious artists focus on song writing and composition, not on self indulgent magic tricks.

14 How do you decide when a song or piece of music is finished and ready for the audience?

For the most part I prefer 3-4 minute songs, especially when it comes to instrumentals. Long instrumentals tend to lose the audience (unless you have a patient audience like at an Opera performance). So once I feel I've got everything I need in the song and everything I want out of it, I consider it done. I also consciously try not to nitpick and over-analyze every note and sound, I'm not looking for mythical perfection. Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin is easily one of my biggest influences, and his guitar “imperfections” and “bum notes” feel far more rewarding and authentic than something that's clean and perfect and robotic.

15 When working on a new album or project, do you have a unifying theme or concept in mind from the beginning?

My goal right now is producing as many singles as I can, with the ultimate goal to then compile those singles into an album (or multiple albums). I think even with multiple styles, tempos, arrangements etc an album can flow perfectly if the songs are arranged in complimentary order to each other.

16 How do you balance the pursuit of artistic integrity with commercial considerations, if at all?

Instrumental music tends to not be commercial friendly anyway, it's almost a niche. But I am more conscious of writing and composing songs that are palatable and accessible over something that is solely intended to wow the “tiktok generation” for 20 seconds before they move on to the next ring tone.

17 Do you ever revisit old unfinished work? If so, how do you approach integrating it into new material?

I recently found an old flash card (remember those?) that had roughly 20 songs on it that I had written from the early 2000's when I was starting to get the hang of playing. Most of them are rough and raw and feel very “recorded in a garage with one microphone”-esque. But there was some cool stuff on there that I had totally forgotten about and will possibly rework, or maybe release as a 'early years' type thing.

18 Can you describe a turning point in your career that took you to the next level?

In 2015 I left the UK to live in Japan, leaving all my guitars behind. I never picked up a guitar again until 2023. When I did I realized how much I actually missed playing and how my song writing and understanding of music had improved greatly (despite not playing for years). Age I guess.

19 How do you define success in your musical career, and do you feel you’ve achieved it?

I feel like success goes hand in hand with personal goals. It was a goal of mine just to learn to play guitar and have the ability to write a song that wasn't just strumming chords, so I did, that's a success. It was a goal of mine to release a single/singles that felt professional and weren't done on a whim or was messy etc and I feel I have done that. So setting and completing each goal feels like a success.

20 What’s the story behind the creation of your first single, and how did it feel to release it?

The first single I released was called 'Flying B-Bomb'. At this stage I prefer to keep the reasons behind songs and titles private and let the listener feel/interpret what they want. That being said, what I will say is that 'Flying B-Bomb' is about someone who I became a big fan of (they were a moderately famous figure in Japan), who in part led me to moving to Japan to explore the culture, and someone who I eventually got to meet and talk with multiple times.

21 What keeps you motivated and passionate about continuing to create and perform music?

Completing something, regardless of what it is, always feels rewarding. So writing and composing a song, recording it, mixing and mastering it and then releasing it to the public feels like an achievement, regardless of whether one person or ten thousand people hear it.

22 What’s the most meaningful fan interaction or feedback you’ve received, and why did it resonate with you?

The feedback from listeners has been very positive and thankfully through the Youtube channel and years of moderating it, I've been able to build a community of kind and respectful people while weeding out the ones who aren't. So to read their kind and positive comments means a lot, I'm very grateful for it.

23 If you could go back and give advice to your younger self just starting in music, what would it be?

Focus on just writing one song and finish it. When I first started recording songs I was constantly jumping from one song to the next, never finishing them because there was so many ideas flowing and so many things I wanted to do. Nowadays, I know to simply write those ideas down (or record a quick rough demo) and put it aside and go back to the song I'm currently working on. When that song is finished, then I go back to those demos and work on whatever one speaks to me the most at that time.

24 Can you describe the first live performance you ever gave? How did it feel?

It was probably a year after I had bought my first guitar. I was sat in my parents living room with them, my brothers, my brothers wife and their kids, all sat there watching me. I played for about 20 minutes, nothing rehearsed, I don't think I played any full songs, just different riffs and licks and random soloing I'd learned up to that point. Anytime I played something that someone knew there would be a “Ooh” reaction. I guess that's what big bands get when they play their “hits” and the audience erupts. Except my audience was about 8 people haha.

25 What are your thoughts on the rise of streaming services and their impact on artists’ revenue?

I think streaming services are great for independent artists to get their music out there to the world. In the past if you wanted to hear new music you had to listen to the radio and then hope they said the artist name after the song, so you could go out and buy their music. Now its easy to find new artists. As for the impact on their revenue, I think artists should look at streaming services as a way to widen their fan base and gain new fans rather than looking at it financially. The financial side will hopefully come from that expanded fan base via touring and merchandise (shirts, posters, CD's, books etc).

26 How do you view the trend of artists releasing more singles and EPs as opposed to full albums?

I'm all for it and aim to do the same myself. There is so much content out there to consume that asking someone to spend 30-80 minutes of their time on your “new album” is a big ask. As someone who has had the rare opportunity to view deep Youtube analytics/data of (currently) 4 years and hundreds of albums by the artist Buckethead, I have seen that fans simply do not stick around for albums or long extended songs, especially if those releases have very little change/ are repetitive. On average, 70% of those Buckethead releases have gone unheard, that's a pretty big number. 

27 How do you perceive the push for more diversity and inclusion within various aspects of the music industry?

Just like anything else, the talent and ability should be the main factor, not someone's skin color, gender or sexual preferences. It shouldn't be about companies trying to meet their quota.

28 How has technology, like digital instruments or software, impacted your playing or practice?

Greatly. When I first started playing in the early 2000s I was using a 4 track tape recorder which of course has so many limitations. Nowadays with all the amazing technology we have, it gives me the ability to actually write and record a song the way that I hear it in my head.

29 What role does improvisation play in your music?

In the early stages of writing a song, improvisation is what helps me “find” the song. Improv always delivers something unexpected. Once that unexpected thing comes along, then I work on it. As far as my music releases so far, not a single song, note or solo is improvised, its all composed and constructed.

30 Are there instruments or musical traditions you wish to explore or learn more about in the future?

Having lived in Asia since 2015, there's constantly instruments I hear that feel very cultural, like the Shamisen or Angklung. I'd like to explore them, but given how much space guitar occupies in my head, I doubt I ever will.

31 Are there new musical directions or genres you’re exploring in your future work?

I've been dabbling a lot with pianos, keyboards and synths lately and I'm a fan of the late Ennio Morricone and composers like John Williams & Hans Zimmer. Those grand sprawling movie soundtracks are definitely something I'd like to explore.

32 Are there any specific themes or concepts you’re focusing on in your upcoming work?

As above. Space, futurism cinematic soundtrack type stuff. 

33 If you could paint a picture of where you see yourself in 10 years, what would it look like, both musically and personally?

Musically, more of the same. Hopefully I would've built up a solid back catalog in 10 years that I can feel proud of regardless of how many or few listen. Personally, life is great, I get what I need and have what I want. I hope that continues.

34  What's the greatest song or album ever written or the type of album you'd aspire to release one day?

Oh man there's so many, but I'll go with the one that came to my mind first which is Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti' double album. It's just got everything, great riffs, classic solos, epic anthem style songs, so many genres and styles, beautiful vocals. It's just perfection start to finish. So many fond memories of that album, there will never be another band like Led Zeppelin.

35  Is there a list of songs or albums you have released?

Natternet has released the following songs:-
'
Flying B-Bomb' released by Natternet April 27th 2024
'
The Heavy Tread of Lunatics' released by Natternet May 5th 2024
'
Dance the Way Home' released by Natternet May 12th 2024
'
Mutant Ballroom' released by Natternet May 26th 2024
'
Fate of the Voyager' released by Natternet June 1st 2024

All of Natternet's music is available to download for free as well as stream on the following platforms:-

Spotify   
Bandcamp
Apple Music
Amazon
Natternet Music

Further reading:

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