Interview by Alan Daly
© Olga Kuzmenko
Photos by Olga Kuzmenko
Nick Oliveri is widely known as a bassist. He has performed with bands such as: Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and Dwarves. We were able to meet up with Nick in Dublin at The Voodoo Lounge and interview him.
Alan: Welcome back to Dublin, Nick. We met you last year when you played in the Thomas House here in Dublin.
Nick: Oh yeah. I remember that. It was great. Everybody was singing along and making me feel really good. The Thomas house was such a pleasure to do a gig. I remember we had some merch and we gave some away, and sold some super cheap, and we did it right off the stage. It was a special night. At that point, I hadn’t come to Dublin to play for some time, maybe Slane castle or something, and I’d rather come to here than to go to London, you know? London’s always a good stop, but this is special and it’s harder to get here, so it’s always better. Once you get here, there’s a pay-off. I came from a place that when bands came, you went to go to see them and it was an important night, you know?
Alan: Speaking of hard to get here, you had some difficulties getting here today?
Nick: Today we had the arm of our windshield wiper broke and my friend here drove in the rain to get me here, and I spelt. I can pass out whenever a motor is humming. I’m like a baby in a baby seat. But we made it here.
Alan: And it was a great show tonight with a great turn out especially for a Monday night. I remember the last time in the Thomas house it was so hot and sweaty in there.
Nick: Yeah, I was soaked. It was like I jumped into a pool with my clothes on.
Alan: Well done for keeping your clothes on. You’re notorious for stripping off on stage!
Nick: The thing about acoustic is that I can’t get nude. It would be so weird standing there by myself with my guitar. The bass, I play down lower, and it kind of covers my “area”, and I can pull it away sometimes. But with a guitar it’s like my dick is just hanging there. That would make people feel so uncomfortable. I should do it one time. Like the last show I do in my life, I’ll play nude. I’ll be like 70 years old and scare everybody. “He’s got a seventy year old penis and his balls are gross!”. I’m just kidding. I could never do that acoustic. We played in Bristol last night, and some guy was like “Take off your clothes” and I was like “Dude, I’m not going to take of my clothes. Are you crazy?” If a girl asked, it might be different!
Alan: So in the twelve months since we last spoke, what have you been doing? We know you released your album Leave Me Alone. What else?
Nick: Yeah. I have a new Dwarves record out, that I played on, which I’m proud to be on; The Dwarves Invented Rock & Roll, on Schnitzel. BL’AST is making a new record. We’re just did a new recording with Joey Castillo on drums. We probably talked about it last year, but it was still on the floor. When I get home between August 17th and September 1st, I’ll be doing all the bass and drums at that point. So yeah… I’ve been staying busy. And I joined the Dwarves as not only a studio bass player, but Blag [Dahlia] asked me to do the live shows full time. I did a tour with them just recently. I haven’t been part of the “band band” since 1995 or something like that. When I was a permanent fixture in the band for live shows. But I was a studio player with the Dwarves for 22 years and I’m proud of that. So when he asked me to do the live shows, I was like “Of course. I have your band logo tattooed on my arm. Of course I’ll do it”.
Alan: Could you persuade the Dwarves to come and play in Ireland?
Nick: Well, we would totally do it, but I don’t know that Blag knows there’s a demand for it. But I think he’d come here and be pleasantly surprised and happy. I think it’d be a great thing. I think people don’t understand about the Dwarves music is that it’s fast and hardcore and punk rock, but there’s things inside the music that’s much more than just that. Dwarves have a lot of things musically that makes it hard to play.
Alan: Moving on to your recent album Leave Me Alone. We know what the first track ‘Human Cannonball Explodes’ is all about, which we talked about the last time. You mentioned falling asleep in the car today, so we’re glad you were in the passenger seat this time.
Nick: Yeah, that’s right.
Alan: Tell us about ‘Get Lost (With Me)’. I see Rex Everything is credited as a guest on that track. Why did you credit yourself in that way?
Nick: Well, because I had different guests doing the guitar solos on that album, but I played guitar on that track. When I play bass, I’m myself, but when I play guitar in the Dwarves, I’m Rex Everything. I started out in the Dwarves as a guitar player on the Sugarfix Tour as Rex Everything. So I put it down as that to bring my alter-ego back.
Alan: Did you play guitar on other tracks on the album?
Nick: I did leads on a few like ‘Come and Your Gone’. I’ve been working on a new record, writing new stuff on drums like I did with that one. The riffs are coming out kinda crazy on that. And I want to be better on drums than I was on that, so it’s taking me a while to start recording it, because I want to push myself to play drums better. I think that’s important. I don’t want to be a one trick pony. I don’t want it to be just the same or worse.
Alan: When would you like to have that record finished?
Nick: It’ll definitely be out by next year. I’ll have it recorded and out. I should have it done by February. I have some other stuff going on with BL’AST and Dwarves, so the rest of this year is taken up. I had to turn down a Teenage Time Killers thing which is [Dave] Grohl and Reed Mullin from COC. They asked me to do a show on the 12th in Los Angeles, but I won’t be able to do it because I’m doing the Dwarves stuff. But BL’AST is making a new record, and I’m super excited about it.
Alan: Unfortunately, we’re getting told to wrap it up. It was great to see you again, and it was great to see you taking the time to chat with your fans and sign some records and tickets.
Nick: Sorry for keeping you waiting.