by: Casey Winters
Wade Burden and Nat Long have been playing and writing songs together for the last 14 years. We sat down and talked with them about this long journey, working with other musicians, and their band, The Born to Kills, coming out of the music closet.
This was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever been a part of. These guys are great musicians and great fun. They’re famous in Lubbock for hosting the most rockin house shows. Tonight (May 16), they will be a featured band along with Levi The Poet, Rattlesnake Milk, Lenora Sol, and Slow Static. Like The Born to Kills on Facebook here.
Tonight’s free show is at Masters Of Quilting House 1916 45th St. starting at 7p.m.
New Slang: Where’d your name The Born to Kills come from?
Wade Burden: There was a gang of Vietnamese immigrants right after the Vietnam War came to a close, and I think it came to an end in the early 80s. They didn’t understand the English language very well. They just knew they had seen these soldiers in Vietnam had written “born to kill” on their helmets, so they decided they were “the born to kills.” We thought it was a great name for a punk band and we threw it around years ago sort of as a joke, and it always stuck around because it was better than other names…and weird. When we lost to Southern Lights and were looking for a new name, it came down to two or three different options, we decided it was the one that was the most interesting and unused.
NS: Why haven’t I seen or heard The Born to Kills before? Have you ever played in one of your house shows?
Nat Long: No, we think the fewer people to hear our music, the better [laughs]. It’s like a club that only lets three or four people in.
WB: We usually don’t do the acoustic thing. Normally, we’re a four-piece and we’re really loud and it seems sort of obnoxious to ask people to come to my house to hear me play. We did about ten shows last year but our drummer had to leave town, so we didn’t have a drummer for a while and got busy with work and just recently decided to start working on it again.
…“We’re aggressive, upbeat, kind of punk, kind of garage rock.” -Wade Burden…
NS: Who are your influences?
NL: We’d be lying if we said we weren’t influenced by a bunch of ’80s bands we don’t even care to mention [laughs].
WB: We’re both into U2, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Clash, Black Flag, Credence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, ZZ Top and so many more.
NS: Who are your favorite local bands?
NL: Thrift Store Cowboys, of course. The thing about the Lubbock music scene is that it’s a small town so everyone kind of plays with everyone which is really cool. It’s so eclectic and we’ve done a few shows with Estelline, Archimedes, Watch Out!, voltREvolt.
WB: Rattlesnake Milk, Grady Spencer, and The Dry Heeves are also great. It’s just great how supportive Lubbock bands are of each other. Even though we have our own styles of music, most of us are friends and we can collaborate.
…“Per Capita, Lubbock has slightly more than its fair share of good bands.” –Nat Long…
NS: Tell us about this EP you’ve been recording?
NL: We’ve been recording at Amusement Park Recording Studios with Scott Faris and it’s been a blast. We’ve recorded three songs and are planning to have two or three more done in the next month. It’s taken about three months to mix.
WB: And it’s taken so long because we’ve had to work around so many schedules and honestly, we’re new to the whole process. Once we got the hang of things, since it was our first, we were probably a little over-involved. I mean, it was our first time to really do this, and we care a lot so we wanted to do everything right. We’re hoping to release our EP by the end of the summer.
NL: It was more than our “musical baby” and closer to a special needs cat we adopted…with a gimpy leg [laughs].