[Editor’s Note: This piece marks our first publishing of an interview from BadassConcert.com, a website which promotes Nebraska’s metal scene. The interview — conducted by Damascus Wootz — was originally executed for and published on their website. We thank them for their help in increasing our coverage of Nebraska metal music. Visit them on Facebook here.]
Most of the time, when a local band throws in the towel, it is very much a non-event.
I think it typically goes like this: “Man, whatever happened to so-and-so, I haven’t seen them in forever!” “You’re right, I don’t think they are playing anymore, that’s too bad, I wonder what happened.”
South-central Nebraska hard rockers, Ninefall, have decided not to go this route. On Sept. 20, they will write the final page in their own long history. It is on this day that they will share the stage at Gutterz Fun Center in Holdrege, Neb., with fellow Kearney metallers Slantpiece, and put their 15+ year run to rest.
I recently sat down and had a chat with Ninefall’s vocalist/guitarist, Chad Biggs, to talk about the band’s history and their upcoming grand finale.
Damascus Wootz: Chad, thanks for taking some time to talk with me. I know you have a Ninefall farewell show coming up in Holdrege, but let’s talk about the beginning, how did Ninefall get started?
Chad Biggs: Well, myself and our other guitarist J. D. McClary had played in another band which had recently quit playing, and we were looking for a drummer and bassist, which are the two hardest things to find. A friend of ours who worked at the local music store gave us Brian Swanson’s name. Gave him a call and he just happened to be a bass player with a drummer. Kinda hit the lottery on that one.
DW: That is lucky! How long ago was that?
CB: Our first meeting and jam session was January 2nd, 1999.
DW: Holy shit, and you’ve had the same lineup for almost 15 years?
CB: No. We’ve had a couple drummers and a couple guitar players. Nate Christensen was our original drummer and plays in Rift now here in Nebraska, and Eric Lauer played after J.D. but moved down to Houston and plays in a great band called Dead Man’s Ransom. But, J.D. is back with us and so is our second drummer Matt Eigenberg. We actually quit playing in 2002 but decided to do reunion shows last year.
DW: What made you decide to do reunion shows after such a long time not playing?
CB: Our original drummer Nate proposed the idea for a one-off show on a bill with Rift. Went for it and both drummers played the songs they had recorded while in the band.
DW: Very cool, did you have any musical outlet during the hiatus?
CB: Nate had continued to play, as well as Eric. Matt had played in a band around here called Flat Head 8.
DW: Why did you decide that this show coming up on Sept. 20 would be the end?
CB: Well, honestly, we’re all older and most of us have families and busy schedules and finding the time to do shows has been more challenging than we thought. Plus, we figured it would be nice to know when our last show was, and enjoy it, and tell everyone to come out and check it out, because this is it, man! We had a decent amount of radio play and support back in the day and wanted to end it properly for all the fans of our stuff, since it didn’t the first time.
DW: For sure, closure is important. Over the years with Ninefall what would you say has been the most memorable experience?
CB: Oh man … There’s so many. Just the dream and watching it get rolling. I told those guys at our first jam we would make a CD and I think they thought I was crazy. Recording was a dream come true. Playing and having people spread the word and support us was amazing. Hearing us on the radio and go into decent rotation and end up in the Hall of Fame for consecutive nights at #1 was awesome. Getting to play great shows. Right up to being on a cool bill with major label bands touring on Ozzfest that year, to just coming home and having a letter or message on my machine from an A&R rep from Elektra or Universal Records. Things I thought never in a million years would ever happen. It was great times.
DW: Well that’s what it’s all about, the good friends, good times, and great music. And there isn’t much better way to close it out than being close to home with Slantpiece. Any last thoughts for our readers, Chad?
CB: Well, man, we just want to thank everyone who ever showed up. Bought a CD, told a friend, whatever. We encourage people to check out and like our Facebook page as we are always putting videos of new and old shows on there. We have both of our albums available for free download on reverberation.com for people who never had one, or the people who scratched theirs up using it as a beer coaster. We hope to see a lot of faces on Sept. 20 in Holdrege — the town we started in — for our last show. Anyone who wears their old Ninefall t-shirt gets to stage dive for free and anyone who wears their old Ninefall shirt and nothing else gets to have their picture taken with Slantpiece. We hope to have a good time!