Barreling toward the release of their third studio album, Rebel Songs on December 17, 2021, melodic alt-punk band Nathan Gray & The Iron Roses has just announced a 20-date US tour with BlackGuyFawkes. Kicking off on February 25, 2022 at Askew in Providence, RI, the tour winds its way west making several stops out to Milwaukee, WI (3/7), Chicago, IL (3/9), back east with a show in Brooklyn, NY (3/16), and ending in Philadelphia, PA on March 18th.
With nearly two years absent from the road, the prospect of upcoming tour dates thrills frontman Nathan Gray. “It’s the connection that I am most excited about,” he smiles. “Any time I am not on the road, there is an intense void in my life because being on stage is like my personal therapy couch. There is a very palpable energy exchange that happens within live music. It’s very symbiotic – I need my audience as much as they need me! Not being able to tour for so long was a real challenge for me to stay above the darkness mentally – that’s why I wrote the album that I did!”
Refusing to allow this confinement due to COVID to block his creativity, Gray and the band turned inward to music and created one of their most anthemic and passionate albums to date. Fired up by both the isolation as well as in response to the division caused by the previous administration, they created a stellar album of fists-raised rallying cries. “The inspiration both musically and lyrically came from just seeing a lot of the darkness surrounding us, and seeing it taking over so many people during a difficult time in the world (and in this country), especially within the last four or five years,” Gray says. “The darkness was being allowed too big a place in this world, and Rebel Songs is my rebellion to that – it’s a call for joy as an act of revolution. Seeing greed and bigotry and hatred, and even the way groups were playing to people’s brokenness, which was very calculatedly being exploited by politicians and much of the upper class, shattered my heart. The entire album is a rebellion against that darkness. A lot of horrible political opinions reside in hopelessness and the best way to combat that nihilism is to show people that there IS hope and they don’t HAVE to be broken and sad – there’s a light and that light is right there inside of them.”
While the tempo and delivery of his current music may not be as aggressively rapid as his output of his hardcore roots in BoySetsFire, the passion and conviction is still very much alive in the alternative Rebel Songs. Set for release on December 17, 2021, the 12 track album was produced by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Hot Water Music, Circa Survive) and radiates the roaring renegade energy that the title suggests.
“Well for one, it is wildly more vulnerable and nerve-wracking to sing these lyrics as opposed to screaming them,” Gray says about the shift in musical direction. “There’s no place to hide the words. It’s no longer range induced. It is a very exposed feeling, but it is exactly what I needed, and what my music needed – to be stripped back down to its core, and put a focus on the message itself. In my own journey through healing, I started to understand that no one can influence change in the world without turning that inward to heal themselves first. As such, what we do in our own lives influences our political leanings and world view.”