The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world












TANYA: G‘day, I trust you guys are well!.. On behalf of the Rockpit and myself, thanks for chatting to us.


Right back at ya!

TANYA: So first things first, Can you explain to our readers and people who are unfamiliar with the band in three words Nat Col and the Kings’ style of music?


Nat Col & the Kings has its big fiery stompin’ feet rooted into Blues music! Having said that, it’s by all means not traditional or laid back. The stage show is pretty loud powerful but feel good.


TANYA: I have to keep reverting myself back to the name Nat Col, and the Kings when I try to say your name out loud instead of Nat King Cole haha, How did the name come about and the creation of Nat Col and the Kings and what is the history behind the band?


We’re terrible at naming things! I’d probably outsource naming my kid when the time comes. Ha! A rapper friend of mine named us. Rapper, “Yo you got a name yet?” Me, “Fuck no! Just a list of bad names”. Rapper, “Who’s in the band?”. Me, “Myself, Col and a bunch of mates!” Rapper, “Why don’t you call it Nat Col & the Kings ha-ha”. Me, “Done! Awesome!”.

Nat Col & the Kings, for us, is a means to connect with people by playing the music we love with our best mates – Going back to what it’s all about!


TANYA: You guys have been playing since you were a young age, with this in mind, was this the driving force of getting together?


Not particularly. Col & I met through a mutual friend Greg Clarke who was doing sound for The Screaming Jets at the time. I was fed up with the “main stream” industry that surrounded me and wanted someone to team up with and play some Rock ’n’ Roll! Someone that I can really let loose with, experiment (loudly), drink beer and have some fun. Music had lost its fun when it became about the business and I was chasing someone who was loud and proud and up for some fun! Hence Col! I knew from our first jam that we’d be in a band together!


TANYA: With both of you having different musical pasts, Nat, especially you with growing up with the ‘blues’ music and playing with a lot of famous ‘blues’ artists, who is the songwriter out of you two? And do the two different musical backgrounds reflect on your song writing?


I write the songs but the Nat Col & the Kings sound comes from fusing all our musical backgrounds together.


TANYA: ‘Breaking out’ has especially got that hard rock riff to it but also a ‘bluesy’ feel to it, was it intentional to mix the two types of styles to form that ‘bluesy/rock’ feel? And is that the style of music you are aiming for in the future?


That’s definitely one aspect of our style! I can’t escape the blues no matter how hard I try. It’s in my blood just as rock is in Col’s.


TANYA: How do you usually write your songs? Do you work on separate person’s idea, or do you al; collaborate?  


I generally come up with the bare bones at home with an acoustic guitar. Sometimes, I have a good idea on what I want the other players to play. We’ll take it to the rehearsal room where the boys will put their own stamp on it.. Sometimes it will all turn to shit, sometimes the song survives. After going backwards and forwards from the studio to the rehearsal room, we take it on the road. This for me is where the song turns into a “Nat Col & the Kings” track. A live gig will make you play things that you would never play in the studio. Magic.

TANYA: Since the EP has been launched you have played quite a few shows around the country, what has the response been like?


You aren’t as in tune with the building process when you are signed to a major label as what you are when you are doing it yourself (Indi). For us, having major label backgrounds, we’ve really noticed every new fan that walks in the door, every spot on the charts, every hit online, every new addition to the team. It’s an amazing feeling watching the beast grow and we’re always surprised! Nothing makes us happier then when we feel people connecting with our music and this tour has been all that! The crowds are getting bigger; the fans are getting crazier… To look out to the audience and hear people singing the verse of the song that I forgot the lyrics to…ha-ha! It’s fucking awesome! 


TANYA: Lets talk about the EP, Personally I like the song ‘ Count on me’ it has that sexy sleazy feel to it, which song do you both like playing the best from the EP? Do you have a favourite?


Aaaaaa it varies! I have to ignore the new songs we’re road testing because you always fall for newer songs…. For me, I would say “Lucky Waves” is one of my favourites. Not just because I get moved by the song but because the song really pushes my abilities. That song does not work if I’m not in the present moment playing from my heart. It drags, falls over and dies. Lucky Waves is the song that takes everything from me to do it properly - emotionally, technically and even spiritually… But it’s for that reason why it’s the most rewarding. You only get what you give!

TANYA: The song ‘ Can’t we all just get along’ you performed at your charity gig, can you explain how that came about?


Can’t We All Get Along (off our second EP) is a song about uniting and respecting each others differences. It sounds cliché but it’s a message that us humans don’t seem to be hearing! It seemed appropriate for the charity gig put together by Col. Something like 50 kid drummers on stage playing it! It was crazy! Goodtimes!


TANYA: Nat, over the years you have encountered with a few musicians such as Mark Knopfler, BB king, Tommy Emmanuel, Robben Ford, Aaron Neville, Robert Plant, Deep Purple and the list goes on, who can you say has been the most influential of your career?


It’d have to be Jimmy and Diesel! It was the first tour I ever did back when I was 10. Those guys taught me about “giving all”! I’d watch them both come off stage dripping in sweat after turning themselves inside out on stage… It left a mark on my soul. I feel like I’ve ripped off the crowd and myself, if I have something left in the tank at the end of a set. There have been other major influences but that’s where it all started for me.


TANYA: You also played as guest guitarist with Electric Mary at the world cup in 2009, what was that like? And with flying to different countries, has it cured your fear of flying now?

Damn you’ve done your research! Nice! Electric Mary helped me get reacquainted with my guitar. It was a very necessary tour for me to do before launching NCK. No it sadly didn’t cure my flying phobia so WA, count yourselves lucky cos I’m putting myself through a bit to play to you guys!


TANYA: What music/ artists are you both listening to right now? And who were your influences whilst growing up?


Growing up I listened to BB, Stevie Ray, Roy Buchanan, Diesel… Hit high school during peak grunge and listened to Nirvana, Soundgarden and Rage… Lately I’ve been listening to old Stones (Exhile), Aerosmith, Dead Weather, Little Feat… So many different things… From Aus I’m LOVING Dallas Frasca and The Snowdroppers there are some great blues based acts in Aus at the moment.

TANYA: Do you both prefer recording or performing live?  


Both! I get more emotionally and physically out of playing live but it’s also pretty hard to beat the birthing process of a song in the studio.


TANYA: What do you think are your highs and lows of being a musician?


Nothing beats playing on stage to a packed house and connecting with people via music! It is its own language and brings people together. To watch people “let go” and loose themselves is amazing! It’s so rewarding. On the flip side, it is fucking hard work. Worrying about money, the pressures of putting on a great gig, dealing with different personalities on tour, functioning on no sleep, little food…The odd gig that is a fizzer hurts the soul, “Here, you haven’t finished your humble pie! EAT!”.. On a list there are way more negatives than positives but the highs make it all worth it! (You’ve caught me on a good day ;)


TANYA: You guys look like you have a lot of fun whilst touring, do you both get on well or do you sometimes have ‘misunderstandings?’


We all get on great! I think we’ve all learnt lessons from the previous bands we’ve been in. Sure we have misunderstandings but when you eliminate ego, you can sort anything out. But ask me that question in another 2 years time ;)

TANYA: What do the band like doing in their spare time outside of music? Any hobbies?


Is there a life outside of music?? Wow! Ha! I love surfing (I’m still wearing L-plates), and love my MMA. Col lives amongst nature and LOVES working on his land.. Hmmm Can’t speak for the other guys too much.


TANYA: So come on, please tell us, what are each others bad habits?


When I’m nervous on a plane, it helps if I bend my arms and flap like a bird. It’s publicly embarrassing but it gets me through. Haha! Col drives like he drums, Kenny is a prodder! If he finds an emotional button in the tour bus, he’ll push it! The girls? Well we gotta new one so I’m going to be nice and say that she has no bad habits. (We want to keep her). ALL of us debate! We all have different views on sensitive topic - Definitely one way to keep yourselves awake on a long journey.


TANYA: If you could create a festival stage, which 3 bands would you invite and why?


I’m going to go Aussie…. Dallas Frasca, Snow Droppers and Delta Riggs…. Because I want to re-introduce today’s blues music to Australia!


TANYA: What do you think is the most important, the riff or the lyrics?


The guitar ;) Always the guitar.


TANYA: You have now marked the end of the ‘Coming Home’ Tour, So what can we expect from Nat Col and the Kings in the future? Another tour/album/single? And will you be coming back over to Perth in the near future?


We have a new EP coming out at the end of this year which will be accompanied with a tour. An album is in the makings and possibly some sexy collaborations! I have very very fond memories of WA as a kid, so we’ll definitely be making it a priority… Having said that, it depends on you guys at the end of the day ;)


TANYA: What can people expect from your shows? And what type of audiences do you mostly attract?


A very high energy loud firey blues based set that will tighten up your heart strings sooooo tight that they’ll be resonating for days after! It’s always such a feel good night… Audiences vary. It’s so broad. Mainly people in their 90’s looking forward to a Nat King Cole cover show! ;)


TANYA: How do you see yourselves in ten years from now?


Getting Itineraries that have countries, time differences, planes, boats, and racing buses on it. In ten years I’d like to be connecting with the world. Having said that, we’re enjoying what we’re doing right now – Most of the time is spent on the journey so best enjoy it.


TANYA: And finally…. The question what we ask everyone, what is the meaning of life?


I keep working it out when I’m on stage but as soon as I finish the set, I forget!



TANYA: On behalf of the Rockpit and myself, I would like to wish you guys all the best for the future and we look forward to seeing you back in Perth in the near future, any last words for us at the Rockpit?


Thanks for the love and being a part of showing what’s real!







By Tanya Hadlington