Gerry Paul Nestler: Vocals, Piano & Guitars:
Gerry Nestler was born in Los Angeles, California. Inspired by the burgeoning speed and thrash metal scene of the mid to late 1980s, Nestler formed the band Civil Defiance in 1989 which quickly recorded a three-song demo. The band frequently played venues such as the Troubadour, Raji's, Water's Club and the Coconut Teaszer, where they took part in several ASCAP-sponsored 'Best Kept Secrets' industry showcases. In 1991, the group issued a self-produced 4-song demo EP, Abstract Reaction, which showcased the band's varied influences and avantgardist approach, fusing classic thrash with everything from world music to grindcore.
In 1993, Nestler and Civil Defiance began recording their debut album with producer Alex Woltman at the helm. Titled The Fishers For Souls, it was issued on the band's own Blood Orange label in 1996 and licensed to German-based company Dream Circle for a European release in 1997. Noted violinist Lili Haydn makes an appearance on the song "Man in the Moon." A second full-length album, Circus of Fear, containing songs from different recording sessions and including the out-of-print Abstract Reaction EP, was released in 1999 via GSM/Nuclear Blast in Europe only.
Following the band's European tour with Psychotic Waltz in the summer of 1997, Civil Defiance went on hiatus with Nestler and bassist Juan Antonio Perez joining forces with former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo in a new project. Initially called Letter Bomb and then PHILM, the trio eventually settled on the name Kkleq Muzzil. Nestler and Perez were dealt a setback when Lombardo got the call to re-join Slayer in 2001. In his place, they recruited local drummer George Hernandez and recorded an album, mixed by noted bassist/producer John Avila of Oingo Boingo fame, for L.A.-based indie label Criterion Records and released it in 2002.
Disbanding Kkleq Muzzil shortly thereafter, Nestler formed punk rock influenced power trio Super Rider with bassist Eddie Solis and original Civil Defiance drummer Gabe Trevizo. The band played shows in the L.A. area and issued a sole album, Everything So Right, again mixed by John Avila, in 2003. Nestler would re-team with Lombardo on DJ Spooky's 2005 album Drums of Death, sharing guitar duties alongside Living Colour's Vernon Reid and playing on the songs "Tool Element", "Kultur Krieg", and "Terra Nullius (Cyborg Rebellion on Colony Planet Zyklon 15)." That same year, Nestler, Trevizo and former Civil Defiance bassist Brian Terry would also issue a 5-song EP, The Seasons Best, via bandspace.com under the name Look Past The Stars.
By DONNA BALANCIA
The Gerry Paul Nestler record release party for his new album Mama’s Child brought fans of divergent music genres together, all casting aside their differences for one night.
That’s because the new music from Nestler and company incorporates rare elements of jazz, blues, punk and funk for an innovative crossover sound that moves forward. If only we could get people to appreciate each other for their differences the way the diverse fans of this new record do with one another.
Nestler dropped the record “Mama’s Child,” the 10-song collection, last week. The members of Nestler’s group are respected musicians representing the bands Philm and War but taking the funky jazz and avant-garde sound to the next level.
Nestler and bassist Pancho Tomaselli were in Philm together. They pulled in Max MacVeety on drums and saxophonist David Urquidi (War) and the four musicians threw down some sophisticated work that had the Redwood audience spellbound.
Mama’s Child is an intricate and fascinating collection of compositions that range from eccentric love songs to tunes that are downright honky tonk bawdy. It’s comprised of music that can be played at Coachella or a jazz festival.
The album opens with the Samba-esque “Koko My Love,” reminiscent of Brazil 66, and Traffic’s classic Low Spark of High Heel Boys. The song sounds like a groovy 1970s summer afternoon.
“Rain On The Window” is one of the saddest and most somber but beautiful songs on the record. It starts off sounding like Bob Dylan playing an Elton John piano work, and then transitions into a glam-era David Bowie-inspired journey. Perhaps it’s the reflection of what is happening in the song. Being left alone when a relationship ends is one of the most staggering and stressful realizations in life. The piano work on this by Nestler is masterful and bonds for a New York sound with the classic Evan Francis saxophone.
“Genevieve” takes elements of musical theatre and sets them against the backdrop of a slow motion carnival ride. It’s a love song that takes a roundabout way to get through the story. It’s a tip of the hat to the great Fred Neil’s haunting song “Dolphins,” perhaps best known from “The Ride” episode of The Sopranos.
“Melinda Darling,” is what a snake would sound like if he could sing. The lyrics are straightforward, “I want to stay with you, I want to pray with you I want to dance with you, Melinda darling.” But as they say, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it, and in this case there is an evil-sounding overtone, likely used to lure the unsuspecting Melinda Darling. The composition is reminiscent of the award-winning work of renowned South African film composer Trevor Jones, who scored, among other films, “Bad Influence.”
“Glass Bottom Boat” is a song you could imagine being played by a big jazz band or by a colorful character on Sesame Street. It’s got an enthusiastic upbeat funk style that could get just about anyone up to dance. The song encourages people to kick of their shoes off and have a great time, no matter who’s watching.
The title cut “Mama’s Child” brings to mind a tough neighborhood in New York City on a slick, rainy night. It’s an ode to the hope that no matter how loud the cacophony of life can be, relief is on the way … one day. It’s the same kind of hope that music fans have that they’ll stumble upon something really great and at the very least, interesting and fun.
01. Koko My Love
02. Rain On The Window
03. Soul True
06. Little Marie
08. Glass Bottom Boat
09. Mama’s Child
Gerry Paul Nestler – Vocals, Pianos & Guitars
Pancho Tomaselli – Bass
Max MacVeety – Drums
Evan Francis – Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute
Recorded and mixed by Chris Sorem at Nest Recorders, Los Angeles. Additional Recording by Michael Coleman at Figure 8 Studios, Brooklyn, N.Y. Trombones on “Little Marie” and “Glass Bottom Boat” played by Jim Messbauer and recorded by Jake Rusconi at Robyn Newhouse Hall, Springfield, Mass.
PHILM, CIVIL DEFIANCE mainman GERRY PAUL NESTLER announces ‘Mama’s Child’ solo album
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 20, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist GERRY PAUL NESTLER has announced the release of his debut solo album, “Mama’s Child”. The album is scheduled for a September 12 release and will be celebrated with a Nestler live appearance at The Redwood Bar in Downtown L.A. that same day. A lyric video for the song “Koko My Love”, featuring vintage photographs taken around Los Angeles during the early 1950s by Nestler’s artist father, Frank Nestler.
First coming to prominence with Southern California avantgarde thrashers CIVIL DEFIANCE, who cultivated a strong cult following in Europe with a pair of critically acclaimed releases in the 1990s, followed by albums with KKLEQ MUZZIL, SUPER RIDER and PHILM, featuring former SLAYER drummer, Dave Lombardo, Nestler has long been one of the most unique and daring musicians in progressive circles. Dialing down the loud in favor of a more introspective, acoustic based approach, “Mama’s Child” marks the latest addition to Nestler’s eclectic body of work. “When I went into the studio to start work on the album in the spring of 2016, I was interested in recording an album for the songs I had been writing on the piano”, reveals Nestler. “The songs reflected the sounds I was hearing from playing and listening to recordings of the early 1900's, some popular, others more obscure, on through the late 1960's and into the early 70's.”
Assembling the album over the course of several months in Los Angeles and New York, Nestler recruited a formidable supporting cast of players, including bassist Pancho Tomaselli (PHILM, WAR), drummer Max MacVeety, and long-time Mike Keneally affiliate, saxophonist/flutist Evan Francis, aided by engineer/producer Chris Sorem at NEST Recorders in East Los Angeles where most of the tracking was done.
“I had met Max (MacVeety) at a PHILM show in L.A.. I asked him if he would be interested in playing drums on an album I was putting together. He was intrigued when I mentioned that the music I was working on had me on the piano instead of the electric guitar and how I had been influenced by Roberta Flack's work with drummer Ray Lucas. Max recommended a studio in East L.A., NEST Recorders, which turned out to be the perfect place as it had a 1910 Steinway piano and an echo chamber. We laid down the initial tracks with Chris (Sorem). Not long after that I left for New York where Evan (Francis) tracked in the woodwinds at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn with Michael Coleman at the helm. There was also a short visit to Springfield, Massachusetts where Jim Messbauer added some trombone to the tracks. A few months later it was back to LA to finish up and mix with Chris.”
Steeped in ever changing shades of jazz and blues, and conjuring vibes akin to Tom Waits and THE BEATLES’ more experimental moments, “Mama’s Child” is the type of bold musical curveball most artists dare not throw these days. “I never looked at "Mama's Child" as being a gamble though, just stretching my head, I guess”, reflects Nestler. “I don’t know if this will be the last of its kind for me or the first of more to come. Above all, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to bring forth something, understanding that overvaluation and undervaluation are inevitable results in the business of art. The creative urge continues not to feel the bliss of generation, but a higher ordinance under a compulsion to ceaselessly work. Part of that work for me is to learn to change and grow, but more importantly, the ability to create something that pays homage to those hidden areas of the mind that carry beauty and light.”
“Mama’s Child” track listing:
01. Koko My Love
02. Rain On The Window
03. Soul True
06. Little Marie
08. Glass Bottom Boat
09. Mama’s Child
“Mama’s Child” will be released on The Wild Red Mother Records on vinyl and as a digital download.