SONIC EXCESS: PHILM was formed back in 1997, and you made a demo and gigged out for a bit, but PHILM took a hiatus for eight years. Was this due to DAVE rejoining SLAYER? And when PHILM regrouped, did you pick up right where you left off, or was everything re-evaluated?
GERRY NESTLER: I think we picked up right where we left off and made a conscious effort to do so, but very excited about starting over again.
SE: Back in January, PHILM reunited with a phone call, and the next thing, you were onstage. Did you have any time to rehearse?
NESTLER: No, we did not. The deal was, DAVE (LOMBARDO-drums) called me and said come to the Rainbow (famous concert venue in California) and bring your guitar. I didnít know what was going to happen. It actually was a blues night (at the Rainbow), and we just did what we did.
SE: With SLAYER and CIVIL DEFIANCE (GERRYís other band) taking a break, is there a rush to get everything done in as little time as possible?
NESTLER: We are not trying to rush and hurry. I think we are just always like this, and have that work ethic, and try to do as much as possible. I donít know if the time frame has anything to do with it, but I think we would be doing this anyway. Even if we didnít have this time in front of us, I think we would still be working as hard as we could.
SE: Obviously, people are going to mature after eight years. Has the music of PHILM developed and matured once you came off hiatus?
NESTLER: I donít know if the music has developed. We are still playing the same. What has changed, is that we are a lot more comfortable with it, and that can say a lot with any artist. Being comfortable with something is always a great plus.
SE: PHILM has an improvised, yet collective sound. When writing, is the process structured, or do you, PANCHO (bass), and DAVE feed off one another creatively?
NESTLER: I think that the beginning stages in the music are always very fed, and there is a lot open. Once that grid is created with the foundation that DAVE puts there, he does what he does and the rest of it; itís fed though the live performance. Working from that and the guitar is more of an ambience on top, and the bass flows onto the rhythm. Thatís pretty much the sound of the band.
SE: PHILM is tough to categorize into one subgenre. How would you describe PHILM?
NESTLER: I think itís very heavy at times. When me and DAVE got together, we were listening to a lot of FLUKE, and I think they are very eclectic and broad. We may sound redundant, but Iím trying to pinpoint it. Just extreme 20th century music I guess. I guess PHILMís sound was just created through DAVEís style and my own.
SE: With the four-song demo, do you think this is a proper introduction to PHILM, and are you going to be recording a full-length album any time soon?
NESTLER: Yes (on recording a full length album), with the proper introduction.., Iím not too sure about that. It can be considered an introduction, but we had a few days and went into the studio for a day so. Itís like we did the whole thing live. So there is not much mixing done, so itís very raw. I think our vision with the music is something we havenít touched on yet.
SE: Has there been a projected date for an album release?
NESTLER: No date yet. We are still looking for the right people to work with, and in the meantime, we are just focused on playing as much as we can. There is more to come, but what we are doing right now is the very beginning of it. I donít think much has changed since í97, other than me and DAVE being really more honed in on what this really is.
SE: I been watching a lot of the filmed footage on YouTube. Will you include this once your full-length album is released?
NESTLER: I have no idea, but that would be interesting.
SE: PHILM is hitting the road with the mighty ROB HALFORD for a few dates. Are you excited to take PHILM out of California and to a whole new region?
NESTLER: Itís real exciting. Itís the first time PHILM will be outside of Los Angeles. The guys from HALFORD are really nice guys, and itís going to be a lot of fun.
SE: After the HALFORD dates, will PHILM be adding anymore?
NESTLER: We would like to, but we will have to wait and see what we land, as far as being able to put our record together. We will have to wait and see. It seems we get approached with something new when we least expect it.
SE: How much material will you be playing for the HALFORD dates?
NESTLER: About a 45 minute set.
SE: I was watching PHILMís cover of BLACK SABBATHís ďSymptom of the UniverseĒ earlier today. Will you be playing any covers on this tour?
NESTLER: Probably, but we will choose them very carefully. DAVE was actually the one that picked ďSymptom of the UniverseĒ.
SE: This might me a ways off, but has there been any discussion about bringing PHILM over to Europe?
NESTLER: Yes, actually. Germany almost feels like DAVEís backyard, and CIVIL DEFIANCE has had the most success in Germany. Itís still early, but that is something we would love to do.
SE: Thanks for taking time to speak with us. Iím really looking forward to seeing PHILM live in Denver. Do you have any last words?
NESTLER: We are really looking forward to playing Denver and the rest of the dates, and thank you.
Interview by: Brandon Marshall
Photos by Kevin Estrada
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