Voices of Metal – Joe Nurre of Shaded Enmity & The Jeff Loomis Band
In this week’s edition of Voices of Metal we turn to a guitarist who has spent years making brutal music with Shaded Enmity. We recently heard that Joe Nurre had joined up with Jeff Loomis to go on tour, we caught up with him to talk about his tone, the Seattle metal scene and his playing with Jeff.
How did you get started playing guitar?
“When I was 12 years old, my mom had an old classical guitar from the 1950’s that sat in our living room underneath the piano and I picked it up one day and started to mess around on it. My mom only knew a couple chords and so she got me a few lessons with this guy named Frank Bradford and I ended up playing the classical guitar until I got my first electric guitar at age 14.”
You cranked out some pretty brutal songs with Shaded Enmity, how do you feel about now being able to play with Jeff Loomis. Can you describe how your playing styles go together?
“Shaded Enmity has been a very important band to me because I have put all of my money, time, and effort into the band. It is also the only project that I have written 100% of the music. Shaded Enmity has allowed me to vent my frustrations and everything else through the music which is why it is so “in your face” a lot of the time. When I was in high school, one of the biggest influences on my songwriting and playing was the band Nevermore. I probably spun the “Dead Heart in a Dead World” record over 400 times. If you would have told me I would be playing with Jeff Loomis 10 years later, I would have never believed you. Playing guitar with Jeff is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
“Obviously playing music for a living is what I want to do and have wanted to do for years. I will admit that there has been quite a bit of frustration in not being able to push forward with my own band Shaded Enmity. After sending our cds to countless labels and being turned down many many times, you start to wonder if maybe things aren’t ever going to work out, or maybe you aren’t good enough, as the music industry is a tough scene. When Jeff asked if I would be interested in playing with him, it felt like a new door was finally being opened and that I could pursue an actual music career. It was extremely intimidating at first when I sat down with Jeff. My hands would sweat hardcore, and I was very nervous. Jeff is so laid back and easy going, that it didn’t take long for me to be comfortable around him. Everything came very natural.”
What kind of gear do you currently use?
“Currently I am using a 7 string guitar from the company Strictly 7 Guitars. They are a fairly new company based out of Ohio, and they sent me the signature model of an artist named Ola Englund, called the Solar 7 to use on a 24 date tour run that I did with Jeff. I love the guitar and I am continuing to work with them. The Solar 7 has Seymour Duncan Blackouts. I actually used a fractal axe fx on our tour run, going through an Orange Cab. I liked the axe fx, but I will probably be switching to the EVH head for our next tour. For Shaded Enmity I use an ESP LTD Dave Mustaine guitar called the DV8 back when he was endorsed by ESP. That guitar has Seymour Duncan passive pickups in it. I have used the Peavey XXX amp head for at least 10 years with that band and other projects. I run that through a Marshall 1960 A cab. I don’t use any fx pedals at the moment. When I practice at home, I use the Zoom G3 unit.”
What bands and players have personally inspired you?
“I grew up in the 90’s, so bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, The Offspring, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, and many more were huge influences on my playing. For the longest time Kurt Cobain was my biggest influence. Not necessarily on my playing, but in the way that he wrote his songs. When I got into high school, I started discovering bands like Nevermore, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Morbid Angel and many others. I would say the players who have had the most influence on me would be Jeff Loomis, Alexi Laiho, Joe Satriani, Billy Corgan, and Michael Amott.”
How would you describe the Seattle metal scene?
“The Seattle Metal scene is congested with tons of thrash bands and black metal bands. All these bands could be a lot better if they put more time into their songwriting and stage performance. I have seen countless local bands out here all wondering why they can’t make it, or why their toaster oven recording isn’t having the same effect that a Burzum record has. If a lot of the bands would focus more on writing original material rather than copying, I think the scene would be a lot better and maybe people would actually want to go to shows. Going to a local metal show in Seattle for the most part is very boring. As a member of the audience, you want to be entertained and impressed. You paid to go to a show, so you want to get your money’s worth.”
Do you have any advice you could offer players who are just starting to play shows in converted bomb shelters and otherwise dilapidated buildings?
“The best thing that you can do as a band, is to spend your money on a good quality recording. Not many people drive around blasting local bands recordings in their car because they simply don’t sound good. Granted, you are going to pay more, but in the end, the product you receive is totally worth it. I have gone this direction with Shaded Enmity and I believe that is what has helped to set us apart. We are a local band that doesn’t sound like a local band if that makes any sense. Don’t spend all your time playing local shows either. If you are playing once a week in your city, that is too much. Especially if it is in front of the same 20 people every week. Expand your horizons and look outside of your city. It is fine to play local shows every once in a while, but if you are doing it weekly, most people will get bored with you very quick. Contact your local club owner and see what you have to do to get on national act shows.
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