Capital Times – Nathaniel Rateliff Feature
Nathaniel Rateliff enjoying his ride on high-octane soul
JOSHUA M. MILLER | Special to the Cap Times Jun 1, 2016
If you managed to snag one of the tickets to the sold-out Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats and Lord Huron co-headlining bill at the Orpheum Theater Wednesday, consider yourself lucky and smart.
While both bands have fairly sizable fan bases, the Denver-based Rateliff and his soul and R&B-infused band have been selling out venues across the globe not even a year after its self-titled debut was released.
“It’s always exciting to have people come and want to hear us play,” Rateliff said recently during a phone conversation. “We never expected people to like the record so much, so it’s been really exciting.”
The band recently enjoyed only its third break from touring in the last year, so Rateliff said he was happy to relax a bit back home before starting back up.
“I really love playing the shows but I love being home now,” he said. “Because I’m hardly ever there.”
Rateliff had previously been best known as a singer-songwriter, having released a couple solo albums, but this band has been a different kind of animal. Soul and R&B have always been a constant for Rateliff, and one day he decided to give being a soul singer a shot.
“At first I didn’t expect this project that I was doing to be full time,” he says. “But it’s been fun and a real change of pace. I’m glad people are enjoying it.”
Since releasing their debut, the band has been putting their blood, sweat and tears into performing the music in venues around the world ever since. While it can be tiring touring all the time, Rateliff said there’s always something new and exciting to keep things from getting dull.
“We have some new songs we’ve been working on,” he said. “It’s different every night because there’s a different crowd of people in a different city. And we try to get up there and work hard.”
They also have taken time to make fun music videos, such as the Blues Brothers inspired video for “S.O.B.” and the more recently released “I Need Never Get Old.” Greg Barnes, a friend of the band, directed both videos. “I Need Never Get Old,” finds Rateliff and his band members getting into a series of wild antics in the studio before donning grey hair.
“It was a lot of fun. We shot it again in London as he happened to be there on tour,” Rateliff said. “It was a lot of work. It was a 15-hour day especially for me personally. But it was fun and everyone had a fun time doing it.”
The band is co-headlining the Madison show and many of their other tour dates with Los Angeles-based folk group Lord Huron. Rateliff said that they had reached out to them about playing shows together.
“We kind of just reached out to each other and tried to make friends with each other,” Rateliff said. “I think it’ll be a good time.”
The band’s momentum doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Rateliff said he’s been writing new songs for the next Night Sweats album.
“I’m hoping to get another record or at least the songs written for it in the next year,” he said. “And keep doing the work that people are getting excited about. Just working hard and having a good time. I’m learning that I’m capable of doing a lot more than I thought was possible.”