This week, the Boston band The Offering are in the Meet The Band spotlight. They recently released their debut album Home. Guitarist Nish George introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of The Offering.
Nish George: At one point in time, all of us, including our old members, lived and performed in Boston. We were all in different punk bands at the time, and would frequently drop in and out of each other’s shows. We all stuck out to each other in our bands because we could recognize each other’s precise metal touch in a group of bands that was, in all honesty, a little too drunk. Eventually, we started to take initiative with two or three of us at a time to play together. Alex (vocals) and I had a rapport, I had a rapport with Steve (drums), and so on. Eventually, Alex rounded everyone up into one unit, and we got to work immediately on our EP.
Describe the songwriting process for Home.
The songwriting process, for the most part, was contained between Alex and myself. I really wanted to get on the same page with him on this record. I felt with our EP, we didn’t have a unified message between the music and the lyrics. I wanted us to aim for all the same emotions.
It was streaky writing – there were days where I’d give him three, fully finished demos in a week, and then there would be a month where I couldn’t give him a passable demo. We trashed a lot of ideas since, if Alex and I don’t think we can work with it, we don’t bother trying to use it. There also was a lot going on behind the scenes in the band and in my own personal life that we had to power through to finish. Eventually, we wrapped up eight solid songs. Then I roped in Steve (drums) to help me finalize the arrangements, followed by bringing in Spencer (bass) to rehearse them and iron out any remaining kinks. Honestly, there’s nothing I would change. We made exactly what we wanted.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Probably recording the drums to “Failure (S.O.S).” I didn’t tell Steve about the trick ending. I didn’t even include it in his version of the post-production demo. Since the part was written to take the listener by surprise, I wanted Steve to track it with fresh ears. He’s an absolute monster drummer when he gets excited about playing, so it was amazing to watch him freak out and raise his level when heard it. We must have run that take for at least an hour nonstop just because he kept saying he could play it meaner or hit harder.
How would you characterize its style/sound?
Honestly, that’s such a hard question. We get asked that a lot and I never have a good enough answer. It’s just an amalgamation of my weird taste in metal music, plus a vocalist as versatile and eccentric as what’s on my music playlist. Add in the spin of the world’s most energetic caveman for a drummer and some twisted, metallic version of Les Claypool on bass, and you probably have a rough idea of what we sound like. I think anyone that likes big rock records would appreciate it even though we’re a heavy metal band.
How did you come to sign with Century Media?
We were introduced to them by Kelly Shaefer (Atheist). We had the pleasure of performing at one of his venues, and he immediately took us under his wing. Within a month of hearing us, he already had us talking to several record labels. Century Media just happened to be the one that loved us for who we were, and, most importantly, they understood that we have a very strong, detailed vision of who we want to be in ten years. They’ve given us maximum flexibility and trusted us to carve our sound with zero guidance.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
I just want us to be known. I want people to hear about us, hear Home, and understand that there’s a group of guys that truly believe metal has much more to offer as a genre. It’s been amazing to see reviewers, press, and fans acknowledge what we’ve done, not just for how good they think it is sonically, but for how we’ve accomplished what we’ve set out to do.
What has been your most memorable The Offering live show?
Either FEZEN or Wacken. FEZEN because it was the highest honor to open for and share a lounge/chat with Dream Theater and Arch Enemy. Wacken is there for obvious reasons. I’d also say another was in Florida where both Alex and myself were electrocuted by our own microphones, but that’s a different kind of memorable…
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We just wrapped up a tour in Europe, and our goal of proving ourselves to our agency and to the promoters was accomplished. Now, we’re looking for some main support dates to really perfect how Home sounds live. Considering this is an album that very much establishes our style, I want to make sure we perfect how that translates live before we tackle writing our second album.
How did you get started in music?
I was lucky enough to be raised by a dad that constantly challenged me to learn new things. He made me try several instruments, but the one that stuck was classical guitar. I was four years old at the time, so my left hand is a little bigger than my right hand!
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
My dad was probably my biggest inspiration until I realized he was actually tone-deaf the whole time! He gave me the Crossroads Festival 2004 DVD and said I had to check out this crazy guitarist called Steve Vai. That show still gives me chills. After that, I had a great guitar teacher who introduced me to Ozzy and Motley Crue, but I really just soaked up everything that was given to me from friends and family. Linkin Park, Sabbath, Korn, video game soundtracks like from Nobuo Uematsu or other virtuoso guitar players were always on my radar. Even ’90s pop and rap were huge to me, and I had a big laughably colorful Warped Tour phase for sure. It all took a bit of a turn when I had a school lecture at school where I was warned to never listen to Slipknot or Marilyn Manson. I had never heard of them before, so joke’s on them. You can guess what I did when I went home!
What’s the first rock/metal concert you attended?
My first rock concert was actually Steve Vai on his Real Illusions tour. I had seen all of his concert videos until then, but to see that in person was something else. It was like watching someone perform a two hour magic trick. I guess you’d call that rock. My first real metal show was Children of Bodom while they were promoting Blooddrunk in 2008. Between the Buried and Me and The Black Dahlia Murder opened. That show has always stuck with me for how insane and violent the mosh pits were.
What’s the last thing you binge watched?
I actually don’t watch a lot of TV anymore. I guess I had Death Note (the anime, not the live-action movie) on while I was writing Home. It’s a classic. I also did a marathon of Marvel movies leading up to Endgame, if that counts. Californication, Silicon Valley, and Community are some of my favorite TV shows that I’ll dive back into every now and then.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Our tour manager introduced me to a new-ish band called Normandie, and I think their new album is amazing, even if it walks the fine line between rock and metal. I’ve also been giving the new Motionless in White and Slipknot albums a spin. I’ve also had this band called Lowlives on my radar.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Just go pick up a copy of Home! We hit the record stores in the U.S. at the end of this month. We just want to tour extensively, and the more streams and buys we get, the better of a chance we have of playing near you. It’s either that or just check us out on social media. We have some great visual media coming to support the album very soon. So do it, and most of all, thank you for the support!
(interview published September 7, 2019)