Winter’s Wake Winterview: Nomad Queen


Just a few more hours to go until Winter’s Wake 2013 officially kicks off with the Thursday night pre-fest show! So here’s an interview with one of tonight’s bands!!

As I’ve been doing all along, since there have been so many different bands to talk to, I’m keeping these relatively short and sweet. There should be just enough here for you (the reader) to get a bit of background info about each band’s history, and enough so that you can get excited about seeing every single one of them this weekend!

For this “Winterview” I talked to Justin Gizzi, who plays bass in Nomad Queen




VOS: Hello, and thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!

JG: Thank you! It’s wonderful to be here. Take my wife, please.

VOS: How are you?

JG: Outstanding. Thank you.

VOS: Would you mind introducing yourself and the rest of the band for the readers?

JG: I’m Justin Gizzi and I play bass in Nomad Queen. Chris Burneisen and Brian Gallagher are our guitar players. Shayontani Banerjee is our singer, and Nick Tupi plays drums. Shayontani goes by “Shani” (Shawny), for short.


VOS: I understand Nomad Queen have been around for nearly a year now, although I’ve only seen the name a few times, in the line-up of a few shows… Can you tell me a little bit about the band’s history, including how you guys came together, and what you’ve been up to since then?

JG: Adam MacGregor, guitarist for Brown Angel, contacted me about a side band, or project, he was working on with Nick and Shani. I was big fan of Adam‘s playing with Brown Angel, and we did the Thrashcon 2011 show together. Shani was in on that too, and I knew Nick from his days with Do Crimes.

I said “yes” right away, and just after I started with them Brian joined in on second guitar. Adam found out not long after he’d be moving to China with his girlfriend for her job. So we got a few shows in with him, one of which was at Skull Fest with Oh Shit They’re Going to Kill Us. Chris Burneisen from that band saw us and liked what we were doing, so he took over for Adam and we’ve continued writing and gigging.


VOS: How would you describe the band for someone who’s never heard your music before, and what are some of the main inspirations that have helped shaped your sound?

JG: It’s pretty traditional old school metal with some thrash and doom mixed in. A lot of Adam‘s material were riffs he’d accumulated over the years that didn’t fit what Brown Angel, Conelrad, or any of his other bands were doing. As it turns out, Chris is very much into the same style of Adam‘s songs, and the newer material he and Brian are riffing blends well with what we worked up with Adam early on.

VOS: So what does the future hold for you guys? Any plans for recording or any other big shows in the works?

JG: We do have a 5-song demo recorded that we’re going to be releasing, likely with help from a local label, in the not-too-distant future. We do have a show with Howl on March 27th, [which] should be at The Smiling Moose.


VOS: What’s your opinion of the metal community in Pittsburgh right now? I understand all of you are (or have been) members of other bands, in a wide variety of styles. Do you think it seems like the scene in general is pretty open-minded and willing to embrace all those different styles?

JG: Certain groups of people in the scene embrace different styles for sure. It’s the old saying about not judging a book by its cover. Some gnarly-looking kid wearing a Discharge shirt is just as likely to love doom metal and stoner rock, as the guy at the other end of the bar wearing a Candlemass shirt, or whatever. Never underestimate your audience. Overall I love it and I’m happy to be a part of it.

VOS: And one last thing — is there anyone else playing at Winter’s Wake that you guys are especially look forward to seeing?

JG: I’m always happy to see my friends in the other Pgh bands doing their thing. But it’d be Dream Death, most of all. They’ve been a huge influence on me. I started playing in 1987 when I was 12-13 years old, and all of the local groups back then influenced me to want to play in bands. Especially them, since they stood out from everyone else so much.

VOS: Thank you again for taking the time to do this, Justin!

JG: No prob!

More Nomad Queen: Facebook, ReverbNation

Nomad Queen are playing at the Winter’s Wake pre-fest show TONIGHT — Thursday, 21 February 2013, at Gooski’s (3117 Brereton Street, Polish Hill / Pittsburgh). The show gets under way at 9pm.

View the full line-up of the festival here, RSVP to the Facebook event here, and get your advance tickets here: Friday only, Saturday only, 3-Day Pass.


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