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David Nuss (Sabbath Assembly)

Interview with David Nuss from Sabbath Assembly
by Diana Marsh at 07 October 2012, 4:27 PM

Yours truly had the pleasure of interviewing SABBATH ASSEBMLY's conceptionlist, David Nuss by phone a few weeks back, and this is the transcription of that interview. If it peeks your interest, please find them on Facebook, or at their band camp site. Check ‘em out, and show them some love! 

Good Evening, and thank you so much for doing this interview. Could you please introduce yourself, and what you do for the band, and any additional members?

Well, my name is David Nuss. Christian is my middle name, which I use sometimes as a moniker since this is a religious project. I am the conceptionalist behind the band, and the co producer on the recent record.  The other member is Jamie Myers, who is the vocalist on the new record, and everyone else is sort of in a state of flux, so it's Jamie and I.

Can you give us a synapses of your history, when did you get together?

Well it's been fairly recent, I guess it's been just over three years. It kind of started as a response to a book that was being put out by a religious group called the "Process Church of the Final Judgment".  I am friends with the publisher of the book, and I met the author, who is an original member of the church. The Process Church is kinda of a culty, gnostic kind of a religious group from the late 60's, early 70's era, which is a large interest of mine (religious groups from that time).  We originally got the band together to help promote the book, and the ideas of the church. The church had one of the hymn books from the original liturgical services, and there were no recordings made of those songs, so I had the idea of putting a band together, to kind of bring out some of the theology of the church, and to promote that book. Then one thing  lead to another, and then the band kind of stuck, and people really enjoyed the hymns. Tyler, from Anja records,  said "Hey let's do a record!"  so that's kind of where that went with it.

What's the meaning behind the name of the band?

Sabbath Assembly is the name of the highest, most holiest mass of the Process Church. Originally while I was getting some materials from the church members,  which was  the hymns, they also gave me a copy of this litergy, and that was the names. It was a very powerful document. I'm sort of an armature theologian, sort of a religious historian, and  the whole thing just really caught my attention. I love that name Sabbath Assembly, the gathering of people coming together for sacred purposes.

Do you have any kind of goal, or purpose with the band?

On one level it's just a good old rock band, and we love playing music. That's sort of what my history is as a musician is;  I just love playing music. But this has a little more of a deeper aspect to it, which is sharing, and spreading, the ideas of the church group, and this church is an unusual one! This is not a "Jesus is your friend" kind of church. It has a more, sort of orderly checkered message, because its all about incorporating the dark and the light aspects of ourselves. So we have these praise songs to Jesus, and also Satan,  and sometimes to Lucifer, and sometimes it's all mixed up together. It’s very unusual theology; it has a very powerful effect. In the shows, we're almost creating that kind of more religious, celebratory feeling, and kind of a black mass sort of feeling. We're kind of mixing those two aspects  together, which is also another reason for the band.

For something like this, here in America, that sort of theology is sort of controversial. Have you experienced any kind of flack,  or any kind of resistance to your music?

Not enough!! (he laughs) We toured in Europe last year with Earth, and that was great. Europeans that come to metal shows are down, they are ready for a little Lucifer, a little Satan in their life. The Christ stuff isn't so bothersome, because I think that in Europe they are not as brainwashed with religion as we are in America. Me coming from Texas, and I'm sure you know with living in more of Middle America, there's a church on every corner, and those churches are not empty, they are full. They don't cal it the "Bible Belt" for no reason. One of the missions I have is to find a way to take this band on tour in America, straight through the South, and try to reach people that are not all ready "converted" , which is what I think metal fans are. Metal is all about the dark side, they are not scared to deal with the dark. I think it would be exciting to play a Christian music festival. Not to start a riot! But to open dialog. I know that in the history of the Christin church, there was more room for this kind of theology.  It was not always about overcoming Satan, there was a little more richness there, so I think it would fun to start a dialog (with Christians).

Who would you say has inspired you as a musician? What band, or artist, has influenced you?

Well I grew up in the 80's, in Texas, so for me it was all about the classic thrash metal. I was brought up in a very Christian home, very Evangelical home, and for me my relationship with bands like Slayer, and Exodus, and even Iron Maiden, was that those were the bands that were really in my heart and soul. Those bands were my outlet from that kind of religious pressure from my family and community to be a certain way. I could come home and put on Venom's Welcome to Hell and feel somewhat understood. Until I go to the grave, for me it's always going to be about 80's thrash.

You have a new album coming out, Ye Are Gods. When is that going to be available to the public?

It just got pushed back a few weeks, so it's going to be around Oct. 6th, that's what I just heard today. We made kind of a fancy booklet to go inside both the record and CD, so that pushed things back a couple weeks. The reason we did that was that I wanted the album to have a kind of liturgical booklet on the inside, so that you can play the music, but be able to follow along with the lyrics and the sheet music from the hymns. We did not put the entire ritual in it, but we have several prayers and moments of intercession to the various deities.

Who produced it? Where was it recorded?

Brice Griggin of New York city, who has worked a lot with The Swans, produced the album. It was recorded in Brooklyn, New York.

Do you guys have any kind of plans for touring or playing live?

Yes we do! The east or northeast coast does not have the same kind of relationship with religion that I had growing up in Texas. In New York, things are more laid back, more relaxed, and it felt like people were starting to look at me funny for wanting to do this sort of "churchy" kind of music. Since Jaime lives in Fort Worth, TX. I thought we should put together a band down there. I thought people would get the message down there more, and sure enough, they are. We are calling it the Texas Chapter, since the Process Church encourages starting chapters. We are also headlining the Stella Festival in California, In Lake Tahoe. Plus, we just got invited to play the Roadburn Festival in Holland, sometime in April.

Where do you see the band in 5 to ten years?

Hard to say. There are still 40 more hymns that we have not recorded, so there is still a lot of work to do in that department. As long as the church is able to connect with people, and if it feel relevant we will still keep producing.

Do you have any special place, or unique venue you'd like to play?

Well, my wish list would be to hit the Christian music festival circuit, all around mid-west and southern USA.

So do you have any other side projects that you, or anyone else, have any side projects you'd like to mention?

I'd say right now this is the main project that we are doing, it is taking most of our attention.

Where can your fans find all things about Sabbath Assembly?

Well I have not been that organized about it, but I would say our Facebook page. Oh and we have a band camp page.

"Ye Are Gods" Review by Diana Marsh


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Edited 28 January 2023

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