Photo by Nicole Cooke
Art by Gabe LaVine
Meet Nate Noworyta, better known as Darth Nater, one of the most unique singer songwriters in the Buffalo music community. Being the lyrical genius that he is, he’s one of Last Call’s favorite solo acts on this side of the galaxy and he may be yours too.
Talking with Nate reaffirmed my love of learning why musicians decide to play in the first place. He talked about how his Dad was a big influence on him growing up since he was a saxophonist in a Christian rock jazz-fusion band. Nate grew up listening to Christian rock and other bands such as Relient K, Switchfoot, and Anberlin. It wasn’t until the age of 14 that he discovered indie music. Nate laughed and shrugged, “So now, I’ve just been playing catch up.” “A lot of the mid 2000’s emo music, I didn’t hear when I was the age I should have heard that at. I spent late high school, early college catching up like “Oh there’s a band called Brand New?”
One of Nate’s first gigs was in high school at their end of the year festival. At the same time of the festival, he was putting together a post rock band called Never Ending Cave Systems. “We had a lot of fun but no one paid attention to us”, Nate explained. Afterwards, he joined a ska band called Wild Card, which turned into a dad rock cover band that featured mostly Bruno Mars songs. Wild Card came to an end when the members went to different colleges. “It was around that time I started working on solo things.” Nate put out his first solo EP as Darth Nater in 2014 entitled Freshman. His concept was to put an album out every year of college since he thought he would have more time at school.
As a songwriter and musician, it’s hard to know if you’re going about things the right way. Dealing with things such as irregular outcomes of show turnouts and responses from the internet. Last summer he made a video about Waluigi that has 200,000 views on Youtube but since then, he hasn’t been able to break 5,000. “It’s hard when you know you can do this because before, you think your music can’t do that. But when you know what is possible and you’re not even coming close, it’s disheartening. But at the end of the day, I’m just making music for myself.”
I hesitated to ask, but my curiosity got the best of me; I wanted to know how a solo musician felt about being in a community mostly comprised of full bands. Nate explained that it is harder being a solo act; “Especially when promoters want you to bring in the same amount of people as full bands, because when you start out, it’s just friends and family supporting you. When you have a five piece band, you have more friends and family coming out.” He told me in the grand scheme of things, being a local musician is tough because you have to learn to pick the right shows and not play as often in order to keep your audience interested.
Nate is currently working on the capstone to his four part album series, Senior and is slowly chipping away at it. His first few albums have program drums backing his vocals and guitar, but for Senior -he will feature his friend, Christian Bowman of The Progressions, on drums. He hopes to release the album in the next few months.