Daily Egyptian

N.I.L.8 discusses Springfield, influences and current punk

By Chase Myers, @chasemyers_DE

Being a punk rock heavyweight for more than 20 years and one of Springfield’s most reputable bands, N.I.L.8 has been energizing crowds all around the Midwest.

The band consists of brothers Jeff Williams on vocals/guitar and Bruce Williams on bass, along with Damon Soper on guitar and Wes Selinger on drums.

They have song topics ranging from rising sea levels and corporations, to plastic surgery disasters.

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The Daily Egyptian had the opportunity to talk with Jeff Williams about different aspects of the band before they perform at Hangar 9 on Saturday night.

How did you guys get started with the band?

My brother and I used to skate constantly and just look at the bands they would talk about in old Thrasher, Skateboarder and Action Now magazines and discovered bands like Minor Threat, The Adolescents and Bad Brains. We just wanted to play raw and accessible music, so we would go see bands like Black Flag, or The Descendants and “Fishbone” and you could get as close to the bands as you wanted. I mean, this was the early ’80s, so everyone we went to school with wanted to go to Ozzy concerts, which is fine, but you were so far away from Ozzy or Van Halen if you went to that type of show. The connection with bands you were within meters of was just more inspiring, as well as the energy.

How has punk rock changed since you guys first started playing?

I don’t know if the true spirit of punk rock has changed. I mean, you can still go to small clubs and watch bands with that energy, but you know, watching Good Charlotte in a 8,000-seat concert hall is a little different than watching Screaming Females in a smaller setting. True awareness of the original feel or intent, same as in original blues, rap or bluegrass are still there, even if the intent is lost due to larger industry music morphing some bands just to make bands appeal to “larger markets” or a “broader demographic” than the original intent the music was striving for.

What are some of your musical influences?

Queen, Gang of Four, SS Decontrol, Minor Threat, The Dead Boys, Ultravox, Necros, Bad Brains, The Pixies, The Specials, The Adolescents and The Descendants.

Being from Springfield, what are some inspirations you’ve taken from your hometown? 

Probably playing a show when we first started, called, “Rock Against Reagan,” with the band, Millions of Dead Cops in front of the old state capitol. I was pretty young and it seemed to change my perspective on different areas and with different knowledge sources. It is pretty eye-opening for me as far as different approaches I could take on my entire life and lifestyle. It was much more eye-opening than music as a singularity.  

What are the plans for the future?

To play shows for 30 more years between my art shows! If we ever finish this song “Twyla, Why Did You Take Your Oops Baby? You Know That Child’s Mine,” we will be happy.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]

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