The Real Nasty plays Proud Larry’s on Tuesday
• See ‘em live
Who: The Real Nasty
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Proud Larry’s, Oxford
BY SHEENA BARNETT
OXFORD – The Real Nasty is smack in the middle of a time-honored tradition: pounding the pavement, playing gigs in tiny clubs, all for the music, man.
The Oakland, Ca., trio – lead singer and upright bass player Ryan Lukas, drummer Matthew “Smitty” Smith and guitarist Jacob Groopman – is on tour promoting its latest record, “Strangers & Friends,” and is playing Proud Larry’s in Oxford on Tuesday.
“You’re basically working all the time, which means you’re self-employed. And as my father said, you only have to work half-days, you just gotta figure out what 12 hours you’re gonna be working,” Smith said, laughing.
Country meets rock
The Real Nasty’s music is rootsy Americana, as comfortable as 20-year-old boots, with hints of rock n’ roll swagger.
Smith says that’s because of the guys’ influences, which range from Led Zeppelin to Buck Owens to the White Stripes to Johnny Cash, and because of their musical chemistry.
“Part of reason why I founded this band is I wanted to start a trio and start with guys who have the best chemistry,” he said. He’d played with Lukas and Groopman in other projects before founding the country-rock group.
“We got these guys in the same room, and out came this band,” he said.
While the group has recorded two records, the road is where The Real Nasty thrives. The trio doesn’t just get up on stage and let loose; the guys practice to ensure a stellar live show.
“The primary focus of this band for almost two years now is entirely on the live show, with the studio stuff kinda coming as a result of that. We rehearse about 20, 25 hours a week, focusing on that, so the show we bring is very intentional and well-crafted, and people are a little taken aback by how much we’ve put into it and how tight and high energy it is,” Smith said.
The Real Nasty will continue to tour throughout much of 2011, and has plans to release another record this fall.
“Then we’ll end up back in Oxford in September or October, just kinda working the cycle for a couple of months and drum up some support,” he said.
The Real Nasty invites music fans to check out its raw, rowdy sound.
“If you’re looking to go out and hear live music that’s top-notch, that’s what we aim to deliver,” Smith said.