NAG is a three-piece metallic punk band hailing and howling from the Norwegian west coast, where the oil rush in the ‘60s and ‘70s provoked an existential shift from protestant self-denial to techno-optimistic hedonism. NAG, on the other hand, represents a return to the humility and resignation of generations past, back to a time when the steep mountains, the deep woods and the bottomless sea formed a living nightmare in people’s lives.
To find inspiration for the riffs and lyrics of their new album, NAG formed a pact with none other than the Sea Goblin, known for its furious hatred towards all things human. The Sea Goblin can take various forms, one of them perfectly illustrated in Theodor Kittelsen’s (1857-1914) art piece that adorns the cover of the album.
NAG consists of Arnfinn Nag, Espen Nag and Ørjan Nag (not counting honorary member, utopist and master of local lore, Martin Nag). When the Nag brothers are not forming pacts with vile,
disgusting creatures or playing vile, disgusting punk, they enjoy the soothing pleasures of operating dangerous machinery in grease pits while blasting old Motörhead, Mayhem and Discharge tapes
on a dusty stereo with blown speakers. NAG’s way of work is as raw and aggressive as it is precise, though sometimes – when they think no one is around – they escape their miserable lives by
doing full-on Odinistic warrior chants.
The band’s self-titled first album was released in 2016 to great underground response. No Clean Singing analysed the album quite precisely: “A fusing of crust, punk, hardcore, and metal that should get your head moving, and perhaps fuel your desire to punch the first motherfucker who gets on your bad side today.” CVLT Nation stated “I love the way this band is creating what the fuck they want, on their own fucking terms.” The album was even nominated “Best Metal Album” at the 2016 Norwegian Grammy Awards. The release was followed by numerous gigs in Norway and Europe, including a support tour for the mighty Kvelertak.
In the first months of 2018, NAG started working on their sophomore album with new bass player Ørjan Nag on board (who also mixed it). They quickly named the album “Nagged to Death”. Partly because of the silly word play, but mainly because making the Difficult Second Album felt, like pretty much everything else in the Nag brothers’ lives, more like work than play. Alas, by the grace of the protestant work ethic, they finished the job thoroughly. They decided early on in the process to stay true to the fire-breathing black metallic-hardcore punk formula established on their debut album, only with the fast parts faster, the hard parts harder and the lyrics even more passive-aggressive. When presented with the final product, even the harshest critic of all things human, the Sea Goblin, had to admit that the album “totally fucking rips.”