Subterranea Blog: Nasum’s Farewell Tour
We asked Subterranea editor Jonathan Selzer to give us his thoughts on Nasum deciding to get together for one final farewell tour. Was it a cynical cash-in or a heartwarming tribute to a fallen brother? Selzer knows which side of the fence he sits on…
It’s understandable that the very few bands who became beacons for an uncompromised set of ideals throughout their entire career should be held to a higher standard than most. But clearly there’s a fine line between upholding a principle and being a self-aggrandising, finger-pointing knobhead, particularly if you’re trying to claim that the remaining members of Nasum – one of the greatest, most forward-thinking and ethically upstanding grind bands we had until frontman Mieszko Talarczyk’s heart-rending death in the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004 – are reforming for a one-off, goodbye tour, purely for the money.
Nasum, and Mieszko, meant a lot to many of us. He probably meant even more to his bandmates and close friends, and thinking you know better than them how best to commemorate Mieszko’s memory, or even denying the idea that one final tour to allow everyone a moment of catharsis and closure could possibly have some personal meaning pretty much disqualifies you from ever claiming to have any perceptive take on anything ever. It’s not an argument that had any bearing on the packed Underworld where they played last night, where the band’s combination of orientating groove and body-exploding megablast was as poignant as it was primal.
Talking to Nasum’s valedictory frontman, Rotten Sound’s Keijo Niinimaa – a personal friend of friend of Mieszko who made a lot of sacrifices to fill in on the tour – it’s clear that doing this is a matter of love and respect. Nasum’s legacy wasn’t high-handed judgementalism, it was being consumed in the moment. If you stayed away out of ‘principle’, you know nothing.