The Rising Star Of Nathan Cavaleri

Jacqui James

MANY AUSTRALIANS OF the Hey Hey It’s Saturday golden era would remember being amazed by this little boy absolutely ripping guitar solos and riffs with his idols B. B King and Diesel.

Nathan Cavaleri soon became a household name and became a regular on our TV screens, jamming with the best of singers/songwriters and guitarists and soon found himself touring with Jimmy Barnes at the tender age of ten.

After touring America (including being signed to Micheal Jackson’s record company) he soon after made the decision to step away from the limelight after blacking out.

Back in Australia from 2010 onwards, Nathan and his mate Col Hatchman (The Screaming Jets) released three albums, but unfortunately due to fatigue and anxiety he had to step away from his music career once again. As Nathan grew up he had to learn how to tackle what he calls his “demons”, suffering from anxiety and chronic fatigue.

But in 2019 Nathan’s back! In July he’s releasing his solo EP Demons and has been touring nationally since October last year. Head to Nathan’s website to check out his remaining tour dates.

Here’s Nathan’s impressive one-take video for his first single 29 Gold Stars:


 It’s so refreshing to interview an artist who has been through ups and downs who is so honest about their life. So a big thankyou to Nathan for being open and honest.

The video for your new single 29 Gold Stars was filmed in one take by Armand de Saint-Salvy and shot by Tom Black which is impressive – personally I admire people who do this in videos and films. How did this concept come about?

I put out a brief to my network of film directors, fishing for a concept that was cheeky yet cool, clever and a bit unexpected. We already released two live clips for Rising Sun and Demons, so a concept clip seemed to make sense! The idea itself was all Armand, and together we consolidated it into something that we’re both super proud of. It’s not an easy thing to execute an idea like that on an indie muso budget. What a team we had and I’m so grateful they all wanted to be a part of it!

This would probably be the first-time people have heard you sing – and what a versatile voice you have. Why did you choose now to showcase your voice?

Definitely the first time singing as a solo artist, but I was singing in my previous band Nat Col &And Tthe Kings. Although, I’m only now feeling comfortable behind the mic. I suppose I started singing because I wanted to communicate and express myself in a way that guitar didn’t allow. I fell in love with the exchange between guitar and vocals ever since I toured with Diesel when I was ten. It just took me some time to get beyond the discouraging opinions from others who were always comparing my vocal skills to my guitar playing. In the end, I started having fun when I became more focused on the songs and what I wanted to say rather than what others thought.

On the track Demons, your vocals are really sweet and pure, and kind of expected from the little boy we saw on Hey, Hey It’s Saturday many, many decades ago who used to absolutely produce awesome guitar solos and rips, even alongside the great B.B King. Was Demons a conscious effort to showcase a different side of you?

This makes sense, but definitely wasn’t intentional. These days, I write music from a place of catharsis and only evaluate possible public perceptions during the song selection process. I was going through some dark times dealing with burn out, anxiety and chronic fatigue when I wrote this with my good friend Alys Ffion. It was written during a time of self-reflection where loss of mental and physical health revealed to me all the simple things that I use to take for granted. Confidence, physical energy, sleep, happiness, etc. The silver lining was in the revelation itself that gave me something to work towards. Demons is essentially about that and I guess this is how I vocally expressed it.

Covering Cold Chisel’s Rising Sun was extremely brave because most Aussies adore this song as it’s ingrained in Aussie rock. Were you nervous about taking a new take on it?

Fuck yeah!!! And the decision to release it wasn’t easy. I had a few people trying to hold me back but, in the end, it tied in with my story. Jimmy Barnes was the guy who gave me my first ever record deal and took me on my first-ever rock tour supporting himself and Diesel. If there was ever a Cold Chisel/Jimmy song for me to re-work, it was Rising Sun because it has a bluesy under-tone. Besides, the only way I was ever going to do a version of a Cold Chisel song is by messing it up so much that it’s barely recognisable! {winks} The feedback has been sensational so I’m glad I trusted my gut.

You’re in the middle of national tour, with more dates on the way. When playing live, do you just let yourself go and see what happens with your guitars?

That’s the aim. However, it’s taken some time, courage and perseverance to get back on stage after burning out. That period really rocked my world, but it also taught me a lot about myself. The more I challenge fear, the more it dissolves and the more I let go and trust the stage and music. It’s such a great feeling when I’m in that zone and it’s getting more and more common.

Are you planning to release an album in the future?

Absolutely! I’m sure Demons will expand into an album. I can’t wait to see it on vinyl one day!

Thanks so much for the great questions!
– Nath xx

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