Like a lot of songwriters, Nate Die from the band SPISH got his start writing stories. “I went to school for fiction writing,” he says. “I love to tell stories and for me, the thing that I saw a lot in professors was that no one was able to sell books. Music is a lot more accessible. So after I would write stories, I would just sort of convert them into songs as well.”
Die is a good translator. He hasn’t limited himself to turning stories into songs; anyone who’s seen SPISH on social media is aware of the band’s stream of funny, weird, and unsettling video clips. Die says he sees three components to SPISH — the visual aspect, recorded music, and a rotating cast of live performers.
He describes the current lineup as “kind of like a small orchestra. We've got a horn section, a keyboardist with beautiful vocals, percussion and bass, and then myself. We started adding in some classroom instruments into our sets.”
You can get a sense of SPISH’s creativity on the Eat This Flower EP. The title track, which Die says is an exploration of the toxic things — both literal and metaphorical — that we put into our bodies, is as off-kilter as you might expect if you’ve spent a few minutes on the band’s Instagram. But it’s also memorable and catchy. Maybe you’ll find yourself singing it hours after you’ve heard it, having been drawn in to SPISH’s weird and wonderful world.
Listen to WYEP evening mix host Liz Felix and CP music writer Jordan Snowden discuss indie music stories in Pittsburgh on What's New in Local Music with Liz and Jordan every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on 91.3FM.