Nathaniel Rateliff Talks ‘Tearing At The Seams’ And His Band’s New Worldwide Audience

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Photo: Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats
Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats.

Nathaniel Rateliff's success story was a long time coming. The Denver-based singer and guitarist spent more than a decade building up a dedicated fan base in Colorado with various musical projects. Then his soul-rock outfit The Night Sweats was invited to perform the single “S.O.B.” on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." The band got a standing ovation, Fallon heaped on praise, worldwide tours followed for the next three years, and the band's self-titled debut album went gold.

Yet somehow, Rateliff and his band continued to be surprisingly visible in the Denver music scene, and the octet found time to write and record a new album "Tearing At The Seams," which is out today. Rateliff and longtime musical partner Joseph Pope III spoke with Colorado Matters about that "Tonight Show" appearance, recording the new album in rural New Mexico and their favorite places to catch a concert in Denver. Interview highlights below the video.

On his 2015 breakout appearance on "The Tonight Show":

"Jimmy kept showing the record and playing the song ["S.O.B."]. I remember sitting there with our publicist and the lady who was doing makeup. I was like: 'Is this good?' They're like: 'Yeah! This doesn't ever happen.'"

On the entire band writing for "Tearing At The Seams":

"We've become a band over the last three years. As many shows as we've played together, we've just changed as musicians. It was important to have that on the record for me. And it's important for the guys to feel they're artistically involved as well. I feel like the sum of us was greater than just me by myself."

On his guest appearance on Chuck Berry's final studio album:

"Chuck Berry is an influence on all of rock 'n' roll. And he's the godfather and the king of rock 'n' roll, not Elvis. ... My mom was like: 'You're dad would have never believed it. His son was playing on Mr. Berry's songs.'"