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NILS

One of Montreal's most iconic punk rock bands, the Nils played ragged-but-right music that featured hard-edged, melodic tunes and lyrics that revealed a tough kid's thoughtful side. While the Nils had a sizable following in their hometown and were an influential act in both Canada and the United States, they never quite broke through to genuine commercial success on either side of the border, though they're still considered one of great bands of the Canadian punk movement, and when the CBC compiled a list of the 200 best Canadian bands ever, the Nils were ranked at an impressive number 56.

The Nils were formed in 1978 by Alex Soria, only 12 years old at the time, and his older brother Carlos Soria. Carlos had become interested in the nascent punk rock scene, and after bringing home albums by the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Damned, the brothers decided to try making some noise of their own. With Alex on guitar and lead vocals and Carlos on bass, the Soria brothers were always the core of the Nils, and while dozens of musicians would drift in and out of the group, which would go back and forth between being a quartet and a trio, the brothers gave their music a strong and consistent attack. By 1980, the Nils were playing out on a regular basis, and in 1982, the band released a five-song demo cassette, Now. In 1983, they opened for both the Ramones and X, and that same year word about the Nils has spread to Los Angeles, where BYO Records invited the group to contribute a track to a compilation album, Something to Believe In. The Nils' contribution, "Scratches and Needles," was one of the album's most memorable tracks, and in 1984, they recorded the song "Call of the Wild" for Primitive Air Raid, a crucial overview of the Montreal punk scene.

Psyche Industry, the indie label that released Primitive Air Raid, released a four-song Nils EP, Sell Out Young!, in 1985, and a second EP, Paisley, was issued by Siegfried Records in 1986. Records and touring had won the Nils an impressive reputation in Canada and the United States, and the band was offered a deal with Rock Hotel, a label and management firm based in New York City that worked with several major acts on the NYHC scene. The Nils, the group's first full-length album, was produced by Chris Spedding and was distributed in the United States by Profile Records, one of the leading hip-hop labels of the day. The album was well received by the music press, and rose to number eight on Rolling Stone's College Music chart, while artists such as Bob Mould, the Meat Puppets, and Superchunk were singing the Nils' praises. Unfortunately, after extensive touring, the bandmembers were writing material for their second album when Rock Hotel ran into serious financial problems and closed their doors in 1988. The Nils splintered, with Carlos leaving Montreal for California and Alex launching a new band, Los Patos, that failed to find an audience. In 1992, Alex and Carlos re-formed the Nils, but after recording a handful of demos and some live work, the band stalled again in 1994. Alex once again launched a new band, this time called Chino, who released a six-song EP before breaking up in 2002. Just as in 1992, Alex and Carlos revived the Nils and began writing new material, but things were not going smoothly for the group, and on December 13, 2004, Alex Soria took his own life.

After the death of Alex Soria, the Nils went silent until 2014, when Carlos Soria decided it was time to revive the band. The move was controversial among some fans, but as Carlos told journalist Mark Lepage, "I showed Alex three chords, and he showed me another whole bunch of things. I always knew he was the kid, the star. But I don't have to explain this to anyone. I was there from the beginning." Teaming with guitarists Mark Donato and Phil Psarakos and drummer Jean Lortie (Donato and Lortie had worked with the Nils in their original run) and with Carlos taking over on vocals, the Nils crowdfunded the production of a new album, and in 2015, Shadows & Ghosts was released to an enthusiastic reception from Canadian critics. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: City Groove

1. City Groove

2. Casablanca

3. Sunset Blvd

4. Let's Bounce

5. Funk In Da House

6. Get On The Dance Floor

7. Red Wine And Sunsets

8. Call Me

9. Have An Attitude

10. Soul 2 Soul

11. Up And Away

12. The Alchemist

x

Track List: Up Close And Personal

1. Soulmates

2. Up Close And Personal

3. Jazz Cruise

4. Europa

5. Never Let Go (Of The One You Love)

6. 60 10 29

7. Until I See You Again

8. East Bay

9. Happy To C U

10. Getting Hooked

11. Catalina

12. Winter Rain

x

Track List: Ready To Play

1. Ready To Play

2. Just Smile

3. Catnap

4. Midnight Breeze

5. Sunrise On Sunset

6. You Gotta Be

7. Dreamin'

8. My Girl

9. High Five

10. Only You

11. Hurry Up And Wait

12. Last Night

x

Track List: Pacific Coast Highway

1. Pacific Coast Highway

2. Back Pocket

3. Georgy Porgy

4. Coming Home

5. You've Got A Friend

6. Cruisin'

7. Sneakin'

8. Summer Nights

9. Hey Ya

10. Keep Rollin

11. Kona Girl

12. Baja California

x

Track List: Green Fields In Daylight

1. Call Of The Wild

2. Slip Away

3. Scratches And Needles

4. In Betweens

5. Fountains

6. Daylight

7. Freedom

8. I Am The Wolf

9. Tuesday High

10. Up Turns To Down

11. Glory Daze

12. Freedom Come, Freedom Go

13. Truce

14. Bandito Callin

15. Sweet Dreams

16. Wicked Politician

17. Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands

18. Young Man In Transit

19. River Of Sadness

20. If Heaven Lies

21. Red Balloon

22. When Love Puts On A Sad Face

23. Pop Goes The World

24. In An Instant

25. The Back Flow

26. Scratches And Needles

27. The Gathering

28. Give Me Time

29. Radio Interview

Comments

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Still Santana rules !! But he should be flattered !
Not bad
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Love This Tune!!!!
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me_hartman20 0 0
Mmm, s'okay. Being a longtime Carlos Santana fan, I still much prefer his versions (especially the one on the Sacred Fire DVD).
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makes my pantis moist
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Sounds like Santana...oh , apparently Europa is an old Santana song. Just checked, NILS is a German-born guitarist that lives in California and collaborates with different artists on his albums.
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Who is nils?...
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gwdills
Beautiful, good moodful guitar...
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sharonscholl 2
Beach girl
My favorite song of all time. Caught up in it and don't want to get out.
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It's disappointin g not to see any decent bio on this great smooth jazz guitarist. C'mon Pandora. Do some justice here!
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Brilliant real easy to the ears, mind, and soul.
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Can,t find Pacific Coast Highway on a single or on album ???
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Oh yea. I can feel the breeze cruising the PCH. Being in Monterey, I love my drive down the PCH. Big Sur, River Inn and Nepenthe. Nothin' better.
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Philly always in the mix, keep it coming.
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Great composer and such fluid guitar runs..... San Diego begs for your return to Humphreys. .
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Great artist that just gets better with time.
Nils has suprb skills and knows how to lay down funky grooves.
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nothing like the city, what up Philly?
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pacific coast highway lets me know thats the west coast, its cool never been, but i'm still feeling the vibe,all big cities are the same, self expression, you dig?
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Nice get in the mood music
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backcreekipm
That's like a smooth sandwich with a side of smooth!
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Cool jam like to hear more from this music artist!
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Great relaxing music.Love his version of the guitar.
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snoball_1946
once i heard his message,i realized that i was in the starship with him-sOOOO SMOOTH-KIND OF LIKE SNOT ON GLASS! MAURICE
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So SMOOTH. Thanks, Pandora.
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Reminds me of easygoing Lee Ritenour but with a twist of lemon.
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... its all good from Detroit we love it
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That's what I am talkimg about. No artificial additives or preservative s
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tjmklord
NILS, I love your preciseness and wonderful creativeness . Good guitar work. I appreciate your talent!! Keep it up. Can't wait for your next work.
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sms0701
What a refreshing surprise! Love NILS!
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great cut pacific coast highway
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You have to hear his version of Europa by Santana. AMAZING..... . .
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We need a bio for Nils !
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PEACE, UNDERSTANDIN G , and TOLERANCE:)
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Love nils speaks to my soul
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This is named after Coast Highway in San Diego CA.....LOVE this song....and my pacific located home : )
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Love this kind of music. Please play more.
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equanza.veal
I totally agree with you pvalexander! I can almost feel the wind!
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Feel like I'm there with the top down!!
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lov his syle
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play it more often
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I love Pacific Coast Highways!
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michael.roge r s 4 3
yaw sir
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Please play more
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Nice groove. Very pleasing to the ear. Good players. Love this kind of music.
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david_dougan
Nils rocks....tak e a listen to "Just Smile" simply wicked
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blairk_b
Need more Nils!
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power_jam12
Pandora Play More of Nils He's Great....Won d e r f u l Sounds.....

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