“The Mandolin was my chick magnet.” – Nathaniel Johnstone

For most people who know the name Nathaniel Johnstone, the image of a kilted guy rocking goggled hair falls comes to mind. Nathan, the former stringmeister of Abney Park, has recently gone solo – leaving fans reeling, but also excited to see what amazing music he comes up with next.

Nathan had the honor of being Behind the Steam’s first musician interview. Alyssa sat in her laboratory, with a minion puttering about behind her working on unknown nefarious plans. Kristin had barricaded herself in her room, hoping the lock would hold against six rabid Nathan fans that share her household, who all knew of our plans for a Skype interview and had hoped to get in on the fun. Nathan was somewhere in Seattle, probably covered in cats.

Image by Dana Hill

We learned quite a few interesting tidbits about Nathan during our talk, including what sparked his passion for music, his profound thoughts on songs and sounds that mean something to him on a personal level, the evolution of his steampunk costume, and – probably most fascinating of all – the origin of the famous steampunk manties!

[Disclaimer:  The video is PG-13 thanks to Robert’s potty mouth and Nathan’s….assets.]

Many of you are already familiar with the phrase Mandolin is F’ing Metal, quite aptly describing one of Nathan’s beloved stringed instruments. There was a magical moment during an Abney Park show in San Francisco which started the craze (Alyssa and I were there!), and Nathan told us all about it. We loved listening to him explain how it happened from his point of view.

A few times during our interview, we may have rambled off into silliness about superhero powers, whether or not Nathan is evil and has a pottymouth, and icky words he hates – but that was just the way we wanted it! We appreciate everyone who’s dropped by to visit Behind the Steam, and we’d love for you to hear the interview yourself.  So here it is!

[Disclaimer:  The podcast is rated PG-13]

Nathan has all kinds of exciting plans up his sleeve, including new music and shows. Check him out on his website and follow him on Twitter at @nathanfhtgan for updates.

For more information on Nathaniel’s music:



And upcoming shows:

Waking Persephone – with The Ghosts Project April 13th through 15th

Tribal Fest 12 – May 16th through 20th

Thanks again for listening and check back soon for more exciting interviews, album reviews, and other musings on the awesome world of steampunk music.  And remember to follow us on Twitter at @BehindtheSteam for all future podcast links!

-Alyssa and Kristin

This entry was posted in Article, Podcast, Steampunk and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “The Mandolin was my chick magnet.” – Nathaniel Johnstone

  1. Pingback: Sepiachord.com - Sepiachord.com: Music now for a past that never was

  2. Joy says:

    Helloooo!!!! Haven’t listened to the podcast yet but just had to say THANK YOU for introducing me to steampunk music — have been listening to Abney Park on Youtube and me like, very much 😀 Hard to describe but there is definitely something … magical (and not in a twee way!) about it.
    Have a fab weekend, ladies!

    • Yay, thanks so much for checking us out, Joy! I know you from my blog. 🙂 And give the interview a listen if you have time. It’s super goofy and fun! We have loads more up our sleeves so check back! There’s lots and lots of steampunk music that I believe absolutely anyone can like, even if they’re not into steampunk.

      ~ Kristin

  3. Val says:

    I just listened to your podcast – how fun! Thanks for asking those “hardhitting” questions for us fans. I enjoyed it immensely!

  4. Wow, this piece of writing is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such
    things, therefore I am going to convey her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s