Nathan Hamilton Interview (October 2016)
Facebook: Nathan Hamilton
Particle Don: What got you into wrestling? Did you watch growing up?
Nathan Hamilton: I actually wasn't allowed to watch it growing up. My folks said it gave me too many ideas of things to do to my brothers. I've never been good at following rules, though. I first discovered WCW in 1988 just flipping through the channels around 6:05 one Saturday. I was 8 years old, and my family had just moved to Atlanta. I discovered WWF shortly thereafter. From then on, I was hooked.
Particle Don: Who was your favorite wrestler growing up?
Nathan Hamilton: When I was really young, I dug anyone in face paint. I guess they knew their market. My first favorites were Sting and The Ultimate Warrior. I also followed Road Warriors, Demolition, and the Great Muta.
I hated Ric Flair for the longest time (he was messing with my boy Sting), but I secretly thought that he was the coolest motherfucker on earth. I knew who the real world champ was. Then along came The Undertaker, and he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. He immediately became my new favorite, and remained my favorite for the rest of my kayfabe believing days.
Particle Don: Do you have a favorite classic WWF entrance theme?
Nathan Hamilton: Here comes the Axe, here comes the Smasher...
Particle Don: Do you watch current WWE? If so, who are your favorite wrestlers?
Nathan Hamilton: Right now, WWE is basically the indie wrestling all-stars from 5-10 years ago, so I'm loving it. Owens, Cesaro, Rollins, Ambrose, Styles, Zayn, and so many others are killing it. I love me some Bray Wyatt. He could be one of the greatest heels in WWE history, but creative has absolutely no clue how to use him. I'm digging the chicks, too. You put any combination of Charlotte, Sasha, Bailey, and Becky in there, and they'll steal the damn show.
Particle Don: When did you start getting interested in deathmatches?
Nathan Hamilton: ECW. I remember watching Cactus Jack and Terry Funk (both of whom I remembered from WCW) mixing it up, and hearing Joey Styles talk about their insane exploding barbed wire deathmatches from Japan. So I went to eBay (which was new at the time) and ordered a bootleg VHS called Best of Barbed Wire Vol. 1-4.
The picture quality was shit, but I watched that tape a million times. It was all Japanese stuff. Onita. Pogo. Hyabusa. The Headhunters. Cactus. Funk. Gladiator. Tanaka. Leatherface. Matsunaga. All the greats bleeding all over the place. I still have that tape, actually.
Particle Don: What's your favorite deathmatch weapon?
Nathan Hamilton: Barbed wire. It's so versatile. It allows you to be so creative.
Particle Don: How did you meet Kevin Brannen? What's the story behind the tradition of the Nathan's Sadistic Playground match at Carnage Cup?
Nathan Hamilton: I'm gonna answer these two at the same time, because they're basically the same story.
The first deathmatch show I ever attended live was Carnage Cup 7. I didn't meet Kevin that night, but I did make a bunch of weapons for the Fans Bring The Weapons match, including the infamous barbed wire toilet seat. In the coming weeks, I was listening to podcasts about the show, and people kept bringing up that damn toilet seat. It then got brought up on Facebook, and I commented that maybe there should just be a "Nathan Brings the Weapons" match at the next Carnage Cup. Some dude named Kevin Brannen responded "OK".
I had no idea who he was, so I went to his profile. Low and behold, it was the promoter. I messaged him and asked if he was serious. He told me I could build anything I wanted. I don't think he realized what kind of sick bastard he was talking to at the time.
I finally met him in person at the next IWA-DS show, and the first Nathan's Sadistic Playground match took place at Carnage Cup 8. There's been one at every Carnage Cup since, and I dare say, I'm responsible or some of the sickest weapons ever devised. They don't call me "The Mad Scientist of Ultraviolence" for nothing. But there's always a barbed wire toilet seat, and the original one now hangs on my bedroom wall. You've gotta remember your roots.
Particle Don: How did you start commentating for IWA Deep-South?
Nathan Hamilton: Mad Man Pondo showed up at Carnage Cup 8 for the sole purpose of kicking the shit out of Smooth (their commentator at the time), so Smooth didn't show up. Without someone on the mic, Kevin came up to me and asked if I wanted to do commentary on my Nathan's Playground match. I was three sheets to the wind, but being a wrestling commentator had always been my dream, so I jumped at the chance.
I ended up doing the rest of the show, and he must have liked what he heard, because I called every IWA-DS show from then on. That's why I always do commentary at least half drunk. I like to say that I'm the Deathmatch Gordon Solie. Not that I would ever compare my skills to the greatest of all time. It's just that, like him, I've never called a match sober.
Particle Don: Describe the construction of the Deathbed you made for Carnage Cup 10. How long did this take to make? Where did you get the bed frame?
Nathan Hamilton: Each Nathan's Sadistic Playground match has had a Deathbed, and I've had to construct all of them on site. One of those would be impossible to transport from Atlanta assembled. That last bed frame was donated by one of my best friends, Nicole. I knew I had to top the other two, so in addition to the entire spool of barbed wire wrapped around the rails, I added the dangling light tube platform. These are the kind of thoughts I have when I'm lying awake in bed at night. New ways to make people bleed.
Particle Don: What was it like announcing alongside legend Kris Kloss at the Carnage Cup? What were his thoughts on the Cup? Was it the most brutal spectacle he'd ever seen?
Nathan Hamilton: Working with Kloss was awesome. I went in prepared for him to be a dick, honestly. I figured that after working with XPW, he would come in with an ego and an attitude. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
He was awesome. Nicest guy in the world. We had a great time. We passed a flask of whiskey and talked wrestling between matches. I thought we had pretty good chemistry on the mic, too. You know how you hear wrestlers talk about how being in the ring with more experienced veterans makes them better wrestlers? I feel the same way about commentary.
I learned things, especially about timing, from commentating with Kloss. The only bad thing about working with him is that early on day two, when you're severely hung over, that trademark "Kloss Shriek" feels like an icepick in your brain. He told me, away from the mics and cameras, that Carnage Cup 10 was indeed the most brutal tournament he had ever witnessed live.
Particle Don: Do you have any idea when we might see a return of IWA Deep-South and the Carnage Cup?
Nathan Hamilton: I can't speak officially, but I think we've seen the end of IWA-Deep South. I don't think it's coming back. I have my own personal feelings about the way it ended, but you'd have to ask Kevin what the deal with that is yourself. I don't think it's something I can really speak on.
However, the Carnage Cup tournament isn't retired. We're planning on having another one in 2017, and some ideas are in the works that have never been done before. Carnage Cup 11 is gonna be some next level shit. I just don't think it's going to be under the IWA-DS name, unfortunately.
Particle Don: Have you watched any $10 Dollar Rasslin'? What is your opinion of this promotion?
Nathan Hamilton: I've seen one show, the Softcore Cup. That was fun for what it was. I enjoyed being the deathmatch guy on a deathmatch parody show. Overall, though, comedy wrestling isn't my cup of tea. I like it sprinkled into a show for variety, but not as the primary style. That's just me, though. Apparently a lot of people do dig it, 'cause the houses have been damn good.
Particle Don: What are your thoughts on New Jack being announced for the $10 Dollar Rasslin' Death Match Mafia tournament?
Nathan Hamilton: It makes me wish I could be there. Kevin scheduled that show at the worst possible time for me. In the horror business, the weekend of Halloween is the busiest of the year. So, sadly, I'm not going to be involved in that show. I hate it too, 'cause I've always wanted to call a New Jack match.
Particle Don: Maybe New Jack will come back to the Deep-South sometime. How do you think the Death Match Mafia tourney will differ from the Carnage Cup?
Nathan Hamilton: I couldn't tell you since I'm not involved with this one, but I do know that Kevin always has something interesting up his sleeve, so it's gonna be a hell of a show.
Particle Don: Have you been keeping up with this year's deathmatch tourneys? If so, which ones stand out to you?
Nathan Hamilton: I still have a few that I need to see, like Slave to the Deathmatch and Lord of the Hardcore. I really dug Zandig's Tournament of Survival for its old-school feel, and Milestone's Death 2 Tag Team tourney because we haven't had a tag team deathmatch tournament in the US for years. Those guys tore it up.
Particle Don: What types of horror movie convention panels do you host? What do you discuss?
Nathan Hamilton: I've done everything from fan discussion forums, to interviews with horror icons, to panels with the hottest up and coming independent filmmakers. Those are probably my favorite, because independent horror cinema is my passion, and if I can have a little part in spreading the word about the goodness coming out of that scene, I'm a happy man. The good horror flicks aren't the ones at the theater, folks. Dig deeper.
Particle Don: Who are a few horror movie icons you've met at your last convention?
Nathan Hamilton: Oh man. Over the years I've met and interviewed Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Tony Todd, Doug Bradley, my personal hero Joe Bob Briggs, Phil Anselmo, Doyle from The Misfits, Clint Howard, the entire cast of Nightbreed, Linnea Quigley, Gunnar Hansen, Tom Towles (RIP), most of the cast of The Devil's Rejects, Cenobites, Scream Queens, legends, cult figures, you name it. I did a shot with Ric Flair at one of the Days of the Dead cons. Hell, I've even had Gary Busey pull a knife on me.
Particle Don: You used to have a YouTube web series called The Son of Celluloid where you discussed horror movies and conducted interviews. Unfortunately, the show is no longer in production. Do you think you'll ever upload the lost episodes from season 2?
Nathan Hamilton: I may. I have a lot of footage that was supposed to comprise Season 2. It all needs to be edited, cleaned up, and the sound mastered. Honestly, I just haven't had the time or desire to spend the necessary hours. If people want to see it, though, I'll put it up. Let me know, folks.
Particle Don: What are a few of your top horror movies?
Nathan Hamilton: My favorite of all time is Night of the Living Dead. Other than that, I'll just toss a few out there off the top of my head.
Hellraiser 1 and 2, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 and 2, Found, Baskin, Deathgasm, Phantasm 1 and 2, Return of the Living Dead 1 through 3, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Sharktopus, Motel Hell, Last House on the Left, From Beyond, The Devil's Rejects, Anything Fulci, The Corman/Price Poe flicks, Pumpkinhead, Freaks, Basket Case, Black Sunday, Videodrome, Wizard of Gore, Blood Sucking Freaks, Ilsa She Wolf of the SS, Galaxy of Terror, Serbian Film, Nightbreed, Ebola Syndrome, Private Parts, I Drink Your Blood, Anything Coffin Joe, Zombies of Mora Tao, Burial Ground, Flower of Flesh and Blood, Spider Baby, Maniac, the Universal Frankenstein movies, and the list could go on and on and on for days.
Particle Don: Do you have a favorite non-horror movie?
Nathan Hamilton: A few. Clerks, Airplane, UHF, The Warriors, The Crow, Commando, and Bloodsport, among others.
Particle Don: How did you meet The Casket Creatures? How many times do you think you'll see them play live this October?
Nathan Hamilton: I met the Casket Creatures just by being in the Atlanta horror scene together. Those dudes are some of my best friends in the world. I've directed music videos for them, they've played events for me. I love partying with those guys. I'll probably see at least 6 or 7 of their shows this October. They're basically Atlanta's Halloween house band.
Particle Don: Do you play any musical instruments? Have you ever been in a band?
Nathan Hamilton: I have zero musical talent, but I have been the lead singer for a few bands. What can I say? What I lack in vocal ability I make up for in stage presence.
Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite metal bands?
Nathan Hamilton: That's almost like asking me about horror movies. I'll narrow it down to the ones on my vest.
Ghost, Iron Maiden, Macabre, Sleep, Crowbar, Shining, Lifelover, Testament, Pantera, Kreator, Inquisition, Deceased, Slayer, Danzig, and Motorhead.
I also like GWAR, and a lot more than metal. I like horror punk, 70's soul, old outlaw country, underground hip-hop, all kinds of shit.
Particle Don: Do you listen to the Insane Clown Posse?
Nathan Hamilton: I used to. I was a huge fan back during the first Jokers Card deck era. Riddlebox is still my favorite. After Jeckel Brothers, however, they totally changed their sound. I did not dig said new sound. So no, not any more. I still dig other juggalo acts like Twiztid and Boondox, though. And you cannot fuck with that first Dark Lotus album.
Particle Don: Do you have a favorite 90's cartoon?
Nathan Hamilton: Probably Batman: The Animated Series. Animaniacs would be a close second. Actually, wait. Was Invader Zim 90's?
Particle Don: It originally aired from 2001 to 2002.
What's your favorite food?
Nathan Hamilton: Seafood. I'm all about anything that comes out of the water.
Particle Don: What's your favorite candy?
Nathan Hamilton: I'm diabetic, so I have to go with the sugar-free stuff. The sugar-free Reeses cups are probably my favorite.
Particle Don: Do you have a preferred type of soda you like to drink?
Nathan Hamilton: Diet Mountain Dew flows through my veins. Diet Grape Faygo is the shit, too.
Particle Don: What's your favorite TV show?
Nathan Hamilton: I don't watch much TV. Tons of movies, but not much TV. Actually, the only (non-WWE) TV shows I watch are Walking Dead, Jeopardy, and Lucha Underground.
Particle Don: Do you watch the show Ancient Aliens? What is your opinion on the Ancient Astronaut theory?
Nathan Hamilton: I've never seen it. I feel about aliens the same way I feel about God - no one has proven that they exist, and no one has proven that they don't. So, until someone can show me hard evidence, I can't say one way or the other.
Particle Don: Have you ever heard of Particle Don before this interview? If so, where?
Nathan Hamilton: Yeah. We met at night one of King of the Deathmatches 2015. The one that got rained out. I couldn't attend day two because I was working a horror convention in Indianapolis the next day.
Particle Don: Do you have a favorite Particle Don song?
Nathan Hamilton: Bleed For A Living. I remember hearing Danny use it as his entrance music at Carnage Cup 7 and wondering who did it. When you gave me a CD at King of the Deathmatches, my question was finally answered.
Particle Don: Do you have a website other than your Facebook page?
Nathan Hamilton: Yeah, my horror blog is called Son of Celluloid (sonofcelluloid1.blogspot.com). Also, check out the Son of Celluloid Facebook page for news on all of my appearances, podcasts, and those sorts of things.
Particle Don: Is there anything you'd like to shout out or plug?
Nathan Hamilton: Check out the Picking Brains Podcast, my boys The Casket Creatures, and Milestone's Southern Slaughter tournament on Smart Mark Video!
Nathan Hamilton did commentary for Milestone's Death 2 Tag Team Tournament in May 2016.
Particle Don: Awesome interview, Nathan! I enjoyed your responses tremendously. The story about how you met Kevin Brannen is classic!
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