Fight Music: Nate Quarry and Reggae Rock Band Conscious Souls Team Up To Bring “Zombie Cage Fighter” To Life In New Song, Music Video
By Cameron Conaway
Society often forces us into pigeonholes, labels us as one thing. While this is okay if you are looking to become a professor of 18th century British literature, it’s not okay in the 21st century real world where jobs require a versatile skillset and the necessity to reinvent ourselves so we can adapt to ever-changing times.
Much talk is made about how a large percentage of UFC fighters have college degrees. This is great chatter to help grow the sport’s credibility, but education can go well beyond a college degree.
The NFL’s Tiki and Ronde Barber are often held up as the pinnacle for why it’s important for even elite professional athletes to take education seriously. Graduates of the University of Virginia, they’ve become advocates of education and are excellent communicators with the ability to seamlessly work themselves into a variety of careers.
As MMA’s popularity is still in its infancy, so we’re now seeing how some of the sport’s first superstars handle life once their work inside the cage comes to an end. Some simply become martial arts instructors. And although 39-year-old Nate Quarry hasn’t officially retired from MMA, it’s clear that, when he does, he should have very few problems, if any.
Quarry recently teamed up with Joel Cecil, lead singer for the band Conscious Souls, to bring to life the fighter’s “Zombie Cage Fighter” theme in a new song and supporting music video.
FCF: Nate, what’s the deal with this Zombie Cage Fighter we keep hearing about?
Quarry: Zombie Cage Fighter is my brainchild. For years everyone was always telling me to write a biography. But it’s been done. Every year, there’s a new book about how a fighter coming from the streets now knows what he’s fighting for. So, I started writing my life – with a twist.
FCF: The twist being zombies?
Quarry: I tossed in some zombies for flavor, but it’s my journey. My journey as a single father working to provide a better life for my daughter, than (the life) I ever had. (As) Lance Armstrong describes, when you’re deep into a climb up a hill, and you let out a guttural yell and, at that moment, at that very moment, nothing else matters but winning. You’re willing to die to win. That’s my life story.
I’ve undergone six surgeries (Nate has also become an ambassador for “The Better Way Back”) in pursuit of getting my daughter out of the ‘hood and into a good neighborhood. It’s the story of us all. Every good parent wants their children to go beyond what they’ve accomplished.
What are you willing to sacrifice to make that happen? I’ve gotten off my stool when I knew my body was broken. I’ve fought when I couldn’t stand on my left leg. I’ve fought on PPV for the UFC after spending the whole night puking with a fever of 102.
That’s what Zombie Cage Fighter is about. But at the same time, it’s friggin’ zombies. Who doesn’t love zombies? And that’s where the music video comes into play.
FCF: Joel, can you tell us how you met Nate and how the fusion of Zombie Cage Fighter and Conscious Souls came to be?
Cecil: So I was introduced to Nate through a mutual business associate at the end of last year and, as soon as I heard what Nate was doing, I knew I had to get Conscious Souls involved with Zombie Cage Fighter because the idea was so powerful, and it could be marketed to so many different demographics.
The only question I really had for Nate was ‘When can we get started?’ We decided that Conscious Souls would create a custom song for Nate Quarry’s company Zombie Cage Fighter, and with Nate’s general concept in mind, I would create and produce a music video to feature the song, the band, the brand, and Nate.
FCF: Nate, tell us something about Joel’s performance in the video.
Quarry: He’s that guy you see who trains maybe once a month. Hits things way too hard. Tries to break your arm if he can. Wears his Tapout shirt everywhere so everyone knows he’s a part of the MMA scene.
FCF: Can you provide us a short synopsis? How about some insight into the production side of things?
Quarry : Joel’s character (in the video) sees a flier for the Zombie Cage Fights – 500 dollars (prize money). Sounds like easy money. Now he has what every great fight movie has -the training montage! Every ridiculous thing you can think of.
Then it’s fight night. Guess who the zombie is that he meets in the ring? Yours truly. Back from the dead and ready to fight. Ready to feed.
I don’t want to give away the ending but let’s just say Joel has a tough time. The shoot was a blast. The sponsors and the fans that showed up were incredible. We had people there from 8am to midnight. Sponsors like BAMF, Provide Gold Nutrition, MO-MMA, my friend Ken Birdwell and the contributors to our fundraiser really made this happen.
It just shows the passion everyone has and (that) they not only want to support it, but be a part of it as well. So now the goal is to get the editing done and get it ready to launch by Halloween. It looks like we’re right on target to do this, and I think it’s going to be amazing. Just one more step towards world domination!
FCF: Joel, how did it all come together? This sounds like a huge undertaking.
Cecil: There were several things that Conscious Souls wanted to make sure (were) covered in the song and video to increase the appeal, and to have the audience coming back for more. We definitely wanted to make the song and video timeless, funny (we gave my character kind of douche bag qualities – poking fun at all the wannabes, and also by putting my character through a crazy training montage and fighting scenes), powerful (if you hear the song you will know what I mean. Should pump you up!), informative (we wanted the song and video to take you on a journey through storytelling and let you dive into the world of what Zombie
Cage Fighter is).
After a couple months writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing, and mastering in the studio with my right hand man Brian Centoni (lead guitarist for Conscious Souls), we were finished with the song, which would become “Zombie Cage Fighter.”
Enter Mikhail Shapiro. With his editing and directing skills, we would be able to bring the project to the next level.
FCF: Tell us about the day of shoot. Was it stressful, exciting, a combination of the two?
Cecil: Now, usually I am known as the guy that doesn’t stress and is very laid back (and I would never tell Nate this, but I know he is going to read it anyway), but I was pretty nervous the day of the shoot because we had been working on this project for so long and I just wanted everything to run smoothly. And that is exactly what happened.
The day of the shoot was very stressful, but also very successful. We had tons of help with an excellent crew and cast that made a long day seem well organized and pretty flawless for the most part.
The day after the shoot I was pretty relieved, but I was also in a lot of pain. Let’s just say I was a little sore from being in the (cage) for countless hours with a Zombie Cage Fighter, getting thrown around like a piece of meat in the lion’s den.
All the pain in the world was worth it. Not only are we going to be releasing an awesome song and video to the world, but the experience and the stories I will have because of the opportunity Nate has given us to collaborate on this project, will stay with me forever.
Cameron Conaway is the author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet.