The "air apparents": meet Jolly Green Shredding Machine!
Stage Name: Jolly Green Shredding Machine
Real Name: Nathan Briles
Active For: 6 years
City: San Diego
Preforming at: The Merrow in San Diego on June 30th
Surprisingly, many of U.S. Air Guitar’s finest never intended to take the stage. Each year, members of USAG work extremely hard to promote the shows in their various regions, focusing largely on targeting people unfamiliar to the air guitar experience, or “Air Guitar Virgins”. At least a few of these newbies usually end up becoming USAG staples in the ensuing years.
In the case of San Diego’s Jolly Green Shredding Machine, a.k.a. Nathan Briles, his fate was sealed 6 years ago when he was dragged to a competition by one of USAG’s most infamous performers.
“I just wanted to see Jason (Farnan aka 2013 National Champion Lt. Facemelter) make an ass of himself,” he says. “I had no desire to get on stage at first. But somehow, he convinced me to try it out. My routine was garbage but I had so much fucking fun that I was hooked.”
The larger-than-life enthusiasm and performance style required in air guitar were things that Briles, an imposingly large man himself, could easily embrace.
“Air guitar takes who you are and turns it up to 11,” he says. “I’m a big guy and it allows me to match my size with my persona. I took pieces of my military background and combined it with my humor to create the Jolly Green Shredding Machine. My flight suit is real—but my guitar is fake.”
While the military may have been a bit too rigid for air guitar, Briles finds it fits right in with his home life. His 15-month old son “loves to laugh and listen to music,” and his wife appreciates the outlet that air guitar provides him.
“My wife has been awesome enough to put up with this crazy hobby and always gives me her honest opinion on my routines,” he says. “We have been married for 6 years and together for more than a decade now. It's pretty cool to be with someone who understands why I do the goofy things that I do.”