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Nothing More

Interview von: arne mit Jonny Hawkins, am: 31.05.2014 ]

Die aus San Antonio, Texas stammenden NOTHING MORE treten mit einem anspruchsvollen, verspielten und überaus eingängigen Rock-Verständnis an, das in etwa zu gleichen Teilen im Alternative und Progressive zu verorten ist. Für die Entwicklung der selbstbetitelten Platte der Band verspricht das Spannung und reichlich Abwechslung.


Musicscan: Can you perhaps tell us something about the intention and the spirit of Nothing More when the band came to be. Has that intention / the spirit changed until today? What kind of philosophy is the basis for what you are doing with Nothing More?

Nothing More: The heart of it hasn’t changed, but the flesh and muscle (the way it looks) has def evolved. It started with us being real music fans that looked up to artists, going to shows in dark and difficult times for us. Many times the words/music of the bands spoke to us and helped us. It inspired us to want to do that for others. When we started the band, the name was a reminder for us to stay on track with our goal to be nothing more than humble individuals who love to be there for people when things get tough. The ways in which we accomplish that goal have evolved but the heart of it has stayed the same.

Musicscan: What was the biggest and the most primary reason you got into rock music? Has this reason changed over time with experience? And how do you stay motivated with what you are doing?

Nothing More: I remember vividly being 7 years old with my dad at a rock concert – it is one of the biggest memories that really shines in my mind today – I looked at the drummer and told my dad “I want to do that!” I cant look to just one thing for motivation – lots of things motivate me. Anything from meeting people and hearing their stories about how our music affects them to being inspired by other artists’ work. Also thinking back to the strength with which my mom spent her last days. Her love for her children allowed her to transcend how horrible her disease was – and gave us an example of loving others more than yourself. When I look at all those things I always can find a spark that will keep me going.

Musicscan: What is it for you guys to be called a progressive band - is it somehow annoying or fine with you? At least you are often told to be such kind of a band and do it yourself. How do you prove to be progressive and forward-thinking musically? ,-)

Nothing More: We embrace the word “progressive” – we actually like that word for the reason that it is a very expansive word, musically. Bands like Pink Floyd, Tool, Meshuggah – they don’t sound anything like each other but are all labeled “progressive.” The connotation is that there is more depth and complexity underlying the music and ideas when you call a band “progressive.” It is more a philosophical word than a genre-defining word. I think we express our progressive mentality in many different ways – on the record there is the more typical progressive qualities like rhythmic layers woven together throughout the record, but we also express it in our live show by performing in ways that are unusual to our genre. For example if you look at a bass guitar you can define how it is usually played with fingers and a strap around your neck – we chose to take that and play it more like a piano where Mark and Daniel would fret the strings and I would use sticks like a hammer dulcimer…

Musicscan: Being around as a band with an own identity and vision, does it bother you when you see or meet kids who ignore you or have a different understanding of what your music and your style means to you?

Nothing More: We have learned to value everyone‘s perception of who we are, whether it lines up with our perception or not. There is always something to be learned – some truth within it. We are more excited about what it means to them, than what they think it means to us. “Art or music should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed,” ATTRIBUTION we are just happy that it does something the listener, regardless of what that experience may be.

Musicscan: Looking on rock music in general you can find lots of sub-scenes and styles. The underground and even the mainstream is changing all the time. Are there bands you feel connected with that might have a similar agenda to what you have with Nothing More?

Nothing More: I feel the same way as I felt in High School – I was never a part of any of the ‘groups’ (cool kids, jocks, nerds) but I found common ground with each of the different groups. That mentality has manifested itself in our band – we find common ground with bands we tour with. We actually relate more to Alan Watts than to any particular band. Alan Watts had a knack for finding a common thread weaving throughout different world views. We do the same thing with our art. It is hard to pick out one band that we relate to completely – I never had a favorite band growing up, there was always a little something from each that I liked.

Musicscan: The style Nothing More is playing finds separation through passion and honesty, something you are not hearing too often these days. It's well balanced, vital and having a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting. And than there is this live feeling in your songs… What is your attitude towards your songwriting?

Nothing More: I am glad you see it that way! It was inevitable, growing up in a world where traditional southern values (politeness) were synonymous with dishonesty, that we would manifest honesty and passion above most things in our art. Part of the reason we do what we do is we get an excuse to be honest and the beautiful thing about it is that nobody can fault us – because it is art. Music has been individual and collective art therapy, without it we might be crazy people roaming the streets. Music makes us able to cope with the modern world.

Musicscan: Are there any principles you would never give up to with the band style-wise? What kind of?

Nothing More: We would never write about something we didn’t actually feel. We want our message to always be authentic.

Musicscan: And how important are compromises to your band? To me it seems that you're not willing to take compromises into consideration at all...

Nothing More: It depends on what you mean by ‘compromise’ – to me there is the bad kind (which you could call selling out) and the good kind – which is laying down your sword with others in the name of accomplishing something bigger than ourselves. The latter is something we deal with every day – especially being locked in a van together all the time.

Musicscan: Do you generally think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern rock music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?

Nothing More: There is no doubt that rock has been in a regurgitative cycle for some time now. There are so many exciting things on the horizon for the sole reason how technology is changing the way we play and think about music.

Musicscan: Who is listening to Nothing More? What kind of people you see and meet at your shows? What are they telling you about their impressions, and what do you want people to leave with with your songs?

Nothing More: People listening to nothing more are incredibly varied, we’ve played a lot of shows with diff bands, but when we play festivals we really see our true fans in bigger numbers. People have been anyone from 12 year olds to 50-60 year olds. There’s an element that appeals to all ages and both genders, so it’s hard to pin down our demographic. The thing that I hear over and over – “I’ve never seen anyone play a bass guitar like that.” “You have a lot of relentless energy “ We want people that hear our music to feel inspired and have new sense of energy that they didn’t have before. I like to feel exactly the same way at every show when I perform.

Musicscan: Lastly: what type of “success” did you hope to gain with Nothing More in the future?

Nothing More: To be 100% honest – to be the biggest band in the world.

Platte der Woche:

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