texas For­ever

Hav­ing built a grass­roots fol­low­ing be­fore ink­ing a deal, Texan hard rock­ers Noth­ing More are on the verge of ma­jor things. Vo­cal­ist Jonny Hawkins tells about not tak­ing the con­ven­tional path. By Brendan Crabb.

Blunt - - Up Front -

Fresh from cre­at­ing a self-ti­tled de­but LP which has at­tained a litany of glow­ing en­dorse­ments from crit­ics, high-pro­file mu­si­cians and as­sorted in­dus­try types, Noth­ing More front­man Jonny Hawkins humbly, but firmly be­lieves their time has ar­rived.

“Not only does it feel dif­fer­ent, just from the people’s faces in the au­di­ence to fans that we meet, but also the data and ev­ery­thing on­line… It’s this sur­real thing where we’ve worked so hard for so long, just to garner the at­ten­tion of just a few people. And now it’s

“It was a strug­gle to fIn­Ish the project, pay our bIlls and re­ally just lIve.” jonny hawkIns

like, we’re see­ing all these things pop up all over the coun­try and across the world, where people are get­ting in­ter­ested in what we’re do­ing. It’s pretty amaz­ing.”

The hook-laden Texan pro­gres­sive/heavy rock­ers re­cently is­sued their strik­ingly as­sured plat­ter via Eleven Seven (a di­vi­sion of Sony), but had the lux­ury of com­plet­ing it prior to sign­ing on the dot­ted line for a guar­an­teed five-al­bum con­tract. Es­chew­ing hin­drances like la­bel ex­ecs con­stantly pop­ping their heads into the stu­dio to of­fer two cents’ worth, Noth­ing More raised about $15,000 via Kick­starter to help fund the project.

The singer says cer­tain songs were in­spired by re­la­tion­ship break­downs, as well as rel­a­tives grap­pling with cancer, bipo­lar dis­or­der and drug ad­dic­tion.

“The whole record was kind of a heal­ing process, and also a way to give pur­pose to a lot of things that seemed pur­pose­less at the time,” he re­calls. “We moved into a house to­gether, and my room was the con­trol room, Daniel [Oliver, bass], his room was like the amp room. We had the din­ing room down­stairs which was our re­hearsal room. We re­ally just lived and breathed ev­ery­thing we were writ­ing for about two, two-and-ahalf years. We had a lot of life ex­pe­ri­ence ac­cu­mu­lated, so we had a lot of songs.

“We just de­cided to say, ‘You know what? Fuck it, we’re not on a la­bel, we don’t have any­body pres­sur­ing us’. So we just did it ex­actly how we wanted to do it. In hind­sight, we feel for­tu­nate that we had it that way, but at the time, hon­estly, we were wish­ing each step of the way that we had a la­bel or some­body back­ing us fi­nan­cially, be­cause it was a strug­gle to fin­ish the project, pay our bills and re­ally just live. Be­cause if you’re not an es­tab­lished artist, the only way you make money is go­ing out and play­ing shows, and the only way to fin­ish the record is to not be out play­ing shows and at home in the stu­dio. So it was a strug­gle… But it re­ally opened us up to ex­per­i­ment.”

The sac­ri­fices are pay­ing div­i­dends. They’ll sup­port Five Fin­ger Death Punch and Vol­beat over­seas, and play pres­ti­gious fes­ti­vals such as Down­load. To para­phrase a Vic­to­rian sport­ing com­men­ta­tor, it’s all hap­pen­ing for Noth­ing More.

“What led us here was just fol­low­ing our hearts and do­ing what we felt was the right thing to do, re­gard­less of the path that was pre­sented to us. I can hon­estly look back and say that we’re in­cred­i­bly happy that we did, that we lis­tened to our guts and hearts, and fol­lowed our dreams, rather than go­ing the tra­di­tional route. If any­one’s out there read­ing this at the same cross­roads we were, I hope that we’re just an ex­am­ple that it can work, even if you’re not on a la­bel at first, or people tell you that you can’t do it. I hope it’s some kind of en­cour­age­ment that it’s hap­pen­ing for us.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.