"The coolest people on earth are the people who are willing to listen and change" - In Conversation with Nothing More
American rock band Nothing More have exploded in popularity over the last few years. With their music being licensed for various TV shows and commercials it's propelled them into the big leagues. At this years Download 2018 Craig was able to have a chat with bassist Dan to dig deep into what makes Nothing More who they are and how they make the wonderful stage props they use during their live shows.
How was your Download experience this year?
Yeah, Download has been great, showed up, it was raining a little bit, but that's to be expected at Download! Then it cleared out for our set which was awesome.
So Nothing More have been around for 15 years at this point and in the last few years your popularity has exploded. Was there a culture shock when you rapidly began gaining success or was it something you had always prepared yourself for?
Well everything is a journey and we were in the underground scene for 10 years. We finally got signed and stuff started bubbling over and when the first record got released that elevated us a little bit. With the second record, everything has kind of felt way better. I don't know, I feel that we were prepared for it, we upped the show. The band has really come into its own and really made a foundation for the future. It's hard though, festivals are quite hard. We feel inspired and want the crowd to feel something when we come off stage.
Talking about the stage show, you are the master builder in the band, how did the stage props like the scorpion tail come about?
I've always wanted to build things from an early age. I grew up riding motorcross and stuff like that. I just would go to a motorcross race and be fascinated by this lump of steel flying through the air and gracefully landing and wanted to know how that worked. That progressed to welding about seven or eight years ago, I'm no professional, I'm self taught. Let me put it like this, if you see a very energetic band jumping around, that's all well and good but I wanted to take it to the next level. Put up hundreds of pounds of steel up on stage and see what it looks like! The guys guide me what to do. They will have the idea, I'll refine it in my workshop. The band go into the studio as all our records are self produced and I go into my workshop and build these awesome things. Every now and again they will pop their heads around the door and say "Dan, what are you doing?!" and I'll show them.
A good portion of your songs have socio-political themes to them. Do you feel as artists with the platform you have its important to express this?
I think it is, because we have been doing this so long, I think the biggest thing we learnt from the underground without anyone spending money on us or constantly telling us we are cool, is progress takes change. Sometimes the way you think about life might be wrong. There are so many things to think about when it comes to either musicianship or the workshop. Thinking about who I was in High School compared to who I am now showed me patience. Sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board and revisit a song. For me personally it's going back to the garage and cutting pieces off a structure I may have loved. Looking at it that might be "oh that's not right" and changing it. Hindsight is 20/20. That's the spirit behind it. The coolest people on earth are the people who are willing to listen and change.
Most of the band have known each other since High School, how have you all remained friends for so long?
That's a fantastic question! It's hard but we still share the same friend groups, it's not like we go home and not see each other. We still barbeque together and come together socially. I'd say this bands didn't really have a lucky break musically but what was lucky I guess is that we found each other and we always believed in pushing each other through love. We have had a few members over the years but the three that have stuck around, it's been for the best. I can look back 15 years and there is me and Johnny in High School learning our instruments, especially like a bass player and a drummer, which are the rhythm and heart beat of the band.
If there is or was one band you would love to tour with who would it be?
I'd say present band would be Muse and classic band would be Led Zeppelin.
For all things Nothing More visit their website, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Their latest album 'Stories We Tell Ourselves' is out now from all good music stockists.