Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

nothing more

Mark and Jonny from NOTHING MORE talk about the new album and hurricane 'Harvey'

Veröffentlicht am 1. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Nothing More, Interview, News, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rock

Photo: Promotion

Photo: Promotion

Markus’ Heavy Music Blog: Hello everybody and thanks for spending some time for Markus’ Heavy Music Blog. My first question is actually related to the current situation in Texas. You guys are from San Antonio and I hope that the city wasn’t that much hit by ‘Harvey’.

Mark: Hey Markus!  I’m Mark too so it’s good to be chatting with a fellow awesome dude named Mark haha!

Fortunately, San Antonio was not heavily affected by 'Harvey'. We live far enough inland that the storm just brought us heavy wind and rain. We avoided all the floods. Obviously, we all know how bad it demolished Houston, Rockport and the surrounding areas though. Jonny and I both have family and lots of friends that were directly affected and went through the worst of it. But I feel that our country learned something from the past when 'Katrina' hit and this time people came together more quickly in this time of need. People like JJ Watt & Jimmy Fallon from the tonight show raised and donated millions and millions of dollars to help out. It’s really amazing to see that kind of outreach. Nothing More donated to JJ’s fund.

 

MHMB: That's good news in such an extreme situation. So, let’s have a look on some even more positive things - the new album. “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” got to the record stores mid-September. The album addresses the topic of a disconnection between reality and the stories we tell ourselves. How did you came up with this theme for the album?

Jonny: The title was on the back of my mind since the beginning of the writing process, and I can't recall exactly what put it there. But in the midst of going through some challenging changes in my life I found a lot of solace and strength by listening to lectures done by Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Owen Cook and Jordan Peterson. A common theme I find in those lectures, as well as my personal experiences, was realizing how extremely powerful self-narrative and self-identity are when it comes to determining where you end up in life. The stories we tell ourselves every day, every week, every month and every year are the stories we become. If something doesn't work out how you planned is it a *lesson or a *failure? If something inconvenient comes our way is it a *challenge or a *curse? At its heart it's basically glass half full of glass half empty thinking... but the life implications are HUGE. It's a mistake to underestimate it. 

 

MHMB: Since the topic is present through-out the entire album, would you say that “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” is a concept album? And if ‘No’, why not?

Jonny: Yes, totally a concept album. 

 

MHMB: “Nothing More” included with “Jenny” a song that has a very personal link. How much own experiences and personal stories are connected to the new songs?

Mark: We’ve always been huge fans of Ben Folds. He wrote songs about specific stories and events; Songs like Zakk & Sara, Annie Waits, Fred Jones Part II, & Steven’s Last Night in Town are some of our favorite tracks of his.  The fact that he included these names and details made us fall in love with these tracks. He gave the song a personal feel and really made you want to know them and wonder if they were real people!  We always like to include personal stories and events as well and the new album The Stories We Tell Ourselves is no exception.  The album stretches from personal stories of divorce, to addiction, and to fatherhood. We’re all very connected to these songs and we’re so stoked for people to really dive into these songs.

Photo: Promotion

Photo: Promotion

MHMB: “Go to War”, a song that can reach a wider group of rock fans, was the first single from the album. Why did you decided to go for this track?

Jonny: We wrote "Go to War" very fast, having most of it done within thirty minutes.  That’s usually a good sign that you are connected deeply with the emotions driving writing the process and that it has a good chance to make a listener really feel something.  It was actually the first song from the album we shared with our label and we thought it would make a great first single from the start.

 

MHMB: The tracklist also features some interludes. What was the thinking behind this interesting addition?

Mark: Nothing More has always been an advocate of instrumental tracks.  One of the biggest problems in our band is that we always have too much material. We typically snag bits and pieces of music that didn’t make turn into full songs and make instrumentals out of them. I personally love doing this because it lets us be more artistic with our instruments and gives us a break from thinking about melody and lyrics. The instrumentals spliced throughout a record can give your ear a bit of a break and let you meditate on a thought or idea before transitioning into the next song. If you haven’t listened to Dredg’s el Cielo do so now. It’s probably our collective favorite album and is part of the inspiration for the band creating on this level.

 

MHMB: 2014 was a turning point for the band, signing with Eleven Seven Music. How did things change since then compared to the earlier days?

Jonny: The biggest difference is that we now have a team of people working around us helping us reach a wider audience. We work harder now than we ever have, but that support team allows us to be more focused on writing, recording and performing.

 

MHMB: Is there anything more you want to share with the readers of Markus’ Heavy Music Blog?

Mark: We just want to say thank you to everyone that has supported us along the way.  We’re just happy and blessed we get to play, write and record music for a living that people seem to appreciate so much. I know what it’s like to fall in love with bands and songs and it’s one of the best things about being alive. Cheers!

Mark and Jonny from NOTHING MORE talk about the new album and hurricane 'Harvey'
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CD review NOTHING MORE "The Stories We Tell Ourselves"

Veröffentlicht am 13. September 2017 von Markus W. in Nothing More, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Nu Metal, Rock, CD Review, News

CD review NOTHING MORE "The Stories We Tell Ourselves"

(7/10) Nothing More is an alternative rock outfit from San Antonio, Texas. The band's around since many years but their career got a push a few years ago when they inked a deal with Seven Eleven Music. After having released four longplayers with limited success, the new deal brought Nothing More into the spotlight. The self-titled longplayer, released in 2014, scored by entering the Billboard charts as well as it reached a top 10 position in the Independent Album charts.

Three years later the next record is in the starting blocks and it aims for a similar success. "The Stories We Tell Ourselves" features 12 songs and a number of intermezzos. I wouldn't go that far saying that the disc is a concept album. However, there is the overarching theme of a reality and what we tell ourselves. There is often a disconnect between both, leading to suffering and frustration. 

From a musical viewpoint the new album covers a wider range of sounds. This lead to diversity, but it can also be perceived as a scattered picture with no clear direction. This album leans towards the former even though I can't get rid of the feeling that they guys are still in search of identity and uniqueness. 

There is for example the single release "Go to War", a song that has a lot of airplay potential. The single is well chosen and can reach mainstream rock fans. The counterpart to this catchy tune is the heavy and nu metal reminding "Let 'em Burn". Wild guitars, a furious rhythm and freaky vocal lines showcases a band that's wild and powerful with no willingness to compromise.

"The Stories We Tell Ourselves" is an album that is done in a very professional way, with all the good and the bad. Production, artwork and sound - all good and no reason to complain. What I miss with the longplayer though are the edges, the surprises and the unexpected. Nothing More plays it safe and bit more risk-taking would be benefitial next time.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. (Ambition Destruction)
  2. Do You Really Want It
  3. (Convict Divide)
  4. Let ́em Burn
  5. Ripping Me Apart
  6. Don ́t Stop
  7. Funny Little Creatures
  8. (React Respond)
  9. The Great Divorce
  10. Still In Love
  11. (Alone Together)
  12. Go To War
  13. Just Say When
  14. (Accept Disconnect)
  15. Who We Are
  16. Tunnels
  17. (End begin)
  18. Fade In Fade Out 

 

Label: Better Noise Records

Genre: Alternative Rock / Nu Metal

Release Date EU: September 15th, 2017

 
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CD review NOTHING MORE "Nothing more"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Juni 2014 von Markus W. in Nothing More, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News

(7/10) I wonder how long Nu Metal can be seen as new. And what is the opposite of Nu Metal? Old Metal? I know, those are very philosophical questions. But when I listened to the new album from Nothing More exaclty those thoughts came up to my mind.

The San Antonio based quartet plays Nu Metal, which reminds to bands like Korn and Linkin Park, but also bands like Mars Volta and 30 Seconds To Mars seemed to be source of inspiration for Nothing More.

The album starts with a sample-based intro which leads the the first real song called "This is the time (Bombast)". Grooving guitars riffs dominat the tune, which is a good start into the album. Also the heavy "Friendly fire" rocks pretty well, while "Here's to the heartache" is highly melodic and quite catchy. The name of the song makes you thinking about a ballad, which isn't really the case. It could become a tune which gets quite some airplays. What I like too is the rocking and straight forward "Sex & lies".  The energy of the track is infectious.

But there are also tracks on the album which I think are a bit too trivial. "Christ copyright' is one of those. The tune doesn't really stick. The same goes for the Linkin Park copycat "Mr. MTV". The song is just too expressionless, at least for me. The closer "Pyre" is a downer too. I expected actually a nine minutes long impressive epos as a final statement on the record. But the first almost three minutes are just sound samples from 'wind', before some distorted spoken words start. The tunes continues that way. There is no guitar existing in this track and the whole thing sounds more like from a chill-out album. Experiemental! Yes, true. But not a succesful experiment in my eyes. I also have to say that the album is probabaly four to five songs too long. This is something which you will not hear from me too often, but with this album I had the feeling that I have heard it after ten tracks. 

If the category is called Nu Metal I have to say that Noting More doesn't really include a lot of new things in their songs. It's more a mix of existing success factors which they include and combine in their sound. And generally spoken, this is what they are doing pretty well and very professional.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ocean floor
  2. This is the time (Ballast)
  3. Christ copyright
  4. Mr. MTV
  5. First punch
  6. Gyre
  7. The Matthew effect
  8. I'll be OK
  9. Here's to the heartache
  10. If I were
  11. Friendly fire
  12. Sex & lies
  13. Jenny
  14. God went north
  15. Pyre

 

Label: Eleven Seven Music

Genre: Alternative Metal

CD review NOTHING MORE "Nothing more"
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