Nothing More’s Jonny Hawkins Talks Self-Titled Album + Influences
One of the buzziest new bands of 2014 has been Nothing More. The group is ramping up to their new self-titled album, coming out June 24, and they’ve been receiving positive word of mouth for their new single ‘This Is the Time (Ballast).’
The band’s frontman, Jonny Hawkins, recently took a few moments with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie to discuss the band’s ascent, sharing some of the details that made Nothing More the band that it is and opening up about discovering inspiration outside of the music world. To check out Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Nothing More’s Jonny Hawkins, read below:
Full Metal Jackie, on the show with us we’ve got the singer of Nothing More, Jonny Hawkins, with us. How are you Jonny?
Hey Jackie, doing great.
Happy to have you on the show. Nothing More currently on the road with Chevelle for few weeks. Self-titled album coming out on June 24. Jonny, you guys list influences from the fields of neuroscience, astrophysics, philosophy, filmmaking, psychiatry and just one musician. How do such non-musical pioneers influence and effect you musically?
As a band, and as brothers we’ve pushed each other to reach outside the things that we’ve known growing up. Finding new bands, or listening to different styles of music. All the way to reading new books from authors that have challenging ideas about whatever it may be. I think trying to reach outside music to find inspiration has led us to some interesting places. The lead singer of a band called Thrice was a huge influence on us. His name is Dustin Kensrue.
I think he kind of opened the door to our minds to that. He would write a lot of songs from these places of influence that were so different than a lot of other bands. A lot of times he’d be inspired by novels, short stories or whatever it was. He would write music about it. I think it inspired us, and it also opened our eyes to the reality that music can come from a lot of different places of inspiration.
Jonny, music can lift an audience and take them to a different place. Emotionally, where does it take you when you’re on stage playing it?
Tough question! It depends on the night and how well we’re playing to be 100 percent honest. I think some nights it’s hard to get your head into the game. But, most nights I think for me personally and the guys, I think it takes us to a — I don’t know what the right word is. A place of inspiration and overcoming, where we usually write a lot of our lyrics and songs out of kind of a darker place in our lives. We’re generally happy people, but I think music has always been an outlet for our struggles in life. So, a lot of our songs revolve around challenging circumstances and music has always given us the strength to overcome those things. So we like to write about that.
The four of you built this band with your bare hands, literally and figuratively. What’s been the biggest risk about that level of commitment and how has taking that risk paid off?
We started this when we were very young. We kind of just got together and said OK, we don’t have a label, or a manager. All these things that bands were further down the road at the time had. So, we just asked ourselves what is it that we each can bring to the table that collectively where we can create this thing that has moving parts and actually can go somewhere and affect people? So when we all came to the table, we realized we had strengths in different areas in ways that complimented each other. I think not just being a band but in any relationship, being in a band is almost like being married to multiple people at once because you’re around them all the time.
You have to make a lot of decisions together and come to compromises about things. I think it’s been a huge learning process but it’s also been very rewarding. When we learn to cohabitate and lay our swords down or when we get to these tough points where we’re getting sick of each other, we can look back and see that we had victories by working together. We’ve gotten to this place now because we’ve leaned on each other and trusted each other to allow each other to step up to the occasion in each of our departments. I think it’s been a huge help, I couldn’t be in a band with anyone else because I see a lot of other bands — no doubt there’s other bands who work in the same way we do. But a lot of bands, there’s usually one guy or two guys who are pulling all the weight and the rest are along for the ride. When we started this, we said very clearly that we didn’t want to be that band.
Every person needed to pull their weight and bring something to the table, and challenge each other. I think because of that we can look back and I think we’ve done a lot with very little. It’s really cool to see how we’ve grown together through that process.
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