Nothing More

NOTHING MORE
The Stories We Tell Ourselves
(2017)


You can’t fake something like Nothing More. Since the band’s inception, they have cultivated a rapturous fanbase the old-fashioned way: By releasing groundbreaking music, tirelessly touring and cultivating a relationship with their fans that transcends trends. Correspondingly, the band’s latest full-length The Stories We Tell Ourselves sees frontman Jonny Hawkins once again bearing the soul of Nothing More as his bandmates Mark Vollelunga (guitar), Daniel Oliver (bass) and Ben Anderson (drums) craft a sonic palette comprised of elements ranging from progressive metal to pop. Ultimately the album isn't just about the band's stories, it's also about the listener's personal narrative.

“Many times there is a disconnect between the stories we tell ourselves about reality and reality itself. That disconnect is a void where suffering and self-frustration often enter our lives.” Hawkins explains. “The Stories We Tell Ourselves is an introspective journey from the first song to the last. Making this album helped me stay tethered to reality as I navigated through challenges in my personal life. I believe it will do the same for others. The title alone was a constant reminder to stay grounded when extreme waves of anxiety, depression, and sadness would try and sweep me into fruitless thought patterns and self-destructive, tail-chasing. For Nothing More, music has always been the source from which we find a positive way to move through challenging emotions… this record is no exception.” Furthermore, the album will be relatable to anyone who needs to look deep inside of themselves and find the strength to carry on in the face of adversity.

The songs on The Stories We Tell Ourselves were written early last year and recorded primarily on the road and in personal studios as production duties were often handled by Hawkins and the band themselves. “We are all very hands-on with the recording, so we decided that making this record on the road, when we were creatively thriving, would be ideal” Vollelunga says. While Hawkins previously wrote and performed most of the band’s drum parts, this is the first album to feature Anderson who joined the band in 2015. “Ben is an incredible drummer and gelled with our musical vision immediately,” Oliver explains. “His talents also freed Jonny up to focus more on the production and melodies and I think that made this album come together in a really fluid way.”

From the relentless groove of “Don’t Stop” to the emotive, anthemic bent of the Pixies-esque “Still In Love,” The Stories We Tell Ourselves proves that confessionals have never been so catchy—and songs like “Let ‘em Burn” seamlessly alternate between aggression and anthemic pop. “‘Just Say When’ is probably the most sentimental song we’ve ever written and it came at a time when I had these overwhelming feelings of frustration about a past failed relationship. I needed an outlet to get it all out,” Hawkins explains. It has been said that the polar emotion to sadness is anger. This is most certainly true as all sentimentality transforms from “Just Say When” into a furious blaze during “Go To War,” which sees Hawkins showcasing his dynamic vocal range over a mix of electronic and organic instrumentation. “Whenever this band has difficult emotions, we turn them into something positive through music. That alchemy is the biggest reason we continue to do what we do,” he says of the cathartic process.

Lyrically the band was further informed by everything from the writings of Carl Jung and C.S. Lewis to the potent psychedelic DMT, the latter of which helped open Hawkins' mind to new ways of understanding himself and the world around him. “‘Funny Little Creatures' is about waking up to the fact that there are these creatures that you have within yourself and that there's often a lot more going on in our subconscious than we consider.” These ideas are mirrored in the artwork which ties directly into the central themes behind The Stories We Tell Ourselves. However, while the content may be heady, the album also features more pop elements than any of the band’s previous albums. Such is the case with the aforementioned “Don’t Stop” which sees the band writing massive hooks that stretch toward the stratosphere. “I think ‘Don’t Stop’ is totally genre-bending for us; we find inspiration in so many different kinds of music and felt it was important to not make rules about what we could or couldn’t do with this record,” says Hawkins. “This album definitely goes to a lot of places that we’ve never been before and I’m really proud of that,” adds Vollelunga.

Then there are the band's live shows which have become legendary for the kinetic energy they share onstage. “We come from a perspective that the live show should be a totally different type of experience than what you hear on the record and we try to show that in every performance,” says Hawkins. It’s clear that this is a band that can't wait to share The Stories We Tell Ourselves, with their fans across the globe.

Ultimately, The Stories We Tell Ourselves proves to all of us that even if our stories don’t always have a happy ending there’s a beauty in their very existence. Even during the album’s darkest moments — Hawkins literally sings about being stuck in a hole on “Still In Love” — there’s a hopefulness that permeates each of these songs that will inevitably resonate with new listeners while making the deep bond that Nothing More has with their fans even deeper.

Palisades

When As Lions came together in 2015, singer Austin Dickinson recalls, “we had a mission statement to each other and to the music. And that was to create the biggest, baddest hard rock we could, and on an almost cinematic scale.” Hardly the most modest of goals, but one the London-based five-piece go a long way toward realizing on their debut EP, Aftermath. The effort's 4 dynamic tracks are a study in contrasts, mixing thick, grinding riffs and rhythms with majestically sweeping strings, stately piano tinklings and a hefty dose of atmospheric electronics, all of it shot through with Dickinson’s soaring vocals and introspective lyrics. The result is music that runs a gamut of emotions, capable of sounding beautiful and hopeful one second and angry and aggressive the next. Or, as Dickinson puts it, “sonically and in terms of expression, the idea is to have these little peaks and valleys in the songs. That ambition, as far as sound and feel and emotion, is what binds the five of us together as musicians.”

Those five musicians—Austin Dickinson, guitarist and keyboardist Conor O’Keefe, guitarist Will Homer, bassist Stefan Whiting and drummer Dave Fee—first revealed that grand ambition in 2015, playing sold-out shows in their native England, where they garnered plenty of positive press and a growing and devoted fan base. That lead to a U.S. record deal and a trip to New Jersey to record with, Dickinson says, “an absolute hero of ours,” award-winning producer David Bendeth (Of Mice & Men, Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon). From there, the band headed to Las Vegas and worked with Kane Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, In This Moment). “That was an amazing experience,” the singer says. “Not only is Kane hyper talented, he’s also a young guy—our own age. So we were all on the same wavelength.

“In general, the sessions were just great,” Dickinson continues. “Every day was an adventure into exploring the possibilities that lay in front of us. And I think you can hear it in the songs. There was a shit-ton of fun that went into them, and I hope that shines through.”

As much as there was an upbeat vibe permeating the recording sessions, when it came to his lyrics, Dickinson found himself drawn to more serious matters. There’s the title track, the epic and evocative “Aftermath,” in which Dickinson asks: “What have we created / what have we become?” as guitars churn and crash around him. “It’s one of our biggest-sounding songs, and it has some of my favorite riffs in it,” Dickinson says of the track. “Conceptually it's about trying to navigate your way out of disaster, be it personal, collective, or in the case of the video, a war zone,” he continues. “I think it's relatable and applicable to a lot of situations, which is why I wanted to write about it. The song means a ton to us, and we really hope our fans enjoy it as much as we did making it.”

Another track, the crushing “Deathless,” targets internet culture’s obsession with image. “These days there’s a lot of competition to get sort of meaningless recognition, or to be seen with a certain group of people,” Dickinson says. “It’s kind of like the high-school locker room got broken open on a global scale. There’s this sort of weird online pecking order. And it’s funny how you can manipulate life and its assets to seem much more important and much more amazing online. But in reality you can quite literally be this sort of waste that’s just hooked in and enslaved by your own devices.”

Pulling back the curtain and “Letting go” would be an apt description of what happens when As Lions bring their music to the stage. Says Dickinson, “performing live for me has always been like a weird form of therapy. You’re stepping outside of the thing you carry around all day—it’s like taking a bag off your back and chucking it down. I want to be able to do that for everyone that’s watching us as well. I want the fans to feel like they’re on that stage living these songs and having a great time. Because we’re having a great time. The way we perform, we just go nuts—absolutely fucking mental!”

As Lions are ready to roar, bringing Aftermath and their incendiary live show to fans everywhere. As for any modest goals they may have in this regard? “Just complete and utter world domination,” Dickinson says with a laugh. “But we don’t talk about that.”

My Ticket Home

Band Members
Brandon Saller- Vocals
Kyle Rosa- Drums
Joey Bradford- Guitar
Jon Hoover- Guitar
Nick Maldonado- Bass/Synth

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$3 surcharge at the door for any customer under 21. No large bags, backpacks, weapons or beverages allowed to enter. Seating is first come. Patron under 16 year must be accompanied by guardian. Patrons under 21 are not allowed re-entry.  Smoke and vaping is allowed on the patio. We are not responsible for lost items.

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