Interview – Jonny Hawkins of Nothing More

nothing more_edited-2

Eleven Seven Music
Eleven Seven Music  That is really interesting. The audio engineering and mastering is excellent. It seems you put a lot of heart into it.

Jonny Hawkins – It is really good to hear that because looking in the days we were working on it. It was very difficult because we had to figure out how we were going to pay our bills every night while giving 110% to the record. In the thick of it, it was not discouraging, but we reached points where we did not know how much our work would pay off and what people would think once we were finally done. – The redeeming quality has to be the feedback from people. One of the things that is extremely pronounced throughout the record is the uncompromising lyrical content. The concepts seem to revolve around society and do not pull any punches. Where do you find your lyrical inspiration from?

Jonny Hawkins – We grew up listening to bands like Rage Against The Machine, Tool, and Muse. There are also bands like Thrice and Ben Folds which are all artists that are influences of ours. There are so many of them which we ended up being so inspired by. It was a direct result of their lyrical content, not just the music. I think in the rock genre there has been a kind of vacuum of really meaningful lyrics in the last however many years, of course there are some good bands here and there which have some meaningful things to say. For the most part, there are always these rehashed phrases to words you have heard before that are not really about anything that big or important in life, at least that is how we interpret it. We were kind of inspired by that in a weird way, the lack of meaning in our genre to step up and bring a little bit of that to the rock genre. We also all grew up in church when we were younger and our parents were very passionate about what they believed in, but also instilled in us a sense of us trying to care more about the deeper issues in life than the day-to-day surface issues. They instilled those values in us and I think as time went on and we developed into our own persons it came out in our lyrics.

Island  It is quite refreshing to have such thought provoking lyrics to go along with the instrumentation the band provides. It seems that in modern rock a lot of bands lack a distinctive quality and identity. It is obvious from the first time people are introduced to Nothing More that you stand out. How important is it to you and the band to pave your own path in the rock world?

Jonny Hawkins – I think with everything we have done, whether it be the music or live show, even how we started touring when we began doing all this, in each one of those endeavors we would ask ourselves what are we doing that is different from everyone else. How are we going about this in a way that may be valuable or interesting to people in ways they have not gotten from other artists. To answer the question, yes, at the back of our minds there is always that question to challenge ourselves to be different or think about things in a new way. At the same time, I think the other half of it is the music and lyrics that you hear are more of a natural result of all our accumulated experiences, our upbringing, and people we have surrounded ourselves with. All those things end up naturally bleeding into the way that you write, the way you create, and decisions you make every day. – Right, that is where music should come from, from the heart. With the music you have created with this debut, it is bound to provoke a more emotional experience with listeners that is more than skin deep. It is going to develop a stronger connection with people. How does that feel for the band to know that you are developing these deeper connections?

Jonny Hawkins – Honestly, that is probably the most exciting thing for us to hear that. Being on top of the charts or getting recognized in the press is awesome and cool milestones to reflect on, but at the end of the day what is actually important behind all of that is making meaningful and lasting connections with people. The deeper you can get and the more honest you can get with your lyrics based on experiences you have had is going to connect with other people, which translates to long term friendship and fanship. That is really what we are focusing on in the long term. We want to do this with our lives; we want to keep connecting with people. We want to inspire them in the ways we have been inspired by artists we grew up under. I think it is an amazing thing when an artist can have a song that changes someone’s experience or gives them enough energy to get through some struggle they are going through. I think that is the coolest thing about what we are doing.

Photo Credit: Johnny White
Photo Credit: Johnny White – Yes, and some of the artists that you mentioned you are inspired by are ones which never really fit a specific mold and have done their own thing. It seems like Nothing More will follow a similar path of being uncompromising. Considering you are now reaching the mainstream with this album, where do you see Nothing More going in the future?

Jonny Hawkins – I do not know exactly. One of the things I would like to think will happen in the future is we will have more energy to focus on the creative process. Up until now, we have had to wear so many different hats our energy is always split between all these different endeavors and logistical things. As time goes on, we are going to get a bigger crew helping with the mundane tasks that have to be done. That will free us up to really explore more. I think when we begin to start opening ourselves up and putting more energy into the creative process, I think we are going to evolve a lot more and explore and experiment new sounds while still trying to maintain the core of our sound. We have always followed bands that are evolved artists like Thrice, The Beatles, or Incubus. We always have valued that change and exploration rather than just put out the same record with subtle variations year after year. I think the challenge is going to be finding the balance between the exploration processes, maintaining the elements of our sound, and the core that everyone liked about us in the first place.  That makes perfect sense. My last question for you is pertaining to movies. covers music and horror films. If you are a fan of horror films, what are some of your favorite horror films?

Jonny Hawkins – I am not, to be honest, a huge horror film viewer. I do like a lot of different films. There is not a particular type of film I like as much as what I happen to come across that is just a good movie within it of itself, whatever genre it may be. I end up going back to psychological thrillers. Growing up I always liked the Matrix (1999) mainly because of the psychological undertones behind all the characters. The story within the story in that movie turned me from this is a sci-fi movie to really thinking there is a lot more to this that I can put my teeth into it. There is a movie called The Fountain (2006) which is an interesting movie as well the way the director did it. I have always been a fan of Stanley Kubrick and his work with 2001 Space Odyssey (1968) and Clockwork Orange (1971). His stuff is just wild and always kind of rubs me funny but in a way that gets me thinking. I just think he is a very unique director.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Tour dates:
8/26/2014 — Little Rock, Ark. — Juanitias*
8/27/2014 — Dallas, Texas — Trees*
8/29/2014 — Houston, Texas — Scout Bar*
8/30/2014 — San Antonio, Texas — Sam’s Burger Joint*
9/02/2014 — Tucson, Ariz. — The Rock*
9/03/2014 — Los Angeles, Calif. — Troubadour*
9/05/2014 — Denver, Colo. — Marquis*
9/06/2014 — Colorado Springs, Colo. — Black Sheep*
9/09/2014 — Seattle, Wash. — El Corazon*
9/10/2014 — Spokane, Wash. — Knitting Factory*
9/11/2014 — Boise, Idaho — Knitting Factory*
9/12/2014 — Portland, Ore. — Dantes*
9/16 – Salt Lake City, UT – Maverik Center**
9/17 – Billings, MT – Rimrock Auto Arena @ Metrapark**
9/18 – Bismarck, ND – Bismarck Civic Center**
9/20 – Cedar Rapids, IA – US Cellular Coliseum**
9/21 – Grand Rapids, MI – Deltaplex**
9/23 – Syracuse, NY – The Oncenter**
9/25 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Arena**
9/26 – Lowell, MA – Tsongas Center**
9/27 – Albany, NY – Times Union Center**
9/28 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena**
9/30 – Portland, ME – Cumberland County Civic Center**
10/1 – Reading, PA – Santander Arena**
10/3 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center**
10/7 – Ft. Wayne, IN – Allen County War Memorial**
10/10 – Huntington, WV – Big Sandy Superstore Arena**
10/11 – Duluth, GA – Gwinnett Arena**
10/12 – Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Civic Coliseum**
10/14 – Orlando, FL – CFE Arena**
10/16 – Biloxi, MS – MS Coast Coliseum**
10/17 – Little Rock, AR – Verizon Arena
10/22 – Rio Rancho, NM – Santa Ana Star Center**
10/24 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint @ Hard Rock**
* w/ Sleepwave
** w/ Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, & Hellyeah
Read the review of Nothing More’s latest album on here
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