Prior to Texan rock quartet NOTHING MORE's recent performance at Wisconsin's annual Rock Fest, HardDrive Radio's Lou Brutus spoke with the group's vocalist, Jonny Hawkins. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On their recent show in Barcelona, Spain supporting GUNS N' ROSES:
Jonny: "We played the soccer stadium — or, I guess, football stadium is the correct term. God, that was insane. It was basically a stadium full of GUNS N' ROSES fans, and VOLBEAT was there as well. We've gotten to tour with them in the States in the past. They're great guys, great performers. [GN'R] were actually a lot better than I had thought. I'd never seen them with the full lineup before. I'd seen Axl [Rose] with some other players, so when I saw the full lineup, they were just smoking. They were very driving, very high-energy, surprisingly. I didn't know what to expect of a band that's been around as long as they have and done what they've done and had the history that they have with each other. I didn't know how cohesive it would feel or look. To feel it live, especially in Spain... I think something about Europe, sometimes, they just get more into it in a certain way. There's a little less inhibition, or a little more love for the purity of the music. I think in the States, maybe it's just the nature of our country... sometimes it's very fad-driven, so people get real into who's cool or popular rather than just loving the music for the love of it. When I was looking around, there was that pure enjoyment [in] almost every single person you could see. In the States, there's those pockets of people, and they're, like, the crazy ones, whereas there, it's everybody, which was a really cool vibe to be around. GUNS N' ROSES was amazing. I was most impressed with the guitar playing. Both sides, they were just smoking through everything, hitting every note clean."
On the group's current single, "Just Say When":
Jonny: "It's probably the softest single we've ever released. We're a hard rock band for the most part, but this one is straightforward, it's raw, it's honest, it's an acoustic song. I think this one hit kind of the heart and soul or the core of this record ['The Stories We Tell Ourselves'], along with songs like 'Fadein/Fadeout' and 'Still In Love' that were kind of the more emotionally, core-driven songs. This one, I think, sums up for me personally what I was dealing with. The focus of my life at the time we were working on the record in my personal life was really tied up with an eight-year relationship that I was in that had ended. It was a girl I had met when my mother was passing away, so there was a lot of complicated disentanglements through that process, and kind of a rebuilding process. This song came out of that. We almost threw the song away — we almost didn't even put it on the record, because it was a little out of left field for us. I'm glad we did. We're getting a really good response on it."
According to BDS, "Just Say When" — the third radio single from "The Stories We Tell Ourselves" — was the 15th-most-played song at active rock radio last week. First single "Go To War" reached No. 1 last November, while second single "Do You Really Want It?" peaked at No. 6 in March.
"The Stories We Tell Ourselves" was released last September via Better Noise Records. The disc saw Hawkins once again bearing the soul of NOTHING MORE as his bandmates Mark Vollelunga (guitar), Daniel Oliver (bass) and Ben Anderson (drums) crafted a sonic palette comprised of elements ranging from progressive metal to pop.
"The Stories We Tell Ourselves" earned NOTHING MORE three Grammy nominations: "Best Rock Album", "Best Rock Performance" and "Best Rock Song" for the single "Go To War".