The Never (Indie/Rock)
Posted Jun 18, 2007.
Jonny Tunnell: drums, vocals,
Noah Smith: vocals, guitar, bass, keys
Joah Tunnell: bass, vocals, guitar, keys
How do you guys like working with Trekky Records?
well, I'm actually married to emma at trekky records. it's true, we just got married! but yeah, they're great to work with. We've all been friends for a while and when we got out of our last record deal(which was not ideal) they offered to put out our latest record "antarctica". I think it turned out to be a bigger project than they expected but it's worked out.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
Yeah, mostly local though. One of the highlights will be a show in our home town of Chapel Hill at Cat's Cradle(which is an awesome venue) on June 22nd.
Have you been in other bands, why did they end or how are they going?
Jonny and I started out playing in a band with our older brother Stephen called Vibrant Green. I still play with Vibrant Green when ever I get the chance.
Noah had a few bands in his younger years but the most notable is The B-Sides. Jonny and I met Noah through music and our bands started playing together a lot in and around Chapel Hill then both our bands kind of fell apart around the same time so we started playing together and The Never was formed.
What inspires most of your lyrics?
There are many different inspirations for lyrics so I can't say there's one thing that inspires most of our writing. For Antarctica we had the story that had been written around a few songs and then the rest of the songs were written specifically to convey certain emotions or act as a soundtrack to the book. So for this record I suppose the story influenced a lot of the lyrics.
How many people in the band right now are the original band members?
All 3 of us are original members. We do often play with a few other people to fill out our live sound. So when we can we have cello, violin, extra guitar or brass.
Do you have any advice to starting bands?
Make music that you have fun playing. I've seen a lot of young bands who just don't seem to enjoy playing their own music and that, to me, just shouldn't be.
What is the best thing about music?
Well, when it hits you, you feel alright. Oh Wait! That's just one good thing about music. But seriously, I suppose music above other art forms has a broader appeal. It speaks more to one's soul or you can identify easily with the emotions in music.
What other instruments can (each person) play (other than the ones they
currently play in the band)?
Jonny is getting pretty good at the flute. So expect more flute on the next record! And Noah plays mandolin which will fit nicely on our bluegrass record.
Any funny/interesting stories?
Icould tell you loads of bus stories and how it always breaks down on us... but they're not that funny yet but will be once they age a bit.
What do you think about UFOs?
I(jonny) am fascinated with UFO's. i very much would like to see one... despite the fact that i wouldn't know what it is....
but it's kind of a life search for me.
What religion are you guys and does it effect your music?
religion is a tricky one. joah and i (jonny) came from the country where it seemed church was almost more an excuse to see everyone you knew on sunday more than anything. loads of potlocks... good times.
i believe the three of us feel there is a higher power be it god or what have you... this world seems so perfect in every way(except fpr us humans) but it's hard to believe it just happened one day(or even over millions of years) though i do believe in evolution.
so i suppose we're more citizens' of the universe... i do belive in souls however.
i secretly believe that god is training us to become warriors and then when we die we get to go and fight other galaxies with big lumbering fire beasts.
in the spirit world that is... i don't believe there are actually fire beasts on this planet.
What do you think of vegetarians?
I'm almost a vegetarian but that's mostly because meat is expensive!
What do you guys do for work right now, other than playing music?
Jonny and I work at a restaurant and for Trekky Records and Noah works at his parents antiques and vintage clothing store.
Do any of the members of the band play in any other bands?
YES! auxiliary house whenever we're not on tour which isn't often...
Have you lost any fans for doing something drastic? (like moving to a bigger
label, changing your sound, ect)
gosh i hope not...
Anything you would like to say to your fans reading this interview?
stay strong. go for a walk. get smart. don't throw your cigarette butts on the ground it's no different than a bottle.
eat a healthy breakfast for heaven's sake. don't sleep-in excessively, and don't watch too many movies, it hurts your eyes.
Have you ever been on tour, how many and how did they go?
touring is the single hardest thing i've(jonny) ever done especially in light of the fact that we're still relatively unknown so our tours are not the most glamorous thing in the world. lots of sleeping in a bus in freezing weather on the side of the road.
lots of getting vegetable oil out of tanks.
we go as far as milwaukee wis. savannah ga. boston mass.
they went really well despite ourselves and our bus!
this last winter was amazing. some great shows including sold out chicago with Annuals.
i love touring. you get to meet so many people and have so many different experiences daily. your day feels so long when you're in chicago one night an then tennesee the next. they blur together alot...
You said you guys had to get vegetable oil? could you go a little more in depth about that, how much does that save you compared to gas.
Vegetable oil is free when you can get it. We would stop at a fast food or Chinese restaurant and ask if we could take some of their waste oil. Then we stick our hose in this big nasty tank full old grease and oil and pump it into our bus and we have filters on our system so no french fries get in.
How does it feel to tour with the band members?
it's great. noah and joah are extremely chill. we do loads of busking in towns that we go to and make ice cream in the summers whilst playing songs. it's great to hone our voices which we use alot.
What is a busk? If you dont mind me asking.
Busking is just playing on the street for money.
What do you guys do on the road to keep busy?
stay up way past my bedtime. we've been known to busk for 6 hours a day in some towns.
we've typically made more money doing that then at our show that night!
Do you have any advice to bands about to go on their first tour?
dear lord... it's hard for me to say you should tour unless you have support behind you. some kind of radio or label doing press. if you can do all that yourself then go for it. or if you're connected with a house show scene then go for that as well. i didn't want to tour without radio support and i think that worked our fairly well. but hey weird things work out sometime.
i wish we'd been on tour the last 4 years...
capture your region first.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done?
knee-ed noah in the crotch real hard... he was in tears. she did this believe it or not, not out of anger but out of sheer joy to see him.
strange. knocked his glassess off too...
Could you tell us a litle about Antarctica,color storybook by Noah Smith and
Antarctica is a storybook album complete with 40 oil paintings by Noah. It's a full length album which serves as a sort of soundtrack to the story.
How did you come up with that idea for a storybook and album?
The idea came quite some time ago when Noah and former band-mate Ari Picker were throwing around ideas for future albums. They had originally planned to do a lullaby record but that idea morphed into doing a storybook album like those old Disney records that had the narrator telling you when to turn the page and the idea just kind of stuck.
How long did you wait from start to finish making the CD and Book?
Wow. A long time! Noah worked on the paintings for 2 years. Of course that wasn't any kind of concentrated work but I think all in all it probably was about 2 years.
What do you guys think about it?
We all think it turned out really well and were glad to have a lot of supportive people help us make it happen. Our producer Ian Schreier made the record sound just as we imagined it and captured a tone for the project, amazingly. this is the first book Noah's ever written and illustrated and I personally think he did a great job.
Where can we get it?
Your local music store. If they don't have it they can order it.
What did your fans say about it so far?
our fans are great!!!!! lots of our fans read it to their kids before bed!!
i think that's amazing ... i could cry thinking about how awesome that is.
Are you guys thinking about making Another CD, and if you do will it be
another storybook and album?
We're working on songs for our next record right now. I don't think we're going to do another storybook album for a while but who knows, ideas have a strange way of turning small projects in to big ones.
What do you think of Big Smile Magazine?
I've not read it before but i'm sure I would like it!