Once Nothing (Hardcore)
Posted Jan 14, 2008.
Hey guys, my name is Jonny. How are you guys doing today?
Hey Jonny, this is Steve. I play bass in Once Nothing. It's currently 2:45 am and we're on tour right now in Mississippi. In the morning we'll head to Mobile, Alabama. We've been out for 2 weeks already and we're all tired, but I'm great right now.
Are you guys enjoying the lovely Pittsburgh weather?
Well we've been out since Dec. 28th, but before we left, the weather was pretty cold and snowy. I imagine it hasn't changed much. We're prone to touring in the south during the winter so we miss a lot of the cold weather.
We have a lot of readers from California and all over the U.S. Could you tell us a little about the music scene in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has a pretty thriving music scene. There are always new bands popping up but unfortunately there aren't a lot of bands that leave the Pittsburgh area. I mean you have some bands that break out and get huge, like Anti-Flag, Rusted Root, and the Clarks, but labels and stuff don't pay much attention and they should. A lot of bands work really hard and don't get the credit they deserve.
What are a lot of your songs about and where do you find inspiration to keep writing and making music?
Todd [writes] about things we all struggle with: faith, lust, pain, and salvation. They're very personal lyrics and they tend to strike a nerve. We get the inspriation because we love what we do. We're on the road as much as we possibly can be. What other job do you get to travel, hang out, meet people, and only work for a few hours a day? It's rough, but amazing.
What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
We all have a ton of influences. I personally grew up listening to Metallica, Pantera, Primus, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anything with a decent bass player, though any more I just listen to whatever sounds unique.
Now what bands influence your music the most today?
When we were writing this last record I definitely listened to a lot of older Metallica and some old blues and rock 'n roll. So many bands cite Metallica as an influence, but it's because they did what they did so well. Our style has always been to mix heavy music with bits of rock 'n roll. Sometimes it's hard to keep that fresh, so I went back and listened to guys like Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters for some reference points, and Metallica, Pantera, and Rammstein for heavy influence. I know Josh (guitar) drew a lot from rock 'n roll bands like AC/DC and Squad Five-O, but always listens to country music in the van (which the rest of us have tried to ignore but somehow don't hate as much anymore...). Giuseppe (drums) is definitely one of the most amazingly talented musicians I've ever met and he can just pull stuff out of the blue and put down whatever is in his head at the moment. Todd's an extremely talented vocalist too when it come to being able to switch off between rock n' roll swagger to metal.
So you guys have been a band for a while, and you have become pretty big, what did it take to get you guys where you are today?
Lots and lots of hard work. I know so many bands talk about struggles, but we've really been down all roads. Member changes, broken vans, empty shows. We've always had a perseverance through all of those things and that's really the biggest part of getting to where we are. Also, we as Christians have felt convicted about doing what we do. We're not a preachy band, we don't point fingers, and we don't force anything down anyone's throat, however we've felt a calling to go out and change some peoples' minds. It's been such a blessing to have had so many things go right for us lately, and we give thanks to God for that.
So you guys have quite a big tour coming up; how do you feel about it?
We're all stoked about it. We all have a need to just get in the van and go. We've made a lot of friends across the country and the tour is a reason to see them, not to mention make new ones, play music that we love, and head-bang ourselves into contention.
Are you guys going on the whole tour with any bands?
Yes, we just finished up a tour with our labelmates Becoming the Archetype, and With Blood Comes Cleansing (Victory Records.) We didn't know any of those dudes before we went out with them, but the tour went really well and we've found close friends in each of those bands. We started a tour last night with our close friends in A Plea for Purging (Facedown Records) and Here I Come Falling (Rise Records.) That tour goes for about 2 weeks and then we go straight onto another tour with labelmates Life In Your Way, Advent, and a band called Our Last Night (Epitaph Records.) Then we have plans to keep going after that, so we're not looking to stop any time soon.
Any plans to have your tour head through California, or any plans to play CA in the future?
There's always plans in the works. I've been really bummed that we haven't been able to make it to CA yet. The past times we've tried it's either been van problems or booking falling through. We've got a lot of friends and fans out there and we keep telling them we're coming soon. Think happy thoughts. We'll get there. I promise.
So you have a new fill length CD from Solid State Records. What is the title of it and how do you guys feel about it?
The CD is called First Came the Law, and it comes from the book of John in the Bible. We're more excited for this record to come out than anything we've ever done. There is honestly blood, sweat, and tears all over the making of this record, and I think it shows in the songs.
Do you feel as if it captured your true sound and style?
It's funny, in the past, kids have come up to us at a show and been like, "You guys are awesome but your CD sucks!" And everything before our last record Earthmover, I would have to agree. Though I love those songs, the recording quality is garbage. Chalk that up to experience, at the time we were stoked about it, but after a while we realized that it wasn't enough. On First Came the Law, I think we captured "us" as closely as we ever have. Some people spend years trying to get their live sound on record, and live is always better, but Jamie King did an awesome job on it, and we're proud of it.
How do you like being on Solid State Records?
We love it. They've been very personal with us and have treated us like family from the get go. We had heard some horror stories from people saying, "Oh they're going to make you change your music and do this and this and this." But they've never done any of that. They're just as excited about this, if not more, than we are.
As a band living in Pittsburgh I could only imagine you guys are huge Pittsburgh Steelers fans. You guys have the terrible towel, and the bad call bricks?
Josh has a Steelers tattoo on his arm too. The night the Steelers won the superbowl was intense. We had all of our friends huddled around a TV and once the clock ran out, it was complete chaos. We broke a couch in the celebration, I got punched in the face, random people came in our house and celebrated. You won't find bigger Steeler fans. If you do, bring them to a Once Nothing show.
What religion are you guys and does that affect your music in any way?
We're all Christians in the band. It definitely affects our music, because like I said, it's something that is very prevalent in our lives. Todd's lyrics constantly have Christian undertones in them, though [they] are not always blatant. You can take them a bunch of different ways and that's what makes our music personal to everyone, not just Christians. As for the rest of us, we just try to live like Jesus as best we can. We're not perfect by any means, but we'll tell you we love you and if you wanna hang out and talk about Jesus, that's awesome. If not, we can talk about Metallica or the Steelers or anything else. We're 5 normal dudes that happen to play metal AND love Jesus.
Is there anything that you would like to say to all your fans reading this interview?
Yeah, as soon as you're done reading this, go buy our record, practice head-banging, and get to one of our shows immediately. Or if you need more convincing, we're on myspace and purevolume, so give it a chance, then do all of the above.
What do you guys think of Big Smile Magazine?
I completely support it. I think it's awesome that the staff has kept it going for the love of music. That's so true. Believe me, it's so hard to keep something going against all kinds of problems and other crap that goes on in life, but it's so worth it. Now if they could just get East Coast distro I'd be even more stoked. Our website is under construction but for now you can check us out at myspace.com/oncenothing or purevolume.com/oncenothing
This article edited by The Bear (is the Editor)