Nothing More is a cool-sounding but ill-fitting name for this San Antonio rock band. The word “nothing” in a band name pretty much implies metal, and adding “more” damn near makes it a Poe reference. But though NM plays an energized, moderately loud brand of rock ’n’ roll that’s aggressive, angry, or sad when it needs to be, there’s nothing much gothic or violent about the music. “Nothing More” also implies a minimalist approach, and anyone who’s seen the band’s live show (read “Live & Local,” February 25, for a description) — which builds to a percussion-heavy performance-art climax closer to Blue Man Group or Stomp than a hard-rock concert — knows that ain’t true. Check it out for yourself Friday, October 24, at Scout Bar, where NM are scheduled for a homecoming gig after a four-week national tour. We spoke with lead singer Jonny Hawkins about the show, their newest album, and finding a balance between recording serious music and having fun onstage.
It says on the flyer this will be a costume party. What are you guys dressing up as?
`Laughs`. Good question. … I think me and my girlfriend are going as Pebbles and Bam-Bam, and I think our drummer `touring member Devin Travieso` said he was going to be either a pimp, Mickey Mouse, or the Phantom of the Opera.
One of the things you guys are known for is the kind of crazy performance-art thing you do at the end of your shows. Where did that come from originally?
I was in drumline for a year in high school, at Ronald Reagan, and I tried to incorporate some elements from that into our shows. It made things different … and even when a sound guy messed up the mix and people couldn’t hear a note of our music, they were still intrigued … our live show put it over the top. … We started getting a lot of fans who just came for the crazy live show.
Are you worried that when you’re running around wearing helmets with cymbals on top of them that people won’t take your music
It really is like a marketing tool … back before I became the lead singer, our old lead singer would really bring that kind of goofy aspect to the show … We were doing a bunch of things that made a lot of drunk-ass people get excited. … He drug us down that road, I think, because of the immediate response it would get at shows … but we’re a different band than we were. … Now we’re trying to find a better way to transition from the very serious parts of our show to the very funny parts.
What are you ultimately trying to move toward in your live shows then?
I want it all to be more integrated and organic, with more epic, dark instrumental interludes versus the ridiculously silly stuff. … I’d like to have more things that can be appreciated more by a pothead than a roomful of drunk people, if that makes sense.
What else are you working on?
We’re mostly promoting our new album `The Few Not Fleeting, released in February`, and I really want people to see our new website at thefewnotfleeting.com, where we’re putting up a lot of behind-the-scenes, the stories behind the songs. … “Gone,” for example is a song I wrote when my mom died of cancer.
Wow. Do you play that one live, too?
We play that one a lot earlier in the set, but, yeah, it’s a little weird. •