Nothing More had a long journey to success, having released three albums before finally breaking through on rock radio with their 2013 self-titled fourth album. The band followed that up with last years’ The Stories We Tell Ourselves, which earned the group three Grammy nominations, including two for the electrifying No. 1 rock hit “Go To War”.
And while Nothing More came away empty-handed at the Grammy ceremony earlier this year, the album continues to yield successful singles, including the current Top 10 rock hit “Just Say When”. In addition, the band spent this past summer on a blockbuster summer tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin, performing to thousands of screaming rock fans every night.
Nothing More frontman Jonny Hawkins recently spoke with Heavy Consequence about the band’s Grammy experience, the new single “Just Say When”, his thoughts on the state of rock music, and plans to work on the follow-up to The Stories We Tell Ourselves. Read the full interview with Hawkins below.
On the experience of being nominated for three Grammy Awards
Being nominated was pretty much a dream come true for us. I remember daydreaming about what it would be like to be in the same ranks as a lot of people I’ve looked up to over the years, so it was definitely a dream come true, but we’ve been touring so much that it didn’t really sink in or hit me until I heard my dad’s voice on the phone. My dad bought me my first drum set when I was 7 years old, and he’s been there the whole way though, so hearing the excitement in his voice is what really hit me. That’s when I got emotional and felt the chills.
On whether the band ever imagined the success The Stories We Tell Ourselves would enjoy
I would say “yes” and “no.” “Yes” in the sense that I was disappointed that we didn’t get a Grammy on the record before it. I had set my goals and aims on that record high and felt I had given everything I had from years of training as a musician and growing as an artist, so when we didn’t get a Grammy on that album, I was sad. So, for this, it was exciting, but I was ready for it. At the same time, nothing is promised. I always set my goals a little bit out of reach, but it was time, and it was exciting.
On the timeline for working on the band’s follow-up to The Stories We Tell Ourselves
[We’re working on new music] in pockets. We always nestle away little nuggets over the course of our touring cycles, but we won’t really officially come together and start writing until… I would say maybe six months from now, we’ll get together and put all of our ideas together, so until then, it’s just a bunch of ideas tucked away.
On the success of this summer’s tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Breaking Benjamin
Breaking Benjamin and Five Finger Death Punch have both had major success in the rock world, as the generation before us, and I think us with Bad Wolves on that tour was the new side of rock. Bad Wolves happened to hit a very awesome and fortunate moment with that Cranberries song. So, all of us together, I thought was the perfect combination.
On the state of rock music today
When we entered the scene, it was about 2008 when we first started getting involved, and at that time, it felt like it was the end of rock. We had trained and rehearsed our whole useful lives leading up to this point and were so excited to have it come out to the real world, and it felt like the gate had shut on rock ‘n’ roll. Since then until now, it’s been a feeling of finding the torch, picking it up and running with it.
It feels like it’s coming back now, especially doing this tour that we just did. We were playing 10,000 to 20,000 people a night, and it was a long tour, so I was really impressed by the attendance. That alone communicated to me what’s really happened.
On Nothing More’s current single, “Just Say When,” and the personal story behind the song
I was in a relationship for about eight years with this girl. I met her the day my mom passed away, and it was an emotionally upside-down and vulnerable time in my life, so probably the worst time to start a relationship with someone. But, it happened, and that relationship tuned into a marriage, and that marriage turned into me touring the world and basically seeing what the relationship was really made of. We both found out it was very weak, and that song was focused on that last year where there was a strong sense of holding on for the wrong reasons or the fear of that being true. There wasn’t a clear direction either way, whether it was something to work through or let go of.
On a recent mixup that had fans thinking Nothing More had just released a surprise album
That was pretty funny! I didn‘t have much time to think about it, because we’ve been busy on the road, but I knew management was going to take care of it. Basically, we found out it was a French band, which was funny, because years ago, we had heard of a French band called Nothing More after we had already named our band, so we thought, “What do we do?” And then we thought, “They’re in another country, so we’re just going to keep it.” It’s been a few years now, so I hadn’t thought about them in forever. It was funny. A lot of fans were very surprised with how our “new music” sounded!
On what the near future holds for Nothing More
We’re doing a European tour coming up with Bullet for My Valentine and Of Mice and Men, and then we’re doing a deep Canadian tour with Three Days Grace, which will be awesome, because we’ve toured Canada but haven’t gone super deep. Then, the ShipRocked cruise is in January, which we played last year for the first time, and it was incredible. After that, we’re looking at doing another headlining run to play the rest of our record that we haven’t been playing live yet to bust out our other songs. Then, hopefully we’ll get back into writing and recording when that wraps up.