Interview w/ Nashville Based Post-Grunge Rockers The Nearly Deads
Start off your week with an interview featuring Nashville based newcomers The Nearly Deads. The band has some serious talent, with the intense and billowing sounds of Theresa Jeane to bring you to the brink instantaneously. The band's sounds contains alternative and post-grunge elements similar to Nirvana and Foo Fighters with their own modern take to create a well balanced musical arsenal that will excite and delight any casual music fan. Theresa was awesome enough to take some time out to talk about the band's origins, how they incorporate pop culture influences, their experiences recording their new album, and their plans for the coming year. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
TJ: Lead vocals and keyboards
Steve: Lead guitar
Javier: Rhythm guitar
Take us behind the formation of the group and how you all met?
I was in a band back in Florida called Blondes Not Bombs, and Steve and our original drummer were in a band called Danqerflight down in Tampa, FL. I was friends with their singer and went to their shows, and we all just kind of generally knew each other around the Tampa scene. When they decided to move to Nashville I tagged along to try to further my career. Long story short, they ended up having to audition singers and I asked if they would ever consider a female! We started jamming and it all came together. We changed the name to The Nearly Deads as an homage to FL and the rest is history! We finalized our lineup through mutual friends and Craigslist.
What were some of your musical influences growing up that helped shape the sound of the band?
I was very influenced by The Dresden Dolls and Something Corporate as a piano player and lover of punk rock. I also really love pop singers like Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. When I started writing with Steve, who is mainly influenced by The Smashing Pumpkins and MUSE, we knew we had to keep it progressive and grunge but add that pop element. Throw a little punk in and you’ve got our polished grunge sound.
Was it difficult getting the band started and did you have ease picking up shows around Nashville?
Nashville rock bands really help each other out. That’s also true for female-fronted bands. We empower each other and help each other get shows. In the beginning we took everything we could get and it paid off. We made some great connections right off the bat and started working with our producer, Jon King, who helped fine tune our sound and image and turn us into a ‘real band’ haha.
How did you manage to incorporate pop-culture influences into your music and how receptive have fans been to that?
It all started with the video for Never Look Back. We wanted to do a zombie video and it was right before The Walking Dead premiered and it was also right before Halloween, which helped it take off. Everyone loves zombies! Our fans really appreciate that we take the time and pay attention to the little details we include in our artwork and videos. It’s cool to me to have fans notice the references we put into our work. This past tour we had several fans show up in Fallout 4 shirts or give us Fallout merch to sign or as gifts, and that felt awesome. It’s like we've found the people who understand us and get what we're doing, so we want to keep giving them more of it.
Go behind the shooting of the music video for "Diamond In The Rough" and what it was like to put it all together?
We originally had a completely different idea for the video but as we were scouting locations we stumbled upon this gem of an old factory called The Coke Plant in Paducah, KY. It was an old Coca-Cola bottling plant and still has a lot of the original art deco architecture but was also half demolished. After seeing how awesome it looked and how much it reminded us of the settings of Fallout 4, The Walking Dead, and movies like Mad Max and The Road, we knew we were on the verge of another post-apocalyptic video. We tried to think of Diamond as a continuation of Never Look Back, and it was incredible to see fans actually pick up on that and post fan theories in the comments of how it all came together! Jon King directed and filmed, and we got some epic performance shots. I loved filming the piano scenes because the setting and lighting was so beautiful.
How does your latest EP "Revenge of The Nearly Deads" differ from your earlier material and is there a musical evolution of sorts up until now?
I really do feel like we’re hitting our stride as a band and really finding our sound. With Invisible Tonight we experimented with a more pop-punk sound and I’m very proud of that album. However, we feel like a lot of our fans were still wanting more of our original, heavy sound. After playing with heavier bands like In This Moment and Halestorm and seeing how the crowds loved our heavier songs, we wanted to write more. We really tried to listen to our fans and give them exactly what they wanted, especially since we were crowdfunding and had that freedom. We think it’s our best batch of songs yet and hope the fans agree!
How did it feel to watch your hometown Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup finals and how electric is the city?
We’ve always been Preds fans and it’s awesome to see the whole town going crazy right now.
What's coming up next for the band this year and any plans to play in Boston soon?
We’re currently looking into options for fall tours and will be at RockFest Wisconsin this July! We will make a point to play Boston ASAP!
Lastly, what is your favorite thing about being in this band?
My favorite thing is playing music with my best friends every night on tour! I get to sing every day and live my dream and I definitely feel lucky to be able to be a part of this band.
Thanks once again to Theresa for being so rad in doing this interview! You really begin to gain a sense of the band's personalities just from hearing Theresa describe their beginning, and it's fascinating to learn how the group finds a common ground when it comes to creating songs in the studio, something which requires a lot of thought and patience to learn how to find a common ground when it comes to crafting these compositions. For more on The Nearly Deads, please 'Like' them on Facebook over here, follow them on Twitter right here, and check out their official homepage for more in depth info surrounding them at this spot here.