Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Nothing More offers fans a full artistic experience with their upcoming album, tour

Nothing More will bring its high-energy live performance to Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Aug. 30. (Courtesy of Jody Domingue)

Nothing more aims to provide fans with an experience beyond music.

The Grammy-nominated hard rock outfit is scheduled to perform in Albuquerque at the Sunshine Theater on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The band’s live performances have been touted as energetic and interactive, and include a giant mechanical MIDI controller that has earned the moniker “Scorpion’s tail.”

Bassist Daniel Oliver crafted the 400-pound, 14-foot contraption out of auto parts and scrap metal. He explained he always had an interest in building things from his youth, but a chance encounter with a fan while on tour helped push his creative process and combine his passions. The first structure he made was built for stage use.

“Making music and building things out of metal has totally changed my life and taught me so many lessons that I don’t know I would have gotten otherwise,” Oliver told the Journal. ” ‘Scorpion’s Tail’ was a big evolution from the beginning, because that was my first attempt at lifting something off the stage and having a lot more moving parts.”

Connecting with fans at their shows allows the group to collect stories. New Mexico is actually a setting for a key point in Nothing More’s journey as a band. After a show in Las Cruces, Oliver said was when the group decided to part ways with their lead singer at the time. Then drummer Jonny Hawkins took the reins as lead vocalist.

Oliver said, “I think New Mexico, as far as the audience wise, is 100% awesome. But I personally love New Mexico because I think the landscape is incredibly gorgeous.”

Being from San Antonio, Texas, Nothing More is no stranger to the state and city, having performed in Albuquerque a plethora of times, mostly as a supporting act. Their current tour, set to begin Aug. 26, is being headlined by In This Moment. However, nothing more will serve as the headliner for the Albuquerque show.

The band has evolved since the early 2000s. They haven’t strayed from their sound or philosophical lyrics, but subtle progressions have matured their music through crisper production.

One of the key elements to Nothing More’s identity as a band is perspective. They offer a relatable voice to listeners, telling the stories of others and offering comfort in the anthem-like songs they compose.

“It’s the most powerful thing in the world,” Oliver said about music. “We hope that what we do brings that same connection and inspiration and solace that we find in other artists’ music.”

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Nothing More found mainstream success in 2017 with “The Stories We Tell Ourselves.” The album was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards, and the track “Go To War” was also nominated for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song that same year.

The band will release their new album on Oct. 14, but four singles have already dropped: “You Don’t Know What Love Means,” “Spirits,” “Tired of Winning” and “Turn It Up Like.” The new tracks expand on the group’s devotion to philosophy and energy, posing questions for others while surveying self-reflection as well. Oliver said the album is darker and more experimental.

“We explored more musically than we did on previous records … while still trying to pull off some sort of standard song format,” Oliver said. “This is definitely an interesting record for us.”

The new album is more than music, however. Like the effects that accompany the band on stage, the record is complemented by a graphic novel and a “Spirits Test” that fans can take on the group’s website, nothingmore.net.

Oliver explained that Hawkins had been developing the 25-question test for a few years, through research and the assistance of a psychologist. The test helps fans uncover which type of spirit matches their personality.

Connecting with their fans on and off stage is an important element of Nothing More’s nature.

“There’s always the great fear of failure … but it moves people.” Oliver said about the group’s willingness to expand the fan experience.

The band incorporates art as a collective realm. Their music meshes with sculpting, literature, philosophy and film, broadening their audience through different platforms, welcoming open minds in search for a bigger picture.

Oliver shared, “My favorite thing about being in this band in particular is just how open everyone is to exploring other forms of creativity.”

It’s not just about the music for Nothing More; it’s about constructing a full artistic experience.

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