Nothing More

Experimental Band Makes Beauty Out Of Chaos

Nothing More is from left Ben Anderson, Jonny Hawkins, Daniel Oliver and Mark Vollelunga. Submitted photo

It’s not every day that a band finds itself nominated for a Grammy in just about all of the subcategories in its genre. It is even more rare that that band has not yet found the notariety to be headlining major shows. That’s the very position Nothing More found itself in this past year.

Having nominations for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song “Go to War” and Best Rock Album “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” in 2018, bassist Daniel Oliver said the band’s ability to lay down lyrics that resonate and a sound that crosses genre lines and engineering marvels that make the stage show a sight to be seen.

A trip through Nothing More’s musical catalogue is like a trip through rock, metal, progressive metal, alternative, and a bit of electronic dance mixed in. Oliver says the band never really set out to be one thing or another, though.

“We are a hard rock band with a technical edge,” he said. “We aren’t focused on the polyrhythms and all of that kind of thing. We have all spent some time with our instruments and know our way around them. To put a label on it, we are an experimental rock band.”

With musical influences ranging from Muse to Tool, Nothing More has a sound that will capture the listener. Lyrically, it takes the ear to a new place. With influences from C.S. Lewis and Alan Watts to what is definitely a bit of a Russian Literature sourcing, the words will take you away just as much as the beat.

“We read a lot,” Oliver said. “The subject matter is always something interesting.”

Oliver, one of the founders of the band, has an affinity for engineering as well. He says he likes to bring the beauty out of chaos, and it is something a job when he was younger helped him to find.

“I was working as a guide for a white water rafting company and used to really take a look at the way the water and the rock met, the water cutting the rock,” he said. “It was truly so violent, so chaotic, but contained such beauty.

“I used to race motorcycles,” he said. “If you have ever seen how the guys that run the supercross events fly through the air on the machines and land so perfectly, they are creating beauty out of violence and chaos. That’s what I wanted to do.

His love for the mechanical world brought that to the stage in Nothing More. Creating two set pieces, one a multi-bass piece for multiple players to solo together; the second a contraption called the Scorpion Tail.

The tail is an instrument as well. The band’s vocalist, Jonny Hawkins, rides this thing, some 14 feet over the stage, as he plays music. The piece was made from scrap metal and motorcycle parts.

“It’s fun to watch the audience in front of the stage when Jonny is on the Tail,” Oliver said. “You can see them sway as the apparatus sways, as Jonny fights this thing to make beautiful sound.”

Nothing More is a part of the four-headed show bill at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center Monday with Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, and Bad Wolves.