San Antonio’s Nothing More is one of hard rock music’s most notable emerging artists. The road to success has been over a decade in the making. The core members of the band; vocalist Jonny Hawkins, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, and bassist Daniel Oliver, have known each other since the seventh grade. The journey began in fits and starts that date back to 2003. Hawkins started out as the group’s drummer then moved center stage when the guys realized the charismatic frontman they were seeking had been there all along.
In 2013, after a highly successful crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter, Nothing More self-recorded and self-produced its eponymous fifth studio album. The 17-track, 68-minute beast served as the catalyst for the band to sign a major label deal with Eleven Seven music, and in many ways it also marked a new beginning for the band. In a recent interview with guitarist Mark Vullelunga acknowledged this sense of rebirth as a reason for the self-titling of the record.
“It did really feel like a coming out to the world for us, It really just felt like none of the songs could really hold the weight of the whole album. It just kind of felt like it should be self-titled.”
Many critics and fans alike have hailed Nothing More as saviors of rock music. Their live shows have been labeled controlled chaos. The guys in the band know how to have fun on stage and get the crowd excited by doing more than simply playing the songs on their records: They put on a real rock show. Metalholic asked Mark about the burden of carrying the “rock savior” flag.
“It’s definitely an honor. We are all in this together. Not to say that we are necessarily doing something new, but more we’re just trying to help rock in general and get it back to the roots of it being edgy and saying something. So it’s exciting people have responded very positively.”
One of the elements of Nothing More that fans can truly appreciate is the emotion the band puts into creating and performing their music. The songs feature relatable and intelligent lyrics that combine with the music in a manner that resonates with the listener in a meaningful way.
“We like to go one step further and almost have therapy sessions in our writing, and make it personal. A lot of times those firsthand accounts will appeal more to us of course, and we get that release whenever we play it live. Sometimes you have to get graphic and you have to get gory. It’s just like movies—Saving Private Ryan and Passion of the Christ—there was a point to all of that intensity. It’s hard to watch, but it’s kind of want we want to do with our lyrics and our music; kind of marry the mood of the lyrics to the mood of the music. Make it kind of this one concoction that twists your gut and pulls the knife out, if you will.”
One of those emotive songs is the band’s newest single, “Here’s to the Heartache”.
“It’s more of a ballad,” offers Vollelunga of the record’s fourth single. “It’s really just a big anthem, a chant. The song just explains, here’s to all the pain and suffering that we’ve been through that’s got us here. Because we wouldn’t be who we are without all of that.”
Nothing More is currently headlining the 2015 Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, after which they will finish out the year performing dates with Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin as well as making another European trip. They will close it out with a final date in Japan before they head into the studio this winter to write and record the band’s next record.