Still on a touring high, Daniel Oliver Shares His Momentum for Nothing More’s Success

There is something intriguing yet awe-inspiring about gazing at a stage and experiencing the lead singer riding on top of an industrial-designed metal scorpion tale while pulling trigger levers that initiate immense sounds. It’s what Nothing More does as a representation for the energy they emit from their music. The scorpion tale, however, is currently used for the Skrillex cover, “First of the Year.” Like Nothing More’s music, it is almost an overwhelming experience because what this band does is immense on all levels. And their live shows represent this sentiment.

“It’s a big, heavy, dangerous machine,” said Daniel Oliver, bass player and creator of the scorpion tale. “Just recently, for some reason, Johnny (Hawkins, lead vocals) has been getting really violent on it, which is cool. It looks cool. I’m happy he’s comfortable, but it has bucked him off a couple times. That was terrifying to watch.”

“I remember the first few times he went up on it, he was not happy. I had put in a thousand hours at that time and told the band, I don’t know what we need to do to make this work and be comfortable but this is happening. Way too much time and energy was put into making it to can the project this late in the game. Jonny’s an agile guy and has a wrestling background. He’s a guy who knows how to fall. He hits the ground and rolls real well. With that he’s the perfect candidate to ride on the scorpion tale.”

Nothing More – Do You Really Want It

Fascinated with mechanics his entire life, Oliver came into the hobby based out of necessity. It started out with the band needing an eagle riser, and he built one. It was this moment he realized that carpentry was not for him. So he started working with metal.

”I didn’t have a girlfriend. Didn’t have a real job.I would play in country and church bands.” Oliver’s roommate was a mechanical guy who worked on cars and was the person who inspired him to take up welding. “He loved that I would be up until 1 a.m. every night grinding metal in the garage and would come out and help me. He was a mechanical engineer so I really learned a lot of structural technique from him.”

Nothing More – Just Say When

The physics with his creations is in direct proportion with the music Nothing More makes. It is the glue to Oliver’s emotion and drive. The Stories We Tell Ourselves builds colossal rock landscapes that pushes rock to its limits. “Do You Really Want it” is rock on steroids. “Go To War” is a call to arms. “Let ‘Em Burn” is pure release. Self-produced, the group has gone to great lengths to painstakingly make every moment count, leaving us with an experience and an album they needed to get to the next level.

“Jonny, Mark, and Ben is very interested in the studio stuff. When you self produce an album, it gives you the time and lets you control everything just how you want it. You aren’t spending time in the studio burning money. Those guys have gotten really good at what they do, getting tones to where they need to be and the extra little parts that are beyond just the song to give you that full rounded feeling. It becomes more cinematic instead of just guitar, bass and drums.”

The first things you discover with this album are the amount of songs, clocking at 18 fist-gripping rockers. It was not intentional, but it worked out in their favor.

Nothing More – Go To War

“When we finally started showing the label the songs, we thought ‘Go To War’ was going to be the first single on the record. And they disagreed and said we did not have a first single. So we had to go back into the jam room and write another song. And that was ‘That’s the Way Things Are.’

“This feels like a first single. It has the right tempo and all the feeling like a good intro into a record. They said no, that’s not it either. As burnt out as we were, we had to go back and not just write another song but write the song that is supposed to be the biggest on the record which is exhausting to turn that back on and try to do. We ended up writing another song, and they said the same thing. We responded that there is no way we can write another song. The label then decided that they think their single is “Go To War” now. We were annoyed at the time but, at the end of the day, we are really happy those two songs exist and are on the record. It was cool to be pushed in that way.”

With just a few more shows to go in the United States, Nothing More is not slowing down. Since the release of The Stories We Tell Ourselves, this band has had a momentum like a steam train barreling into the unknown. Their audience size has quadrupled as well as the span of their geography. Later this year they will be heading to Europe, do a three-week Canada tour and then head back out next year to do a headlining world tour before working on material for the next album.

L-R: Mark Vollelunga, Ben anderson, Daniel Oliver. Front: Jonny Hawkins

“If you’ve ever been up to a big waterfall, there is something massive to the physics of it all and all of that water coming down. Even the noise that it makes. There is a bass rumble to it and wind, and it’s really what I’m trying to do with these metal things. When you have the bass stand there it has a very complicated movement but there is a lot of physical energy spinning on the stage. Same with the scorpion tale and the people in the front row. It scares them. What better thing to pair it with is music. Music is the most powerful thing I can think of. There’s not a feeling like it on the planet. Some of those feelings I’ve had in the past. That is what I’m hoping to capture with the metalworks.”

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