All photos by Danielle Parsons and Reid Hathcock
As you probably know by now, we here at Noisey are fans of Nothing and their stellar 2014 release Guilty of Everything—it even won our Reader's Poll. So we're more than excited to hear new material from the Philadelphia-based shoegaze quartet, and now comes news of a new album and a new home for the band. We spoke to Nicky Money in the studio, currently hard at work on the follow-up to Guilty of Everything. There's no name or release date yet, but it's set to come out on Collect Records, run by Thursday's Geoff Rickly.
Noisey: You are currently recording a new album. Where are you guys doing it, what is it called, where is it being released?
Nicky Money: We’re doing at Studio 4 with Will Yip. Some pretty cool people we’re talking to about getting involved with it, but it’s being worked on. We’re gonna be here for a month.
As in special guests?
A lot of stuff like that, people coming in, and then we’re working with a couple of people for some alternate mixes. Some real cool people. But, we’re here for a month, which is pretty crazy because we’ve never had this much time. And we’re doing the LP with Collect Records—that’s Geoff Rickly’s record label.
How did you first come across Geoff? I’m guessing that’s Horror Show days if not before that? Why the exit from Relapse?
Yeah, we’ve always had a ton of mutual friends and I’ve seen him around a bunch of times, but I’m not really the kind of person that approaches anybody. We’ve been around for a really long time and it wasn’t until we played a New York show one night—I think at Baby’s All Right or something—and he was with [Perfect Pussy's] Meredith Graves. Meredith introduced me to him, and we kinda just started talking from there and emailing each other.
He approached us a little while ago and asked us what we were doing and I told him we didn’t really have a plan; Relapse was always the best label for us, but we like to keep it moving a little bit. We only had a one record thing deal and we figured that we would roll the dice. Geoff had some really good ideas and he was really adamant and into the demos that I showed him.
So I assume you guys are just on the hook for one album with him, correct? For the new stuff that you’re doing, how many tracks are you going into the studio with, and what’s your goal to come out with?
Yeah, one album. We wrote 15 songs before heading into the studio. We demoed them all and turned them into about ten with Will. We kind of pulled the other ones apart and it kind of reduced itself. We had that last tour that we were on, and you know, I had that little accident thing happen, so I had a little bit of time before we actually started the studio sessions. I just went in and wrote four or five more songs that turned into about three. We’ll probably have about 15 songs by the time we’re done.
Is the plan to put those all on the record, or sprinkle them across splits and shit like that too?
I’m a pretty classic ten-tracks on an LP kind of guy. I figure there’s going to be ten songs that I’m really gonna like, probably two songs that I think could be on the record but I’ll hold them, then the other two I’ll probably hate within a week or two and probably never use them for anything.
So, a lot of the writing that you’re doing, do you feel like you’re going into different directions from the older material? It’s going to be somewhat similar because of the personnel, but are you trying to spin something different this time around?
There’s never really been a solidified recipe for anything, and it all has been kind of loosely based on whatever was going on at the time. With Brandon’s involvement later on, that just expanded. I feel like every release, there’s at least one song on that’s way further out than the release before. Then when we did the full-lengths, we tried to really like get a little loose with what we had available in the studio, so this time around we’re, we have much more of a palette to play with. There’s a bar upstairs and a beer distributor everywhere, and everyone is fully stocked with painkillers and we’re just here for 12 hour days. There’s a baby grand piano that Billy Joel recorded on and Will has access to string ensembles, so we’re pretty excited. We are going try to completely come out of left-field with a lot of shit. There are gonna be similarities, but it’s never gonna be the same. The second I start doing shit and it sounds repetitive, I’m gonna start doing something else.
Guilty of Everything was not recorded in a month. Your other records I’m sure were a fraction of that as well. Let’s also look at you and your unit, all you guys are punk and that’s all based on the idea that you get in there, you take care of business, and you get the fuck out. With all that said, a month is a lot of time. Are you doing a lot of experimentation? I’m just curious about the process.
Well, we recorded the split with Will, and he was pretty lax about it. He let us know that if we ever did a record with him, it wouldn’t be under a time crunch. We recorded both songs from that split in eight hours. From top to bottom, completely finished in less than a day. I swear.
So since we’ve been here, I knew what we were getting into. Yet it’s definitely a little bit of a change because Will is hella anal about everything. It’s cool, and everybody is stoked to try to reach this next level of recording music. As far as voicing on the drums go, like Kyle’s, Will’s been punishing Kyle every day. We try to get a song done every day, and if we don’t get it done in a day then we finish it in the next. We try to stick to that plan, but Will has Kyle doing drums and every snare hit has to be the same hit And keeping the kick consistent. This is stuff that we’re not really used to, but it’s cool, because you hear the drums at the end and you understand why it is this way.
It’s definitely a huge change for us, but it’s refreshing too because you hear the finished product and you’re like, “this is why this is done this way, and this is why this is done that way.” Nobody really has formal training in this band, so it’s not like any of us are engineers. We’re songwriters and everything has been a learning experience up to this point. So it’s cool to be around someone as professional as Will.
Do you have a quarter that you’re aiming for release?
It’s gonna be next year for sure but very early into the year. We’re shooting for a February release but it’s pretty loose.
Do you think you’re gonna hit it hard after? Hit the road before? Can people expect any gigs before it hits?
Probably not much. We’re playing some festivals here and there, some fly-ins, but that’s sort of it for the rest of the year. We went really hard the past 18 months to two years. It’s been hectic as fuck. Literally of the past 18 months, we’ve played for like 14 of them.
To your point, one of the funniest things is that one T-shirt where it says NOTHING on front but the back says “FUCK IT” and there’s 100 tour dates underneath. I guess you’re trying to do something like that once this hits.
Yeah, I would say we’ll probably start getting busy again towards the end of the year for sure.
Cool. What does that leave for you and some of your side projects?
I’m trying to get a Death of Lovers LP done, and this will leave me some time to write for it. I’ve got some songs so I’d really like get into that as well as a home for the next LP. I’m just hoping to get this record done right now. Everything is so focused on this at this point but as soon as this is done. I really want to write that Death of Lovers record because I’m probably gonna lose my mind doing it this time around.
Do you think you’ll ever gig off that band?
I’d like to for sure. Nothing has just been swallowing me whole for the past two years. It’s nice to get to this point, obviously and we’ll go pretty hard when this record comes out. If we’re alive. If everyone is still alive we are gonna go really hard and tour off this record. I think after this one we could start doing the lazy band thing where we could do a full tour and then chill the fuck out and not have to like be in a van driving back and forth across this fucking horrible country back and forth.
Have you guys been playing any of this live?
Nothing has been played from this at all. We have some grand piano shit where it’s literally piano, vocals, and strings. Everything seems pretty crushing at this point so that’s one good sign for sure.
Fred Pessaro is Noisey's editor-in-chief. Follow him on Twitter.