THE NEARLY DEADS

I’ve featured THE NEARLY DEADS before but since that was what seems like an aeon ago I thought it was time again to interview this really cool band. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

You have one of these names that tell me that some thought has been involved in the choice. How hard was it to come up with the name?
TJ: We wanted something that sounded punk-rock, but also paid homage to Florida, the state that we originally met and formed the band in. There’s a saying that Florida is “home of the newly-weds and the nearly deads” so that’s where the name comes from. The hardest part was deciding whether or not to add the ’The’ to our name!

The competition is a killer these days so please tell us why people should buy your latest album?
TJ: If you love grungy, aggressive rock and powerful pop vocals, you will love this album. Our song “My Evil Ways” is all about being yourself and finding your tribe in life. :”Revenge” is about overcoming negativity and living your best life. We love to make music that empowers people that’s fun to sing along to and has a positive message.

Do you notice that there anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
TJ: We are lucky enough to have our ‘Zombie-Nation’ of die-hard fans. We used PledgeMusic to fund the EP and our fans helped us raise well over our original goal. PledgeMusic also allowed us to show our fans the behind the scenes process of making the EP and give them sneak previews along the way. We are so grateful to them and are happy the album is finally out!

When you started the band did you do so with a clear intent of what kind of music you wanted to play? How hard was it to come up with a sound all your own?
TJ: The fun thing about us is that we each have our own influences that come together to make our sound unique. I love punk rock bands like Alkaline Trio and The Distillers, but also pop music like Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne. Steve, our guitarist and other main songwriter, loves The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, and Cohered and Cambria. Kevin, our bassist, loves metal. Javier, our other guitarist, and Josh, our drummer, are both big fans of Blink 182. That mix of grunge, pop, punk, and progressive really works for us and each member brings something different to the table.

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
TJ: I definitely feel that we are part of something bigger. Once our video for “Never Look Back” went viral and we started gaining momentum, the band quickly became bigger than all of us. I’ve had fans reach out and tell us stories of how a song has helped them or even changed their life. It’s extremely humbling to realize that I’m not the only person this music matters to. As an independent band, we are also part of a larger movement away from the traditional music industry. We are part of a huge network and community of unsigned artists that help each other out instead of competing with each other.

When you play the sort of music you play do you feel that you can have whatever you like as art work for the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
TJ: I love our album artwork! We are lucky enough to work with an amazing photographer named Casey Moore who helped us achieve our vision of a classic B-Horror-Movie look. Album artwork is extremely important because if someone doesn’t know who you are, the artwork is what originally draws them in and makes them take a second to check out your music. The Nearly Deads are all movie and video game fans, and it all ties into our music videos and artwork choices. We hope the old fans appreciate it and the new fans are intrigued and drawn into it.

I have a great fear that the change in how people consume music today will eventually kill music as we know it. What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
TJ: I think physical will always be relevant, but in a different way. You can find any song you want on Spotify or on YouTube, so artists need to be aware of that and think of physical music as a way to connect with fans rather than make money. The industry changes so drastically and so quickly that there’s no use trying to figure it out, so we try to simply focus on our fans. Vinyl is making a huge resurgence, so we made a vinyl version of our new EP because our fans wanted it. It doesn’t matter to them that they can hear it whenever they want online. When you truly connect with your fans, they’ll want to support you however they can. They appreciate the thought we put into the artwork and the sound quality and warmth of the vinyl record.

Is the era of great arena tours as thing of yester? What kind live scene is there for bands like yours? What does the touring circuit look like today?
TJ: There’s still a live scene for bands like us, but it’s not like it used to be where people would go to shows to meet people and discover new music. Lets be honest, everyone does that on YouTube now. If they really love a band, they’ll go see them live. We have had fans drive over 4 hours just to see us play live at a tiny stage in a dive bar. We hang out with our fans and love meeting them on tour. For a band like us that’s still on the rise, opening slots for larger bands and festivals are becoming the only way to make a significant amount of new fans while touring. We’ve been lucky enough to play some huge shows and festivals, and it’s easy to see that there’s a huge market for shows like that.

When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
TJ: We take playing live very seriously. It’s important for us to play perfectly and put on our best show every night, weather there’s 5 or 500 people there. It doesn’t matter to us. Our fans paid money to see a rock show, and they’re going to get one! Of course it’s also a party and we have a lot of fun. We like to get the crowd involved and it’s always rewarding to hear them singing along.

What would you like to see the future bring?
TJ: We’d love to come overseas and tour the European festival circuit. Since we’re an internet band, we know we have tons of fans over there dying to meet us and see us live! We’d also really love to hear some of our newest songs on the radio or even placed in video games and film. Most importantly, we just want to keep making music for as long as we possibly can.

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