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It’s been said the most real state is the state of nothing; a dead end, the Zen path to ultimate reality, emptiness incarnate. Nothing is just about the weirdest thing ever. It’s logic and beauty invokes a sort of dread, and more often than not, confusion. While I doubt Philadelphia’s NOTHING are on any serious existential mission to reify ‘nothingness,’ they are just as enigmatic. Steeped in ghostly guitars, deafening noise, and grisly metaphors – NOTHING diverges from the familiar (i.e., your typical “dreamy/astral/ethereal” shoegaze act) and instead delivers an immanent sound and vision to get completely lost in.

Nothing – ‘Downward Years to Come’

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After collaborating across genres with Wes Eisold of Cold Cave on their last EP ‘Sunns and Lovers’ and going on tour with Night Sins (highly recommended post-punk/darkwave from Philadelphia via Avant! Records), NOTHING is heading on tour again and playing SXSW in support of their second EP, ‘Downward Years to Come’ (via AC390 Recordings) with Whirr (Tee Pee Records, Oakland, CA).

Nothing – ‘The Dives (Lazarus in Ashes)’

We got a chance to catch up with Domenic Palermo and Brandon Setta of NOTHING to answer a few questions before the start of their epic U.S tour (scroll down for dates).

People are kind of losing their shit over this upcoming tour w/ WHIRR (including SXSW). How stoked are you to be playing SXSW this year? Do you prefer to be on the road or would you rather be at home writing and recording? 

Domenic: I’m really excited to get to see Whirr play finally, and there probably isn’t another band that meshes better with us for a tour. I’m not the biggest SXSW fan, but huge Austin fan. Just thinking about all of those people gives me anxiety. Touring in general has always been a kind of a love/hate relationship thing with us. We’re always so excited to get out of this miserable city, but the thought of living out of vans for weeks on end while drunk driving our vehicles with blindfolds on, creates another series of problems that follows over our heads like black clouds. We enjoy recording and writing more than anything but I don’t think I could ever stick with this all without playing live. What do you know… I’m torn.

Brandon: I’ve been a fan of Whirr since ‘Distressor’ came out, so I’m excited to be watching them play live every night for a month. My only SXSW experience is a bit of a haze but I’m pretty sure it included getting jumped by some college jocks and eating delicious breakfast tacos, most importantly it’s an escape from home in a warm and friendly city, so I’m excited to play this year. I also have a love/hate relationship with both touring and recording, but I’d rather have the van explode before I see the Philly skyline again.
Whirr – ‘Junebouvier’

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‘Downward Years to Come’ has a very sensual, mind-altering, languid feel to it, despite its initial intensity.  What’s NOTHING’S attitude toward drugs?

Domenic:    I think all drugs are good for opening new doors in the creative category, especially in the arts. I only use them for self- destructive purposes though.

Brandon:    Where can I find some?

Last year you toured with NIGHT SINS and worked with Wes Eisold (Cold Cave) on the B-side to your first EP, ‘Sunns and Lovers:’ can you tell us more about your relationship with both acts? Are any of you big fans of industrial/synthwave music?

Domenic:    I’ve known Wes for quite some time now. We’ve worked on a couple different projects, but it’s always an honor whenever I get to create anything musically with him. The Night Sins guys are more recent friends. They are really amazing people and we love hanging with them.

As far as the music goes I am a huge fan of both bands and do appreciate the genres but it has much more to do with me being in love with my friends and having the opportunity to create things with them. You’ll never see me do anything in music with someone I don’t care for, no matter who it is.

Brandon:    I’ve always been a fan of Cold Cave, so working with Wes was a pretty crazy experience for me, more so because of my obsession with American Nightmare since I was super young. Night Sins had a simple and grim sound and were great to watch live, I like them a lot as a band and as people. I’m into alot of other bands in the genre as well, like Former Ghosts and Blank Dogs.

A lot of your band flyers, symbols, and art use rather grisly tropes— sacrifice, injury, illness. Where does NOTHING’S visual inspiration come from?

Domenic:    Life in general. Things I see everyday, everywhere. Things that people enjoy usually make me nauseous. I can’t figure out if I’m fucked [up] or everyone else is.

Brandon:    Anything we find fitting with the music. I suppose when you see a depressing phrase or bleak picture on a t-shirt or record cover, you get a feel of what we are going to sound like, and it’s not going to make you happy.

Does it ever bother you how writers and the press lump you with other shoegaze acts?

Domenic:    I don’t care what we get lumped into. I don’t even know where that is. That’s your guys’ job.

Brandon:    People generally compare us to bands that I’m greatly influenced by and listen to every day, so that’s fine with me. Most of them don’t know what they’re talking about anyway.
Nothing – ‘If Only’

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To hear and check for more updates on NOTHING visit Facebook / Bandcamp / Tumblr.

By: Psychic Hearts