Mark Vollelunga, the guitarist from Nothing More, called me earlier in the month. We chatted about several things, including their upcoming tour and MTV’s lack of music. I appreciate that he called me, in spite of their hectic schedule.
There was a five year gap between your last album and your current album. Was there a reason for the long wait?
Sometimes it just takes time for getting everything right, the way it needs to be. It just took a long time. We were touring for the last album for quite awhile. That album definitely opened a lot of doors.
So the current album is self-titled, although it’s the 6th album. Was there a reason for that?
Yeah, you know. As we thought about it. Thought about all of the songs, wondering if we should title the album after a song. None of them really felt like it should be the title track. It felt more fitting as we were coming out nationally and globally just to keep it self-titled. It was kind of statement, saying “This is Us.” We really feel like we hadn’t perfected but really found our sound as artists. We really matured and found that being self-titled was the best thing to say.
You guys are from Texas. What’s the music scene like there?
Yeah, San Antonio is a great city. They’ll love it for sure. Unfortunately, the scene is really metal and Tejano. It’s quite a big gap between the two. That’s just what the bands there do. I think it has a lot to do with the radio station there. Completely Clear Channel. They don’t play anything new. I’m not talking crap about Clear Channel or anything. The way their play list works, they don’t play anything past 2006.
I listen to 89x out of Detroit. They play “This is the Time” a lot. They were playing it when I was dropping the kid off at school today.
Do you enjoy doing videos?
In a way, yes. The “This is the Time” video – we’re very happy with the final product. It was difficult to shoot.
There was a lot of water.
Absolutely. It was freezing. In February. We were in California, which is nothing to complain about since their weather is always perfect. The water was definitely cold. Literally, after every shot, we would run over and all crowd around the space heater. It was a funny experience.
2014 was a great year for you guys. Do you feel like all of your hard work is paying off?
Absolutely. We were thoroughly blessed and grateful with every thing that happened this year. We really can’t wait to see what’s ahead in 2015.
I’ve been with Jonny for 15 years. We’ve been a band touring for the past 10 years. So really everything has happened as it should. We’re happy with how we’ve matured our sound and grown as artists and gotten to the level we are now instead of any time before. It wouldn’t feel right. It wouldn’t be as good. We wouldn’t be as ready. We’re definitely grateful for that.
What’s on the agenda for 2015?
Definitely lots and lots and lots of touring. In January, we’ll head out with Periphery. Love those guys. Killer band. We’ll do a 7 week tour with them. Until February. Then we’ll fly to Australia to do SoundWave there for 2 weeks. We’re all so pumped about that. It’s going to be so cool
From there, we’ll fly to Europe and do 5 or 6 weeks with Halestorm. That’s going to be really cool too. Then finally hopefully, we’ll be off for a month.
May is just lining up right now. In May, we’ll do another headliner tour. We’re not sure who we’re bringing in for support yet but we’re thinking about that a lot.
If you could choose any bands on the planet, who would be on your Dream Tour?
That’s a great question. Nine in Nails is definitely up there. That would be pretty cool. I grew up listening to Metallica so that’s one for sure. Tool that would be really cool as well. I’d like to have some conversations with those guys. The band, Thrice, as well. They’re probably my favorite band.
Who do you listen to?
I like Flyleaf a lot. Something about Lacey’s voice is natural, if you will. You can really feel her passion. You really believe every word that she’s saying, that she’s feeling it. That’s cool when stuff gives you goosebumps. That’s the stuff I go after.
I see that Jonny is listed as the extra drummer. Do you do that very often? How does that work?
If you see us live, you’ll understand. Paul is behind the kit, the drumkit. Up front, our bass player Dan actually built this contraption we call Drumtron. Basically, it’s a kickdrum that is horizontal so you can hit it with a stick and a snare and various metal items that are percussion. That make sounds.
So we have sections in our set, where Jonny plays those drums at the same time as Paul. There are also two four toms that are horizontal that Dan and myself play as well. It’s all percussive. A lot of drum sections.
You guys have a song called Mr. MTV. Do you remember when MTV had music?
Yeah, that’s the point. That song we recorded it just like that. The beginning is the same as the Dire Straits tune, “Money for Nothing.” It’s kind of the point. It was written when MTV was going strong, playing videos and making an impact on music. Now it’s quite the opposite. Now they don’t play any music. Although, the song is called “Mr. MTV.” It’s more about corporations like that are trying to bastardize the youth of our generation today – feeding them bullshit and lies. It’s sad. We’re all a part of the problem. The song is just a statement saying the truth so we can do something about it.