Based in the musical mecca of Nashville, TN, The Nearly Deads emit polished grit, mixing the powerful pop vocals of singer Theresa Jeane with the aggressive grunge-inspired instrumentals of Steve Tobi, Javier Garza, Josh Perrone, and Kevin Koelsch. the band has managed to create a truly unique genre that not only gives a nod to gritty grunge, but brings it back in a way never heard before.
From studio to stage to the written page, The Nearly Deads continue to forge a new path dotted by passion, charisma, talent, hard work, and messages of positivity and empowerment. The band’s genuine nature and generosity towards their supporters has fueled the ascension of their “Zombie Nation” of fandom.
Crowned victors in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and a Converse Battle of the Bands competition, the band tours incessantly, with slots at prestigious festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, Summerfest, PrideFest and Journeys Backyard BBQ matched by shows with Halestorm, All-American Rejects, and a 2015 run on the Black Widow Tour with In This Moment, Butcher Babies, and Upon A Burning Body. This constant stream of success and activity has led to airplay on MTVu, MTV Hits, FUSE, BlankTV, Verizon FiOS and Vevo; features in Absolute Punk, Alt Press, ARTISTdirect, Outburn, PureVolume, Revolver, Rock Confidential and Substream and a #14 spot on Billboard’s Next Big Sound Chart.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with The Nearly Deads’ drummer Josh Perrone to discuss their new EP, Revenge of The Nearly Deads, their fans and their own pop culture fandom, and the band’s evolution.
This may have been mentioned to you before, but you bear some similarities to another TN band. Have you guys met Paramore, and if so, what was that exchange like?
We actually have never met them, but we have gotten feedback on the similarities we share, and we’re honored when people tell us that. Would love to meet them though!
How was the band’s sound evolved since Invisible Tonight?
We wanted to take a heavier approach with our sound after the Invisible Tonight album.
Actually going back to our roots and The Nearly Deads’ first EP. Invisible Tonight was very pop and punk driven, and with the Revenge of The Nearly Deads EP we beefed things up.
You guys have won both the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and Converse Battle of the Bands competition. What did those experiences do for the band?
They did great things for the band, with the John Lennon Songwriting Contest we got select dates on Warped Tour, which is such a milestone for any band and is great exposure. The Converse Battle of the Bands gave the band one of its first opportunities to perform in front of a bigger festival crowd. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the band yet for those moments, but it definitely paved the way to more opportunities that I have got to be a part of.
When did you start writing for the EP and what inspired that output? What were you hoping to accomplish with it?
I’ve been writing ideas and parts for the past year. We had a lot of cool ideas and songs, and I specifically remember the first time the band really sat down and hashed things out was when we had a few days off on the Black Widow Tour. We were staying at Javier’s parent’s ranch and jamming the songs in a barn. It was so rad. We were all inspired to be heavier and just have a real rock vibe, personally I was really inspired by Muse, I was into those driving four on the floor beats in their songs. We really wanted to accomplish that heavier rock sound and I think we did just that.
What are your proudest moments on the record?
For me my proudest moment is the song “Frequencies.” I’m proud of all the songs and things I got to do in each of them, but that song to me is just so cool and haunting. Specifically the beat I do in the second half of the second verse, which was actually Steve’s idea. He mouthed out the beat to me in the studio, poorly, but I got what he was saying and laid it down on the kit.
Is “My Evil Ways” about dealing with vices or just a Peter Pan story about not wanting to grow up?
Honestly it’s hard for me to give the 100 percent true answer because TJ wrote the lyrics, but I’d say it’s a little of both. I mean no one really wants to grow up and age is just a number. There’s also the other aspect of it where maybe you should grow up. Maybe you need to be more responsible and better yourself to have a better life.
Are you proud of how your fans have organized, aka Zombie Nation?
We are so unbelievably proud! We have the best fans in the world and it’s so awesome to us that they took an idea we had and ran with it. It means the world to us, Zombie Nation for life!
Are you all fans of zombies? If so, have you read the trillogy Rhianon Frater wrote. It has a super strong female protagonist.
Yes we are! We are all super into horror and zombies is at the top of the list for all of us. I have never read that trilogy, and I can’t recall any other member reading it either, but I definitely want to now! It’d be a great thing for the road.
Are you guys pop culture junkies or nerds? If so, what is your guiltiest pleasure? What is the best guilty pleasure of one of your bandmates?
We are! Steve and I are consumed by pop culture and are the biggest nerds. We joke though because Steve is more of a “video game” nerd and I’m a “superhero” nerd. He knows everything about the latest games and I research everything Marvel, DC, etc. I am the Batman… We are all movie nerds, we love them and most of our conversations are just movie quotes back and forth to each other.
As far as guilty pleasures go I guess I’d say mine is I love to listen to like Katy Perry and basically all the top 40 pop hits on the radio. For one of my bandmate’s guilty pleasures I’ll give it to TJ, she loves reality TV shows, specifically Real Housewives of Atlanta.
What are your favorite accomplishments with the band so far? What are your loftiest future goals for the band?
My favorite accomplishment with the band so far is definitely the new EP. It’s the first studio recordings I’ve got to be a part of with the band, aside from the Ellie Goulding cover we did, those were my drums on that. But as far as original music the Revenge of The Nearly Deads EP is my first. My goal for the band is just to keep making music and touring and seeing all our fans at each show. Of course getting rich and famous wouldn’t be bad either. But, I think I can speak for everyone when I say we just love what we do and making this a long lasting career is our goal.
(Visit The Nearly Deads here: http://www.thenearlydeads.com/#about.)