Nothing More’s Jonny Hawkins on Interacting With Fans, ‘I Know Jenny’ Campaign + Next Album
Nothing More’s Jonny Hawkins recently sat down with Full Metal Jackie at the Loudwire Music Festival. The vocalist opened up about all the hard work they've put into the band, interacting with fans, the ‘I Know Jenny’ campaign + more. Check out the interview below:
Nothing More was built with a lot of hard work over many years on an independent level. How is that tenacity and determination an asset where you're at now?
It definitely helps us to problem solve, I think when we don’t have the resources there or the people to help us figure out whatever it is. I think when you are forced to do something on your own, it’s not so much doing it as much as what doing it forces you to start doing it with your brain. It forces you to think and how to think. So, we carry that into everyday life now as we move forward into the live show or into the record. I think it forces us to think, okay, how do we do this differently than other bands, or other artists, or other producers or whatever. So, it’s definitely something I recommend all bands being as DIY as possible in the beginning.
How have your lyrical ideas changed as you've become more worldly from touring on a large scale?
I don’t think I’m gonna really know until we finish this next record. But I can already see my perspective kind of evolving and growing having met so many people across the world and seeing the differences and the similarities. When you get to the core of people, I think the beautiful thing about music is that it taps into very strong similarities in all human beings regardless of the culture. So, I think our lyrics are going to be hopefully more potent, in regards to just the core like emotions and things that people deal with regardless of where they are from.
Why is off-stage interaction with your audience so integral to what this band does musically?
You know we set up this band from day one to be as connected as possible as we could with the people that either like our music or support us because they like our music. When we were kids we always went to rock shows and we really, we felt like the music was enhanced by the connection that we had. Even if it was just for a moment with the artist. Because not only did you get to see, feel or hear the energy or the emotion that was coming from that person that created the music you were hearing. But many times you connected with the artist and you would get to hear their story and background. I think it makes the music that much deeper and real, because you see where it is coming from.
So, I think it is not only really important for us but it is important for every band. Who you are trying to be and what you are trying to be to people. I think for us and what our goals are: it’s very important. I think for now, as we are growing, which is definitely a good problem, it’s much harder to be connected on a one to one level, obviously. So, we do meet and greets and we do signings and we’ll meet with people you know after the show outside of the bus but some shows we have to escape so you know there is no way to talk to someone without losing your voice. So, it’s a fine balance nowadays. It’s interesting.
How has the last album and the touring to support it been a stepping-stone to what you want to do next?
We've definitely built a wide foundation this year on this record. We've gone to Japan, Australia and Europe a few times now and have done the U.S. and Canada quite a bit. So we have a very broad base that we're going to be building from. So, I think the next record is really set up to knock it out of the park, of course if we make a good record… that's the goal. A lot of bands have that sophomore slump thing and that's always a fear in the back of band's minds. I'm really not worried about it. I'm so hungry right now and we're still a few months away from getting into the studio that I know that hunger that I feel is only getting stronger and stronger. I want to make a better record each time, I'm pretty confidant that this one is going to be even better.
Nothing More launched the ‘I Know Jenny’ campaign around the song, "Jenny" supporting a really important cause. What surprised you the most about the reaction to the campaign?
I was surprised at how many people could relate to the song in their own unique way and the lyrics still almost paint their picture. Even though the song was so personal to me, and many of the lyrics were so descriptive and pointing to my situation. It was interesting when people would tell me their story, how these lyrics would pivot almost in a totally different direction and explain their story. That was a real cool thing, but also it was shocking to me how many people actually had a Jenny in their life. A brother, sister, father or mother or even a friend who had committed suicide or is the black sheep who's always been struggling with something underneath the surface.
When I started seeing on the ground floor how many people actually knew one person that was in their life in their inner circle, it became clear that this was something bigger than cancer and cancer is huge. Everyone knows about cancer and there's other things too I could mention but it's so much less emphasized or sympathized for or understood. So, when we were seeing that on the ground floor with this whole campaign, we knew we were on to something. This is definitely something that needs to be brought out into the light because it's not being talked about enough.
Many thanks to Jonny Hawkins for the interview. You can learn more about the band's 'I Know Jenny' Campaign at this location. Nothing More are out on the road now. Check out their tour dates here. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie Monday through Friday at 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.