December 11, 2014

Mark Vollelunga of Nothing More takes a moment to catch up with Shabby Hasan of AAL to talk about non-stop touring in 2014, going to Australia for Soundwave in 2015 and Japan for the first time, touring Europe early next year with Halestorm and how corporations are bastardizing our youth.


Mark, it's good to catch up with you again.  How are you doing today?

I’m doing good Shabby, likewise, here in Cincinnati and it’s a bit chilly, us Texas boys aren’t used to the colder weather (laughs).

You’ve toured with HellYeah, 5FDP, Volbeat on the last tour and are now touring with different bands.  How has this tour been? 

We’re definitely excited about all these Christmas shows and radio shows we’re doing, like tomorrow with Korn, it’s going to be really cool.  They’re always a pleasure to see.  Then I know we got a Pop Evil show coming up soon too.  Then it’ll be good seeing Chevelle one more time as we get to play with them in Peoria, their hometown area.  I’m really excited to see them again.  We hit it off with them when we were touring in April (2014) together.

After the gigs you just mentioned, it looks like you’ve got a break in touring after next week ends and until after the holidays, any plans?  

We do go home for the holidays, thankfully, we’ll have a lot of family time.  Which is very much needed because 2015 is going to be crazy busy. 

After looking at how busy 2014 has been for Nothing More, it’s hard to imagine how much more busier 2015 will be for you all.  What is in the works for next year?

We’ll pretty much not be home for the first 3 months, pretty much hitting the road immediately with Periphery.  We love those guys, their musicianship is crazy.  I’m very excited to learn and see them kill it every night.  That’ll be a 7 week North American Tour.  We’ll go immediately from that to Soundwave in Australia, which will be our first time there.  Which will be unbelieveable.  I think it’s confirmed, but I’m not sure, but there’s a Tokyo, Japan date right before Soundwave.  We’re all freaking stoked to be going to Japan!

Awesome, is that the first time you or the rest of the band will have been in Australia or Japan?

All of us, yeah.  We’re all thrilled and very, very excited.       

You guys have been on a literal non-stop touring schedule with barely any days off.  How do you stay connected to things and life while on those “off” days?

You’re absolutely right, that’s a great question.  The road life, it’s very difficult for the loved ones back home.  Fortunately with technology these days, with things like FaceTime, it makes things so much better and just be able to see them.  With my son and my wife at home, it warms my heart to have that face to face interaction pretty much whenever I want to or can, so that’s awesome.  It definitely helps.  It’s obviously not the same as being in person, but like I was saying, with technology, it makes things a lot easier.  You really just have to make the time and make it work, you know?  It’s a struggle, and that being said, touring is the best and the worst thing.  On the one hand, you get to spread the gospel of music, and we’re excited about it and thrilled to spread the message to the people and people are jumping on and they tell us how their lives are changed, everyday, and yes it’s working, this why we do what we do, and we’re thrilled to be on this platform.  However, when you hear something, like when my son’s got a fever, and he’s gotta go to the ER the very same day you’re doing what I mentioned above, it makes you feel like, great, I’m not home, I can’t do this, this sucks really bad.  But it comes with the territory you know?  We understand what we’re getting into and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of our families.

Speaking of spreading the gospel, when you first started out in this industry, you were originally majoring in Music in college.  Do you find yourself wanting to get back into it or teaching?

Currently, I really do want to get back into it.  Unfortunately, there are other things at work that need my attention, just with Nothing More.  Just with regarding slowly starting the writing process for the next record, which is a long ways away.  We just need to be slowly getting material ready and being inspired as well as writing stuff for the live show.  I really do wish I could teach because teaching gets you back to the basics.  A lot of the times it’s more helpful to the instructor than it is for the student.  I know it would mean the world to a lot of amateurs or starting out guitar players to get a lesson from a guy in a band that they really like.  I know I would be thrilled if 10-15 years ago the same thing was available to me when I first started playing by getting lessons from one of my favorite bands.

It looks like you’ll be touring with Halestorm and Wilson in Europe, and The Pretty Reckless in the UK starting in March, tell us about that.

Immediately after Soundwave in Australia, we jump on a plane and go back to Europe, the UK and tour the European countries with Halestorm.  That’ll take us to the beginning of April.  After that, we’ll use that time to head home and be with family.

What lies ahead after the downtime from Europe?

Start pre-production and rehearsal for a bigger headlining tour.  All the dates aren’t confirmed or anything yet.  We’re really excited about it and have a little more of a budget to add to the light show and things of that sort. 

Nothing More has been touring really well on the self-titled debut album Nothing More, when can fans anticipate a new Nothing More album?

This past week, when we were home in December, we got a little time in the rehearsal/jam room working on some new stage antics and fun Nothing More stuff for the headlining tour next year.  It’s stuff nobody’s seen before and stuff nobody’s trying yet.  We’re really excited to showcase all that.

So, no chance seeing a sample or sneak preview of the new stuff before then?

We might play and jam some stuff before the doors open at a show, not in front of anybody, but just rehearsing.  Most likely we’ll wait to reveal the goodies until that headlining tour when we have a little more time on stage and everything.

How has it been working with your record label, Eleven Seven?

We’re thrilled and very happy to be with them, this past year has gone so amazing.  We couldn't wish for anything better.  We’re blessed to have a hard working team that wants to work and is happy to work on something they like and they actually share a passion with.  I know when Jamie, our publicist, she gets us, she’s working hard and we’re working hard too.  I can’t give too much away, but we’re excited for 2015, but we’re partnering with a charity type organization, and I know she’s looking for those.  Beyond that, I know we want to see if we can change things, like with what Mr. MTV is saying, making those aware of what’s going on in our society today regarding our youth being bastardized by corporations like MTV and the like.  The next single after Mr. MTV focuses on finding the right organization to push that message.  I’m personally really excited about that.  It’s definitely something close to home and is something that is definitely fucked up in our society and the world today.  Hopefully we can bring light to the situation and do good and help.

Now that you've been in the touring circuit under multiple tours after having been signed, and seeing how the business end works, do you find that you are all the same guys from high school and college from 10-15 years ago making music, is that feeling still there?

Absolutely, the faces and life situations are just different now, but we are all the definitely the same people.  We all do share the same passion and energy in the music that we want to spread, along with making ourselves happy.  We’re proud of what we do.  I get so excited just thinking about certain song concepts or riffs with what’s ahead and how we’re going to progress as Nothing More.  I’m thrilled for what’s to come.

Mark, thanks for your time and we look forward to seeing you next week and the show.  Enjoy the show tonight in Cincinnati, definitely look forward to catching up with you next week, tell the rest of the crew we said hi.

Me too man, thanks so much Shabby, it’s gonna be fun, we’ll have a bit of a longer set, so you’ll get to hear and see some songs that you normally don’t get to see.  See you then!

nothing more is:

Jonny Hawkins - lead vocals, extra drums

Mark Vollelunga - guitar, backup vocals

Daniel Oliver - bass, backup vocals

Paul O'Brien - drums