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Dead Air Time: A catch up with TJ from The Nearly Deads

14 June 2023

It was the end of 2022 when we last spoke, and the world was resetting itself after the pandemic and the lockdown isolations. How quickly did The Nearly Deads spring back into action, and does the world seem different now?

We officially started writing the album in August of 2021. Everyone had been doing their own thing during the pandemic, working on solo projects and jotting down ideas, so we took a lot of those initial ideas and laid them out to pick and choose the best of the best. The Nearly Deads were ahead of the curve as far as the new normal goes because our band is already spread out between Nashville, Rhode Island, and Pittsburgh. So, we were very used to handling business and writing from a distance. We were already holding zoom meetings and sending voice memos back and forth, so we adapted pretty well! We kept in touch even though traveling to see each other was difficult for a while, and the common thread was that we all couldn’t wait to release another full-length album.

The idea of the new album hitting the public was still a fair way away when we last talked. Has everything gone to plan regarding the path you intended to take between then and now?

I definitely think everything worked out the way it was supposed to. We had no timeline, although that certainly could have helped! But we wanted to make an album we were all proud of with no compromises on quality or content, so it did take a while. Managing multiple schedules and working with a producer who is an active touring musician themselves certainly kept things interesting!

What can the listener expect from the We Are The Nearly Deads? Trademark sounds, an evolving sound, comfort zones, experimentation, or all of the above?

I think all of the above! We have a little flavor of each member which is why we named the album We Are The Nearly Deads. A lot of bands don’t do this, and for years, myself and Steven wrote all of the music together. This go around, we threw out the rulebook and gave everything a listen. Josh and Javier are both extremely talented songwriters and guitarists who have played with us for years, so it just made sense to include them in the writing process. The result is some of our best songs ever. We absolutely love each and every song on this album so we’re hoping fans will too!

Was making the album an easy process?

Yes and no. Making an album is a fun and creative process, especially if you’re lucky enough to get along as a band and generally agree on everything. When we first conceptualized the album, we sat in a circle and wrote down all the things we wanted listeners to feel when they listened to the songs and set them in a pile without showing each other what we wrote. Then, we flipped over the pages and circled all the things we had in common. We all said we wanted the songs to be positive and have encouraging themes of empowerment, and above all, we wanted it to be fun! If you’re not having fun, why bother?

Scheduling and not having one of those old-school unlimited budgets for an album would definitely be the most difficult parts to navigate. It’s just not done the way it used to be anymore; although it would have been nice to sit in a house for a month and write an album together, it’s just not realistic any more.

In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently, perhaps given more time or a bigger budget?

I don’t think there’s anything I would do differently. We love working with Brian Craddock as producer, and the songs sound fantastic. In a perfect world, we’d have an unlimited budget and unlimited time to really experiment, but we’re extremely happy with our end result!

And once the album drops in mid-July, are there plans to take it out on the road across the USA…perhaps beyond.

At this point in time, we will be focusing on playing a few shows in select cities. Once the album is out, we’ll see how it does and then go from there! We are definitely itching to be back on the road again, but the timing and circumstances have to be right. If we’ve learned anything over our years as a touring band, it’s to create healthy boundaries so you don’t get mad at the music or the business and to give yourself time to recoup.

What would you say is the unique selling point of a Nearly Deads show?

We like to goof off and have fun. We don’t take it too seriously. We want people to have a good time, clap and cheer and sing along. You can count on a lot of energy and a lot of goofiness.

And, as always, let’s round off by looking to the future. What does it hold for the band, and what dreams and ambitions do you hope to tick off the musical bucket list?

We can’t wait to see what doors this new album opens for us. It’s hard to believe this is only our sophomore full-length release. We’d love to start touring again and see the world. Because of the beauty of the internet, we are blessed to have amazing fans all over the world, and I personally feel like we owe it to them to visit them and put on an amazing live show for them after they’ve supported us for all these years. So hopefully, we can make that happen!

As always, thanks for taking the time to talk with me, and best of luck with everything.