When bands all having gimmicks these days, it's refreshing to hear an act getting back to the basics. Austin, TX based back Nominee holds an energetic garage band type of sound that you just don't hear much these days. It's easy to hear a splash of inspiration from the classic teen angst bands mixed with their own attitude. With their new EP Drag Me Out ready to drop in a few days, member Chris stopped in to chat with us!
LJ Dewitt: For our readers unfamiliar with you, please introduce yourself. To keep it interesting, give us a random fact.
Chris: My name is Chris and I sing for Nominee. I saw 78 movies in theaters last year and didn’t pay for any of them. Don’t ask how. I won’t tell.
LJ: Musicians get to travel to great places to spread their message, but unfortunately, they also end up in some not so great cities. Have you ever been in a city or situation where you were genuinely scared you were going to die?
Chris: I’ve been in some dicey situations on tour. One time a door guy refused the entry of a local kid in Oklahoma, City because he was outwardly homosexual. We packed up our shit and left along with the other bands on the tour.
In another situation, two of my old band mates were robbed at gunpoint outside of a 7-11 in California. I wasn’t there but it made me more paranoid than I already was, which I didn’t think was possible.
LJ: Favorite hometown venue to play? And favorite hometown bands to share a stage with?
Chris: When I first moved to Austin, we had the privilege of playing at a couple of places called Red 7 and Holy Mountain. They were hands down my favorite places to play. Since then, both of those venues have closed. We still have some rad places like Sidewinder and Mohawk, which are great. Our guitarist, Steve also does a fair amount of booking at a DIY spot called Fine Southern
Austin, Texas is thriving with bands right now. Thieves, Burning Years, Lions and Tigers, Forever Starts Today, Gold Steps, Almost Famous Friends, Locket, Later Days, Insvrgence, Hitting Subset, Home Above and way more. I could go all day.
LJ: Have you ever "lost" a band mate right before a set? If so, where were they to be found?
Chris: Actually, yeah. Before Nominee I was in a band called I Call Fives from New Jersey. We were right in the middle of a 6 week, full US tour with The Story So Far and We Are The Union.
Naturally. As they do on a tour of that long, tensions were getting high. We had played in Dallas
the night before and gotten into a bit of a disagreement so the whole day was tense. When we got
to the venue, in Austin actually, we kind of split ways to get some room to breathe. However, 15
minutes before our set we noticed that one of us hadn’t come back. He showed up with minutes
to spare and the set was awkward but we made it through. He then disappeared after the set and
was gone so long that we called the cops. It was rough.
The same band also lost a merch guy in Canada once. We had to get to our next show so we had
no choice but to leave him there. He took a mega bus and met us in Illinois.
LJ: So, you guys are getting ready to release your EP Drag Me Out. What song on the record are
you most excited for your fans to hear?
Chris: I’m really excited for people to hear the entire EP. I’m proud of all the songs but it’s
meant to be listened to as a whole record. My favorite track is probably the title track, "Drag Me
Out". It encapsulates the theme of the entire record, which is that it’s okay to need someone in a
LJ: Which song have you been the most personally invested in and why?
Chris: Personally, I put a lot of effort into "Prints", which will be track #4 on Drag Me Out. It was the first song that I wrote about having bipolar disorder. After I found a way to say what I felt, it set the pace for the rest of the record.
LJ: Are there any songs that you'd consider the black sheep of the EP? If so, which and why?
Chris: The record ends with an acoustic song called "You Came With The Sun". It’s really, obviously personal, and gritty. Without going too far into detail, my last relationship ended horribly and it’s about the moment I realized it was over. There’s no chorus and it’s the same riff the entire time, but I don’t think the record would be the same without it.
LJ: What three albums would you want to be buried with?
Chris: Saves The Day – Through Being Cool, Jimmy Eat World – Futures, Taylor Swift - Red
LJ: Ever had any stage nightmares?
Chris: God, yes. I have all the classic ones. You know, where you’re 20 minutes late to start your set and you can’t tune your guitar, or you’re setting up and you can’t find the other end of an endless instrument cable, or your band is starting your set without you. Those are the most stressful ones I can think of and they’re all recurring.
LJ: Twenty years from now, what is one thing you want to have become known for?
Chris: I’d love to be known for my compassion. Down the line, I’d like to work for or own some sort of non-profit that helps teens that have social anxiety, bipolar or any other mental health disorder. In music, I’d want people to remember Nominee for our honesty.
LJ: Finally, are there any random facts, comments, or words of wisdom you'd like to leave with your fans?
Chris: If you enjoy our music, or find comfort in any of the lyrics, please feel free to contact us. We write deeply personal music and we wouldn’t do that if we didn’t want to connect with others who might feel the same way. Our EP, Drag Me Out comes out on January, 26, 2017. We hope you enjoy it.
e. Tamara Grant