Philadelphia’s Nothing has been churning out their brand of reverb-soaked riffs non-stop on the road since their Relapse debut Guilty of Everything was released back in 2014, and they have countless battle scars to prove it. Ahead of their show in Charleston, SC this past Thursday night, I got a chance to chat with lead guitarist Brandon Setta about the never-ending struggles of life on the road, their newest album, and the current tour with AFI.
To start, I’ll have you just say your name and what role you play in Nothing!
I’m Brandon, and I play guitar.
Lots of people said 2016 was the worst year ever, so how is 2017 going for you so far?
I got the chance to see y’all direct support Thursday over New Years weekend in New Jersey while I was up visiting my girlfriend. How did that particular gig come about?
We’ve been friends with Geoff (Rickly) for a while now and he has always been a fan of our band. When that show came around and he asked us to support, we graciously accepted.
You just got back from a string of headlining shows in Japan, Southeast Asia, & Australia. What was your favorite part of that run? Is it wild when you think about this band getting the chance to tour on the other side of the world?
I never thought I’d have the chance to see even a fraction of the places I have been. It’s definitely a blessing. I think we would all agree that Japan was the coolest part of that tour, particularly Tokyo. We have a lot of friends there and that place is just a super crazy and fun city in general. That is, from what I remember in between blackouts.
You just started your 2 ½ week trek around the US direct supporting AFI. How’s it been so far?
AFI have been incredibly inviting and kind to us from day one. The band and crew are all super good people and very helpful and supportive. They are such a good live band as well. The guys in Souvenirs are also great people and such a good band as well. Shout-out to Smith for being a legend.
So you’re about nine months into the album cycle for your sophomore LP, Tired of Tomorrow. Have you noticed a shift in reception now that you guys have continued to grow as a band? Have newer audiences been as receptive as ones in the past?
We’ve definitely gained new fans since the record came out. It has more of a pop sensibility to it than the last LP which broadened our audience for sure.
It’s pretty well documented that you’ve had your fair share of drama and tragedy following the band over the course of your existence. Do you take the bad with the good and try to channel those emotions as best you can into the writing process?
It all comes in waves really. The lifestyle you’re forced to live while on the road is so outlandish you just kind of get used to it and end up pushing your body and mind to extreme limits. Over time you just become numb to everything. We just make a joke out of everything anymore. You just have to laugh sometimes. From all the bad comes good and vice versa. There’s really no stopping it until you die. Jameson helps.
You guys are headlining the show in Charleston, SC. What’s the best part about getting to rip a more intimate set on an off day from a big room tour?
It just kind of keeps you in check. You realize that having a huge production crew that treats you super well is a luxury. You eventually have to do shit yourself which sucks. Jameson helps.
How have your shows in the Carolinas been over the years? Is there a particular one that stands out for being the most memorable, good or bad?
I only remember one show in NC I believe. The air conditioner in the green room was named Reznor. Nicky introduced me to Night Train and we drank four bottles of it and listened to Guns N’ Roses. We probably performed terribly.
What’s the next move for Nothing heading into the rest of 2017?
Taking it easy after this tour for sure because if not, someone is going to end up in rehab in Florida somewhere or dead in a grave. Actually, an urn because none of our families can afford to do anything with our bodies besides turn them to ash.
Definitely appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. Any final words or thoughts you’d care to share?
No problem. I’m dizzy and nauseous now from doing this interview in the van so thanks a lot.
Nothing is on tour right now with AFI and Souvenirs.