INTERVIEW: Seth Robinson from Nowhere Fast talks about their upcoming record Aeonian & More!

I have known Seth Robinson since I was a little kid running around in our basement annoying my older sister and all her friends. I watched his melodic punk band Nowhere Fast practice I’m not sure how many times. In fact, they were one of the very first bands I ever shot when I started photographing shows. Granted, I was new to the concert photography world and hate the photos, but regardless, this band has been special to me since I was barely old enough to understand the importance of music.

When Seth sent me a text asking if I wanted a private stream to the new album, Aeonian, I immediately took him up on that… and holy shit! I’m so incredibly impressed with Nowhere Fast it’s unreal. I knew we immediately had to get some details on the progression of this band and share with you guys. Read on to find out the start of Nowhere Fast, the progression they have made throughout the years, what it means to keep going, and inspiration for their soon to be released album, Aeonian.

Never Nervous: Nowhere Fast has clearly been around for a while. What kind of changes have been made throughout the years to keep the band going and progress?

Seth Robinson: Over the years the band has had lineup changes. Most bands do. Some without want and some with. Some completely on my actions. Being a typical writer with music or words. You always want to evolve whatever art you’re doing. Evolution is caused by many things, but to make a long answer short. I will say aging, learning, travel, influence, etc…. The experience within life applies to your art. That applies to the changes over the years.

NN: How has your sound changed over the years, if at all?

SR: The band definitely started out with a Louisville and So-Cal vibe in the early days. Being in the South and Mid-West definitely contributed to growth in sound. Other outside influences. Other members from Chicago and New York added to this. Those two cities mixed with my upbringing in the deep South and Louisville’s own huge influence have made us what we are now. Our last record Trials was very organic. About three months in Chicago on weekends just hammering songs out Friday through Sunday. We took the best of the bunch. Very easy sessions.

With Aeonian we crammed ourselves into a practice space in Nashville for almost two weeks, focusing on two songs a day and focusing on the hooks and melody. We put in sixteen hour days with a broke AC. We had our buddy Furrs engineering demos and playing things back. We really focused on what the song wanted. As dumb as that sounds it definitely made the songs what they are. It was intense and the most focused we have been. We only had four rough demos I sent the guys in New York to start with. Everything was from ground up for the most part. We knew what we wanted though. We just worked to find it for the new record. So, not to be broken record, but I contribute this to growth and want.

“With Aeonian we crammed ourselves into a practice space in Nashville for almost two weeks, focusing on two songs a day and focusing on the hooks and melody.”

NN: What kinds of challenges has the band faced and how did it overcome them?

SR: Like every band we have faced our fair share of challenges from the industry, self struggle, and death. We definitely have a story to tell, but we’ll keep that private for now haha. I will say this though. Bands are just one big dysfunctional family. It’s a bond that is hard to explain. I am glad the mental state touring has over time and the inside look at bands giving it their all are being taken more serious days. Art is love like any other. It has it’s push and pull.

NN: What are the bands major musical influences?

SR: That is a hard one to say. My record collection like the other guys is very schizophrenic. We all have our early days and our influence of the scenes we grew up in. We love a good song. We love a good groove these days. We all grew up listening to 70’s rock, 80’s/90’s/00’s indie, punk, etc…. We all LOVE 60’s R&B. We love Queen, Jets to Brazil, and Descendents. Paul loves Elliott and of course we all agree. I also love old country, alt country, Americana. Sorry, I am about to start naming bands and must stop myself because it would get ridiculous trying to name everyone we love. We just do our best to make good rock n’ roll and carry whatever torch is still burning.

NN: You recently played a show with The Bouncing Souls. I’m sorry to say I missed it but what was that experience like? Who else have you all had the pleasure of playing with?

SR: That show was so much fun. We all grew up listening to the Souls and of course the amazing Tim Barry. Half of us grew up seeing the Souls in the early days like some of us grew up seeing Avail to Tim going solo. We were very honored to be a part of that show. Thanks Terry for sending that one up the chain.
We have had the honor of sharing the stage with many great bands. Way too many to list. We have been lucky in that aspect over the years. We are grateful for it all.

NN: Any idea on upcoming shows or possible tours? Will there be an album release show?

SR: I can’t say much on this right now, but yes to all of it.

NN: Listening to Aeonian has been a real treat for me. What was the inspiration behind the album? Are there any songs in the album that are particularly important to you guys?

SR: We all have our favorites of course. The inspiration was to make a good rock ‘n roll album, but to also blend a pop sensibility in with the hooks. I like to write a record as if you’re reading a chapter in a book. It’s cohesive and tells a story. The storyline is true and personal, but left open for people to take from it what they need. As a collective whole they are personal and important. We only put on albums what we think is best out of the collection of written material. We stand by no fillers.

“I like to write a record as if you’re reading a chapter in a book. It’s cohesive and tells a story.”

NN: I know a lot of bands have trouble with naming albums; how did the decision to name the album, “Aeonian,” arise?

SR: From me being a nerd. I write down potential album titles all the time. When one comes to me I jot it down. I like simple one word titles for the most part. At times it does call for more. I will look at all synonyms and then shrink it down to the the three best. However, when I saw aeonian I knew right away that was it.

NN: How was the recording process and how long did it take to get the album done?

SR: This record took way longer than we wanted it to, but this was that record for us. We wanted it done right and done with the right people. We wrote and studied the songs for quite some time. Arranged, rearranged, and so on. I wrote guitars and took guitars away. I wrote words and rewrote words. Same with drums, bass, and keys. I mean right at the end of mixing we went back into Last Horizon Audio and changed the keys completely to a song called “Haunted”. Jim Bob was a real trooper and we love him for working with us on this record.

Everyone who played a part on this album had the same mind frame. We all synced up. Once Nick Diener at Onder Studios up in Michigan finished mixing we sent it to Jersey for mastering. These days we are all about quality over quantity. That takes time. We also don’t all live in the same state. Some are here in Louisville. Some are home in Staten Island, New York. I hope I don’t sound like I am complaining. We are very proud of this one. We worked hard on this. I always tell my oldest daughter that patience is a virtue. For Aeonian we were patient. A new feat for us.

“I always tell my oldest daughter that patience is a virtue. For Aeonian we were patient. A new feat for us.”

NN: What’s the ultimate goal Nowhere Fast is trying to do with their music?

SR: The ultimate goal is just to do what we’re doing. Write music and appreciate that the inspiration is still there. To hopefully still reach people and help them through whatever it is they are going through. Good or bad. To do what music does. For us personally. It’s cathartic.

NN: Anything else you all want to add?

SR: I would like to thank you and Never Nervous for giving us this opportunity. For supporting Louisville art and music. It means so much to us.

 

Top Photo by Christopher Ramos