Austin, Texas’ Nominee seems to be sitting at the center of a post-hardcore revival in that area. Featuring members of bands such as I Call Fives and Thieves, the band blends elements of pop punk and post-hardcore to create a catchy and powerful sound. The band is set to release a new EP they recorded with Kory Gable this fall. I had a chance to talk to the band about the new EP, milestones, how they have grown as a band, and much more.
“When it comes down to it, our music is about pulling through tough experiences. I just want our songs to be there for someone when they need them” – Chris Mclelland
For Fans Of: Handguns, Thieves, I Call Fives
By James Boss
Babetalk: What is your name and what do you do in Nominee?
Chris: My name is Chris and I sing for the band.
Steve: My Name is Steve and I play guitar and sing back up.
BT: Let’s start off with an icebreaker. What is your favorite movie of all time?
Chris: I’m a huge movie guy, great icebreaker. No question, though; Gangs Of New York.
Steve: I struggled with this one. I own a collection I can’t do without. If it was one I’d have to say Leaving Las Vegas
BT: You guys recently released a split with Dozer Tx, which features the single “White Water.” How would you say the reception towards it has been so far?
Chris: The reception has been fantastic. Honestly, both of our bands just really wanted to release some new music and we all get along great so we figured, why not do it together? It was really just for fun. We weren’t expecting people to give it the attention that it’s been getting.
BT: What was the recording and writing process for these songs?
Chris: These songs symbolize what we sound like as a band. Up until this release, one of us would write a song on our own, bring it to practice and then I’d write lyrics for it. “White Water” was the first time we actually went into our practice space and wrote a song entirely together. We found that we’re happier with our material when we all have input.
BT: You have a TBA EP coming out in November as well. What has the process been like for this?
Chris: The writing for the EP has been a group effort. Unfortunately though, I was stuck with a bit of writer’s block that delayed the process. One thing we don’t settle on is the content of the lyrics. We won’t release a song with lyrics that don’t have meaning. I guess it’s kind of a good and bad thing. But once we had a few songs written we really hit our stride. We booked studio time with Kory Gable (Major League, I Call Fives) in Lancaster, PA, and booked a tour to get there. I’d worked with Kory before and knew he would be a great fit for the record. We couldn’t be happier with how it came out.
Steve: It was a really interesting way to do things, recording in the middle of a tour, but I actually preferred it. Being in a new place where you can take in new scenery and constantly be refreshed. At the same time be away from everything we knew forced us stay focused with the task at hand was really good for us.
BT: What are your lyrical inspirations on this new EP?
Chris: Everyone’s got their issues and baggage and as I said, I only write when I’m inspired to do so. It makes things a bit personal, but I don’t have a problem with that. The lyrics on the EP range from coping with bipolar disorder to issues involving addiction and family, and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a song or two about a girl. It’s all a reflection of how I was feeling when the song was written. It just so happens that I’m happier with my writing when I’m bummed out. Double edged sword.
BT: What was different about recording this new EP compared to previous material?
Steve: It was truthfully just a more organic process. Now that we’ve had a bit of time develop as a band we came in with a strong sense of self. We knew the tone and vibe every song needed to convey to make the record feel whole. Working with Kory couldn’t have been easier; he’s a friend so it was easy for everyone to be open about the entire process. The lines of communication were wide open especially with tones and textural parts that really make the songs very personal to us.
BT: In what ways have you guys grown since you have formed as a band?
Chris: Well, we’ve lost a couple of members so naturally, that changes things. But I feel like we finally know who we are as a band and where we eventually want to go. We’re all on the same page and we’re all great friends. It feels like we’re in it together. Not to say it didn’t feel like that with the other members, but now we just have more similar expectations of each other.
Steve: I think anytime there’s stress on a band it’s a really easy way for people to show themselves. I’m personally happy to say I don’t trust anymore more than the people in this band and for me that brings a confidence that you can’t fake. I know we’re all in until the end.
BT: What are some milestones you guys have achieved?
Chris: We’re really happy with how our touring experiences have been. Steve and I book everything together and anyone who’s done it before knows it’s not easy. So, it’s a good feeling when a tour that we booked goes well. We’ve gotten some cool opportunities along the way, as well. We did our first record with Joe from the band Anberlin, who was a big inspiration to us and we got to play their final Austin show. It was such a cool way to say farewell to a band that we all care so much about.
BT: What are some milestones you guys would like to achieve on this EP cycle or in the future?
Chris: We just want to play shows, tour and get our music out there as much as possible. Of course there are some fun goals to keep, like doing a stretch of Warped or heading overseas for some shows, but above all we just want to get out there.
Steve: I’d love to see the world and connect with as many people as possible. Playing together and having people respond to what we’re doing in a positive light is really everything to us.
BT: What is the message you want people to take away from your music?
Chris: When it comes down to it, our music is about pulling through tough experiences. I just want our songs to be there for someone when they need them. As a teenager, I remember going home from school, putting on Tell All Your Friends by Taking Back Sunday, and as bummed as I may have been, it made everything feel better. I hope we can be that band for someone.
BT: What is next for you guys?
Steve: We’re really lucky in our home scene of Austin. We have a few really special shows coming up with some old friends saying goodbye and other friends releasing their biggest records to date. Being invited to play shows like that that are monumental in another bands career is really humbling for us and makes it totally worth it. Aside from that you’ll be able to catch us at the So What?! Venue take over on Oct 22nd in Dallas and from there we’ll tour at least once more before the year is out. 2017 we will be on the road as much as humanly possible to support our new EP that we’re very close to announcing.
BT: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Chris: Our newest release is available at Http://nomineemusic.bandcamp.com for free right now. Take a listen, download it and share it if you like what you hear. We’re thankful for every single listen.
Steve: Anyone who’s ever listened, shared our music with a friend or came to us at a show to say hey has mattered. It fuels my fire personally to know people are really connecting with what we do and the ones who share that with us makes it all the more special for us at the end of the day.
Last modified: September 8, 2016