The Nearly Deads TJ Talks New Music and the Future Ahead

Post grunge with some modern punk mixed with polished grunge, these four guys and one very platinum blonde girl set out to infect the world with their music. They are called The Nearly Deads and have gone ahead to write, record, and release their debut EP and are in the process of releasing new music which includes their debut full-length album. Frontwomen vocalist TJ discusses a little backstory on the band and the process of new music and playing shows.

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography? Why did you want this band to have a frontwomen instead of a frontman? What does having a women in this role bring to this band and what make this change stand out above all the rest?

TJ: The band formed in Tampa FL. Steve (guitar) and Cory (drums) were in a band called Dangerflight, and TJ (vocals/piano) was in a band called Blondes Not Bombs. They had mutual friends and met at one of Dangerflights last shows. They had decided to move up to Nashville. TJ moved originally as a friend, but when they started auditioning new frontmen, the band kept coming up short. There just wasn't a good fit. TJ asked to audition, and The Nearly Deads were born. We changed the name, re-worked some of the old songs, and started writing some of our own. The band was never intentionally female-fronted, it just kind of happened that way. We think having a front-women lets us reach out to a broader demographic, and it helps us stand out. With TJ's powerful vocals, and the band's gritty instrumentals, it's a great match. TJ also serves as a role model for younger girls, and is setting out to prove that anything is possible.

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

TJ: There is a saying about Florida that it is home to "the newly-weds and the nearly-deads".  It sounded punk and cool, and it also pays homage to our home-state.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We are currently based out of Nashville TN. The music scene is so folk and country dominated, it's easy for a grunge pop/punk band to stand out. There are actually some really amazing rock bands from Nashville. We're carving out our own little scene. Check out The Notion, The Finale, and Darling Parade.

4. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

TJ: Everyone one in the band has such a wide range of influences. I'd say bands like Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, The Used, and My Chemical Romance are at the top of the list.

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

TJ: The lyrics are mostly about growth. Moving on, finding yourself, believing in yourself. But those things don't happen overnight, it's a process, and there are a lot of insecurities and battles with yourself along the way. They're about TJ's journey as a woman, and also the band's journey together.

6. What's your take on Survival Guide as a whole?

TJ: We are extremely proud of this EP. We re-mixed and mastered a few of our most popular songs and we think they sound better than ever. Brave and Changeover are two of our favorite songs to perform live! And our producer Jon King's drum and orchestral programming on the re-animated version of Never Look Back takes it to a whole other level!

7. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

TJ: What's most important to us about our songs is that people find a way to relate to them. Everyone goes through the same struggles, everyone has that one song or lyrics that just sends the memories flooding back to them. It's not important that we paint the pictures, it's more about bringing that experience to the listener through honestly and straight-forward lyrics.

8. What would be the cinematic equivalent of Survival Guide?

TJ: Definitely a zombie movie. But more like, Shaun of the Dead style. Still kicks ass, but not in a super serious way.

9. What's your favorite song on the EP right now?

TJ: We love them all, but Changeover says a lot about what we've been through as a band facing the realities of the music industry. It's probably the most personal.

10. What's new in the recording of your music?

TJ: We just finished recording out last few tracks down in Nashville with Jon King at Page 2 Music. We're working on our first full-length!

11. What are your upcoming touring/show plans?

TJ: We are planning a few US tours in February and March right now. We'd love to play Warped Tour again this summer. 2014 is the year of touring for us, we plan to be on the road a lot.

12. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

TJ: You can find us on Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, Jango.

13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

TJ: We'd like them to remember the energy and how the lyrics made them feel. We really want to blow people's expectations out of the water. Most people have a preconceived notion about how a female-fronted band is going to sound, and we like to think we have something truly unique going on.

14. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

TJ: More videos, more new music, more touring...more of everything!

15. What do you think Standby Records and The Vulcan Agency will bring to the table for you guys

TJ: We're very happy to be a part of this family. We believe that they can help bring us to the next level that we haven't been able to achieve on our own. This business can be tough, and it's good to have people who work hard for you on your side. Thanks for taking the time to send this over and include us on your website!

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