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For some, hell is what we walk in, breathe in, live in. Building the strength to face life and its challenges is the theme of a the new single spearheading a powerful concept project of Melbourne-based metal trio Nothing, captivatingly titled Self Repair Manifesto.
Having formed in 2005, and chalked up some serious touring miles with visitors such as Amon Amarth, Children of Bodom, and Five Finger Death Punch, Nothing had been on something of a hiatus for a few years, until levelling a killer re-entry to the scene with their self-titled EP in 2016. Now, Nothing are launching a series of singles in their new creative endeavour, beginning with the single Self Repair Manifesto.
Self Repair Manifesto is a deeply intriguing title. “It is,” vocalist and bassist Craig Johnston agrees. He then continues, explaining, “the song is the opening single off what’s going to be a couple of years of concept releases for us, we’re putting together a concept album but releasing it as a series of singles rather than as a complete album, and this is the opening chapter. It’s all about escaping purgatory, and fighting against oppressive forces and really digging deep and summoning the courage to fight for your life and achieve your goals. It’s drawing a lot of inspiration from the poem The Divine Comedy, by Dante [Alighieri, written 1308-1320], sort of drawing on some personal experiences of some friends of mine over the last couple of years, and I think looking around the world today, we all need to dig deep and look inside ourselves and really decide that our lives are worth fighting for.”
Self Repair Manifesto delivers a strong message. On what he hopes the listener will take from the song, Johnson offers, “I hope they will take a positive message, that no matter what situations they face and how massive the odds are, and how down they feel, that the fight is genuinely within all of us, and when you take that fight and decide that you’re worth it, the outcomes are always going to be in your favour. To never give up to the fight for yourself.”
That is a powerful adaptation of Dante’s work. The Divine Comedy has a very iconic structure … this being the first release of the Inferno, one wonders if Nothing listeners will then travel into Purgatory, and eventually reach Paradise. Johnston is certain about this, “absolutely, that’s the idea, there’s probably going to be five or six tracks that we will release obviously chronologically working your way through to hopefully an eventual Paradise.”
I hope they will take a positive message, that no matter what situations they face and how massive the odds are, and how down they feel, that the fight is genuinely within all of us, and when you take that fight and decide that you’re worth it, the outcomes are always going to be in your favour.
[ Craig Johnston ]
Nothing’s last release was their self-titled EP in 2016. Returning to the writing process has been an enlightening experience, and paved the way for beginning to compose a concept album. “When we began writing the next batch of material”, Johnson recounts, “we found that every song or every piece of music had very much its own voice, its own life, and I think we are getting a bit more open with our songwriting, experimenting with textures and feels a bit more, and I know personally when I came to thinking about lyrical concepts for each song, they genuinely invoked a different emotion, so we started thinking about how we wanted to sculpt that. We liked the idea of a concept album, and really indulging the storytelling side of music. It just seemed to come together that way. It made sense that that was how we were going to go forward with the next release. It’s a great challenge musically as well.”
On how this venture into Self Repair Manifesto has extended Nothing musically, Johnson continues, “I love this track. I’m really proud of this track. Definitely, the weighty groove moments that people know us for, that everyone says after our live shows there’s such a weight and groove to our sound, I think this song really encapsulates that. It’s got some hectic moments, and its got a subtle moment in there, I just think the way this song moves is sort of indicative of how we write and how our music is, it’s very linear, and there’s the capability of taking it everywhere but always with power.”
Nothing have released Self Repair Manifesto with a music video, featuring the band in the studio. Portraying the band so openly was part of the song’s message, as Johnson explains, “when we thought about how we wanted to do the clip and how we wanted to represent ourselves as a band we definitely wanted a honesty to it … we wanted something that gives a bit of insight into us as humans, and us as a band. This captures the honesty of the moment.”
Self Repair Manifesto is an exciting start to Nothing’s concept series. On when we can expect the next ‘level of hell’ instalment to arrive, Johnson states: “We’re looking to get back into the studio early next year, so hopefully January or February we can have the next level of Hell ready to unleash.”
NOTHING TOUR DATES:
Saturday 24 November // Sydney // Factory Theatre (w/Terrorential, Reaver, Alchemy)
Saturday 1 December // Adelaide // Enigma Bar (w/ Voros, Massix, Scdulous Rousc)
Saturday 8 December // Melbourne // The Bendigo Hotel (w/ Hadal Maw, Blunt Shovel, Naberus, Annihilist, Massix)