By Stephanie Stevens
The Pop rock and energy driven sounds of THE NEARLY DEADS is on the rise, with the release of the band’s EP “REVENGE OF THE NEARLY DEADS.” The Nashville, TN band is made up of Theresa Jeane – Vocals and Keys, Steven Tobi – Lead Guitar, Kevin Koelsch – Bass, Javier Garza Jr. – Rhythm Guitar, Josh Perrone – Drums
I had the chance to chat with Theresa Jeane about the positive and empowered lyrics she writes, what makes up a good song in her eyes and how the fans have captured the bands hearts.
WHAT MAKES THE NEARLY DEADS STICK OUT VERSUS OTHER FEMALE FRONTED ROCK BANDS OUT THERE THESE DAYS?
TJ: We love all our fellow ladies out there, and we have toured and played with several other bands that are not only female fronted, but all-female, or have a female guitarist, bassist, or drummer! I that I think each and every one of us has something different to offer. I think THE NEARLY DEADS has a good mix of pop vocals with grungy instrumentals, plus I can sit behind the piano and belt out a ballad if I need to as well. I like to think that our musicianship makes us stand out.
HOW DID YOU GUYS ALL COME TOGETHER, AND ARE ANY OF THE MEMBERS FROM OTHER BANDS WE WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT?
TJ: I met the other founding members of the band back in Tampa FL. I was in a duo called Blondes Not Bombs, and Steve Tobi and our original drummer was in a band called Dangerflight. When we all moved up to Nashville to get more serious about our music careers, they were in need of a new vocalist, so I sheepishly auditioned, thinking they’d want nothing to do with a female lead. Most people don’t know I technically replaced a guy! We started by re-writing old songs to fit my vocal range, but shortly ended up crafting our own unique sound.
HOW DID YOU GUYS ALL DECIDE YOU WANTED TO MAKE MUSIC A CAREER AND HOW OLD WERE YOU?
TJ: I think I speak for all of us when I say music has been a lifelong passion. All of us have music related degrees or have attended musician institutes. I have personally always wanted to write music for film, so I will say that this career in the rock and roll world was something I kind of stumbled upon later in life. There was a time when I first heard bands like Something Corporate, Evanescence, and My Chemical Romance and was like “I want to do that”.
YOU JUST RELEASED AN EP ENTITLED, “REVENGE OF THE NEARLY DEADS.” WHEN DID IT COME OUT? AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO PEOPLE?
TJ: REVENGE OF THE NEARLY DEADS came out earlier this year and we are very proud of it. We’ve got soaring vocals and grungy instrumentals, sing-along parts and a piano ballad – all on one EP. We decided to do just 6 tracks so there was no filler and we could release the music sooner to our diehard fans who were hungry for new music.
HOW DID YOU HOOK UP WITH KOBALT MUSIC? AND WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE FUTURE WITH THEM?
TJ: We’re very excited to be working with Kobalt and had the chance to meet with them while on our last tour at Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood CA. As an independent band, it’s a huge deal to be able to have help with distribution, and we’ll have the chance to grow with them as our careers progress.
WHAT ARE THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS TO MAKE A GOOD SONG IN YOUR OPINION?
TJ: 1. The lyrics have to make sense if you were reading them like a sentence. 2. The chord progression has to be able to flow on piano as well as guitar. It can’t be just riffs the entire way through! 3. Every instrument needs to play their role, and nothing can overpower the message or the vocal line.
LYRICALLY, HOW DO YOU APPROACH TOPICS OR STORIES YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT? AND DO YOU GUYS TRY TO KEEP A POSITIVE VIBE THROUGH LYRICS FOR YOUR FANS?
TJ: My whole approach is that if I can get through something, anybody can. I try to empower people and let them know they’re not alone. We try to write about things that are easily relatable and steer clear of polarizing topics. Rock and Roll is all about having a good time and living life to the fullest, plus we want to write music that is fun to play live. We want to give people an escape and a safe space to be themselves when they’re at our shows.
WHAT HAVE FANS, FROM YOUR VIEWPOINT, LOVED ABOUT YOUR BAND OR THE WAY YOU WRITE? AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU GUYS TO LISTEN AND GIVE BACK TO YOUR FANS?
TJ: Our fans are everything to us! I think what people love the most is that we are accessible and genuinely care about them. We started crowdfunding early on in the band, and we are so humbled and blown away by the love people have shown us over the years. We are always thinking of ways to give back and get fans involved. A lot of our fans have actually become close friends and we love meeting them every night on tour at our merch table. We’re always here to listen and try to answer every message. We know that we need them just as much as they need us. We’re lucky to have so many amazing people all over the world supporting us.
YOU WON AN AWARD IN YOUR HOMETOWN, FOR BEST LIVE PERFORMANCE. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR LIVE SHOW?
TJ: We like to have a lot of fun and keep the energy going from start to finish. It’s important to us to play perfectly every night and give people their money’s worth, no matter how large or small the crowd may be.
DO YOU FEEL A LIVE SHOW PERFORMANCE IS AS IMPORTANT AS WRITING A GOOD SONG, AND WHAT THREE ELEMENTS DO YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO BRING A KILLER LIVE SHOW?
TJ: Well, if you’ve got a bad song in the studio, it’s still going to be a bad song live! Songwriting and playing your instrument perfectly is always number one and anything less is a disservice to the fans. We love adding filler tracks and bass drops to the live show to make it even more epic. I love playing songs live because it ALWAYS has more energy than the recorded version. To have a killer live show you need 1. To sing and play flawlessly every night. No one wants to pay to see a train wreck on stage. 2. A good flow from song to song. 3. Good crowd interaction. I love talking to people from the stage and making a personal connection with the fans
WHAT SONG GOES OFF THE BEST LIVE AND WHY?
TJ: I think “DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH” sounds great live. I love all of our songs, but there’s just something about the opening riff that when it ends and the whole band kicks in has so much more energy on stage than on the record. It also sounds bigger and heavier live, which I love.
ANY PRE-SHOW RITUALS YOU GUYS HAVE?
TJ: We stretch! Really! You’ll never last on the road with a ‘bang-over’ every single day. You’ve got to do some neck rolls, some toe touches, and stretch out your quads and hammies when you do as much moving around as we do on stage! I also do vocal warm ups to stretch my voice out. I usually stay pretty hidden before a show but always come out to chat after we’re done.
ONE BAND YOU WOULD LOVE TO TOUR WITH AND WHY?
TJ: We would love to tour with Halestorm one day! We’ve opened for them a few times and it’s been magical. They’re paving the way for female fronted bands and I think a tour with them would be badass.
YOU HAVE DONE A TON OF VIDEOS FOR SOME OF YOUR SONGS. WHAT WAS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITES TO SHOOT AND WHY?
TJ: “NEVER LOOK BACK” will always be my favorite. It was the beginning of everything. We shot it for no money, in my basement, with a bunch of our friends all dressed up as zombies covered in oatmeal and corn syrup. I’ll remember that weekend the rest of my life. That video has been seen and shared so many times and is the reason we are able to continue to keep doing what we do. But when we made it we had no idea any of this would happen. It was an innocent time that just can’t be captured again.
WHAT ARE TOUR PLANS FOR THE NEARLY DEADS, AND HOW CAN PEOPLE KEEP UP WITH NEW TOUR DATES ETC?
TJ: We’re stoked to be touring this October with our friends in Blameshift! We’ve also got a show coming up on 10/10 with Wednesday 13 and Eyes Set to Kill, and on 10/17 the tour is playing with Bumblefoot in Westland, MI. We’re planning one more tour before the end of the year so stay tuned to our Bandsintown, Facebook, and Instagram accounts!
I SEE YOUR INTO ZOMEBIES AND MOVIES. WITH OCT COMING SOON WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HORROR OR SCI FLICK AND WHY?
TJ: I will always love The Shining. It’s such an iconic, classic film and they just don’t make them like that anymore.
ANY LAST COMMENTS?
TJ: Thank you for the support and don’t forget to check out our merch store at merchnow.com/thenearlydeads for all your TND needs!
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