Domenic “Nicky” Palermo began recording songs as Nothing about five years ago in Philadelphia. He was depressed and in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Nothing’s initial demo couldn’t be deemed a “bedroom project,” as a bedroom would have been a luxury for Palermo at that point.
“I was living in a tiny closet, basically...a walk-in closet,” Palermo explains via phone as his tour van nears the Canadian border.
These days Nothing is a full-band that sounds like a reincarnated ’90s shoegaze group, a pleasant reminder of a time when big guitars and sweeping melodies ruled the alt-rock airwaves, even though Palermo was but a lad when the genre was king.
...off of Nothing's latest record, Tired of Tomorrow
“I was there when it was going on. I was always a fan of the shoegaze stuff and a lot of the Brit-pop stuff, but I was just a kid at that point,” Palermo says. “I was 11 or 12. I was more concerned with the Misfits or Black Flag. I was really beginning to get into punk rock and skateboarding. All the normal kids around my neighborhood were into Nirvana. I was up in my room trying to learn Minor Threat songs.”
While playing in hardcore bands in his late teens, Palermo became interested in drone groups like Slowdive, and that’s when his creative floodgates opened. He sought to form a band that combined the sounds of My Bloody Valentine and the Misfits. One theme that has remained constant is that the mood is sad. A stylistic virtue appropriate for an incident Palermo endured last year: while out on tour, he was jumped and severely beaten in Oakland.
“It was just a simple, attempted-robbery type of thing,” he explains. “It put me in the hospital for three days. It was a fractured skull, a fractured orbital, some fractured parts of my lower back, 19 staples, and I lost hearing in my left ear from being kicked in it. It was pretty rough, I would say, but I bounced back.”
- Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
Due to the brain swelling, Palermo had to stay an additional two weeks in Oakland before he could fly back East. The band recorded their new album, Tired of Tomorrow, soon after.
Palermo reckons Nothing has rolled through San Diego about ten times, and he cites local duo Prayers, who they have shared bills with, as being “really nice guys.” He says the band usually plays the “Bottle Bar” while in town.
You mean the Soda Bar?
“Yeah, we’ve played there!” he said.
Nothing will play Soda Bar on Wednesday, June 22.