Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with New York to Nowhere

I am sitting here with a band that has made an immediate impact on the Indianapolis music scene. Throwing a voice that you would see on Warped Tour with instrumentals that you expect to see on MTV tossed together with original industry standard lyrics is where you will find New York to Nowhere. Playing very few shows in Indianapolis (which I love by the way) make sure you take a chance to see these rockers the next time they come to town. I am pleased to introduce to you New York to Nowhere.

Where did you guys all meet?

(Caleb) Jeremi and I went to school together. Grant met us through my brother Wesley who was the original drummer and one of us three founding members. About a year ago Wes decided to leave the band and after about a four month search and Nesta came on as the current drummer. (Nesta) Thanks to Al Gore and the internet!

When did you know that you wanted to take a run at this thing we call music?

(Jeremi) I think it was when I wrote this song for my dad and he told me I should find away to make this my full time job. (Caleb) I remember riding in my dad’s pickup listening to Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison when I was pretty young. I think that started it, but I didn’t start playing in a band till I was 20. Only after my younger brother Wes started playing with Jeremi did I really get serious about it. (Nesta) When I was probably 5 years old. I grew up in a family of musicians. (Grant) My parents made me take piano lessons for years when I was a kid and I never enjoyed it. I was playing a lot of classical music that I wasn’t really interested in. When I was 18 or so, I started listening to a lot of 3 chord punk rock. I picked up a guitar and wanted to play music that was as far from classical as I could get: Loud, fast, and hard. Looking back, I wish I would’ve practiced the piano a lot more and definitely wish that I would’ve paid more attention to music theory!

Do you all have full time jobs or is music it?

(Grant) We definitely all have full time jobs but only because we like to live in houses and eat food. (Nesta) If you can call being a liquor monkey a job. (Caleb) Yes, I’ve been working in graphic design for 13 years.

Nesta is not your real name is it? Because if it is, can we trade?
[More…] (Nesta) No it’s not, and no you can’t have it! It’s a nickname I acquired when I was a kid, and almost legally changed my name to it.

Where did you get the name New York to Nowhere?

(Caleb) Jeremi and I were headed somewhere in his car, still trying to figure out what to call ourselves after a bunch of really ridiculous attempts. We were listening to MxPx and their song New York To Nowhere came on. I said, “Hey, how bout this?” (Grant) I always thought “Nowhere” was a reference to Morristown. Go figure.

Have you ever been to New York?

(Grant) I have, but the last time I was there I stayed at the World Trade Center Marriott. So it’s been some time ago. (Caleb) Nope, always wanted to go though.

Where in the world is Morristown, Indiana?

(Grant) I’m pretty sure it’s between BFE and the middle of nowhere. It might be in Ohio? Regardless, it used to be an hour each way for me to drive to practice. (Caleb) Morristown is 25 minutes east of Indy on highway 52. Sort of between Greenfield and Shelbyville. Super small, not even a stop light.

I want to see you on Warped Tour. Any thoughts on a tour this year?

(Caleb) We wish, but not a chance. Right now we are playing fewer shows and writing for the next album. (Nesta) If or when we are ever offered Warped Tour, I’m sure the answer will be a resonating, Yes.

Let’s say you are headlining at Verizon Wireless Music Center. Who is your opening act?

Katy Perry or Nickelback. Doesn’t matter how drunk we get, after that shit, we’d still sound amazing.

If you could meet anyone alive or dead who would it be?

(Nesta) Bob Marley. (Caleb) Hunter S. Thompson. Ho ho! (Jeremi) I think I would like to meet the late Rod Serling the creator and main writer for the Twilight Zone.

Describe your genre in one word.

(Caleb) Rock, I guess. This question comes up often and we never really know what to say. (Jeremi) Bottlerocket!!!

What should I expect in a live show from you guys?

Total awesomeness and complete badassery.

What is the largest crowd you have ever played for?

(Grant) For me, it was our CD Release party for “A Sense of Urgency” had between 200 and 300. Not huge, but it was definitely a fun show. (Caleb) 500. We hosted an outdoor concert a few years in a row in Morristown when we were still a 3 piece.

The smallest?

(Caleb) We used to play at a little place called the “Festivilla”. It was an awesome place for an under 21 band, but every once in a while, you would be playing only for the owner. (Grant) If you play on a weeknight in Indianapolis, you are guaranteed to get a few shows where you can count the number of people on two hands.

Any tattoos in the band?

(Grant) Yes, but Nesta has them all. He just got his drum kit outlined on his side and stomach. It’s going to be incredible when it’s finished. (Caleb) Nesta has a few tattoos, but they are all of butterflies and unicorns. Just Kidding! (Grant) Aren’t they all on his lower back?

Tell me about Asbury Records.

(Caleb) When we wanted to release the first album “Punintended”, we thought it would be great to release it under our own label. Fake as it may have been, we lived next to Asbury Cemetary, on Asbury road, so…

Who are your biggest influences?

(Nesta) Social D, Bad Religion, Fugazi, Metroschifter, Sonic Youth. (Caleb) It varies widely. Started with Buddy Holly to the Replacements, Black Keys, Brand New, Rancid and new bands like the Cold War Kids, Bloc Party and the Killers. (Grant) I’ll borrow a few of theirs (Social D, Rancid, Bloc Party) and add a few (Silversun Pickups, AFI, Alkaline Trio) but I think it was Nirvana that made me want to play guitar as a teenager.

What is your favorite venue to play in the city?

(Caleb) Birdy’s is our unofficial home, but we also love to play the Melody. (Jeremi) Birdy’s is the best place to play in Indy by far. They have the best sound and best stage. (Grant) I always have bad luck with equipment failures at the Melody but its still fun. I always liked Thursday nights at Rock Lobster.

If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be?

(Nesta) Leicester Square, London. (Caleb) Haven’t figured it out for sure, but I am thinking warm with good food and drink. Not that picky. (Grant) I’d probably split time between somewhere in the mountains with great snow for snowboarding and somewhere warm and sunny.< br />
What did you have for dinner last night?

(Nesta) Pancakes and a 40 of OE. (Grant) Nothing exciting. Just a cheeseburger at the bowling alley. (Caleb) A well rounded baked chicken, potatoes and green beans. (Grant) It would seem that all of your food groups are well represented!

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

(Caleb) Hopefully still playing, writing and having fun. (Jeremi) Hopefully still writing and playing music with the great band I’m in now. (Grant) Awww. (Wipes tears)

What do you want to be remembered for when its all over?

(Caleb) I would like for someone to find one of our discs after it’s all over and think “they weren’t that bad”.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

(Grant) I just want to tell everyone to continue to support local music in Indianapolis. Hopefully we can make the scene here stronger! Also, thanks Ricky for asking us to do this interview!