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06/05/2024 : NOW AFTER NOTHING - An Interview With Darkwave Band, NOW AFTER NOTHING

NOW AFTER NOTHING

An Interview With Darkwave Band, NOW AFTER NOTHING


06/05/2024


Atlanta Darkwave act Now After Nothing is bringing classic Post-Punk/Darkwave influences and modernized electronic instrumentals to the present-day crowd. Their latest release is The Sick Fix Remix EP. We're grateful to foundding member, Matt Spatial for the interview.

Thanks so much for taking time out to answer our questions today. Usually we like to first give the readers an idea for the background of the artist. Could you give us a little introduction?

Thank you for having me! I’m Matt Spatial with Now After Nothing. We’re a relatively new band from Atlanta having made our debut just last year. Musically, we are inspired by darkwave, post-punk, and goth with a healthy dose of noise and shoegaze. So, think Bauhaus, Sisters Of Mercy, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, etc.

What is the significance of the band name?

The funny thing is that, initially, there was no real significance to the band name (or so I thought) – I just liked how it rolled off the tongue. But as it turns out I found quite a bit of significance in the name the more I talked through it in early interviews. This project was a return to music for me after a long and painful hiatus during a particularly low point of my life. Launching this band was a way of reclaiming what was important to me and reclaiming my identity. It was like getting back on the road to toward home when I couldn’t even figure out how I got lost to begin with. Ever since my life has very much felt like ‘now after nothing.’

Could you give us a bit of a background on the latest single, “Sick Fix” and the inspiration behind it?

“Sick Fix" is about dealing with 'toxicity' and the very real struggle to stay away or detach from the things we know are harmful to us. So, the family member that treats everyone poorly or the narcissistic partner, etc. Beyond interpersonal relationships though, it's also about other types of relationships like an attachment to social media that leaves you feeling less than or commercial media spewing false narratives to instill fear. Deep down we might know that continuing to engage in these things/situations is unhealthy or counterproductive yet, like the proverbial 'car crash', we can't seem to turn away. Over time maybe it becomes so all-consuming that it might feel similar to addiction. A 'sick fix' that we begin to subconsciously crave.

What’s the biggest technical challenge that you’ve had to overcome? That could be anything from a computer crash, “learning curve” or anything like that. How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge was transforming what had started as a complete studio project/solo album into a full blown live band that could recreate the recorded versions of the songs. I initially demoed up all of the songs myself with just layers and layers of different parts and sounds. As I began to fall more in love with the material though, I realized how much I wanted to bring it to a live setting but this meant I had to figure out how to make it all work with just a limited number of players. It was a really fun process though going back and reconfiguring certain guitar parts into my bass guitar part, working up the harmonies, working with our drummer Michael on live drum parts to record and later bring to the stage… As much as I really love working in my studio, nothing ever beats the feel of playing live with your friends.

What do you think is the mark of a good remix from the perspective of both the artist and the remixer?

I suppose the easy answer is whether or not everyone is happy at the end of the collaboration. For the “Sick Fix (Microwaved Mix)” by Gabe Wilkinson, I just told him to do whatever he wanted to it. I was just curious to hear how someone would approach the song. When he sent it back it was so drastically different from my own remix, but I thought that was great – it’s like, why would I want two versions that sound the same? Anytime I have done remixes for others, I always ask the artist if they have a vision in mind or if they just want me to run with it. I personally feel much better going into a remix if I know that I have carte blanche. It allows me to have much more fun with it and I tend to take more risks and try more things.

How much does literature or the visual artis (painting, sculpture etc) play into the inspiration for your song writing?

On a conscious level, not a whole lot. I’ve always identified my “songs” more by the music itself and less by the lyrical content so for me a song always starts with some kind of emotion that I’m trying to relate. This is always inspired more so by my own personal experience than anything else. When I do get to lyrics, it’s similar in that I’m more inspired by my own personal experiences than I am by other types of art. I’m sure that I’ve been subconsciously influenced though by books or film though in some ways.

Some artists have resorted to using AI for the likes of cover art and even videos. What’s your feeling on that? Do you think that it’s already gotten out of control and maybe is an excuse for lack of creativity? Or do you think people are still inserting a bit of human/organic quality into what’s being produced?

I’m certain it’s both of those things though I hope it’s more of the latter. For me personally, I enjoy doing some video and graphic work for Now After Nothing but I also know my limits and when it’s time to collaborate with others who are maybe more skilled and/or tuned into conveying a story or emotion from a song into a visual medium. I choose not to work with AI for that very reason – I really like putting my own thoughts, ideas, and interpretations into the band’s visuals and working with other creative individuals. It’s much more interesting to me.

I actually looked into doing just a quick AI visualizer video for one of my earliest singles but dropped that idea immediately when I saw what AI was actually producing. It all just looked terrible - very stock and paint-by-numbers feeling. It was that same anime style, zoom-in-while-the-image-morphs on a big loop. Very boring. When used in that sense, it does feel like an easy out for a lack of creativity.

To be fair though, I’m cognizant that not everyone has good design software or can hire people to collaborate with or whatever the case may be. And not everyone is visually creative. I suppose I couldn’t really fault someone for using AI in their visuals if they are organically creating really interesting music but don’t have the means to visually support it without resorting to AI. If I could find the right way to use AI to produce something I can be happy with, I would consider it but only as a means for expressing my ideas and not just a crutch to produce something generic.

Now, with all of that said, the idea of using AI for music/songwriting though… an absolute travesty. Like so many cookie-cutter songs spewed out with the corporatization of the music industry, it’s just so wrong on every level.

What plans do you have for the forthcoming months?

The biggest thing coming up is the release of our first official EP scheduled for the Fall and some show announcements!

Thanks for the questions and Thank You to everyone reading. I greatly appreciate all of the support!

For More Information:

https://www.instagram.com/nowafternothing

https://www.facebook.com/nowafternothing

https://open.spotify.com/artist/26KhwetisDzHdx22OLK6ZG


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