Concerts

Shoegaze Band Nothing Likes Dallas — Even If Double Wide Throws Them Out

Nothing plays Club Dada today.
Nothing plays Club Dada today. Ben Rayner


The founding members of Nothing might look they play in a hardcore band, and while they have a history in that genre, Nothing is one of the finest shoegaze bands around.

Vocalist/guitarist Domenic Palermo, guitarist Brandon Setta, drummer Kyle Kimball and a rotating cast of bass players are constantly on the road. Aaron Heard is their current four-stringer.

“People get sick of being on the road as long as we are,” Brandon Setta says of all their bass players. “They want to have a mundane life.”

Heard looks like he's staying for a while.

“Aaron’s doing pretty well, so far. He’ll probably be kicked out in four months,” Setta deadpans.

Nothing has trekked through Dallas many times already, even though they've only been active for a handful of years. They’ve even been thrown out of the Double Wide many times for reasons they don’t wish to go on record about. Parade of Flesh founder John Iskander is even their tour manager.

“We like Dallas,” Setta says. “We have a lot of friends down there. And we like to stay at John’s house for free and eat all his food.”

The band's latest, the exceptional Dance on the Blacktop, recalls early Slowdive and early Teenage Fanclub. It's fuzzy and loud with melodies that stay in your ears for a long time. The comparison to those bands makes Palermo happy.

“Most of the people I speak to have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about when it comes to what our inspirations can be musically." – Domenic Palermo

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“Most of the people I speak to have no idea what the fuck they’re talking about when it comes to what our inspirations can be musically,” Palermo says. “They take the easiest route with it, but those two bands together made a lot of sense to me.”

Palermo makes no secret about how much he loves shoegaze legends, Slowdive. He’s traded words with members of that band and even spent some time with them backstage after a reunion show in Philadelphia.

“I ran up to them and gave them hugs and probably punished them pretty bad,” Palermo says. “They probably hate us at this point, but they will always be an inspiration to me, regardless of that. I hope one day they forgive me for being me.”

Palermo freely admits he was not in a sober state when this happened.

“We strive everyday to become better,” Palermo says. “I hope the next time I do it, I won’t put them in headlocks like I did.”

With many accolades for their albums and live show, the train never stops too long for Nothing.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Palermo says. “We have to be away from our loved ones all the time. It’s super stressful and we don’t get a lot of sleep. There’s a ton of shitty things about it, but we’re grateful to be able to do this and not have real jobs. We party because it’s kind of a celebration and it’s a joke at the same time.”

As for what the band plans to do for the rest of this year, don't expect a new record just yet.

“We’ll be touring off this for super, super long until we all go crazy,” Palermo says. “And then we’ll write a new record when we run out of money.”

Nothing plays Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Club Dada with Swirlies, Big Bite and Smut. Tickets are $16-$18.
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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs