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Nowhere's band of brothers march on Market Bar

By Kyle Walker

Tom Young (right) with band of brothers Nowhere.
Tom Young (right) with band of brothers Nowhere.

Family gatherings can often be a little awkward at first, especially when you’re all dotted across different parts of the world. Yet whenever Tom Young reunites with brothers Stuart Young and Kitt Verhoef there’s only music on their minds. He tells What's On North all about their melodic punk outfit Nowhere ahead of the New Zealand band’s gig at the Market Bar on Thursday

Hi Tom, thanks for answering these! Whereabouts are you reading these from?

Thanks for asking! I’m in Berlin, Germany, where I’ve lived for the last five years.

Looking at Nowhere, what’s the history behind the band? How did the three of you decide to start the group? What are the bands and things that inspire you?

Nowhere’s history goes way back. We all grew up together in Dunedin, New Zealand. We skateboarded, played music, drank booze, shared cassettes and books, etc. We did all of that greasy kid stuff together (still do). We’ve all played in many, many bands over the years, and some of them together. In 2014 we decided that we were going to finally form the three-piece, melodic, punk rock band that we’d talked about for years. The only problem being that we all live in different countries. More on that later, I guess...

As for the bands that influence us, this answer is never simple. I could list off some famous bands that I like, but I think more often its your best freinds’ bands that are the most influential. For us that means (to just list a few) Ayn Randy, TVX, Boss Melody, Dental Plan, Judas Springsteen, Yaramiso. Here in Scotland: Billy Liar, The Murderburgers, Goodbye Blue Monday, Paper Rifles, Chrissy Barnacle, Tragical History Tour and I love what Make That a Take Records do.

How would you describe Nowhere and Freddy Fudd Pucker’s music for new listeners? What can people at the Market Bar expect from your gig?

Freddy Fudd Pucker is my solo project that I have been writing, recording and touring with all over the world for the last decade or so. It has taken different forms over the years. I play a guitar, banjo, tambourine and a suitcase bass drum. Its some kind of one-boy-band. The songwriting has its roots in my punk rock education. Its sometimes very fast, sometimes slower. I try to keep the chaos on a very long leash. Broken strings and poetry.

Nowhere is a loud, progressive punk-rock band. We love to play really fast and often string 3 to 4 songs together without letting anyone in the room catch their breath. Its the result of a collaborative effort of three songwriters obsessed with heavy guitar music, but also in love with melody.

As three brothers dotted around the world, how often do the three of you get the chance to meet up and play together?

We try to meet somewhere in the world at least once a year and accomplish something special. Our first album was recorded in Berlin in 3 days, and we did a European tour after that. Our second album was recorded in a few days in Australia. We toured Australia and New Zealand around that time too. Last year we toured for three weeks and recorded the three-song EP that we just released last week called “Breathing”. This year we’re touring Europe again for three weeks. With its so limited, our creative time together is often really intense. We focus, and then dive in, often at the detriment to other things in our life. Its always a little like a communal exorcism.

You’ve had two releases this year – Open Door as Freddy Fudd Pucker and Breathing with Nowhere. How has it been putting together these different releases – what differences are there in how you approach each one?

Freddy is a solo project. When I make an album I go into tunnel-vision mode and tend to play almost everything myself except for a couple friends helping out here and there. Its a weird, obsessive, inward-looking thing. I’m solely responsible for the mess it becomes… With Nowhere its always an amazing collaborative process. We all communicate our ideas with each other very well. We try to take a moment from our lives to be all tuned into the same creative wavelength for a time. The really present. Its a bit like the sex scene in that terrible Coneheads film starring Dan Aykroyd.

As a musician and songwriter, what has been the best bit of advice you’ve been given so far?

“Take your music seriously, but not yourself”.

What’s been the best gig you’ve played so far as a musician? What’s been the weirdest?

That’s impossible to say. Deadwood, South Dakota in the US? Stewart Island in the Southern Ocean? On top of Mount Olympus in Greece? Every show is made by the people who attend it. Somehow, the more out of the way the better. It often results in meeting more interesting people too. Thats one of the reasons why we’re so excited to play at the Market Bar!

After this run of dates you’ve got coming up, what are your plans for the rest of 2018?

Freddy has a couple more short tours planned. I may record another EP at the end of the year heading in a different musical direction. As for Nowhere, we are going to continue writing songs and scheme up a new way to get together early next year in order to drink booze and make another telepathy baby!

Nowhere and Freddy Fudd Pucker play The Market Bar on Thursday night from 10.30pm. Entry is free.

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