Thursday, March 9, 2023

INTERVIEW | 'This Is a Great Story and It's Also a Trial' - Never Coming Home Talk New Single 'Nevermind' and Pushing Through Bad Luck


(Photo Credit: Owen Tierney)

It's never been a better time to check out Never Coming Home.

Never Coming Home are Aidan (guitar/vocals), Anthony (guitar vocals) and Merritt (drums) a slick and sick Rhode Island based pop punk, emo junk powerhouse trio. A kick to the face (literally) brought them together and they're set to release new track 'Nevermind' on March 10.

Aidan and Anthony took time to chat to us about the track, their beginnings and their plans for the year.


Hi guys! Appreciate you taking the time to talk with us! How did the two of you - plus, of course, Merritt - come to form the Never Coming Home that I am talking to today?

Aidan: We met at School of Rock, an organisation that puts together groups to play songs. We were all in high school at the time and met doing the indie rock show. We got together on a few songs, and played on stage for the first time then. I was actually in hospital in Delaware when I wrote this guitar riff and I thought it was pretty good so I sent it to some friends. Anthony liked it and reached out to me about doing something musically. Then, later that week, he kicked Merritt, our drummer, in the face at a show while he was crowdsurfing. That's how they met *laughs* And that's how we got him for the band. We had known him for a little bit before then though.

Anthony: Yeah, I had met him prior at School of Rock but we reconnected at that show...where I ended up kicking him in the face. Everything just worked out, everything went well from there. That was March 31st of 2019. Wow...that's scary.

Your first show was, pretty wildly, just about a month after the band came into existence, right? That must've been a pretty hectic time when you'd just literally formed the band?

Aidan: That's correct, yeah. Give or take.

Anthony: I don't know if it was a month after - it was a month after that I booked it because some band had dropped off some show so we hopped on. We had no songs written, we'd barely practiced. I have vivid memories of [how] I was at Disney World the month before the show. We'd got the posters back and I was in line for a ride and I was posting everywhere like 'oh my god look we're a real band, we're a real thing!'.

Did you ever regret jumping into a show that quickly?

Anthony: Not at all. We wrote so many songs. I think the YouTube video of that show is still up, you can go hear those original songs. None of them were good, not a single one was a solid song but it was what we had at the time.

Aidan: We'd maybe worked on two songs that were more just like improvisational jams. We spent the weeks leading up to it just trying to actually make the songs for the show, and we barely succeeded. 

It must've been a great learning experience, writing and putting together music for that show.

Aidan: [It] definitely taught us. We got good at jamming with each other, starting a song with no plan for it and turning it into something cool.

Anthony: Did we even have merch for that first show?

Aidan: We had no merch and no songs out. We didn't even release a song until like three or four months after that first show.

Anthony: The first show was around June and we didn't release a song until like August. That song is still up on Spotify. Don't listen to it. It's not good. *laughs*

Aidan: Don't say that!

Anthony: It still exists for historical purposes.

Aidan: If you wanna listen to a song listen to some of the new stuff like 'Nevermind' that's coming out soon.

A great segue! What can you tell me about 'Nevermind', your new track, that's out March 10?

Aidan: I wrote this pre-pandemic.

Anthony: It was one of the first songs of the new batch that we had.

Aidan: It started off, in my mind, as kind of a downer of a song. I played it to Anthony with this catchy riff and we turned it very pop-punk. I really like the direction we went with it, it's gonna play well. It's got that classic pop-punk feel.

Anthony: I find that happens a lot whenever we write songs and someone brings it to me and then it turns into [something different]. That happened with our song 'You Crushed Me and I'm Not Ready to Laugh About It'. Our prior bassist wrote that one, it was supposed to be acoustic. He brought it to me and it turned into a pop-punk song. It seems that keeps happening!

Aidan: It's The Hefler Effect.

You guys formed and then, as we all know, there was a global pandemic. But, you rallied and you're here now, on the verge of new music and an exciting year for y'all. How hard was that time, especially as still very new band back then?

Anthony: It hit us really hard because [we had] our biggest show at that point, we were opening for Doll Skin and we were so excited and we'd been promoting it all month - that song 'You Crushed Me...' was releasing that day, [and] literally the day before that show with Doll Skin was the day everything happened. I remember we were practicing the day before. Merritt was sitting on the couch and I [was] on my phone watching all of the Covid stuff unfold, knowing the next day we had to play. I didn't realise the extent of the danger of the situation, I was like 'screw this, we've been promoting this all year, let's do a house show or something'. Then it really all started to unfold and we were like 'this is something serious'. 

It was very disheartening for us. We had released a song that day, right before this major world event and we were supposed to play the biggest gig we'd ever played. We were just stunted at that point. We were also supposed to go in and record three, four more songs right after [but] everything just stopped. It was a lot. 'You Crushed Me...' still ended up becoming one of our biggest songs probably because of the pandemic because of TikTok. But it was definitely a big bummer, sitting there and watching all that happen the day before our biggest show.

Those songs were, ultimately, an EP that you were planning on recording I believe.

Anthony: So much shit has been thrown at us. We ended up recording that EP, which was was supposed to be an EP but we ended up releasing as singles because that didn't work out. Our producer, Zack Fiske, we talked to him about how the recording of that EP--.

Aidan: Was cursed.

Anthony: We were cursed. Everything that could've went wrong, went wrong.

Aidan: The heatwave.

Anthony: The heatwave; our [stuff] kept breaking; the last day of recording vocals, I almost had to go to the hospital because...*laughs*. My voice was getting a little shot and we had some vocal spray. I usually use vocal spray but it was a different kind, and I didn't realise until after I had swallowed like three cups that it says on the back 'Do Not Swallow'. So we're then panicking in the middle of the studio like 'oh no, what do we do?'. 

There was so much other stuff...wasn't there a dead raccoon in the studio? In the vents?

Aidan: A skunk sprayed by the vents so it made the whole studio smell on the last day of recording.

Anthony: It was so bad. Recording that EP, the way I saw it though, was like 'this is a trial'.

Aidan: 'This is a great story'.

Anthony: Yeah, this is a great story and it's also a trial like 'you know how hard it's gonna be, do you really want this?' I wanted it enough that I would go through all of this to get this stuff recorded. 

Aidan: And we'd do it again!

Anthony: We did, and thank god it didn't go as bad this time.

I love how, to promote the track, you put it on five cassette tapes and had a giveaway. How important is it for you guys to think of these unique and fun ways to hype your new releases?

Anthony: I grew up with Twenty One Pilots and they had a lot of story based ARG stuff. I love that stuff. The cassette tapes were a last minute plan. It keeps things interesting, and gets people excited I find - it gets me excited to do it, my favorite part of everything is promoting this stuff. It's a lot of work but it's work I really, really enjoy - putting together this [and] the phone number mailing list we just did.

Even the original plan for the cassette tapes fell through. It was supposed to be a scavenger hunt, we were going to hide them all around all around University of Rhode Island campus the days leading up to the song...but, of course, it ended up raining every day with our luck. So we ended up having to raffle them off. 

Trying to come up with outside of the box promotion has always been definitely a big thing for us, to try and set us apart from other bands. I like a little bit of mystery and intrigue [and] it's a fun little thing to involve people in.

Looking ahead to this year, 2023, what can we expect from Never Coming Home?

Anthony: This last year, we didn't really do much.

Aidan: We didn't release music but we went on our first ever tour.

Anthony: We did that, that was good.

Aidan: We wanna keep on going on some out of state tours, weekend runs. We're from Rhode Island and we play a lot of shows in Rhode Island but we're really trying to break out and play like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey.

Anthony: Touring is a big goal for us this year. And music, since we didn't release much last year, we are hoping to really, really push songs. Every year we make plans and certain things fall through, so I don't want to get too ahead of myself with it, but we have a lot of plans for a lot more music this year. 

We're hoping to drop our first EP this year, our first actual collection of music and maybe an even bigger collection of music after that next year - maybe something called an album, I have no idea [but] we'll see. 

You can expect a lot of stuff from us, especially around spring/summer time.


'Nevermind' is out March 10.

For all things Never Coming Home, click here.

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