Skip to content

Nothing: The Darkness.

September 26, 2012

Text by Brian Wilensky. Image by Kyle Costill.

“Basically we just want to make music that makes people just want to quit,” says Domenic Palermo, singer and guitarist of Nothing.

He sits on the roof deck of his Old City apartment, drinking Crispin cider. It’s a cider kind of evening  because a close friend from the U.K. is in town and that’s all his friend drinks. But it doesn’t seem to be the cider that’s getting him to open up about his band. Palermo is confident and clear about his latest band’s intentions and his message within the music.

Nothing is a bit of a stretch from his hardcore roots with Horror Show. But working with a different longtime friend, local guitarist Brandon Setta, has been just right for Palermo. Setta knows how to layer guitar sounds for Palermo’s bleak lyrics.

“There have been times that I’ve shown him stuff and he’s just like, ‘Damn, that’s dark,’” Palermo says.

Sure, there’s been some strife in Palermo’s life: two years in prison for getting into a fight that led to him stabbing someone, coming home and finding out an ex-Horror Show bandmate had been killed in a motorcycle accident, then three childhood friends from the Frankford/Kensington area dying in a four year span. But he uses such crushing experiences to fuel his work.

“I can’t say my life has been worse than anyone else’s,” he says. “I thought coming home from prison was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Then, with everything else that happened on top of that, I just wanted to laugh and say, ‘Seriously? Is this even real? Or is this a joke?’ So a lot of that definitely comes through in my writing.”

Even though the lyrics are a big part of Palermo’s role in Nothing, he sings a bit airy and often somewhat indistinctly when playing live. He says he wants the words to be audible but he modestly says that knowing the lyrics almost ruins the experience.

“As someone who just wants to send a message across,” he says, “they’re just another sound in the scheme of things.”

Their upcoming EP, Downward Years to Come, which will see an October release on Baltimore’s A389 Recordings, follows in the steps of last summer’s Suns and Lovers EP that came out on Japan’s Big Love Records. That’s because they finally found the lineup and sound they like with drummer Anthony Rossi and bassist Richie Roxas of Pet Milk, who filled in over the summer. Thematically, things are looking to be just as dismal.

“The song ‘Downward Years to Come’ is mostly about the culture I come from and the people who come from similar places as me,” Palermo says. “Every other song on the EP is about a poet who had killed himself. I make reference to them in the lyrics and I think anyone who knows those poets would recognize them in the lyrics.”

He mentions he’s never attempted suicide, and then takes a swig of his cider.

“It’s always in the air,” he says. “It’s natural. I have family members who have done it and they never came across that way. It’s just always there. This is my nod to those people who have done it. They wanted to leave something behind, and they did. I have more respect for that than any of this bullshit we deal with every day. It’s the least I could do.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: