On the radar: Nothing

Domenic 'Nicky' Palermo has taken more than one man's fair share of brow-beating in his life.

The Philadelphian shoe-gazer started life in one of his home city's more destitute areas, eventually finding a home in hardcore bands. However, an aggravated assault charge led to time in prison and what followed was a period of soul-searching and setbacks that must have seemed like a cruel joke.

"When I was sent home from prison, a good friend of mine that I always had written music with, we had some plans to do some stuff," explains Domenic.

"He built a little studio up and we went to work, but within a year of me being home, he got killed in a motorcycle accident, so it was like, 'Damn… right back to it again.'"

I'd just wake up in a panic and just start writing and recording all of this bullshit

In the coffin

Eventually, he ended up living in a "coffin" room with just a laptop, guitar and a mattress to his name… and the songs started pouring out.

"I just kind of went to work, got fucked up in the night and then I'd just wake up in a panic and just start writing and recording all of this bullshit that would never see the light of day, but I was writing out of pure desperation at that point."

When his music reached the right ears and an offer was put forward to release these burgeoning, bruised shoegaze jams, Nicky named his band Nothing - as if describing it as 'something' would tempt fate to take it away again.

Now Nicky and his crew of knob-twiddling reprobates are anticipating the release of second album, Tired Of Tomorrow.

"This record was different because people gave us some shit and it was fucking sick. Fender sent us a bunch of guitars, Earthquaker Devices sent us some pedals and we even had fans sending us vintage stuff. It was fucking awesome."

At it's core the tried and tested mix of Fender Strats and Jazzmasters through Twin Reverbs remains, but the blissed-out Stone Roses and MBV tones on the likes of Everyone Is Happy are hitting a higher plane. Are we seeing a lighter side of Nicky begin to emerge?

"I'm actually a pretty happy-go-lucky guy," protests Nicky. "There's things that linger on forever and there's things that you move past, but there's always new things to dwell on. I have a feeling that in my lifetime, there's never going to be a lack of inspiration, for better or worse."

  • For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses, Deftones
  • Hear: Vertigo Flowers
Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.