APTV correspondent Stevie James spoke with Nothing More at this year's Riot Fest in Chicago to dicuss how fans have reacted to the new album, how they push their sound, and more. Presented by Rockabilia, see what advice Jonny Hawkins has to offer and check out the full interview below!

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The night before Riot Fest can bring in some nerves for some artists, but Nothing More had a little more nerves and anxious feelings than most.

“I didn’t really sleep last night, maybe it’s a little anxiety because our record dropped late last night” says Jonny Hawkins, who's band just dropped The Stories We Tell Ourselves. “So I was up in my bunk reading comments, you know, what's the feedback, how's it being received, so I think that just got me a little psyched and I couldn't sleep.”

The album has already received some very positive feedback from fans, who have taken the concept album as a whole much better than the individual singles.

“It’s a huge relief, not only because we’re an album band, we're a band you listen to from start to finish… and it’s a very different conceptual experience. The reactions are actually much better than the singles. The singles were good but some of the first ones we put out were purposefully different than most of our catalog in the past. It was a little polarizing, some people liked them, some people hated them.”

As a band that still strives to create an album as a whole rather than focusing on individual singles, Hawkins explains the band's goal of increasing self-awareness. 

“Full albums that were a ride from start to finish were the things that changed our lives. It was never a single song that changed our lives.” Hawkins goes on to describe the picture they hope to paint with their latest release. “The picture that this one paints is one of striving to increase self-awareness. It’s very introspective. I Just happened to be going through an eight-year relationship. I met this girl when my mom had just died so  there was a lot of psychological entanglements and a lot of emotions that were difficult to navigate through that following year. And a lot of that poured into the record. There’s a lot of heartbreak, rebirth, new love — it’s a death and rebirth, really.”

Writing about personal and emotional songs has always been a tool of healing for Nothing More.

“For us, this has always been a tool for self-medication. There are obviously other ways to self-medicate, and I’ll do those from time to time [laughs], but I try to do this one the most.”

When it comes to those dealing with the same struggles for those who may not have the same platform to express themselves with, Hawkins offers this advice.

“A big part of what we do that is so healing isn’t specifically the music in the sense that sometimes it’s just being heard. For us it’s music because it’s what we’re moved by the most and we feel the most energy towards communication with. You can be heard in so many different ways. A lot of times, though, that feeling of putting some part of yourself out there or channeling something that you went through into something you do, even it’s just a sport, that’s not even artistic, but some form of it can be expressive if you channel what you went through. Then as you succeed and really apply yourself to a discipline… just something bigger than you, because we’re all crazy. I’m crazy, you’re crazy. The only thing that you can do is tether yourself to things that are stronger and more steady than you, and that shows your sanity — is by knowing yourself and that deep down we all fluctuate and we all will. That would be my advice.”

You can watch the full interview with Nothing More below.

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