Charlotte Pop-Punk Band Never Home Deliver Truth And Angst On Debut EP
You've probably raged in your room to the angsty confessions of Taking Back Sunday or Transit before, but lucky for you, we've got your next pop-punk bedroom-banger band. Charlotte-based group Never Home just dropped their debut EP last month, a fleeting collection of hard-hitting alt-rock anthems.
The band's eponymous debut opens with "Dulin Road," our first taste of Never Home's nostalgic desperation, but missing the heaviness we'll find on the rest of the EP. Here, we get a light instrumental piece opening with an in-and-out sparkling piano line and rhythm crescendo before wailing vocals come in hard, singing "You don't deserve to be this sad." Next comes "State Line," the band's first single promoted from the record, a quintessential pop-punk song packed with yowling harmonies, intense percussion, and contemplative lyrics. The halfway mark of Never Home finds "Faking My Own Life," another dark rock track led by impassioned vocals moving from angry to melodic, mimicked by the arrangement: aggressive at times but tender at others.
On "Trust Fall," we get some of Never Home's most impressive multi-instrumentation. It hits hard, violent and emotive in its technique and layers, the percussion pulsing and the guitar flavorful. The lyrics here are especially raw as the band considers their own shortcomings, ending with the emphatically delivered and layered "Would you believe me if I said I'd catch you? / You took the trust fall and I let you pass through." After about 15 minutes, Never Home ends with "Consider It Done," the perfect pop-punk conclusion to a heart-heavy effort. Wailing guitar and bombastic percussion join stirring vocals for the first bit of hope the band gives us: they're getting shit done, they're trying, and that's what matters. Though the songwriting remained solid throughout the EP, the band say it best in the last verse: "This song is just a scrapbook / Every line's a faded picture." If a picture's worth a thousand words and vice versa, Never Home paint real, relatable stories with their songs; ones about love and loss and muddled identity that we've all endured. Capturing that in just a five-track EP is a talent. Never Home's got it in spades and more.
Listen to Never Home below and read on for our exclusive interview with the band, who thoughtfully and eloquently chat about the production and songwriting process. You can connect with Never Home on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bandcamp.
The Music Mermaid: First, can you tell The Music Mermaid a little about yourselves and your music?
Never Home: We are Never Home, a pop-punk band from Charlotte, North Carolina. We consist of Nick Klock (vocals), Devon Stone (guitar), Dan Drysdale (guitar), Ian Wade (bass), and Rob Hendley (drums). Our music is heavily influenced by the bands of our youth (blink-182, Motion City Soundtrack, Taking Back Sunday) as well as the modern-day heavy hitters of pop-punk (The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, Knuckle Puck).
TMM: You guys are based in Charlotte, NC -- what’s the music scene like there and how has it influenced your work at all?
NH: Not incredibly active. Raleigh and the surrounding areas are the prime spots in the NC music scene right now. However, we have a nice little scene developing here in Charlotte and we are doing our best to help foster its growth. Despite being based out of Charlotte, none of us are actually from Charlotte. We are relative newcomers to the area and the local music community. I think we all take more influence from our respective home scenes, and blend that into something unique.
TMM: What was the production process like for your eponymous debut EP?
NH: We recorded the EP at Sioux Sioux Studio (Charlotte, NC) which is where Taking Back Sunday recorded their latest album, Tidal Wave. We met with Jason [Scavone, producer], toured the studio, and immediately knew this was where we wanted to record the album. We began by tracking drums and bass first, then went through each song one-by-one and recorded guitars and vocals. We only had four days to track the entire EP, so this gave Nick time to rest his voice between songs.
TMM: What’s the songwriting process like? Is it a collaborative effort? What themes do you tend to employ?
NH: For this EP, Nick wrote and demoed each song completely on his own. That's actually how we met -- he put these demos on Craigslist in search of band members. We then worked on the songs together and added our own individual influences. The themes of this album are mental illness, frustration, and nostalgia. It's a dark record, for sure. However, we're looking forward to writing some more uplifting songs in the near future.
TMM: Which song off of Never Home do you guys feel closest to and why?
NH: Rob... "Consider It Done." It speaks to the part of me that strives for success, whether people believe in me or not.
Dan... "Dulin Road." As a kid, the thought of growing up always seemed cool until it happened. Then you just want it to slow down. Is this life? Am I happy? Am I supposed to feel this way, be this person? It can be overwhelming. "Dulin Road" just hits home on the struggles of being an adult.
Nick... "State Line." This song was written about my best friend and I growing up. Whereas a lot of songs on the EP are written from the perspective of darker times in my life, this one is written about a time I would give anything to return to.
Ian... "Trust Fall." I relate to the lyrics in the chorus the most.
Devon... "Faking My Own Life." I'm realizing that I shouldn't be doing some 9-5 job that society deems necessary. I'm following my dreams now, and part of me is angry with myself for wasting years not pursuing it.
TMM: You’re hugely influenced by Taking Back Sunday -- can you talk a little about why that is?
NH: They are a staple of our genre and we all grew up listening to them. Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want To Be were seminal records for us. Without them, Never Home may not exist.
TMM: What did you guys set out to accomplish with this debut? What do you hope listeners get out of it?
NH: We just want people to hear it. We have a lot to say in our music and we have a desire to connect with our listeners. Music has never been more accessible to the consumer [than right now], and there are more tools than ever for artists to reel in listeners. However, this accessibility means that we are among an ocean of similar bands trying to attract the same fans. Our goal is not fame, it's a more realistic one: just to get people to listen and understand.
TMM: Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear ASAP?
NH: Noah Gundersen, Thomas LaVine, and Kurt Travis.
TMM: What has been your most memorable music moment so far?
NH: Definitely when [Taking Back Sunday vocalist] Adam Lazzara stopped by the studio to sit in on our tracking sessions. Recording in front of him was a completely surreal experience.
The Music Mermaid: Finally, what’s next for Never Home?
Never Home: Shows, shows, shows. We will continue to make a name for ourselves in the NC music scene and branch out into other markets soon. Possibly an acoustic version of the EP. We have already begun writing new music, so perhaps a new release sooner rather than later -- the new music we're writing is quite different, so we're excited to continue developing our sound and building on the foundation that we have laid with Never Home.