Today we are speaking with Theresa Jeane, who is the vocalist for Nashville group The Nearly Deads. I just reviewed their most recent EP, Revenge of The Nearly Deads”, for Female Fronted Friday, and was given the opportunity for an interview as well. That being said, here we go!!!!!
Chimera Magazine (Tom) – Hi, Theresa. I just reviewed the newest EP, Revenge of The Nearly Deads, and really enjoyed it. My favorite song is the last track, “As Good as It Gets”. It’s simply beautiful all around. I guess my question is, how did this song come about? There’s so much emotion to your vocals that I wonder if it’s got a personal meaning to it.
TJ: Hi Tom! As Good as It Gets was written when I was doing a lot of internal soul searching. I was working hard to appreciate the things I had in live instead of focusing on negativity, but that can be hard to do. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. You can’t change the past, and I’ve done some things that I’m not proud of, but at the end of the day this life is all we have, and the people in it are all we have. When the dust settled, I was still just here, alive, just like the rest of the world. Left to deal with my mess. I had a ‘made your bed now lie in it’ revelation, and the song also has a dual meaning. The expression ‘as good as it gets’ can have both negative and positive connotations, and I wanted to play that up by turning it positive at the end of the song. Sometimes people come into our life for a different reason than we originally think, maybe just to teach us something about ourselves, and it can be very liberating to realize that.
Tom – What are your influences in terms of music, style, or anything that makes you who you are?
TJ: I am very influenced by Amanda Palmer and The Dresden Dolls, Something Corporate, and My Chemical Romance. I also love Garbage and The Distillers.
Tom – I’ve read that you like to keep a positive message to your music. In a world like we live in now, do you find it more difficult to keep that positive message going?
TJ: I don’t think it’s difficult because people will always need to be empowered. We feel a responsibility to carry that message out and make people feel like they can get through whatever they are facing in their lives. If anything, the current state of the world is an inspiration to us to keep going.
Tom – “Revenge” is one of those songs where I can hear that positive message, to an extent. It also sounds like maybe it’s about revenge on certain person, or group of people, while standing up and being strong with no help from others. Care to expand on the baseline of the lyrical content there?
TJ: There’s definitely a specific situation the song was written about. As a band, we’ve been through the highs and lows of the music industry. Standing up on stage and continuing to persevere, perform live, and release music that our fans helped fund, is our ultimate revenge. But I want people to be able to get their own meaning from the lyrics. They say living well is the best revenge, and that’s the moral of the song. Live your best life, now, and ignore anyone who has ever tried to derail you from pursuing your passion in life. They are simply not worth your time.
Tom – Being from Nashville, a place known for having tons of musical talent, is it hard to get noticed there?
TJ: It becomes more about originality than anything else. You learn pretty quickly that EVERYONE in Nashville is a world class talent, and it really whipped us into shape as a band. We were like, we need to practice more! Meeting people was pretty easy for us to do because Rock is such a tight-knit community in Nashville that’s still growing.
Tom – One of my favorite bands is Fable Cry, and they are based in Nashville as well. Do you guys ever do shows together? And on another side, what other bands from that area would you recommend to us?
TJ: We’ve played a few shows with Fable Cry and absolutely love them! We’d also recommend you check out our friends in Lonesome Town Drifters!
Tom – A few years ago you did a show up here in Central NY. You played a place called Nothing Fancy in Verona. I was helping out my friends in the now defunct After Earth, and was able to catch your set. It was energetic, and fun to watch. If memory serves me correctly, the crowd was more interested in the local bands that any of the nationals that were there. When the crowd is less than interested how do you keep a positive outlook on performing for them?
TJ: If people aren’t really into it we get a little silly on stage, but still perform as if we’re playing Wembley Stadium to 40k people. We owe it to the one guy in the back watching.
Tom – What are the bands plans for the foreseeable future? Tours maybe?
TJ: We’re hitting the road with Blameshift, another female fronted band from Long Island NY Oct 12-Nov 2! We’re also booking one more tour for the end of the year, so stay tuned for that!
Tom – I’m sure you hear this one, but what hopes and goals do you have for the band? Are there any milestones you’ve reached that you just thought weren’t going to happen, but did?
TJ: We’d love to hear our music on the radio or in TV or film. We want to be in this band when we’re 80 so getting heard by as many people as possible will help take us to the next level. I’d love to start touring in Europe sometime soon as well, because we have so many awesome, dedicated fans over there! Honestly, I thought it would be a huge deal if Never Look Back hit 100k views. When it blew past that and hit one million, I was dumbfounded. And then it kept going! We’re almost at 8 million views, and I’m so grateful.
Tom – Ok, last question, Theresa. I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, I do appreciate that very much. Question is this… What has been your favorite place to play, and what place do you never care to see again? Once again, thank you for taking the time to do this.
TJ: Haha this is a great question! It’s really hard to pick a favorite! It’s really the fans that make every show memorable. We’ve played some beautiful venues like Stage AE in Pittsburgh, State Theatre in Portland Maine, Studio 7 in Seattle, the Rave in Milwaukee, and The Palladium in Worcester MA. We’ve also played forgettable bar and grills in some pretty sketchy neighborhoods. It’s all part of the fun of being a DIY band. Some days you get a dressing room and catering, and some days there’s used panties on the side of the road outside the venue and a guy asking for $20 to ‘valet park’ the van.
Thanks to Theresa Jeane of The Nearly Deads for answering these questions, (I love the answer to the last one, made me laugh) and for putting out great music with her band. Go check them out, because if you don’t you’ll make me very sad, and no one wants that.
- Tom Hanno
For more on The Nearly Deads check out: