Throwing Gravity’s genius is how they blend guitar-driven active modern rock rhythms with radio friendly pop vocals, all the while maintaining a hard music edge with just the right amount of energy and conviction to give them a classic rock feel of old. The band’s full-length release, It’s Not The End, is a testament to that genius. The Nashville, Tennessee based band led by vocalist/guitarist Nick James, along with guitarist Adam Gooch, bassist Sam Hindmarsh and drummer Eric Bice have produced a well-rounded album, complete with fist-pumping rockers, mid-tempo ear candy and love happy ballads. Regardless of the given song’s tempo, each song contains emotional honesty, sonic depth and enough variety to make the entire body of work worth a listen from start to finish.
With a high-quality album to share with the rest of the rock community, the band has hit the road in true rock-n-roll fashion for most of 2012 with the remaining two calendar months of the year coming up being no different. As the band prepares to hit the road once again, Rock Revolt spoke with the leader of Throwing Gravity, Nick James about the band’s album, touring and all other things rock-n-roll.
Interview with Nick James of Throwing Gravity:
Rick/RR: How are you doing Nick? I’m looking forward to talking a little rock-roll with you today.
Nick/TG: I’m good! Yeah man, that sounds great. I appreciate you having me.
Rick/RR: What really stands out with Throwing Gravity is you just write great rock songs and don’t seem to get stuck in a rut trying to fit into a certain style or genre. At first listen you have the ring of Daughtry, Goo Goo Dolls and maybe Tonic. Yet, beyond that, there is also a classic vibe of a Journey or Aerosmith and even southern feel in places as well.
Nick/TG: You hit the nail on the head there man! That is pretty much all the influences. Journey was some of my early influences and what I grew up listening to. Definitely Tonic was one of my favorite bands and the Goo Goo Dolls as well. They were a huge influence. You are right; there is just no way to say exactly where it comes from or an exact, “This is what they sound like.” I’ve always strived to attempt to set ourselves aside from everyone else.
Rick/RR: When you were first putting together Throwing Gravity, was this the musical direction that you envisioned or did it develop into that over time, and did that vision come into play to the guys you looked to fill the band with?
Nick/TG: You know, in the beginning it was guys that fit that mold. But then it has just come together for what it is. We’ve been doing it long enough we know exactly what to look for. It just kind of happened over the years. You’ve definitely got to make sure that it is something everyone has a passion for and at least the similar style of music interest for. They aren’t necessarily a “thrash metal guy”, trying to do pop rock or commercial rock so to speak. It has to be something everyone has bought into. I feel like all the guys we have fit that perfectly.
Rick/RR: You released your full-length effort, It’s Not The End, in December of 2011. The album has the true spirit of rock-n-roll where you can listen to it from start to finish, which seems to be missing on a lot of releases that appear to create a body of work around just one or two singles.
Nick/TG: Yeah, that’s pretty much the way we wanted it to be designed. I just don’t think I will ever be able to write different from that as that is always the goal. It’s never just, “let me put a whole bunch of songs on the record that get thrown on there around the two singles.” My mentality as well as everyone else in the band has been that we want the best songs and the best product that is available on the record. It becomes like a process of elimination, because there were other songs that didn’t make this record that could make the next one. It is definitely hard trying to pick some of the songs when you feel like there are several front runners for that. Again, that was the design to make it strong front to back.
Nick/TG: It is a tough line to draw for sure. With ours, it happened to be the case that we had so many I just forgot about some of them when it came down to it. (Laughs) For some of the others, we just ran out of time on them. We put a scheduled time to record these so that is all that was. It definitely a difficult decision as well.
Rick/RR: You worked with producer Jon King on most of the album (Augustana, Future Leaders of the World, 3 Pill Morning). Talk about what he added to the final results.
Nick/TG: Jon and I work a lot together. We’ve become great friends just from doing stuff so many projects through the years. It does have his stamp on it definitely. He adds that extra element of what I would call, “the missing piece of the puzzle.” He comes in there, slicks it up and basically puts the icing on the cake so to speak.
Rick/RR: I recall finding out about you in 2010 and downloaded the great song “Bring Me Down” from iTunes around that period. As I really enjoyed the song, I remember trying to find a full-length album thereafter. I almost gave up over time. Finally, It’s Not The End came out in late 2011 and it included a newer version of the song in the form of “Here We Go Again.” Talk about what was going on during that period.
Nick/TG: That was a time when we were with Universal and they put out the song when it was originallycalled “Bring Me Down.” For legal purposes we changed it when we were dropped from Universal and to also try to get away from that as much as possible. It was for the album that was going to be called Wake Up, and it was supposed to be released in 2010, then in 2011 and then it didn’t get released. We basically renamed that song and stuck it back out there and moved forward. Going way back, that song was originally called “Broken” and it has gone through many facelifts since then.
Rick/RR: You’ve produced a video to promote “Here We Go Again” for the new album. I dig the live band performance in the abandoned building. I appreciate videos like that where it makes you want to see the band live.
Nick/TG: That is exactly what we were trying to do, you got it! (Laughs) We tried to stay away from the storylines because to me, unless you can get a huge budget on a video, a storyline is something that is going to be really tough to do unless you get really lucky. We just didn’t have the budget so we just kept that out of there; put a pretty face in there along with the band to show people what we look like live. That was the objective the entire time. It was a lot of fun to do that video. We did many, many takes playing that song in that warehouse.
Watch the “Here We Go Again” Video
Rick/RR: With so many mid-tempo and ballad gems on this album also, is there a plan to release one or more of these to radio?
Nick/TG: You know, it is possible. I think the one we are really thinking about doing right now is “Best Time.” That definitely could be a cross-over song. I don’t think we are going to push to go to the cross-over market right now though; it seems like everyone is attempting to do that. At some point, that is going to get too oversaturated and have no choice but to relapse. There is still potential for it as a single and we are planning to shoot a video for it around February.
Rick/RR: You have a busy tour schedule lined up for the remainder of 2012. Talk about the plans and where fans can expect to see you.
Nick/TG: We’re going out with Royal Bliss starting up this week. After that we’re coming home for Thanksgiving for a few days and then going back out with Fuel for a little bit. For that run we don’t have all the dates yet, but it will be down South for that one.
Rick/RR: Not only do you sing the lead vocals live, you play guitar as well. For fans that might not be musicians themselves, what would you say is the most challenging part of doing both in the live setting?
Nick/TG: Trying not to think about what you are doing at the same time and just go with your muscle memory. It can be a challenging factor. For me, it is just repetition and doing it over and over. As far as playing, just trying not to think about where my hands are going. I would say that 99% of the time when I am on stage, I don’t even hear what my guitar sounds like. In my in-ears, I don’t have my guitar, it is just my vocals. It is challenging and it took several years to get where I am at now.
Rick/RR: While you were out this summer with 12 Stones, Digital Summer and Blameshift, you had the opportunity to do some acoustic jamming with Blameshift vocalist Jenny Mann during some free time on the road. Is there any chance we could see a killer recorded duet as a result of that jamming in the near future? I’m thinking along the lines of the classic Lita Ford/Ozzy or Paul McCoy (12 Stones)/Amy Lee (Evanescence) collaborations where the results became golden!
Nick/TG: You know we might be working on that! (Laughs) We kind of got a song in place and then maybe here in the next few months we could iron it out. We would like to do a song like that and see where it will go. We are interested in doing that so it is a possibility. We are just trying to bang out the melody and see where it goes from there. It is funny you said that! (Laughs)
Rick/RR: Nick, thank you for the great conversation and best of luck on the new tour. I hope to catch up with you on the road. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Nick/TG: Just to stay in touch on our Facebook Page, our Official Website and that our album is currently available on iTunes. We’ve got these tours coming up also so come see us live and hang out. We are going to try to finish out 2012 with a bang and looking forward to staying out there in 2013!
Rick Lindner, Journalist – RockRevolt™Magazine
Live Photos of Nick and TG were taken by RockHouse Photography in GA (from TG’s Facebook Page)
Watch the “Circles” Lyric Video