Interview by: Robert Cavuoto
Jeffrey “Nothing” Hatrix who co-formed and sang clean vocals for industrial metal band Mushroomhead is currently working on a new CD for his solo band called Nothing.
Jeffrey left Mushroomhead this past March and is already hard at work putting together a band with Thomas Church [ex-Mushroomhead guitarist], Noah “Shark” Robertson [drums], Ian D [vocals], and Kahler Hatrix [bass]. With 30 songs demo’ed and about ten songs in development, the team has released two singles; “Fragile Mind” and “Dead Space.” Both songs are powerfully haunting and showcase Jeffery and Thomas’s musical talents. Fans of these two artist’s and Mushroomhead will not be disappointed. The tracks are available now for download & across all streaming platforms at:
For information please visit: JeffreyNothing.com or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffreynothing
I caught up with Jeffery to talk about the two new songs, the CD currently in development, and to share some insights regarding his exit from Mushroomhead.
Robert Cavuoto: You have released two singles with Thomas Church. What can you tell me about the creation and release of a new solo CD?
Jeffery Nothing: We have about 30 songs demo’ed, and Thomas gave just me eight to ten more to put lyrics to. I’m really happy with the way things are going.
Robert Cavuoto: How will you pick the best 10 of these 40 songs to put on a CD?
Jeffery Nothing: We want to do something along the lines of a Blizzard of Oz/Diary of a Madman type of CD or maybe a double CD. I think what Ozzy did with that band during the time of those two records was very monumental. It’s good to record when you feel the magic of the situation. We have a lot of great ideas between Thomas, myself, and the other guys. I’ll also have some friends come in to play and sing with us. It’s just a good time, and the songs have a great vibe.
Robert Cavuoto: When do you think the CD will be released?
Jeffery Nothing: I would like to have it done and out in Spring 2019.
Robert Cavuoto: Can you talk a little bit about the vision you had going into this CD and maybe how you wanted it to be different from your 2011 release, The New Psychodalia?
Jeffery Nothing: That was with Steve “Skinny” Felton and Ryan “Dr. F” Farrell. At the time I felt good about the situation, but now that feeling has gone away. It felt really good working with Thomas Church as I think he is an exceptional player, writer, and person. This time feels better than during that 2011 CD. I want to cover a lot of ground and get into styles I’ve never done. Possibly more majestic songs along the lines of Queen and Pantera, then build outward from there with David Bowie type lyrics; to be able to reach into all different types of genres.
Robert Cavuoto: Are you more comfortable as a songwriter now than you were when you joined Mushroomhead?
Jeffery Nothing: I think I’m more comfortable as a songwriter now than I ever been. I used to carry around pages of lyrics stapled together, and someone took them. I just feel I know how to write better songs. I want to explore multiple musical approaches to make it as best as it can be.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about the creation of the songs, do you work together to develop them?
Jeffery Nothing: Thomas will come up with the music then Ian D, or I will write the lyrics. Nothing is really planned. There will be times when we all write together. I want to bring together friends and make music at home with whoever is around. For example, Marko “Bronson” Vukcevich from Mushroomhead recently became a Dad and wants to work on some songs. He has a producing job and is only available during certain times of the year. I want him to have this vehicle any time he wants to get in.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about the freedom of being a solo artist?
Jeffery Nothing: I like the idea behind Steely Dan where they were more of a recording situation. I want to have a band that is doing something similar to that yet tours as a musical experience or a musical troop but not being confined to a band setting. I still have to figure out the process and then put my name on it. The idea is born and hasn’t begun to crawl, but it will happen.
Robert Cavuoto: Will you be wearing masks and have a horror theme behind the CD and live shows?
Jeffery Nothing: I definitively want to have visuals. I’m not sold on mask vs. make-up vs. costuming or whatever anybody wants to do. We will have a theme, and not necessarily with 3-dimensional objects, it could be a mixed set. I just want to push the envelope to further extremes.
Robert Cavuoto: What does Thomas Church brings to the band and why have you decided to work with him.
Jeffery Nothing: There was a time when Judas Priest experimented on Turbo with synthesizer guitars. Thomas is like that and finds creative ways to make the ideas come to life. It makes him more of a multi-instrumentalist than a guitarist. He has 20 different records in 20 different styles with multiple new styles waiting to be made. He makes new types of music every day. He’s like an encyclopedia of songs. Making music is something Thomas, and I love to do. It’s not work. I don’t believe music, like art, can never be on a time clock.
Robert Cavuoto: You mentioned working with many of your former Mushroomhead bandmates, are you still friends with most of them?
Jeffery Nothing: I’m still friends with Marko, Thomas, and Waylon Reavis. Not so connected with Daniel “Lil’ Dan” Fox but I love the kid. I don’t talk with Jack “Pig Benis” Kilcoyne or David “Gravy” Felton that much and I don’t know that I will. I imagine I can work with Jason “J Mann” Popson. I have no problem with Steve Rauckhorst as I suggested for him to help speed my exit from the band because I respect him. I’m 50/50 with Thomas “Tankx” Shaffner; I don’t dislike him.
Robert Cavuoto: Earlier this month you reunited with Waylon, and of course Thomas was on stage. What was that like to all perform on stage?
Jeffery Nothing: Waylon and I had a few moments before he left the band and we will both agree there was some tension. We got to where we both understand that we had to go through that bad place and each took it differently. Because of that, we didn’t get along. We moved forward and are friends now. That’s the way it should have been; it was nothing where he ever hurt me, it was just the situation. It was really cool to perform together and be talking again; to simply move on with life the way it should be.
Before that show, I prayed to God to make it interesting in some way. The second we started playing it started to pour right on the stage. We didn’t stop until the gear had to be moved, then we picked back up and played through the rain. Having that experience with my band for the first time meant so much to me as it was very memorable and I was glad it happened. I always thought it would be cool to make a video in the rain; to have a family cookout but it is pouring rain.
Robert Cavuoto: Was it a difficult decision to leave Mushroomhead?
Jeffery Nothing: No, it was difficult to leave so much later than I wanted to. I really wanted to stay for the fans and didn’t want to have a spat because I loved the fans due to their love of the band. I got to meet my wife during that time, and she is incredible. You can’t play the same set list for ten years and expect the fans to want to come and see you. You also can’t blame the guys writing new songs giving their blood and sweat for the band. It’s just a really weird place to be.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about the importance of finding your own voice as a solo artist?
Jeffery Nothing: I feel I was a little conflicted with that. I don’t want to sound the same on every song as I want them to be a little different. I feel like I’m allowed to use different voices in my songs. I’m not going to lie as there were some cool moments Skinny and I made before he decided it was his way or nothing [no pun intended]. I want to sing anyway I want and not be told to do this or that. To be stuck doing something someone else decides isn’t creative. Now there are so many ways I can singing on this project, and I’m also getting to sing with so many other people that I would never have the opportunity before.