When we received the opportunity to interview The Nearly Deads, I jumped at it because I’ve been loosely following them since 2011. I wasn’t sure who was going to be answering these questions that I sent in, but it turned out to be their guitarist, Steven Tobi!
How’s the contrast of living in Tennessee to Florida?
HONESTLY IT WAS AN EASY TRANSITION! I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS WHO GO BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN TAMPA AND NASHVILLE. YOU MEET A LOT OF FLORIDA PEOPLE IN THIS CITY. THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES TO ME ARE NO BEACHES, BETTER WEATHER, AND A LOT MORE INDUSTRY
How well did you get along with Stitched Up Heart on tour?
WE GOT ALONG GREAT WITH STITCHED! THEY ARE ALL SUCH AWESOME AND POSITIVE PEOPLE. WE IMMEDIATELY BECAME FRIENDS OUR FIRST TOUR TOGETHER AND STILL MAKE AN EFFORT TO HANG OUT WHEN WE ARE IN EACH OTHER’S TOWN.
Anyone else specifically you would like to tour with?
WE HAD AN AWESOME TIME OPENING FOR IN THIS MOMENT AND WOULD LOVE TO TOUR WITH THEM AGAIN. IT WOULD ALSO BE GREAT TO DO A FULL TOUR WITH HALESTORM. OPENING FOR THEM WAS A HIGHLIGHT FOR US AND WE ENJOYED GETTING TO KNOW THEM. MUSE, FOO FIGHTERS, BILLY TALENT, KATY PERRY TO NAME SOME OTHERS 🙂
What does everyone do when not working on anything music related?
MOSTLY SPENDING TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. WE ALL ARE MOVIE NERDS AND SOME OF US GAMERS. KEVIN IS A SPORTS FIEND, JAVIER EXPLORES THE DEEPEST DEPTHS OF YOUTUBE, AND TJ SHOPS OR DOES HER NAILS (WHATEVER GIRLS DO IN THEIR SPARE TIME) LOL
Where’s the best tacos?
TACO BUS FOR SURE! ITS LITERALLY A SCHOOL BUS PARKED AGAINST THE BACK OF A BUILDING. ITS OFF OF HILLSBOROUGH AVE IN TAMPA, FL. THE KITCHEN IS IN THE BUS. YOU ORDER AT THE DRIVERS WINDOW AND THEN TAKE YOUR FOOD INSIDE THE BUILDING WHERE THEY SELL SODA OR BEER. IT’S SUPER AUTHENTIC AND DELICIOUS. IT HELPS IF YOU ARE FLUENT IN SPANISH HAHA
Name some of the biggest career highlights, so far?
MAN, THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT! MAYBE SMALL TO SOME, BUT BIG TO US. WARPED TOUR, SUMMERFEST, PRIDEFEST, BLACK WIDOW TOUR, 7 MILLION VIEWS ON OUR NEVER LOOK BACK VIDEO; WINNERS OF JOHN LENNON SONGWRITING COMPETITION, THE JOURNEY’S BACKYARD BBQ BATTLE OF THE BANDS, NASHVILLE INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS, AND MEETING JANE SEYMOUR
Do you imagine ever changing your sound completely, or just subtle experimentation and growth with each release?
I DONT THINK WE WILL EVER “COMPLETELY” CHANGE OUR SOUND. IT’S TAKEN A WHILE TO FORM WHO WE ARE AND TO CREATE AN IDENTITY FOR OURSELVES. WE DO HOWEVER ALWAYS STRIVE TO BETTER OUR MUSIC AND TO COME UP WITH UNIQUE NEW IDEAS SO THAT WE AREN’T BORING OUR FANS WITH THE SAME SONG OVER AND OVER
Was there ever a point where you considered calling it quits?
I THINK EVERYONE HAS THAT MOMENT. IT’S A TOUGH AND UNFORGIVING INDUSTRY. ITS NOT ALWAYS FUN SLEEPING IN A VAN, BEING AWAY FROM LOVED ONES, GETTING EMPTY PROMISES FROM INDUSTRY “PROFESSIONALS” WHO REALLY JUST WANT TO TAKE A CUT OF WHAT LITTLE MONEY YOU MAKE. BUT IN THE END, OUR FANS AND THEIR UNWAVERING SUPPORT REMINDS US WHY WE DO IT. I JUST LOVE PLAYING MUSIC AND TRAVELING AND WOULD PUT UP WITH THE NEGATIVES ANY DAY OVER DOING ANYTHING ELSE WITH MY LIFE.
Who are The Nearly Deads?
FIVE, AVERAGE JOE/JILL, NERDY, GOOFY, GASSY, HAPPY, IDIOTS WHO LOVE PLAYING ROCK AND ROLL ??
Your favorite song(s)?
7 THE ELEMENT – VITAS, CHOICES (yep) – E-40, HELLO DARLIN – CONWAY TWITTY, WANNABE – SPICE GIRLS, SMOKIN & DRINKIN – DANNY BROWN
What’s the next 5 years like for you, in a realistic vision?
NEW MUSIC, INTERNATIONAL TOURS, LIVE ON CONAN AND SNL, FIRST BAND PRESIDENT 2020
Interview by Marcus Miller
I’d like to thank Steven for answering these questions! I hope he enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed reading his responses. For the time being, I’m not all that far away from Nashville. I’ve yet to see The Nearly Deads, or be in Nashville, so that’s something I’d look forward to doing in the near future!