When Nothing More singer/percussionist Jonny Hawkins was in grade school, his tiny class of a dozen students all tried out for the choir. When only Hawkins and one other child weren't accepted, it made a painful impression on him.
"I thought, 'Well, I guess I'm not a singer,' " he recalls while chatting via cellphone in May as Nothing More was traveling between gigs. Throughout school he focused on other instruments, including drums, and joined marching band in high school. As far as singing went, he stuck to doing it in the shower.
Fast forward to his early 20s, and Hawkins was drumming in Nothing More, along with childhood friends Daniel Oliver (bass), Mark Vollelunga (guitar), another guitarist and a rotation of singers. The Texas alternative hard rock act was leading a DIY existence, self-recording its albums and traveling in a battered RV held together with everything from homemade repairs to hope. In 2008 the group won a battle of the bands contest where collecting the prizes of cash and instruments was contingent upon doing a showcase at Los Angeles' Key Club for label reps. Which would have been a dream opportunity if the singer and second guitarist hadn't just left the group. Desperate to claim the much-needed prizes, Nothing More performed as a trio with Hawkins singing behind the kit.