Nothing People are actually quite something
OK, so they’re not from Chico, but Nothing People might be the most interesting band you’ve never heard—or seen—around these parts.
The members—identified only as Ør, Øs and Ød—have been quietly making noise among the rocks and sticks in the tiny speck called Orland, where the band began putting its psychedelic garage rock on tape two years ago. What came out of it was Nothing People’s first five-song Hello! EP in November 2004. The album art features three faceless figures as the only evidence of who is making the sounds inside.
“Tired of the paint-by-numbers band photo/bio treadmill, the idea of letting our noise represent itself was something we gravitated toward,” Ød explained via e-mail. “Any consequential mystery was an extra benefit.”
And while the members of the band may not be identifiable, their influences are. With fuzzed out guitars and primal drums, the trio’s psychedelic sludge smacks of bands from another time like the Stooges and Velvet Underground. And it’s a safe bet that you’ll find Bowie, Thirteenth Floor Elevators and Devo hiding in their record collections as well.
Those few who have seen the band (Nothing People play only the occasional Chico gig) have been treated to warm distortion that surrounds you like amniotic fluid, while the members, usually clad in matching white dress shirts and black slacks, switch off between an arsenal of vintage guitars, bass and drums.
The band’s sound hasn’t gone totally unnoticed. Nothing People will be releasing a 7-inch on Ss Records, (A Frames; Tête de Bébé), on Nov. 6. The EP will feature the excellent “I Can’t Find a Monkey” and “Twinkie Defense,” the latter of which also appeared on their first disc.
In the meantime, Nothing People have been lining up gigs outside of Chico, playing the Pacific Northwest, Davis and the Bay Area.
All of this with hardly a drop of ink in any publication, though SN&R’s Jackson Griffith had this to say after a Sacramento performance in May: “Nothing People is the best wickedly psychedelic band this scribe’s seen in a long time, and here’s hoping it returns soon.”
So the mystery is out there. Perhaps. The music at least is. As one of the members puts it: “Nothing People happened because the sounds were there and needed to be heard. We’re in front of you in line at the market, in the car next to you at the intersection, in the seat behind you on the bus.”