Their Name Is…
by Bill Henhoeffer
Many bands look for a distinctive name to give them an identity. This new metal band’s name fights that notion, it has a sense of anonymity, a sense of everyman. NO ONE took their name to illustrate the way they all felt. All the members coming from bands that had recently broken up. Having to start over completely, they were feeling pretty low and down on themselves. The band’s credo is that eyes and voice are two distinctive ways to identify a person. Because of this, NO ONE members Billy K, Flare, and B-Larz cover their eyes with tape and Murk his mouth in publicity stills, showing their hidden identities. Their logo also goes along with this theme. It is bold and to the point. As Billy K puts it, “He is NO ONE.”
NO ONE’s singer Murk had a paper route at the age of thirteen, and bought his first guitar from the Sears catalogue. He had his first band at fifteen and a few years after that he met guitarist, B-Larz. Together the two started a group called Black Talon. After going through many drummers and bass players, they decided to call it quits. Then one day at Champ’s Rock Room, a small joint on the South Side of Chicago, they met bassist Flare, who was in a band that was also fracturing at the time. The guys started jamming and hanging out at Flare’s house, writing riffs and getting things started. After a few weeks they decided to give the group a new name and look for a drummer. A couple of months later, they met Billy K. With Murk on the mic, B-Larz on the ax, Flare on the bass, and Billy K bangin’ on the drums, NO ONE was complete.
After finding the last part to the band, the band threw themselves into writing songs and playing together. On August 5, 2000 NO ONE had its first show at Champ’s. This show was right between the two Chicago dates for the Ozzfest tour. Members from fest groups Disturbed, Soulfly, and the Deadlights caught the show and extended their support for the guys. After cramming in only about two months of shows, they soon went into the studio with producer Johnny K (Disturbed) and recorded a three-song demo. The demo featured the tracks “Chemical,” “It’s Real” and “My Release.” Without any expectations, they started sending them out to people the band and Johnny K knew.
About a week later, the band got a phone call telling them that a manager in California was so impressed he took their demo and started to shop it to labels – only without NO ONE knowing. They thought it was pretty un-cool he was shopping their demo without even telling them. Then again, the guy had three labels that were interested in the group. One of those labels happened to be Immortal Records, home of metal superstars KoRn and Incubus. NO ONE got a heads up that there was a guy from Immortal coming down to watch them play. They were really surprised and excited at the opportunity. The rep came down and the band burned it up. “It was a magical moment” explains Murk. The Immortal exec told them that the label was interested in signing them, but if they wanted they could look around at other labels.
After talking to a few others, they knew Immortal was the one that they wanted. Immortal had the experience in “breaking in” a heavy metal band. They also liked the fact that they had a great Street-Team and had people getting the word out there from the ground up. However, the best part of signing with Immortal was they felt secure, considering Immortal has never dropped a band and are a label that believes in the long-term goal.
NO ONE went into the studio in December 2000. They didn’t tell the label at the time, but they didn’t have enough songs for a full record. “Shedding”, “Down on Me”, and “Inside Out” were written in the studio. While most bands take four to five years to write their first album, NO ONE took less than a year. Then the group returned to the live circuit, figuring they are going to have played a lot of shows and have a lot of ideas behind their belts for the follow-up. “It’s really going to help us with out next record,” says Billy K.
NO ONE went back on the road on April 5, 2001. Life on tour can be tough, they missed being home and around their families. But they feel determined that there’s a reason for them being out there. The guys say it can be a drag at times when they have to drive through the night to get to the next show. Other bands can walk onto their tour bus and fall asleep while someone else drives them to the show. NO ONE doesn’t feel that luxury. Murk explains, “We have to make sure we get to the next show.”
“Alive,” exclaims Flare, cutting in.
They are having fun the band members say, and that’s what really counts. After touring with such bands as Slaves on Dope, Drowning Pool, Spine Shank, and Fear Factory, they made it onto the bill at Ozzfest. “Everyday is like a big party,” says Murk. Playing early isn’t the greatest, they admit, but it gives them the rest of the day to go and watch their favorite bands play. And they get to do that everyday.
Just like every other band, NO ONE would love to get some radio play. However, they don’t depend on the idea and they are ready and willing to work hard to get that exposure. The guys don’t mind being considered part of the nu metal scene. “Just as long as we’re not considered pop metal we don’t care,” says Billy K.
The members of NO ONE feel it is a great time to be in a band now, and they are just planning on enjoying every minute of it. Unlike many of the other nu metal bands though, NO ONE has a lead singer who can actually sing in Murk. This is surprisingly uncommon among many heavy metal bands today. “We wanted a melody without sounding too cheesy,” says Murk. They felt that bands who have done a good job of this type of music are Metallica and Pantera. Lots of observers have been saying NO ONE are doing pretty impressively as well.
As a band just getting ready to release their debut album, NO ONE are in a cool netherworld of no knowledge and no expectations. Word is just starting to get out on the guys. If you are searching the web and trying to find more about NO ONE, you’ll find it hard to come by. They aren’t on many of the search engines as of yet. Flare says that Kyle needs to get it together to spread the word on the net. They do, however, have a website.
In the meantime, NO ONE are a bunch of great guys and talented musicians. They have the courage to go out into a crowded musical landscape and pursue their unique hard melodic sense and clear but pointed worldview. I wish them well. Hopefully, we will be hearing a lot more of them in the coming years.
Copyright © 2001 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: August 14, 2001.