No

 No

A band of brothers + 1 – NO managed to captivate my interest right away. I’m a huge fan of melody in song – and they write songs driven by this very element, continuing to mine out emotional gold in their music and prove that NO, it hasn’t all been done.

Checking out this band was a privilege and I’m sure that it won’t be the last time I hear their name – they’re writing flawless pop songs and have an internal determination to pursue and continue the musical path all the way until they find their own definition of success. At the very least – 3 out of 4 of them are along for the ride! Will the fourth member and third brother be with them through the thick and the thin of their musical careers? You’ll have to read to find out!

Whatever the line-up is and however it DOES continue – that’s all we can hope for. That it DOES continue. Music making and talent in songwriting like this simply shouldn’t ever go to waste. There’s always a beautiful understatement in “simple melodies” – it’s so rarely acknowledged that it is every bit as complex and difficult to make this music as it would be to make an instrumental track with a thousand layers or more. That care and fragility in the songwriting merely gets directed to the melody itself, organically, rather than through a ton of edits in a program – but the time they would both take with their craft would be equal. We fully recognize that what can sound “simple” to the ear does not mean “easy” to make in most cases – and in the case of NO that holds true. They’ve taken their time with their songs and it shows greatly in the quality of their music.

The rewards are many. Struggle through your personal lives and fight through it all to keep your art pure and representative of that part of yourself that started making it in the first place. In the end, if you keep that up and continue on staying true to yourself, you might just end up with something really fantastic that sounds amazing and achieve that longevity that musicians search for. As I said at the beginning – this won’t be the last time we’ve heard from NO…not by a long shot…because they DO these things.

Staying true to themselves and making real music with melody and heart will make NO a huge YES for YOU. Read on!

Interview with NO

SBS: Guys there is a lot that I want to talk to you about and ask – the moment I heard your music it was like 1000 questions popped into my brain and that’s a tremendous indication to me that you’re making music that helps people think and feel things – tell me about the quest in the songwriting for you all – what are the “must haves” in a track from NO? What needs to be included for it to be identifiable to your sound?

NO: Thanks that’s a great compliment and means a lot to us. There really are no “must haves” other than the obvious. Good melody, structure, things that make sense. Our sound is always changing to what we’re feeling at the moment, the mood we’re in or what period we’re going through in life but we always put melody first.

SBS: Tell me about melody specifically. Bands that credit an influence of the Beatles seem to truly understand what an important element this is in song – this is the part that communicates emotion best is it not?

NO: Melody is the most important part. You can try to cheat it with production but it won’t last. Some of the best songs, Beatles, Cole Porter, may have horrible sound recording quality but it doesn’t matter. They last because of the melodies obviously. Like a book. The story is most important, not the hardcover or foreword garbage. Same with life or anything else, the content matters most.

SBS: How hard is it to come up with something so unique that it’s beyond comparison when it comes to melody? I know Beatles purists out there (I’m sure we’ve all met one or two) that would argue nearly every melody we have in music could be derived from them – but I think we all know this isn’t the case so much as over-enthusiastic fans…but still – your music shows that it hasn’t all been done yet with your own original melodies….how easily does this originality come?

NO: Thanks again, that’s a great compliment. Pretty easy. I never think about it unless a tune comes into my head and I start whistling it or humming it. I just sit down at a piano and hit a key or get a guitar and play a chord and put out the song melody instantly. Then I make slight changes to it as I see fit within the next hour. I used to spend longer but there’s no use. The best stuff comes right away and you can always make changes later. I never think about originality or being different. I just do a song and if I like it we record it. Rewriting other people’s songs would take all the fun out. It would be more of a careerist thing.

SBS: Now – I do the best research I can and try to notice the small things that others don’t…I make mistakes and that happens occasionally…but I just want to make sure that I have my facts straight here…

First off – I have correspondence from you arranging this interview that shows the band to be comprised of three brothers – Nick (Vox/Guitars), Tim (Drums) and Mike (Keys) Jarzabek along with their friend Justin Corman on the bass. But that was just between yourselves and I. Then I look into the social media – the facebook page lists Nick, Justin and Tim – but no Mike! So I suppose we should set the record straight – but let’s do it through the band history – tell us about how you all decided to do this together and how Mike also fits into it all. Is he in or out? Are you sending him a message through this?

NO: Haha – that’s very funny you should mention that. We’ve been asked that lately. We’re going through a major change right now and I’m not sure where Mike stands. I would also like to know so maybe you can ask him. We started out writing songs together but it doesn’t seem he likes doing that anymore. I prefer if we could go on writing songs together and conquering the world but you can’t force anyone to do anything. Plus it seems like he is more of a country music person and I’m more jazz and pop. He’s become more difficult to work with and has much more sporadic schedules and conflicts which makes no sense to me. If his heart was in the band and it was his passion it seems he would be here doing it now. We’re currently split between Los Angeles and Nashville and haven’t written or recorded together in months. I’m not sure where the band with Mike is headed.

It’s a useless headache to speculate. We’re always up to work with him. He just has to figure out what he wants because it seems like he’s all over the place. Until then I guess it’s up in the air. Maybe you can talk to him and figure him out. He’s a real difficult person. Or maybe that’s just because we’re brothers.

SBS: Justin – everyone knows the “bro code” exists – it just does. Bands with family members involved, especially ¾ pieces – that’s a tough line up to crack into! So tell us about that relationship you have to these three brothers – maybe some insight into what they’re really like! Three brothers playing music in the same band – are they completely similar in personalities as well as their goals?

NO: Justin: While their personalities do differ greatly, and they do fight relatively frequently, I’ve had no problem creating lasting friendships with all three brothers. We met through music, and music is our common bond, but we’ve bonded on many personal levels as well. As my relationships with them have developed, I’ve found myself mediating fights between the Jarzabeks, and although it can be exhausting at times, I wouldn’t trade what I have with them for anything. I’ve never been so happy with my band or bandmates in the past as I am with NO. We truly are a family, and I think the band consisting of brothers helped facilitate that.

No_Cover

SBS: Conversely, Jarzabek brothers, what is it about Justin specifically that made you know he was someone you could make your music with? What is the common bond you all share that gets you past any roadblocks you might encounter as a band?

NO: We can make fun of each other, make suggestions, argue, and no one get’s mad. We went through lots of boring uncreative musicians, wannabe rock-star morons, whatever all the time who missed the point. Lots of people who took themselves very seriously, had bad attitudes, smelled bad etc. We went through what I like to call “the most confident zero-hit songwriter musicians you’ll ever meet” and you meet lots of them especially in LA. Of course no one wants to be around those people and they always end up going nowhere. So we were lucky to meet Justin who’s a really great person and musician. Our goals and music push us through any roadblocks.

SBS: Why No? I mean – I know why not Yes, that’s been done. But for myself – I’m living a life in search of turning the “No” to a “Yes” – a life of pure and true acceptance of all things… And truthfully when I first heard the music my first thought was “Well it looks like I’m saying “Yes” to “No” here…” I’ve learned since that you used to be called “No Cover” – but that you changed that for a pretty cool reason. Tell us about that conversation and why it had impacted you enough to change the band name to simply “No.” Why did it make sense to do that?

NO: We used to be No Cover because we didn’t want to ruin other people’s songs haha. Then we were at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and Bono was there. We started talking to him and gave him a CD with our number on it. He called us a few hours later and told us he liked the songs. His favorites were “Guess Who” “Peace and Quiet” and “Slit Your Throat.” He said he liked everything about the band except the name. He told us to drop the “cover” and just go with “NO” We for some reason had never thought of that and liked it instantly. NO could be used in a positive force. Just say NO to anything you don’t care for abuse, cynics, whatever. It can be used to make change. Saying NO is what started our #rollvolution with our #NOldier army haha. Really though it can be used for positive change in anything. Try it.

SBS: When I look at a site this is the kind of thing I like to see; NICE work guys – I think it is incredible the amount of television promo you’re going after. From what I can see it looks like you all actually enjoy the social media aspect of this rather than find it tedious – something I also believe is heavily linked to success in today’s entertainment…that connection to the fan base through the pages and postings…this TV thing looks well organized and tight! I’ve seen a couple of bands also do direct-to-user concerts with logins and passwords to internet sites…(There’s a question in here somewhere…I know there is…keep ranting Jer…it’s coming…) I guess what I want to know is, these TV spots…will there be a way for us to see them on an international level? If not – what about that internet broadcast thing? Ok ok – the real question is coming out…. HOW do I go about seeing you play from all the way over here in Canada?

NO: Cool thanks! TV is great because it gets you out to fans who would normally never find you. The Beatles on Ed Sullivan are the leading example. Right now we’re also in the middle of working with a company out of San Francisco for a Live Stream deal that would feature member-only live stream exclusive NO future and past performances for mobile devices worldwide. One of the things that sucks right now is waiting for videos to load on phones. It’s not like Korea or Japan where you can share seamlessly and instantly. 4G LTE isn’t available in half of the USA. So we’ve been in Silicon Valley back and forth trying lots of new storage and stream formats that could be loaded to a bigger audience. We hope to go live by next year.

We love Canada! We grew up 40 minutes away from the Canadian border. We used to go to Creston and Nelson on the weekends growing up and drink beer (there’s no Molson’s in LA haha) and explore the woods. It’s so beautiful there and the people are awesome. We were very lucky to grow up so close. The last show we played was a few years back on Granville Island in Vancouver for an Amnesty International Benefit and we hope to return at the end of this year.

SBS: I mean, I see Portland Oregon and then like, 6 days off…..just saying….standard invite to come and talk to us for our internet show SBS Live This Week anytime No wants to say YES….we’re not that far away and surely you could fit that into the time off right? If you can’t I’ll understand but I will require a UNIQUE excuse – don’t just tell me the rubber’s gotta hit the road towards the next show! You show a tremendous amount of thought and creativity in your music so come up with something good! Better yet – just tell me what time you’re showing up to SBS and I’ll start vacuuming and getting it ready for your arrival!

NO: NO excuse! We would love to come by and will see you next time we head north. The carpet better be clean haha

SBS: Alright – I’ll get myself focused here – back to the serious stuff…

Idaho. Before you moved to Los Angeles you had another band member named Chris that unfortunately died at the extremely early age of 19. I would imagine the impact of something like that is something you all still carry with you to this day. So let’s honor that memory as best we can – we certainly know that you all miss him – but if he was around today and saw what you’ve all been able to do with this music you started to make way back when – what do you think he might say about it and to you all?

NO: Yeah that’s still hard to talk about. But he gives us inspiration to keep going and working towards our goal. I think he’s looking down proud of us, happy of what we’re doing. That almost seems like another life but we can’t ever forget him. He was 19 and I was 15 when he died so it’s an impact that will never go away. It shows you how delicate and short life is. It really matured us in a way and taught us to appreciate life and love much more. If you love someone tell them. There’s no reason to be negative and hold grudges etc. It gets you nowhere fast and leads to regrets.

SBS: I’m sure people including myself can sympathize and empathize with a situation like that but still – I’ll be the first to admit it – it’s unimaginable to me to go through something like that. I’m certain I would lose myself nearly if I was to lose my studio and musical partner Rob @ SBS. Did you have any signs that this was coming? How brutal was the effect on the band in the aftermath and how difficult was it to come to terms with the idea of bringing someone else in to fill that void?

NO: We had no idea it was coming. I had come home from a session with a friend and my mom had told me the news. He had some demons that I thought he would overcome but for whatever reason couldn’t. Toward the end I had tried to speak with him but couldn’t get deep, his mind was somewhere else. It was a horrible impact that I wish upon nobody. He was like a brother. He lived at our house sometimes. We travelled together. It was really tough. I suppose that’s why we never replaced him but I started playing the guitar instead.

SBS: What is going to keep the four of you together over time? If the band continued to be as popular as it is today would that continue to be enough? How will you reach your goals together over the years without driving each other crazy in pursuit of them?

NO: It would be horrible if we stayed at where we are today haha. We’ll reach our goals by writing hit songs. You can be great musicians, be popular in your town or youtube, play festivals whatever. But unless you have hit songs you won’t last. That’s something I feel a lot of artists miss until it’s too late. As long as we’re making good tunes it will keep us together. Plus we will do whatever it takes to be successful in music. We know we’re not always right and are always open to ideas, changes, dialogue etc. When working together we try to remove the word “I” from as many sentences as possible. You can have as much confidence as you like as long as it doesn’t go to the floor and trip up the main goal. A common mistake with bands is thinking the idea or demo song is 100% of success. Millions of people have song ideas etc. A song or idea is only about 20% of the finished product. The other 80% comes from a great team. I think you need to realize that to succeed.

SBS: Television spots, magazine promotions, tours in Asia and Europe…good lord guys this is honestly incredible stuff happening out there for you all! Who is arranging all of this for you – are they getting any sleep?

NO: Yeah you can’t let up if you want to make it in music. It’s a constant fight like you’re in the army (hence why we call our fans “NOldiers”) The band consumes all of our time because we’re doing all of the stuff ourselves and there’s not much sleep. We pay attention to what’s going on around the globe. We’ve got an awesome major fan base in Indonesia, Philippines (filipiNO shoutout!), Malaysia and they’re up when we’re not. So we have to stay up to connect with them. We will always talk personally with our fans because they are part of us. What we can’t find is someone to do the other managing work. Everyone is too lazy, uncreative, old, or expensive. Really. If you know someone please let us know.

SBS: I loved everything I’ve been listening to from No. From “Guess Who” to “Meet Me After Dark” to “Gee I’m In Love” there is SO MUCH to like in the writing and the melodies – and of course the performances themselves. What makes a song become “timeless?”

NO: Thanks so much! Melody and lyrics. You can cover it with production but it won’t last. Trends and flavors of the month come and go but melodies don’t.

SBS: Aside from the name change of No Cover to No – was there any other changes in the band or yourselves personally that you found came along with that decision?

NO: No not really. Just a huge huge huge boost of motivation encouragement and fans from Bono. Same band same goals with “NO” still based in Los Angeles.

SBS: How often are you together for the sole purpose of writing or playing music? How serious does it get for No?

NO: Not often. I write better alone lately. Never serious. If you’re not having fun you’re in the wrong position. If writing music is hard for you you shouldn’t write it.

SBS: If No was to have an overall philosophy for life – how would it be described? What would the goal, the point or the purpose of it all be?

NO: Do what you love and help people. Use and appreciate your advantages to do better things. They don’t exist for nothing.

SBS: Now – it seems like all of your songs or at least a great many are out and available on the internet. Was it ever discussed on how “No” comes up in any given search engine online? I think it had to have been – so in theory a conscious choice to go with what might be considered a far less accessible name than your average band with three random words thrown together. The people need to find you – and you’ve almost dared them to work for it! What are the risks vs. rewards of this name in its relationship to the internet?

NO: Haha – yeah or just pick a cool Swedish word. No risk really in being NO. There’s probably been dozens of punk and indie rock whatever bands that called themselves “NO” and bands that will continue to name themselves NO on twitter and all over the web. They sort of clog it up and our fans go to their sites on accident sometimes unfortunately because they copy our keywords to piggyback off us haha. Our twitter is @FOLLOWNO and website is www.notheband.com Haha there are even bands that aren’t American, aren’t from America but claim to be American and call themselves NO from Los Angeles or NO USA whatever just to piggyback. But what can you do really? People always piggyback, it’s life. In the end they always come across our site through the songs. It really comes down to the songs. If you have a hit you don’t need to worry about that and that’s what we’re always working on. Also that Bono is responsible for the name doesn’t hurt haha. That’s something we are very proud of and keeps us feeling special.

SBS: What is going to keep the four of you together over time? If the band continued to be as popular as it is today would that continue to be enough? How will you reach your goals together over the years without driving each other crazy in pursuit of them?

NO: It would be horrible if we stayed at where we are today haha. We’ll reach our goals by writing hit songs. You can be great musicians, be popular in your town or youtube, play festivals whatever. But unless you have hit songs you won’t last. That’s something I feel a lot of artists miss until it’s too late. As long as we’re making good tunes it will keep us together. In the end you just have to do your best, love what you do, and hope it works.

SBS: When you all joined this band – did you join together with the idea that this was “it” – you know, forever? Forever’s a very long time!

NO: Well with brothers it’s sort of a given. And to be a U2 or McCartney you have to be in it for the long haul. What else are you going to do? It’s your life and identity. If I wasn’t doing music I would probably be just watching the news or something. You can never really retire or you’ll die. There’s nothing else in life but passion and love. Everything else is artificial and gets dull after a while.

SBS: Nick, Tim, Mike, Justin – just want to say thank you again for doing this interview with us. Really enjoyed the music and I know I’ll be listening to it often from here on in. But I DO want other people to hear and share it with me – and at the time of sending this I don’t yet know how you feel about how “searchable” your name is internet-wise…but I’m of the mind that where NO is living on the internet still needs to be spelled out a little more plainly for people….so we offer this “open floor” thing at the end of our interviews….you can say anything you like, shout out whoever or whatever you want….I definitely recommend throwing a couple links in that speech as well brothers! Again – thank you all so much for your time. The floor is yours.

NO: Thanks again for the interview. You’re great and the questions for NO were great. Glad you liked “Meet Me After Dark” “Guess Who” and “Gee I’m In Love” We like to shout out to all the NOldiers around the globe! We’re stoked that we’ve got over 20,000 downloads of “Meet Me After Dark” without help from anyone. Our new single LIFELINE is scheduled to be released this summer and our goal is to hit #1 on iTunes.

No_Cover

You can help by enlisting as a NOlider in the NO ARMY at

www.youtube.com/followno

www.twitter.com/followno

www.notheband.com

www.facebook.com/followno

Cheers!

NO The Band

Los Angeles, California

Nick Jarzabek, Tim Jarzabek, Mike Jarzabek, Justin Corman

Jer@SBS

http://sleepingbagstudios.ca

"I’m passionate about what I do, and just as passionate about what YOU do. Together, we can get your music into the hands of the people that should have it. Let’s create something incredible."