Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
We are a band called Before Nitrogen. We’re from Milwaukee, WI, and we’re here to let you know that Hope is Not Lost. There are three of us: Sean on lead vocals, Jack on guitar, and Joe on sample pad/drum machine
You all met in grade school before going your separate ways. What brought you back together to form “Before Nitrogen”?
Sean had been aiming to start the band since about 2016. He had performed as a solo artist for a few years at that point and wanted to try something different. Jack was also looking to get back into music after some years away from playing, and he was one of the first to join the project. From there, it was another two years of trying to recruit people.
Joe had been our “creative consultant” throughout the whole process, and Sean really wanted to bring him on as a full member, but there was a problem: Joe didn’t play any instruments. So we created this role for him of “machine master,” and Joe now controls our beats and synth sounds. That really was what finally formed the band and gave us our sound and image.
How would you describe your musical style? What sets you apart from other bands?
We like to say that our sound is what would happen if James Taylor was produced by Owl City. We all grew up with a healthy dose of folk and country music around us, and we all still have a huge amount of respect for those genres. As we brought in new musical influences, we didn’t toss out that old stuff, we just kept blending everything together until we had something that we think is pretty unique.
How did you come up with the band name?
We’ve found that trying to explain the band name in full winds up taking about 30 minutes at best and goes down so many winding turns that someone once likened it to a conspiracy theory, so we’ll endeavor to keep this short: Basically, it involves a college chemistry class, the basic composition of matter on Earth, and a somewhat nerdy understanding of the periodic table that we wear as a badge of honor.
Is it easier to create music as friends than it would be with random people coming together to form a band?
We could joke around and say that secretly we all hate each other, but the truth is we really do have a lot of fun together. There are stressful moments, and times when we really need to focus, but we always manage to keep our friendship central, and that’s made this project really special for us.
Your upcoming EP is called, “Elements”. What can audiences expect from this set of songs?
We try to make sure that everything we do is part of a larger story. Our message as a band is “Hope is Not Lost,” and we want that message of hard-won optimism to be present in everything we do. On this EP we follow a character through the four seasons as he reflects on a lost relationship. With the seasons, there’s this idea that the cycle is just going to keep repeating forever and ever, and there’s no way to change it, and thus the character is doomed to keep losing people he cares about. But the last song on the record, “Floodplains,” is all about looking to the future with hope anyways. Because you never know, maybe things can change for the better, and that possibility can keep you moving forward.
Do you have any live shows coming up? What’s the experience like at one of those shows?
The live show is something that we spend a lot of time on, and it’s the setting we really want people to come experience Before Nitrogen. There’s a lot of audience participation, some new songs, some familiar songs, moments of reflection, moments of sustained jumping, and moments where Sean tries to dance and looks ridiculous but it’s all cool because that’s kinda the point. We try to embody our Hope is Not Lost message by taking the show seriously but also having a good time while we have the chance to tell our story.
What’s next for the band?
Hopefully, we’ll get to keep playing shows and recording new music. We want everything we put out to be the best that it can be in that moment, and even though we’re still a new band, we’ve come a long, LONG way in less than a year. Where we’ll be next year is anyone’s guess at this time, but we’re certainly happy to be where we are now.
We’d also like to focus more on letting people see how we interact as personalities. There’s a lot of funny stuff that goes on behind the scenes, and we’d like our followers to get a glimpse of that.
What advice would you have for aspiring musicians?
Take some time to really figure out what story you want to tell, and then stick to it. It’s so easy to wander off
What are your lives like outside of music?
We all work day jobs, but it’s our goal to make Before Nitrogen our full-time “career.”
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can find us across “the socials.” Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/beforenitrogen/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/beforenitrogen/), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjGASiwYOrjodLmEKcS9kA), Twitter (https://twitter.com/beforenitrogen); and find our music streaming on your preferred platform. And, of course, you can always find us in real life at one of our shows!