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Totally Wired

So what about punk these days? “It’s so weird and diluted,” Nervosas drummer Nick Schuld says from the porch of the “Sunglasses Hut,” Schuld’s nicknamed home that doubles as the band’s practice space and studio. “I’m sure the people who were older were pissed and annoyed with ‘us’ and ‘our’ version of punk—whatever that was—in [...]
Kevin J. Elliott



So what about punk these days?

“It’s so weird and diluted,” Nervosas drummer Nick Schuld says from the porch of the “Sunglasses Hut,” Schuld’s nicknamed home that doubles as the band’s practice space and studio. “I’m sure the people who were older were pissed and annoyed with ‘us’ and ‘our’ version of punk—whatever that was—in 1987. I do feel like that there was just that Green Day point when punk became a ‘sound.’ I do feel sad for people who have grown up after that. When I was a kid, punk was everything. It was so many different things and it was fun and funny. No one should say punk anymore. Like since 1980, no one can agree as to what the f*ck it means, so why even use it?”

To be fair, most of our conversation didn’t dwell on some kind of existential defining of punk. The trio, which includes bassist Jeff Kleinman and guitarist Mickey Marie, make it known there are far more pressing matters to discuss, such as having a back-up cassette of Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits ready for the van or the joy of driving through “sketchy little meth towns” in Oregon on their upcoming tour. Still, when Schuld jokingly states that “starting bands after 2000 is lame,” it’s hard not to discuss the state of modern music and Nervosas’ role in that world.

What’s most important today is the release of Nervosas’ second self-titled record coming this month. For what is the band’s strongest declaration to date, they’ve signed on with the venerable Portland-based Dirtnap Records. Besides being the farm league for stalwart Sub Pop, Dirtnap has defined certain new parameters for where punk can go, beginning with the power-pop leanings of the Exploding Hearts and onto similar-yet-singular records by Radioactivity and Bad Sports. It’s a perfect fit for the record as Nervosas tend to challenge the punk ideal at every turn. Even with the greater distribution and a wider scope (they’re playing Europe for the first time in September), the rise has done little to stifle the group’s vehement DIY aesthetic.

“No one should say punk anymore … no one can agree as to what the f*ck it means, so why even use it?”

“If you look at a Nervosas record, you know that Nervosas did that,” Schuld says about any hypothetical compromises that could be made with the signing to Dirtnap. “Exponentially more things get out of your control, sure, and you are adding people to that process, but at the end of the day, no one’s going to look at your record and say it is the label’s responsibility. It’s the band’s responsibility.”

If anything, the recent ascension has bolstered their vision and focus. The album is the sound of both aggression and sublimity, coiled white-hot tension and icy catharsis. Kleinman’s affected chants are urgent, nihilistic, yet underlined with the hope of creation and revolution, meanwhile Marie’s kaleidoscopic and chaotic guitar lines add a color in strict contrast to their stoic, monochrome battery. Songs like “Moral Panic” and the surging anthem “Industry” are embedded with the DNA of post-punk, hardcore, and a bit of goth, in particular recalling bands including the Wipers, Wire, and Dead Moon—all artists who also somewhat shunned any traditional “punk” affiliations.

Schuld’s encyclopedic knowledge of Columbus music is the spiritual anchor for Nervosas. He’s played drums for countless heavy-hitters through the years, but has found a permanent home behind the kit with Kleinman and Marie, and it’s there he feeds the band with a steady diet of mixtapes, war stories, and history lessons … what to do and what not to do in a band. It’s sage wisdom leveled with a rational philosophy on the cyclical quality of the Columbus scene. 

“You’re not going to get famous in Columbus. There’s not one slot for one Columbus band to get famous every year. There’s nothing,” Schuld says. “So you just do it, and everyone are assholes, so you try harder to not sound like anyone else.”

And you tour as much as humanly possible. Nervosas have been road warriors on the house-show circuit since their inception in 2011, playing everywhere and anywhere that will have them, be that a basement in Vancouver with three-inches of water and no PA, or the oasis that is Minot, North Dakota. Those endless miles logged provide the trio with a badge of honor—a perseverance and credibility few bands in Columbus can replicate. The reality that they are just about to embark on another month out west brings the idea of comfort into question.

“I feel like when you tour a lot your home life becomes unstable,” Marie says. “You can’t keep a regular job, your boyfriend or girlfriend hates it, and you’re broke. But when you go on tour, everything is predictable and you know what’s going to happen. You’re going to play a show, you’re going to hang out with friends, hopefully score a clean place to stay and get in the van the next day. At least for me, when we go on tour I don’t have the anxiety of wondering about what I’m going to do with my life.”

Whatever you want to call Nervosas, be it punk or not-punk, one thing they are not: slackers.

For music and more information on Nervosas visit

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Arts & Culture

Live music allowed again in restaurants and bars: how will these establishments respond?




A major step forward in the return of live music in Ohio took place over the weekend. The Ohio coronavirus guidelines were updated to reflect the new COVID-19 Dine Safe Ohio Order.

The order outlining the guidelines on live music in restaurant and bars is as follows:

Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff.

DJ's are included along with musicians and bands in the order.

Something that was on the mind of a lot of musicians with the reopening of restaurants and the indefinite closing of large venues was how restaurants and bars were going to respond to the immediate venue demand. Places like Woodlands Tavern that already have an infrastructure for live music will have no problem complying with the updated order, but will restaurants and bars that depended on jukeboxes before pivot to a live music model?

With a lot more space available in restaurants due to capacity cuts, does this leave more room for a live music set up? Or will restaurants have to get rid of even more tables if they want to make room for a performer?

The thought of live music in a venue setting is alone enough to get excited about. How these places that now have the ability to host live music execute freeing up space for a band to set up or a DJ to bring his rig in while practicing social distancing is what makes this situation a tricky one.

Not being able to get down in a MojoFlo Soul Train line will be pretty tough, but it’s a tradeoff we’ll have to accept for the return of live music.

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Arts & Culture

(614) Music Club: Sarob

Julian Foglietti



Every week (614) Music Club teams up with your favorite local artists to build a playlist of what they’re listening to, and what’s inspiring them. This week’s playlist is brought to you by the R&B artist Sarob.

Photo by: Wyze

Tell me about some of the songs you’ve selected.

"The first one is Sobeautiful by Musiq Soulchild. So every week with my vocal coach, I have to learn a song. And I've been trying to figure out how to do vocal gliding. Which is not a strong point for me, and I remember hearing that song and being like, OK, this is it. The song is just beautifully written and composed, so when you add the technique to it, it’s just great. The other song was Workin On It by Dwele, who is one of my favorite artists of all time. Workin On It uses this J Dilla beat that just feels really timeless."

Have the past few months changed the direction or mood of the music you're creating. 

"So I have been making stuff here and there, and then I'll go into something creative for like two days. I'll just be making like a bunch of songs and then I'll stop for two weeks, not even want to look at a microphone or anything. I mean, it's a lot more inward, so I’m learning how to better communicate the things I'm experiencing, and set the scenes for people and talk about what is going on. Also not having my band has been a challenge. I’m more of a thinker, I play the keyboard, and I can build a song, but I’m not the most gifted musician so having to build a lot of it on my own is tricky."

Do you have any plans or releases coming up? 

"Yeah, so I had a song Pleasures U Like that was made for my last album, but it didn’t quite fit the story of the album. So I just forgot about it until recently and I finished the vocals just before the lockdown, and now I’m releasing it on Bandcamp as part of a fundraiser for The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. All of the proceeds from the song are going to go to support their Pandemic Emergency Fund, and it just felt like a good way to do something that would impact everything going on."

Sarob's Playlist

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Breakaway Music Festival will not take place in 2020; to return in 2021




Those in the music festival community have continued to rally their broken spirits behind live streams and classic archival sets in lieu of the live event industry being put on indefinite hold. 

With each passing day, though, hopes for any large concert gathering happening in 2020 seem incredibly bleak and unrealistic.

News from Midwest college market concert and music festival promoter Prime Social Group on Thursday further confirmed the modern hippie’s greatest fear: a summer void of camping out in otherworldy open fields and following their favorite musicians across the country. 

PSG operates a network of festivals under the Breakaway Music handle that take place annually in Columbus; Charlotte, North Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Washington D.C.; Nashville; and San Diego. The promotion company made the difficult decision to cancel all six of its 2020 editions of the EDM and pop-focused Breakaway Music Festival with a fully-committed plan to return in 2021. The decision was made due to health and safety concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Tickets to the event can be carried over for the 2021 edition of BMF. For those who choose this option, you’ll receive an extra ticket and merch bundle. PSG will also provide refunds if transferring tickets for 2021 is not an option.

Columbus has been making its claim as a music festival destination over the past few years. Breakaway, along with events like Sonic Temple, Wonderbus, and Buckeye Country Superfest, has been bringing quality acts to Columbus consistently. The festival’s presence will be greatly missed this upcoming August.

“Now more than ever, we could use that special sense of unity achieved through live events and music festivals,” said Prime Social managing partner Zach Ruben. “We cannot wait to Leave it All Behind and make memories with all of you again. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind to one another.”

In the meantime, Breakaway plans to release exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from past editions, new digital content, and various live streams. Visit to keep up to date with what PSG has in store.

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