Attempting to understand ‘LeBron James’ can feel like trying to triangulate the intentions of a tennis ball cannon, such is the seemingly random bombardment of barbed, witty lyrics, like: “The results are in, and it looks like everyone gets a big old slice of nothing.” References to the ‘Marge vs. the Monorail’ episode of The Simpsons and the Fyre Festival documentary dart past your ears with sudden, surprising ease. When pressed, Bailey says the song is about “fucking bastards… you know, crooks”, although he hastens to add that the eponymous 6’9” star is not insinuated in that accusation.
“It is all intentional, it’s not just random and abstract,” Bailey says, explaining the thought process behind his lyric-writing. “But a lot of it is very specific to me, almost in a way that makes it pointless for anyone else to listen to it. It’s just dumb thoughts that I have and I express them in a way that means something to me. But it always has an overarching theme or reason behind it. It seems like a stream of consciousness thing, but it is all very thought out.”
The four members of Do Nothing are long-time friends from their school days in Nottingham, playing in various bands until settling on the current lineup in 2017. As mentioned, their early incarnations tended toward penning over-complicated arrangements, due in part to their collective admiration of bands like Adult Jazz. Bailey’s own musical background is a little more linear, however. “My dad is a folk singer in an a cappella group, which is adorable. I grew up with four-part harmonies ringing through the fucking house,” he says, explaining that it has led to him having an indelible bond with the music of Simon & Garfunkel (“I love them endlessly, they’re my favourite thing”). These days, they share musical tips whilst on the road, just as every band since time began, with their current obsession being Richard Dawson’s 2020: “he is the king of new music, as far as I’m concerned,” Bailey enthuses.
Their start in Nottingham came thanks to early support from the fabled venue The Maze, which announced its closure earlier this year, in a move that is echoed in towns and cities throughout the country. Bailey believes the loss of such institutions means it is becoming less easy for new bands to make their first steps. “I was thinking about this the other day: if I was a kid starting a band now, where the fuck would we play? I guess we’d play covers in a pub or something.” Despite that, there is a tight group of young artists in the city that give hope that the independent spirit will triumph, from established acts like Kagoule, who Bailey describes as “the fathers and mothers of Nottingham alternative music”, to newcomers like Megatrain and Alice Robbins.
With recording and mixing for the EP all but complete, thoughts are already starting to turn towards a debut album. “It is a very scary idea to me. I want it to not just be a collection of tunes that we’ve done. I want it to be its own thing,” Bailey tentatively explains, evidently sensing the weight of his own expectations. It is already clear that Do Nothing are a band that think carefully about their every move. 2020, prepare yourself.
Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines
As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.
Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.
If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.
It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.