— By Brigid Lynett
Nothing Yet leaves nothing yet to be desired in Northeast Pennsylvania’s music scene.
Although the band is fairly new, the members — Brandon Rodriguez on lead guitar, Evan Collins on bass, Justin Kucharski on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Martin Monahan on drums and backup vocals and Nicolo Manzo on lead vocals — created the band’s concept years ago during middle school.
Nothing Yet began playing strictly modern rock but has evolved to classic rock songs and even some pop music. Despite the formidable struggle that comes from juggling band members’ schedules, Nothing Yet continues to change, grow and thrive. The Midvalley-based band recently went On the Record to discuss its sound, struggles and goals.
Q: How did Nothing Yet get its start?
Monahan: The idea of the band started in 2011 when we wanted to play a middle-school talent show, and our current lineup started playing together in 2013.
Q: Tell us about the first time you performed.
Manzo: We were excited and kind of nervous, but the crowd was energized by hearing a full band. It was a surreal experience.
Q: Do you write your own songs? What is your creative process like?
Rodriguez: We’re in the early stages of writing our first song. It’s a collaborative effort. Anyone who has an idea is encouraged to bring it forward, and we work from there.
Q: How has NEPA affected your music?
Kucharski: The area has a vibrant music scene, and we’ve been given many opportunities. Each gig teaches us what music people enjoy and want to hear. As we got older, we learned that every opportunity is something to take seriously, as a way to prove ourselves. We were growing up as the music scene changed in NEPA, and we’re relatively new to the scene but have found it to be very exciting.
Q: How did you each get involved in music?
Manzo: My family is bonded together by music. Going back to my dad’s father, he was a singer, and everyone in my house is a singer or plays some instruments. It keeps us together, and we all share the love for it.
Collins: I was surrounded by friends who played music and was just looking for another thing to challenge myself with, which led to playing the bass.
Kucharski: My grandfather and my father played in a band, and I felt inspired and wanted to play the guitar. I started in 2010 and haven’t stopped since.
Monahan: I joined concert band and chorus in elementary school and, in middle school, I was encouraged to play the drums in school jazz band. Soon after that, I felt inspired to start the band with Justin and Nicolo.
Rodriguez: I got into music by accident. My cousin was telling me how much fun it was to play in a band. I picked up saxophone, and after a couple years, I tried guitar to play the music I liked, and it stemmed from there.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence?
Collins: Our families have been our biggest supporters throughout the years, and we wouldn’t be where we are without them.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a band?
Monahan: Our ages slowed our growth early as a band. We tried to play everywhere we could, but only certain places accepted us because we were too young. Presently, we’re all working or in college, so it’s tough to make schedules line up to practice and write.
Q: Has your sound changed over the years?
Collins: Our sound has definitely expanded over the years. We’ve moved from strictly modern rock to both classic rock and some pop. We’ve learned from the many different types of crowds we’ve had and what they want to hear. Our taste in music has also evolved, and we’ve learned to play with more maturity and to be better as a group.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
Monahan: Our goal this year is to play more regularly and to write some original songs. These goals contribute to our major mission — to not let the rock die out.