JH: How long has Nobody Special been around?
JH: How did NS start?
PN: Soren, the following will answer q's 1 & 2. It's taken from the NS History webpage, and I think it answers these as briefly and detailed as can be:
I started Nobody Special in 1986 shortly after the release of the 1st NS album on Frontline Records. Yhea, you read it right, AFTER the album came out. Why? Because there was no band when we recorded. The tracks were laid down by myself, Gene Eugene/Adam Again, my brother Joey Taylor/Undercover /Brainstorm Artists/Innocent Media, Joey Mitchell & Chris Brigandi/The Lifters/Wild Blue Yonder, and a few others. The 1st album is mostly a collection of songs I wrote and played in a band called "Immortal Youth". After the Lord saved a wretch like me, I was able to focus and motivate, and my motivation was to play punk rock with a twist of Jesus - that is, "pro-God", when it was cool to be anti-Christ, to sing about life and death reality, when the focus was on politics, poverty, and each other, to sing about love and forgiveness to a scene that was predominately hateful and violent - I know, I was there. And last but not least, to provide punks with an alternative perspective other than what secular punk rock had to offer, and to provide that alternative music with authenticity, and balls. And if you're not a Christian, and you think it's cool to be "anti", and that you're rough -n- tough... You're Not! You don't know strength and power until you've felt the power of Jesus in your life, until you've broken down before God. Having said that, Immortal Youth played around in '81 & '82 with bands like "Urban Decay", "CIA", "The Scattered Few", and some others I can't remember. We played some underground punk shows in Burbank, LA, and Long Beach, CA, a few churches including Calvary Costa Mesa when they were rockin', a juvenile hall (La Verne), and several parties. It was me on guitar & vocals, Elissa Johnson on bass, and Orlando Gonzales on drums. I have great memories of Immortal Youth and we saw the Holy Spirit move and do incredible things in the most unlikely and hostile circumstances. The band broke-up in '83. I disappeared to college for a couple of years to try to get educated or somethin', and then came back to OC to record the LP in Huntington Beach, CA, thus, Nobody Special.
Even as late as '86 or '87, punk rock of this sort , or any sort really, had never been blatantly distributed by a (at that time reputable) Christian record company (Frontline). Not that there weren't plenty of jammin' Christian punk bands out there - there were!, some good, some bad. Anyway, no one knew what the reaction would be, only that there would in fact be one. To make a short story shorter, I immediately received all kinds of requests to play, so I slapped a band together and we became Nobody Special.
JH: I have to ask is Pat Nobody your real name?
PN: No, my real name is a sign, and it unpronounceable. It looks like this: *#@?)X!!
JH: What bands/ artists have influenced your music?
PN: Well, I could go on forever here. Musically, I grew up in a suburb of LA in the 70's and 80's. So, I was basically exposed to it all. All that's now called "Classic Rock", and the best of the underground too. I'm the youngest of four kids, and what my older siblings listened to, I listened to - at least in the 70's: BOC, Deep Purple, Cream, CCR, Bowie, The Who, Iggy Pop, BTO, Grand Funk, blah, blah, you get the picture. By the time the 80's arrived it was, of course, the Circle Jerks, TSOL, Fear, China White, Adolescents, SxDx, Minor Threat, MDC, Red Cross, Black Flag, Crass, Eno, The Stranglers, The Damned, The Fall, Minute Men, DK, HVY DRT, BuzzCocks, Magazine, Devo, Agent Orange, and on... and on...I was influenced by probably all of the above and many more I didn't mention. I love weird music, and punk is weird to me. But, I also enjoy Neil Young and Lou Reed stuff too, along with Motorhead, and a lot of Metalica. I guess you've realized by now that I didn't grow up listening to much Christian music, and I'd have to say, I've heard much more secular music in my life than Christian, and therefore, as far as music is concerned, most, if not all of my influences are secular.
JH: How many albums does N.S. have? What about solo albums?
PN: Two albums, and we're gettin' ready to do the 3rd, plus a solo cd of my acoustic style stuff.
JH: Is it true that Nobody Special is the original Christian punk band?
PN: It may be true that we were the first band of that kind to be marketed and distributed by the Christian industry, but punk rock had been around for about a decade prior to NS's 1st album, and like I said above, those songs were done in an earlier band I was in "Immortal Youth" back in '81-ish. In '81, there weren't many Christian punk bands, but there was a few, in fact, The Scattered Few was around, at least.. I met Ramald and Omar (Scattered Few), two wild and crazy brothers from Burbank, shortly after Immortal Youth started playing. We did a few shows together and had a blast . We had similar experiences both in the scene and with Jesus, and God stirred our hearts to make a punk rock noise for Christ. There were other cutting edge type alternative bands out there too, and plenty of other Christian punk bands to follow, like the Crucified who were popular in the underground by the time Immortal Youth became Nobody Special. And probably, just as the Lord was working in the lives of the people in Immortal Youth and The Scattered Few, He was also doing similar works in others with similar experiences all over the world - NS just happens to be one of the better known, that's all.
JH: Do you feel that since you recorded your first album so early on in the underground music scene, do you think that you have had a major influence on Christian music as a whole. if so, how?
PN: Early to the Christian Market, but other people had been playing and listening to harder edged Christian music for quite sometime. And I have no idea what influences we've had, if any, on the Christian music scene, especially as a whole. I mean, I'm not expert on Christian music, or the Christian Industry, and I have to admit, I'm not hip on the scene. I know the market is a lot more punk-friendly than it used to be, and perhaps NS, as well as others, helped the industry to loosen up, and gave the consumers a chance to send a message to the Christian record co's that, " it's about time!"
JH: Is N.S. just a band or do you feel that there is a real ministry there?
PN: I can't speak for the other guys, of course, but initially, I was just a punk kid reacting the Holy Spirit's answer to my prayers for healing, peace of mind, and deliverance from my wicked ways. I'd always played and written music, so it was natural for me to express my feelings, especially ones this strong, through my music of choice, punk. So, the answer is both, really. I mean, NS was just a band playing Immortal Youth's songs that got popular after the 1st album came out, and Immortal Youth was just a band that did the songs I wrote about my life experiences. However, I have to say that I want others to meet Jesus, and accept the gift of salvation, and look forward to eternal life in heaven with each other and God, and enjoy the riches of His word and the healing of the Holy Spirit. But that's all the time, not just when we play. So, who knows? I do know this though, that we've received a lot of letters, and evidently, NS has made an impact on many peoples lives, and it amazes me, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of that! All that anointing stuff and changing lives is God's department. I just write and play the stuff, that's all. How could I, a lo-life sinner like the rest of you, change peoples lives when I can hardly hold my stuff together at times? I can't. I could say, Oh yhea we're this big ministry and know exactly what we're doin'.. yady, yady, blah , blah, but we're not. All I know is that I like to write music, and I'm not afraid or ashamed to sing and/or talk about Jesus in any setting, and there's power in His name.. It's not all evangelical, but a lot of it's about my reality - and Jesus, the Bible, my past experiences and future hopes are all a part of my reality.
JH: How do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?
PN: Hmmmm...That's kind of a tuffy. Some songs definitely come easier than others, and the time involved in writing one doesn't necessarily reflect whether it's a good one or not. When I was younger, I could pump 'em out like crazy. Now, it seems they're spaced out a little more, but each one is a "keeper". What do I focus on? What motivates me? Sometimes it's an overwhelming feeling, emotion (love, anger, apathy, sorrow, etc.) that I must express - write down and put to a tune. Other times it's..."I feel like writing' a song or somethin'". For me, there's no formula. Sometimes the music and lyrics come all at once. Other times just music, or just lyrics, and I match or complete later. Obviously, meeting Jesus and experiencing the Holy Spirit's healing and love, and realizing the truth of this earthly reality and the gift of eternal life, has greatly influenced my song writing - as I've never, and never will experience anything as awesome as a personal relationship with God almighty! People have told me that they feel there's an anointing on NS's songs and cds. If so, that's all God's department, not mine. The power's in the message, not in the messenger - and don't forget, God speaks through asses, of which I've been accused many times. Naturally, if I could bestow God's anointing on all my songs, I would - but I can't. And anointing doesn't make a song good, it just makes a song better, in my opinion.
JH: What is in the future for NS?
PN: A couple new cds, and about 20 - 40 shows a year, unless we can play more.
JH: Tell me about your record company, is NS the only band on it?
PN: Tooth and Nail Records contacted me in '94 about the rights and availability of NS's lst & 2nd cds. They wanted to combine the two on one cd. Frontline Records owns the rights to the lst cd and neither I, nor Tooth and Nail wanted to pay what they were asking for it. Realizing, perhaps, the potential in this new market of a NS re-release, Frontline re-released the lst cd themselves under Alarma Records - a division of Frontline, shortly after I contacted them. Tooth and Nail didn't want just the 2nd cd without the lst, so the deal was off.
In the mean time, I'd been working on an acoustic solo cd by myself. A collection of songs that I've been sharing with people close to me for a long time, but never recorded. Something inside me really wanted to complete this cd (it's still in the works today). I asked Tooth and Nail if they were interested in picking up the project. In their opinion, a slow, acoustic cd from Pat Nobody was risky, and they wanted punk rock. I told 'em, "That's not where I'm at right now, and I'm not gonna do a punk cd just for the sake of a punk cd!" However, if they'd do my solo cd, I'd give 'em a 3rd NS cd. No deal... I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea here. I really appreciate Tooth and Nail and Bill Power is a friend of mine (I haven't had much dialog with Brandon), and we may still work together in the future. I'm just tellin' you how it happened, that's all.
So, there I was. Itchin' to play again for Christ's sake, and art's sake. I mean, not only did I want to play and create music of all kinds, I felt an urgency, sparked by interest and letters from all over, to start NS back up and simply make a quality punk rock noise for Jesus once again. And that's what I'm doing. I figured I'd start my own darn label, and write and record whatever moves me, acoustic, punk, whatever. So, I took my hard-earned construction money and started Wretched Records, and re-released the 2nd NS cd "Call It Whatever You Want. So that's basically the Wretched story.
We definitely plan to sign other, quality alternative bands, and grow this record company. We already have several bands sending us promo packs, and some are pretty darn good. NS's old lead guitarist, Frank Wesolek, has a band in the works "The Grounded". I've already heard 50% of there stuff, and I like it, a lot. He's sending me a tape of what may be their 1st cd on Wretched. If we have a "meeting of the minds", we'll record in Sept. and have it to you by Christmas '97. There are also other bands in mind, and new, quality projects will arrive as quick as our Wretched budget allows.
JH: Is there anything else that I may not have asked that you want to say or that other people might want to know?
PN: I don't know what other people want to know, and what I want to say will come out in my music. I'll thank those in advance that choose to buy it,... thanks!