WORDS: MICHAEL WOODWORTH
When the global pandemic hit over six months ago, it was a hard left turn that no one was prepared for but the world is fighting back, slowly but surely. All over the United States, revolutions are popping up with a force that rivals, if not surpasses, any civil rights movements in history. The fight can be seen in every corner of society, from the streets to music sheets and Hundredth is poised to carry on that fight with their new album Somewhere Nowhere, out October 31st, 2020.
“I’m hoping [with] this album that is so on the nose and confident at times, that people grasp onto it sooner than RARE,” says vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Chadwick Johnson. “We’re hoping to get new eyes and the goal is to make this thing as big as we can while at the same time believing and backing it at the same time.” For fans of the South Carolina-based band, they are used to the left turns their recent sound has taken; after five years of building a promising hardcore / metalcore foundation, the band threw a wrench into the mix and came out with a wildy different, shoegaze album with 2017s RARE. It took the industry by surprise but slowly but surely, the scene grew fond of the record and rewarded the hard work with triple the album streams than their first three albums. Johnson
““We’re hoping to get new eyes and the goal is to make this thing as big as we can while at the same time believing and backing it at the same time.”
“The goal is to write something with variety, like every song didn’t have the same sonic atmosphere which I felt on our last record, it was our Achilles’ heel,” reflects Johnson. “All the songs ran into each other and one main thing on the vision board was I want every song to have its own moment and every song to sound different than all the other ones.” Johnson kept that idea in his heart and held tight when the pandemic hit. After moving from Los Angeles closer to home in Charleston, South Carolina, the introspection began and Johnson found himself reflecting on all his frustrations with the world and society today.
“[It’s an] honest outburst of frustration with society in general but not pointing the finger but more pointing the finger back at me,” explains Johnson. “Is what I’m contributing to society hurting or helping and on this album, a lot of the lyrical themes are questions about more existential things about what our generation is becoming.” To bring the fifth album from Hundredth to life, Johnson teamed up with long-time collaborator Sam Pura and produced another wildly different album. While in the past the band would usually work together, Johnson took over the production reigns following the vision for what he wanted to do being inspired by more electronic modern sound texture and atmosphere. After three weeks holed up with Pura leading to sixty-four written demos, there was plenty of material to work with and the album came together. Even though the sound is different again, Johnson assures us all fans, old and new, will enjoy it.
“People are listening and I think anything that’s different just takes a minute to catch on.”
“We’re hoping to satisfy old fans and gain new ones at the same time,” shares Johnson. “People are listening and I think anything that’s different just takes a minute to catch on.” “I’m hoping [with] this album that is so on the nose and confident at times, that people grasp onto it sooner than RARE. We’re hoping to get new eyes and the goal is to make this thing as big as we can while at the same time believing and backing it at the same time.”
With the music scene completely unended on itself, it’s nice to know Hundredth is still creating new and inspiring work that encapsulates what they want to do with their work, not others. Johnson lives in the moment and is inspired by what he sees around him, but knows he is being supported by an unknown force / drive, pushing him and the band to bigger and better things that are exactly, while also not even close, to what we expected.
“Where I am mentally, doing music as a career, is such a weird thing because you change and anyone who is still doing that and they’ve been doing it for 10 years i applaud that,” “It’s about change and realizing we’re going to change. What am I changing into? Am I becoming a more optimistic and kind and better person or am I becoming more jaded and bitter? The early material, the first three albums, I would still be doing things bitterly but this album is therapeutic in a way because I was able to be honest about things that frustrated me and things about myself that I can’t change. It’s been a long time coming for sure.”
Somewhere Nowhere is Out October 9th