Nick D & The Believers subscribe to the John Lennon Method: write a chorus, then make it the verse and write a better chorus. "We want to blend the two worlds of lyrics driven folk and everyman pop hooks. We comb through every song until it doesn’t have any fat.” says singer Nick D'Andrea. The band put together over 50 songs to choose from for their upcoming EP.
D’Andrea decided to pursue the dream after a heart to heart with his uncle during a Dr. Dog concert. At the time, he was music-director of an after school program, and he called up his friend Joseph Barker (producer/drummer) the day after the concert to ask if he wanted to create a band. Once they started the band, Nick dropped out of night school where he was going to become a teacher to pursue music.
Barker has played in as well as produced bands since he was a teenager, and he records and produces all the Believers songs. He is primarily a guitar player, so when he switched to playing drums for Nick D, he brought a producers mind and simple parts to the drums. He has a stripped down kit which includes huge low-tuned floor tom and just one cymbal.
“The drums end up sounding enormous and almost primal,” D’Andrea says. “Joseph keeps it simple, and that mentality goes for all of us. We're not virtuoso players, which turns out is a benefit. It allows the band to focus on the songs and not get restless playing simple parts. The thrill is not playing faster and more complicated parts; the thrill is in the energy of the moment."
The band taps into this energy in the live show especially. Barker says, "The Believers live show is about leaving it all on the field. We put our whole hearts into the music and do our best to take the audience on the journey with us. It's all about striving to have great moments with the audience that they can take home with them."
Guitarist, Kerry Henderson, first partnered with D'Andrea on a solo music video, later leading to his addition to the Believers. He too has played in bands since his teenage years, but especially loves playing in the Believers since the band is a stripped down three piece. Henderson says, "Everything is simple and raw, that’s how we work. Joseph plays with a three piece kit and Nick only has an octave and a half of keys to work with. Those limitations force us to be creative, force us to focus on good songwriting and energy filled live performances."
Barker adds, " The Black Keys are certainly an influence across the board too. Sonically their big drums and guitar rock with hooky riffs and literary lyrics is similar to our sound. They’re also Ohio boys like us, with a gritty heartland feel. They have a sort of warmth and community that they create around them. They’re casual, fun regular midwest guys who happen to put on a killer rock show. We like that style."
D’Andrea says “Ohio has a dirtier sound that’s not glamorous, we leave that grit in the music. Lyrically, it’s not all sunshine, there’s a tinge of angst and cynicism.”
The Believers have had songs on national TV shows such as Pretty Little Liars (ABC), Blood & Oil (ABC), and Benched (USA). The band released their third EP "Wanted" in 2015. This fall, they will release their fourth EP, the Crown EP.