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The Nerve

Look, nobody said 'supergroup,' okay? It's inevitable that, sooner or later, musicians who have been in bands in the past go on to form or join other bands. And it's also inevitable that some jerk journalist will say "Oh, they're a supergroup" just to make their job a little easier. But the term 'supergroup' has been corrupted to imply a bloated, chemistry-less conglomeration of dudes-on-hiatuses-from-their-real-gigs rather than a collection of talented musicians who have made music you've loved in the past in separate outfits, and are now coming together to make music collectively. So, yeah, The Nerve features Lucius Borich (Cog and Floating Me), vocalist Ezekiel Ox (Full Scale, Mammoth), bass player Davarj Thomas (Pre-Shrunk) and virtuoso guitarist Glenn Proudfoot (check out his Betcha Can't Play This video for Guitar World magazine). But that doesn't matter. What matters is the music. And there's a freshness to The Nerve that exists irrespective of the resumes of its constituent members.

The impetus for The Nerve was a collaboration between Ox and Proudfoot. Glenn approached Zeke with an idea of forming a band. Zeke was too busy. "He just continued to pursue Zeke from time to time," Borich says. "And they started formulating an idea, and from there there were many Skype calls because Glenn lives in Prague. He's from Melbourne originally but he's had quite a lot of success in Europe. But I think he really wanted to start something of his own, because he'd only ever really joined bands, as far as I know anyway. I think he wanted that camaraderie." So Zeke and Glenn ran some riff ideas past Borich, who took them into his studio to lay down a bunch of drum tracks - just ideas, really - which were then sent to Proudfoot to work with. It all came together a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. "We weren't a band that was in a room together, so it was definitely a different way of doing things," Borich says. "It all started to sound really, really cool so we decided to keep going with it, and from there it kept snowballing."

 

Over the course of a year, Zeke started laying down vocal ideas, and by the end of that time there was a body of about 20 songs, which were culled down to 12 more developed statements.

 

"From there we needed a bass player," Borich says. "Reggie Bowman, who's got a studio in Melbourne where Glenn was working, suggested Davarj. And for me, back when I was playing with Juice back in the early days, I remember playing with Pre-Shrunk, or them being around the scene at the same time. I remember two bass players and them both being fantastic, and there being a lot of experimental electronica meets beats meets psy-trance but really heavy, and I thought it was great. So we had a few meetings and Davarj played on a few tracks and it ticked all the boxes. It went from there."

 

The band's live debut was at The Espy front bar a few months ago. At that point the band hadn't played together until a block of rehearsal dates, which were filmed and edited for YouTube. It's a rare opportunity to see a band actively engaged in the process of becoming a band rather than a collection of players collaborating by DropBox. "Those five days were pretty intense, trying to learn all the songs and to come together and feel like a band - and I was absolutely gobsmacked at how well it came together. And I think that's just purely because the players that are there in the room are so skilled and very well seasoned and they've got the stripes to show it. I mean, our very first jam, I think it went for 15 or 20 minutes and it was great! It was going off in every direction and tangent. Everyone was following each other and there was no second-guessing."

 

BY PETER HODGSON 

THE NERVE launch their debut single at ROCK N LOAD festival on Saturday June 1 at The Espy along with Dallas Frasca, The Fumes, King Of The North, Gay Paris and heaps more. Check out rockloadnfestival.com for the full lineup.