Introduce us to your band!
We are an indie-pop trio from Milwaukee called Before Nitrogen. Sean is our lead singer/songwriter, Jack is our co-lead singer and guitarist, and Joe is our DJ, machine master, bubbles ninja, and kazoo soloist.
How did you guys start out?
Before Nitrogen started in 2017 with just Sean. Jack came on board in 2018, and Joe completed the trio in 2019.
Describe your band’s sound
Imagine if James Taylor was produced by Owl City.
What influences your craft?
When we finalized our lineup last year, we all sat down and talked about what we really wanted this band to be. We realized we needed a “motto” or “mission statement, and we came up with “Hope is Not Lost,” and that’s really stuck with us. “Hope is Not Lost” doesn’t mean that everything we do is “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” but it does mean that we’re always seeking the light at the end of the tunnel in everything we do. We hope that that bit of optimism can help in this day and age.
What makes your project different?
We really pride ourselves on our live show (and we hope to get to play live again soon!). We bring out all the stops when we’re onstage – there’s clapping, jumping, mashups, bubbles, perfectly-placed kazoo solos…it’s a lot of fun and it gets everyone involved!
When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
Our new single, Found is a great demonstration of what we do – from the electro-pop sound tinged with folk elements, the colorful lyrics, and the message of optimism. We’re very excited for folks to hear it!
What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
We come from a very small music scene where it’s hard to find opportunities to perform for people as a new, original band. We’ve had to be inventive with how we promote ourselves and our shows, and really take the time to network with our fellow artists in the scene. That said, it’s been amazing to meet so many friendly, talented people and see the way this community has risen up to support them during this pandemic.
What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
We’ve had the opportunity to set up some great shows around Milwaukee. Back in February we partnered with a local charity called the Emma Loves Dogs Foundation, which benefits animal shelters and K9 units (https://www.emmalovesdogs.org), and we raised $2,000 for them at that show. We’re always looking to help out around our hometown!
How bright is the future of your band – what are the plans?
At this moment, we’re dealing with the fact that we can’t even rehearse together, let alone play a show. But true to our“Hope is Not Lost”motto, we know that we can get through this and adapt to whatever is on the other side.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
That’s an interesting question because, personally speaking, I think the best pop music isn’t built to be “remembered,” it’s built to capture a single moment. I don’t know if anyone will remember us, but if they do I hope they remember us as being particularly good at capturing those moments, but also that we always looked to the future and tried to find the light at the end of the tunnel in everything we released.
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