Nothing frontman Dominic “Nicky” Palermo had already been to hell and back before he was mugged and beaten up in May 2015, while he was packing up the band’s gear after a gig in Oakland. Palermo was left with a fractured skull that required 19 staples, as well as a broken vertebrae – he also nearly lost his right ear.
Not long after, Palermo suffered two more substantial blows. First, he was informed that his band’s new label, Collect Records, was being funded by Martin Shkreli, the much despised hedge fund millionaire, who infuriated the world first by hiking the price of an anti-parasitic drug used to treat HIV patients, then by purchasing the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album. Then last November, Palermo’s estranged father died after a mysterious accident.
Things are beginning to look up for Palermo, however, as his band Nothing have just released their hotly anticipated second album, Tired Of Tomorrow. After the Collect Records debacle, Nothing returned to Relapse, the label that released their debut, 2014’s Guilty Of Everything.
The new album features more of that deliciously downer shoegaze Nothing have fashioned in their five years of existence, but this time with a stronger emphasis on bigger hooks and more focused dynamics between the loud and quiet shit. Since Palermo is so unabashedly open about his love for music of the 1990s, we thought we’d give him a break from all of the serious personal questions he’s been fielding lately to take our alt-rock quiz.
Nothing play June 7th at Lee’s Palace in Toronto. Read on for Palermo’s answers below.
AUX: Sonic Youth or Nirvana?
Dominic Palermo: Nirvana. I think Nirvana would have disagreed with me though.
Smashing Pumpkins or Hole?
Billy for the win. Courtney stopped us from using our cover of Nirvana’s “Something In The Way” for the Green Room movie trailer. I could have been famous by now.
Alice In Chains or Soundgarden?
I love Soundgarden, but come on. Alice In Chains.
Green Day or Offspring?
Faith No More or Rage Against the Machine?
Man. Can I have both? I had a live Faith No More VHS tape that I could follow word for word, verbatim. But my first concert ever was Rage opening for House Of Pain. I was so terrified my brother kept me on his shoulders. I won’t pick. You can’t make me.
Flaming Lips or Butthole Surfers?
The Surfers in the ’90s. The Lips in the 2000s. Easy.
Stone Temple Pilots or Pearl Jam?
Fuck Pearl Jam. Trash.
Blur or Pulp or Oasis?
Kill Blur. Fuck Jarvis. Marry Liam.
Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson?
(Says Nine Inch Nails, then walks backwards out of room very slowly as they argue about it.)
Presidents of the United States of America or Cake?
Millions of peaches, peaches for free.
Sebadoh or Dinosaur Jr?
These questions are good but some are lopsided. J and Dino, man. C’mon.
Bush (X) or Foo Fighters?
I love, love, love Gavin’s guitar tone so much. It’s a shame he’s Gavin. Still though, never was a fan of Dave on anything but the drums. So Bush.
Weezer or Teenage Fanclub?
I love the first two Weezer records, but I still try and rip off Teenage Fanclub.
Pixies or the Breeders?
Pixies over everybody, above and below.
Red Hot Chili Peppers or Primus?
Since we’re talking ’90s, I’ll say Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even though I hate saying that. I also hate Primus and bass guitar, so I make this choice under duress.
Refused or At The Drive-In?
At The Drive-In, only because my dead friend Stoney used to sing a demo song called “Initiation” and play air guitar. He was really tall, pale, skinny and had red hair. I miss him.
Ugly Kid Joe or Jackyl?
Danzig or Type O Negative?
I’m not answering this just in case Glenn is watching.
Swervedriver or Catherine Wheel?
The Wheel. They’re my biggest inspiration for starting the band.
My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive?
I knew this was coming. Slowdive. Fuck it. Sorry.
Ride or Lush?
The Ride boys.
Spiritualized or Verve?
I suppose the Spiritualized catalogue has more listenable shit. I love Richard [Ashcroft] and the boys though. Tough one.
Earth Crisis or Intergrity?
You’re joking, right? Integrity.
Judge or Floorpunch?
Snapcase or BoySetsFire?
BoySetsFire. Unless Tim isn’t playing guitar, then… Integrity.