On October 6, WITNESS FOR HOPE played their last show together at Shaka’s in Virginia Beach, their hometown. Since forming in 2012, vocalist Benjamin Green had been the heart and soul of the band, aspiring to start a “vocal movement” in the local music scene. However, due to conflicts of interests the band and Green decided to part ways. With the help of social media, Green has recruited a new group of like-minded musicians dedicated to spreading hope to their potential listeners in a slightly more melodic key. Though NOTHING LESS have not made their official launch on the scene yet, we had the opportunity to talk with Green to get the insider scoop on what is to come in the near future from this dynamic, rising band.

First off, can you explain the circumstances of why WITNESS FOR HOPE decided to break up?

We were having a lot of musical differences, as well as [I was having issues with] my vocals holding up with the constant strain being on them with screaming. … We all wanted to go in different directions as far as the music goes and what we wanted to create.

I noticed Elisa Meri did not play your last show with you. Is she no longer involved with the band?

She parted ways with WITNESS FOR HOPE back in March/April . We were talking with a few industry people, and she sang great but the image style of what we were looking for as far as someone on stage and performing with us, she just wasn’t the greatest fit. So we ended up getting Corrine Mogetz to sing with us for a little while. I believe she will be working with the other WITNESS FOR HOPE guys on their new project. The band is still a band together, but they are called LIFEWALKER, and I believe Elisa is going to be doing some tracks with them.

Can you tell me who else is in NOTHING LESS with you?

I’ve got my longtime friend Kord Faucher. He has been in tons of bands, and he has toured with tons of bands. He is probably most known for H IS FOR HERO “back in the day.” And then the rest of the band is actually out of Nashville, Tenn. I’ve got a kid named Drew Price on lead guitar. He is formally of the band AS ALICE SLEEPS, and on drums we have Trevor Hoffort. He is a phenomenal drummer and also formerly of AS ALICE SLEEPS. Then we have a phenomenal bass player named Chris Baldani. Our home base for this band will be in Nashville, Tenn., but me and Kord will be living in Virginia Beach.

How did you connect with the guys in Nashville?

When I first started WITNESS FOR HOPE, the whole reason was to inspire people and to bring hope and bring light to kids that need someone to look up to. So when we broke up, I went through a moment in time where it became dark for me. I was real depressed, still trying to figure out a career, because I had put everything into WITNESS FOR HOPE. My entire life revolved around it. I had a dream and had this epiphany that music was what I was supposed to be doing. So I went on Facebook and started social networking trying to find really talented musicians with the same desire and drive I had. People that just believe in the power of music and are completely and utterly passionate for it. In doing so, I made some posts about looking for phenomenal composers, and a buddy of mine referred me to Drew Price. The next thing you know, we all started messaging each other back and forth, and we all clicked. Initially, I had hit up Andrew Baylis to compose for me for our first album as NOTHING LESS, but he will be producing our first album.


What was the inspiration for your new name?

Basically, I started listening to a lot of pop punk and alternative pop rock. A lot of YOU, ME AT SIX and THE STORY SO FAR. Like I said, I was going through some dark times, and I had this epiphany that I want to be NOTHING LESS than great. I would never be NOTHING LESS than myself, and I wanted to show everyone NOTHING LESS than who I really am. As cheesy as it is, a lot of that is where it came to be. The meaning behind it is to give everything all that you are. If the world looks at you a certain way, whatever. Be who you are, and be it to the best of your ability. That’s kind of how I felt. Music is who I am, and I’m not gonna give less than all I am whenever it comes to music. That, and I had also heard it from a THE STORY SO FAR song, and those two words just kind of clicked for me.

This weekend, you will be going into the studio in Ocean City. You mentioned that you will be working with Andrew Baylis, and you will be recording your debut EP?

This weekend we will be working on a debut single. Basically one song, we don’t have a title or anything yet. We are going in and Baylis will be producing it with us. We will be writing a song that changes everything. Our goal is to go in and really break boundaries with heavy, alternative pop rock music, and we want to break the mold. Music, like everything, has become trendy, and I don’t want to be stuck in that trend. I want to create something so undeniable and just so great that the world has no choice but to accept it.

By the end of this year, what do you hope for NOTHING LESS to achieve?

At the end of the year, we want to have a product that is so undeniable that people lust over my music. They want to fall asleep to my music every night, and the music speaks to them in ways that other things don’t. In essence, every band tries to create that, but we hope to have a market for ourselves that is just gonna expand and grow substantially in a very short period of time. Next week, we will be releasing an Indiegogo announcing the name, dropping a Facebook page. We are going to be having promos coming out within the next week or two. We are really trying to develop a giant, mass marketing plan, and finish writing the EP so next year we can hit the ground running.

Where do you plan to release the information about your new band?

The goal is to be releasing it first through our personal Facebook pages. I will also be releasing it through WITNESS FOR HOPE, and then officially deleting that page. WITNESS FOR HOPE is always gonna be a part of me. What me and those guys had — the bond, what we created, and what we stood for —that will stay with me forever. I’ll never be able to take that away. We are also looking into a couple other options, trying to find the contact with Alternative Press, Hellhound Music, and anyone and everyone we can release this information through. The whole goal, like I said, is mass marketing.

For more updates on NOTHING LESS, be sure to check out Benjamin Green’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and be on the lookout for more information in the next couple weeks.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.

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