"All the people that I looked up to are now considered my peers." Meet nothing,nowhere.: the former Soundcloud rapper collaborating with Lorna Shore, Fall Out Boy and more to bring Myspace vibes back to alternative music

(Image credit: Jonathan Weiner)

When Joseph 'Joe' Mulherin’s musical project nothing,nowhere. emerged, it was as part of the 2016 SoundCloud alt-rap explosion. But unlike his SoundCloud peers, who would later help precipitate the pop-punk renaissance of 2020, nothing,nowhere. took a different – albeit similarly nostalgia-led – route. The project’s latest record, Void Eternal, boasts massive collaborations with Will Ramos of Lorna Shore, SeeYouSpaceCowboy and Underoath, while also indulging Joe’s nostalgia for the music of the 2000s, revisiting elements of his favourite albums by Linkin Park, From First To Last, Anthony Green and Drop Dead, Gorgeous. It’s a bold step beyond Joe’s alt-rap roots, but reflective of his experiences growing up as an outsider in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

“I was in elementary school when I found heavier music,” he explains. “I was raised Catholic, I had to go to an after-school programme at the church, and you had to make a confession. I was a pretty good kid, but I had to come up with a confession. The first album I ever got was Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavoured Water, but my parents didn’t know they got me the explicit version. I told the priest that I had the new Limp Bizkit album, but it was the explicit version, and the look on his face was just pure confusion! Ha ha ha!”

Void Eternal’s cheekily titled Psycho_Psychiatry calls on gut- wrenching riffs straight out of a 2000s Slipknot track, paired with a spoken word rapping style that’s comparable to Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda. But, in contrast, Cyan1de and Trag3dy use the harmonious, emotional choruses of mid-2000s emo to really tug on your heartstrings. The duality, though chaotic, is truly reflective of the boiling pot of alternative music that arose around the advent of MySpace. Looking back on that time fondly, Joe recalls his years searching the website for new music.

“I would come home from school every day and just log into MySpace on the family computer, scouring for new bands,” he says. “It was a hub for all of these emo-scene kids to just post their music, whether it was good or bad. I was one of those kids that would post my little acoustic covers, and then I’d go into middle school the next day and be like, ‘Did you guys hear my new song I posted?’ My ‘top eight’ [a friend ranking system MySpace used] would be bands that I liked to listen to.”

While SoundCloud has since filled the void of community-led online music-sharing spaces that MySpace once ruled, Joe says that essence of community has diminished slightly over the years.

“It felt like there was a really tightknit scene and everyone had easy access to one another,” he says. “I met a lot of my best friends on SoundCloud, and it was just really unique in a way that I don’t feel like that exists anymore.”

Additionally, Joe admits that he misses some of the creative freedoms his early days offered, such as the simplicity of creating a track and then being able to post it on MySpace the same day, instead of waiting for it to be cleared for release.

“I miss that real Wild West feeling where you could just post anything,” he admits. “I would put weird wrestling soundbites in the middle of my song. You didn’t have to worry about clearing samples or anything. There were just no rules.”

Unfortunately, these days we won’t be hearing any WWE Smackdown clips in Joe’s tracks unless he can fork out to clear the samples, but those times did prove formative when it comes to nothing,nowhere. “Those are really great memories, and I’m just glad that I was there for it all and I got to experience it”, he says.

The latest offering from nothing,nowhere. is perhaps the most ambitious in his discography. In terms of collaborations alone, Joe has worked alongside scene icons such as Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail, alongside newer faces like Freddie Dredd and Will Ramos, and he’s even done full band collabs with newcomers SeeYouSpaceCowboy and Static Dress.

“I’m a fan of Lorna Shore and Will’s vocals. He’s a generational talent, I mean he’s unbelievable!” he enthuses. “My friend Blake [Hardman], who plays guitar for me on tour, was doing front of house [sound] for Lorna Shore when I asked him to join my band, so he introduced me to Will.”

As much joy as Joe got from collaborating with new artists, it couldn’t possibly match the feeling of working with artists he grew up listening to.

“I wish that I had a time machine so I could go back to seventh grade Joe and just be like, ‘Yo, hey, you’re going to make an album one day with Senses Fail, Silverstein, Underoath and Fall Out Boy’,” he says proudly. “I would have never believed that! I feel like I’m doing right by the younger me. It’s very surreal – all the people that I looked up to are now considered my peers, and they consider me their peer.”