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Nothingface - 2000
Background information
Origin Washington D.C., U.S.
Years active 1993–2004, 2005–2009
Labels DCide, TVT, S6
Associated acts Hellyeah, Knives Out!, In for the Kill,[1][2] Kingdom of Snakes, Perfect Enemy, Coldwhitechrist, Blessed In Black (formerly Sever), Smile Culture,[3] Ingredient17[4]
Website (Currently suspended)

Nothingface was an American heavy metal band from Washington, D.C., formed in 1993.[5] The band achieved moderate success, as evidenced by their 2001 single "Bleeder" peaking at number 32 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Chart and touring with high-profile acts such as Soulfly, Pantera, and Ministry, as well as the Tattoo the Earth and Ozzfest 2003 tours.


Early days, self-titled album and Pacifier (1993–97)[edit]

Formed in 1993,[5][6] the band's original line-up consisted of vocalist David Gabbard, guitarist Tom Maxwell, bassist Bill Gaal and drummer Chris Houck. The band started when Chris Houck put an ad out in a local magazine called Rox Magazine in Baltimore. Tom Maxwell, who was living in Baltimore at the time, contacted Chris about the ad, and said he was interested in getting together and jamming. Tom sent a tape with music that he had been working on. Chris, who was living with Bill Gaal at the time in Damascus, Maryland, got the tape and they were both impressed with what Tom had sent. From there they got together and jammed on covers of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Jane's Addiction and clicked.[7] They released three tapes with this lineup. These demos featured a grunge and hard rock-influenced sound, in contrast to the heavy metal sound the band would become renowned for later on in their career. Gabbard left the band in 1995, due to disagreements over the heavier musical direction Nothingface was heading in. At this point Matt Holt took over singing duties. Matt Holt became a part of the band as a result of Ingredient 17 (Matt and Tommy Sickles' band) who had been recording at Chris and Bill's house in Damascus. Tom Maxwell heard the material Matt had been doing with Ingredient 17 and thought Matt would be a good match to replace Dave.[7] The band then recorded a self-titled album featuring ten songs. DCide then discovered Nothingface, and they re-recorded the album, with six of the songs featured on their debut album Pacifier, released in October 1996 [8][9]

An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity (1998–99)[edit]

The band's second album An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity was released on September 22, 1998 via Mayhem Records.[10] The band toured in support of the album throughout the United States with Stuck Mojo,[6] Sam Black Church, Helmet and Ministry.[6]

Violence and turmoil (2000–02)[edit]

Two years later, the band released their third album Violence on October 10, 2000.[11] It featured a single called "Bleeder" which peaked at number 32 on the Mainstream Rock chart.[12] The album also peaked at 24 on the Heatseekers Chart and 37 on the Top Independent Chart.[12] It was the band's most successful album, and their first under the semi-major label TVT Records. Chris Houck recorded drums for this album but had to leave the group due to medical issues that would prevent him from touring.[6] He was replaced by Tommy Sickles[6] of Ingredient 17 fame (Matt and Tommy's band before Nothingface).

In early 2001, Bill Gaal left the group to pursue a career in music production and engineering. He was replaced by Jerry Montano, formerly of The Deadlights. A few months later, Gaal returned. During the 2001–02 interval between Violence and their next album, Nothingface experienced significant turmoil when lead singer Matt Holt's home burned down, Tom Maxwell's mother dying and bassist Bill Gaal divorcing his wife, leading to the band nearly breaking up.[13]

Skeletons and breakup (2003–04)[edit]

The band released their fourth album Skeletons on April 22, 2003 via TVT Records.[14] The album is considered their most diverse, featuring some of the band's heaviest as well as most melodic material.[7] That summer, the band played on the second-stage of the popular Ozzfest tour.

Nothingface disbanded on February 10, 2004, citing musical differences and lack of support of their label.[15][16]

Explains Matt Holt further:

Bill Gaal went on to form Kingdom of Snakes with former members of the band Gunfighter. Their debut EP features vocal work from Matt Holt on one track. In early 2004, Gaal and Holt announced the formation of a new band called Perfect Enemy, while Tom Maxwell and Tommy Sickles announced the formation of Coldwhitechrist with Jerry Montano and Chad Gray, whose tenure was short-lived due to prior commitments.[18] The trio later announced the formation of Sever, which later became Blessed in Black and also included ex-Skrape vocalist Billy Keeton.[19] Keeton eventually left in late 2005[20] and the band dissolved.

Reformation and second break-up (2005–11)[edit]

Associated act Hellyeah in 2007

On November 24, 2005, a posting on the Jägermeister website showed Nothingface as the opening act for Disturbed in a 2006 show.[21] The line-up for this show was Matt Holt, Tom Maxwell, Jerry Montano and Tommy Sickles. The band released two new songs online and went on to do a small U.S. club tour that winter/spring, bringing along Crossbreed and Silent Civilian.[22][23]

Later that year, guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano began a band called Hellyeah with Vinnie Paul, formerly of Pantera and Damageplan, as well as Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne. They released their debut album on April 10, 2007 via Epic Records. Following its release, Jerry Montano was fired from the band after allegedly assaulting Tom Maxwell and making gun threats while drunk at the album release party.[24]

During the first half of April 2008, the band sent out a Myspace bulletin and changed their default profile picture to one of the band in the studio, signaling that they were indeed working on new material. On the 20th of May, they posted a short YouTube clip which features them performing and sent out a Myspace bulletin containing said clip. Four days later, on May 24, it was announced through that original members Bill Gaal and Chris Houck have rejoined Nothingface, with Tommy Sickles now playing drums for the L.A.-based band Noise Within. The band then released several additional "teaser" videos and on February 19, 2009, announced that "the band is at Wrightway Studios in Baltimore MD for the next 2 weeks writing and recording."[25]

The re-release of their self-titled album with remastered songs and new artwork was released on April 8, 2009.[26]

On August 14, 2009, it was announced via that Nothingface would be disbanding again,[27] with Maxwell citing Holt's lack of work ethic as the main reason for an unfinished album three years in the making, as well as his decision to leave. Matt Holt contests Maxwell's brush-off, but refuses to condemn in reply. Similarly, Houck would later state that Maxwell's statement is "only one side of the story" and that "there were a lot of other factors involved in all of this beyond anything with (Holt)."[28] In a summer 2011 interview, Bill Gaal spoke publicly about the split, stating, "It’s one of those situations where everyone’s story will be different. Broadly, what it boiled down to is that we’re all older now, we all have different responsibilities. Making everything line up time-wise is difficult– I’m in LA, Chris is out in North Carolina, Tom’s out on tour with Hellyeah most of the year, Matt stays home in Baltimore now. And me and Tom have families now, too. You don’t just get together and write a great song, especially with Nothingface. It takes a chunk of time, and we’d always rework songs hundreds of times before releasing them. We only had a couple of intense, 1- or 2-week writing sessions and really, we just ran out of time. We had to get a lot done in a short amount time before we had to get back to other things we had going on. So the timing didn’t work out, but that being said, it doesn’t rule out anything for the future. As pissed-off as Nothingface was back in the day, we’ve definitely all cooled down, and if we could just find one week where all of us were just calm enough and got together, we could do it."[29]

On September 1, 2009, the band released "One Thousand Lies" on their official website. It is a rough "first draft" demo and was recorded in March 2008. On November 13, 2009 the band uploaded "D2" which is another rough "first draft" demo with no vocals.

In early 2011, the band launched their brand new website Videos linked to YouTube were present so was a Nothingface wiki, forum, guest book, photo gallery and a section for fans to upload their own videos of Nothingface music. Links to other bands were present also. The website has since been suspended for unknown reasons.[30]

In a Talk Toomey podcast interview on October 3, 2016, former guitarist Tom Maxwell stated that a Nothingface reunion is "not gonna happen" and that he and Holt "don't get along". Maxwell elaborated by stating that "there’s just nothing anymore. There’s no communication, there’s no desire." [31]

Matt Holt died on April 15, 2017.[32]

Musical style[edit]

Nothingface have been described as heavy metal,[1][2][33] alternative metal[34][15][35] and nu metal.[36][37] The band's first album in 1996, featured a sound that was compared to nu metal band Korn.[38] Some critics described it as a "Korn clone".[10] Although with their second album An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity, they abandoned that sound and featured the heavy metal and alternative metal sound they became known for, continuing on their next releases.[11][10] Many critics deny that Nothingface is a nu metal band due to their use of guitar solos and absence of elements from hip-hop and other characteristics featured in nu metal.[11][39][40] The band's sound consists of aggressive heavy metal guitar riffs, growled vocals deriving from death metal or grindcore, shouting and melodic vocals.[11][14] Singer Matt Holt's more melodic vocals have been compared to Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.[11][14] Critics have praised Holt's singing style for being able to mix harshness with accessibility.[11][14]


Final lineup
  • Tom Maxwell – guitars (1993–2004, 2005–2009)
  • Matt Holt – lead vocals (1995–2004, 2005–2009; died 2017)
  • Bill Gaal – bass, programming, backing vocals (1993–2001, 2001–2004, 2007–2009)
  • Chris Houck – drums (1993–2000, 2008–2009)
  • David Gabbard – vocals (1993–1995)
  • Jerry Montano – bass (2001, 2005–2007)
  • Tommy Sickles – drums (2000–2004, 2005–2008)




Date of Release Title Label
1993–94 Nothingface Demos Self-Released
1995 Nothingface Self-Released
February 6, 1997 Pacifier DCide
September 22, 1998 An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity DCide/Mayhem
September 5, 2000 Violence TVT Records
April 22, 2003 Skeletons TVT Records


Year Song US Hot 100 U.S. Modern Rock U.S. Mainstream Rock Album
1997 "Pacifier" - - - Pacifier
1997 "One Thing" - - - Pacifier
1997 "Defaced" - - - Pacifier
1998 "Breathe Out" - - - An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity
1998 "The Sick" - - - An Audio Guide To Everyday Atrocity
2001 "Bleeder" - - 32 Violence
2003 "Ether" - - - Skeletons

Music Videos[edit]

  • "Pacifier" (1996)
  • "Defaced" (1997)
  • "Breathe Out" (1998)
  • "Ether" (2003)

Other Appearances[edit]

Unreleased songs[edit]

With David Gabbard[edit]

Year Song Length Album
1993 "On the Edge" 3:11 Braid
1993 "Prayer" 5:42 Braid
1993 "Confusion (Ultra Sane)" 6:04 Braid
1993 "Damage" 3:04 Braid
1993 "Fast as Fuck" 4:16 Braid
1993 "Circle" 3:20 Braid
1994 "Mommi" 5:08 Thicker
1994 "Insane" 3:32 Thicker
1994 "Mrs. Greedy" 4:42 Thicker
1994 "Instant G" 3:05 Thicker
1994 "Dry" 4:01 Thicker
1994 "Blood" 4:50 Thicker
1994 "On The Edge (newer version)" 3:11 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Instant G (newer version)" 3:16 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Mommi (newer version)" 5:24 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Evil Man" 4:35 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Hate You" 4:21 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Piss" 4:00 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Circle (newer version)" 3:20 The Architect of So Much Evil
1994 "Grave" 3:49 The Architect of So Much Evil

With Matt Holt[edit]

Year Song Length Album
1996 "Carousel" 4:04 1995 Self-titled album
1996 "Deprive" 3:14 1995 Self-titled album
1996 "Godkill" 4:07 1995 Self-titled album
1996 "Severed" 4:56 1995 Self-titled album
1997 "3 Rooms" 2:55 Audio Guide Demo
1997 "Peeling Skynard" N/A Audio Guide Demo
1999 "How Long" 4:26 Violence Demo
2001 "Everything I Hate" 3:58 Skeletons Demo
2002 "The Principles of Gangsterism" 3:14 Skeletons Demo
2002 "In the Wake Of" 4:18 Skeletons Demo
2005 "Walking on Bodies" 3:38 Demo 2005
2005 "Let It Burn" 2:44 Demo 2005
2008 "One Thousand Lies" 4:16 2008 Demos
2008 "The End" 1:25 2008 Demos
2008 "D2" 3:07 2008 Demos


Most of these songs have been leaked and can be found online, and recently Nothingface started releasing demos on their website, a studio recording of "3 Rooms" was released on May 26. The track "Everything I Hate" was released on December 4, 2009 on the official website under the name "Hate Song Demo." "Peeling Sky-nard" was a song that got cut from "An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity," and it is unknown if it will ever be released to the public.


  1. ^ a b "Ex-Nothingface Bassist Bill Gaal Talks About In For The Kill And The Benefits Of DIY". Metal Insider.  August 3rd 2011. Retrieved: September 7th, 2015
  2. ^ a b "Bill Gaal Interview: "I Never Close The Door On Nothingface"". Guitar International. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.  August 1st, 2011. Retrieved: September 7th, 2015
  3. ^ "Ex-Nothingface Drummer Returns In Smile Culture".  December 31st 2013
  4. ^ "Nothingface - Heavy and Original to the Bone". Kaffeine Buzz.  June 26th, 2003. Retrieved: September 7th, 2015
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b c d e Graham Finney. "Nothingface Interview". Planet-Loud. Archived from the original on 2002-03-18. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  7. ^ a b c "Nothingface - Biography - Metal Storm". 
  8. ^ "albumcover". Archived from the original on 1998-02-21. 
  9. ^ "recordings". Archived from the original on 1998-07-03. 
  10. ^ a b c Taylor, Jason D. (1998-09-22). "An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity - Nothingface : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Henderson, Alex (2000-09-05). "Violence - Nothingface : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  12. ^ a b "Violence - Nothingface : Awards". AllMusic. 2000-09-05. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  13. ^ Alex Henderson. "Skeletons". AllMusic. 
  14. ^ a b c d Henderson, Alex (2003-04-22). "Skeletons - Nothingface : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  15. ^ a b Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Zonda Books. p. 64. ISBN 0-9582684-0-1. 
  16. ^ "NOTHINGFACE Split Up, Bandmembers Launch New Project". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  17. ^ "Interview". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  18. ^ Gaal and Holt formed the band Perfect Enemy
  19. ^ "BLESSED IN BLACK: Former NOTHINGFACE, SKRAPE Members To Enter Studio In June". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  20. ^ "BLESSED IN BLACK Confirm Singer's Departure". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  21. ^ "News: Nothingface reunited with most of standard line-up intact - Blacker than Danzig's asshole!". 2005-11-24. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  22. ^ "SILENT CIVILIAN Frontman: 'NOTHINGFACE Has Treated Us Like Family'". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  23. ^ "Online Music Magazine". Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  24. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Departed HELLYEAH Bassist Made Gun Threat". The Metal Den. 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  25. ^ "Nothingface Enters The Studio, Posts Video Footage - in Metal News". Metal Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  26. ^ "Nothingface [Explicit]: Nothingface: Official Music". Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  27. ^ "Nothingface call it quits....again". Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  28. ^ "Nothingface: March 2008 Demo Recording Available For Free Download". Retrieved 2009-09-02. 
  29. ^ "Bill Gaal Interview". The Silver Tongue. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  30. ^ "This website is currently unavailable". 
  31. ^ "Tom Maxwell on Nothingface Status: 'There's Just Nothing'". Loudwire. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Loud Rock News". CMJ New Music Report. 59 (632): 36. 23 August 1999. ISSN 0890-0795. 
  34. ^ "Nothingface - Biography by MacKenzie Wilson". 
  35. ^ Heavy metal at House of Blues Doug Elfman. April 17, 2001. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  36. ^ "Nothingface: Violence". DrownedInSound. 
  37. ^ "Nothingface "Skeletons" (tvt)". The Morning Call. 
  38. ^ Taylor, Jason D. (1997-02-06). "Pacifier - Nothingface : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  39. ^ "Review: Nothingface - "Violence"". 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  40. ^ "Nothingface - Violence Review from". Music Emissions. 2003-04-02. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 

External links[edit]