Ben Lauren: vocals * Phil Moreton: guitars, vocals * Justin Long: guitars
Randy Lane: drums * Bill Donaldson: bass
"Everything is in the music, and that's all right with us."
- Ben Lauren
On "TIME DOESN'T NOTICE," the Tallahassee-based No Address brings an inspired spin to modern rock. Ben Lauren, a published poet and the band's chief songwriter, offers up profoundly honest and ingenious lyrics, melded with music that is both aggressive and soulful. No Address evokes memories of classic American rock, while crafting songs that are sonically imaginative and lyrically moving.
"The name No Address comes from the idea of things being neither here nor there," says Lauren. "Musically speaking, this band does a lot of different things, so in that sense we are neither here nor there. First and foremost, we are a rock band. And above all, we need to be inspired and moved. Life seems too painful when we are not inspired."
Lauren picked up the guitar as a teenager, writing songs and playing in a number of high school rock bands. At 17, he headed to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. Lauren distinguished himself as an accomplished writer and poet while at FSU and was offered a scholarship to stay and complete his Masters Degree in Creative Writing. While continuing his studies, he began teaching English to his fellow students. At only 21 years old, he was leading classes he had taken just a few short years before.
In 2000, Lauren ran into his friend Justin Long on the FSU campus. Then seniors, the two had taken a poetry class together in their freshman year, neither knowing the other was a musician until Lauren's former group opened for a band that featured Long on drums. When they finally got together to play, "it just clicked from the start," says Lauren.
Before long, the full No Address line-up coalesced - frontman Lauren, guitarist Long, guitarist/vocalist Phil Moreton, bassist Bill Donaldson, and drummer Randy Lane. Each member brought their own unique tastes and inspirations to the table, ranging from Robert Johnson and Notorious B.I.G. to modern alternative icons like Nirvana. "We ended up finding a weird compromise," Lauren says, "where we were able to incorporate the passion of soul music and still rock."
The band started putting together lists of music for each other - the music that turned them on. Ben pushed hip-hop and Bob Dylan, Justin spoke of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, Randy referred to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, Bill discussed the Beatles as if McCartney himself had taught him how to play bass, and Phil was interested in the merit of pop radio and its hidden substance.
In the fall of 2003, No Address packed up and headed to New Mexico, where they spent nearly a year refining their ideas and sharpening their vision. When asked if there are any rules that they follow when writing songs, Lauren quickly responds: "I just listen to what is in my head and let the pieces fall where they may. Controlling something like that is like grabbing fistfuls of air."
No Address wrapped the sessions for "TIME DOESN'T NOTICE" in August 2004. From its very first track, "Perfect," the band introduces aggressive riffs and rock melodies that lay the groundwork for everything that follows. Lyrically, "Perfect" attacks the senses as well - "Do you feel like the way I do? Wanna scream out the way I do? Do you f*ck like the way I do?" asks Lauren.
The first single, "When I'm Gone (Sadie)," nearly didn't make it onto the record. Audiences loved it, but the band ended up getting sick of playing it, so they took it out of their sets. But when they were tracking in the studio in New Mexico, their producer asked them to take some time out and just jam for a little while. "Okay," said Lauren, "let's play 'When I'm Gone.'" The guys came back with a resounding, "No," but ended up doing it anyway. Once they heard the playback, they realized it had to be on the record. "Which turned out to be a good thing," Lauren says. "It taught us an important lesson: you have to trust your audience."
When it came time to record "TIME DOESN'T NOTICE," the band came face to face with themselves and their music. Lauren recalls: "I remember getting off the plane and feeling as if something big was going to happen. That feeling is both scary and thrilling. But we were there in Santa Fe together, so we made a record because that is what we do to get through the world. The process of recording our album certainly made us 'mad, bad and crazy to know,' but it is also the proudest accomplishment of our lives. There are moments on the record that will always remind me of a time when we had literally gone mad. Treading water-seeing the deep and hidden parts of everyone in the band-no one can ever take that experience away from us. Permanence is something so rare in this world and this record is something permanent. That's the comforting part."
--Courtesy of Atlantic Records
--- from the official No Address website