C.R. And The Nones is the new project from Chris Gennone, or just C.R. to his friends/fans. In his own words, “he’s been around the block a time or two”, playing in a number of bands based out of suburban New Jersey, most notably C.R And The Degenerates, who released five albums between 2016 and 2018. With The Degenerates making way for The Nones, C.R. is set to release his latest album, Living In Fear next month on brand-new label, Favorite Friend Records.
Ahead of Living In Fear’s arrival, C.R. has recently shared the latest track from it, The Back Door. The track finds C.R. casting off some of his more alt-country tendencies, channelling the widescreen big-country Americana of The War On Drugs or Kevin Morby. The track follows previous offering Judgement Day, an acoustic-led number full of fluttering guitars and contrastingly rapid drum clatter, that fans of Horse Thief or Local Natives would definitely admire. This feels like a new chapter for C.R.’s song-writing, stepping out from his musical roots and shaping his sound into something entirely his own, his album title might suggest he’s living in fear, yet the music suggests he’s taking risks, and on this evidence they’re paying off handsomely.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are CR And The Nones?
CR is me. Those are my initials. And my band is The Nones! Don’t really have a set lineup at the moment thanks to the pandemic, but a future lineup will at some point probably feature my friends and longtime collaborators, Andrew Merclean, Jim Abbott, John Dewitt, and Harrison Bieth. Jim, John, Harrison, and I formerly were CR and The Degenerates.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Ever? I remember it was awful. Andrew and I used to have a band called Hyawatha and we played at this place in the Lower East Side called The Annex and we thought we were hot shit. I broke a string on like the first song and tried to change it during the set while Andrew told jokes to an audience of six. First CR show was at this place called 73 Gallery in Montclair, which was a lot of fun but I was too amped up and a little drunk. Plus, it was hot as hell and my guitar kept going out of tune. Both good times though.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
That’s a good question. I guess I do dabble with the occasional painting and sometimes I like to write short stories and poems based on personal experiences, etc. I used to write screenplays in high school too, which I do miss from time to time. But music is everything to me. I know it sounds a little dramatic, but it’s really kept me alive and kept me from not completely losing it. It’s not about just sitting down and writing a song. It’s something that comes out of you. It’s a pure expression of your soul and it’s really the only way I know how. Music is a wild animal though. Sometimes you catch it and sometimes you don’t. Forcing anything is not going to get you anywhere and once you start thinking about what you’re doing, you’re also fucked. It’s like meditating, you have to either get into a specific head space or be in a specific space to create. But I can’t create all of the time. When I feel a song coming, I’ll sit down and get it out, even if it sucks.
FTR: What can people expect from the CR And The Nones live show?
CR and The Degenerates were more of an alt-country band, but I think The Nones will be more psychedelic, featuring more guitar and synth layers. Sort of like dark, electronic folk-rock.
FTR: What’s next for CR And The Nones?
Our second single, “The Back Door” is out now! We have a third single coming out sometime in October before releasing the full album, ‘Living In Fear’ on November 6th via Favorite Friend Records. And we hope to be playing a live set soon!
They Listen To…
Okkervil River – Kansas City
Okkervil River’s always been one of those bands I kinda liked but never went deep. Well I went deep into their first record, ‘Don’t Fall in Love With Everyone You See’ and I love it. “Red” is also an amazing song, but I love how raw “Kansas City” is when Will Sheff screams out “Baby bye bye!” A killer pedal steel and fiddle don’t hurt it either.
Dusk – My Own Design
A friend of mine nudged me and told me to come see this band on tour from Wisconsin and I was blown away. Dusk is probably my favorite contemporary band. They just play and sing so well together as a whole group and really embody all of the great elements of rock and roll. “My Own Design” is just so fuckin catchy and can’t help but sing along every time. Even though that song isn’t on their full length, which I listen to a lot, it’s one of their best.
Bruce Springsteen – Downbound Train
This song kills me every time I listen to it. I’ve been feeling it a lot lately. Just the simplicity and realistic depiction of a relationship and job going south. But it’s that middle part that slays, when the band cuts out and Bruce sings over the synth. It almost feels religious when he sings, “And I dropped…to my knees…hung my head and cried.” Heavy shit, man.
Mike Polizze – Revelation
I think Mike Polizze released the album of the summer. The whole album just has such a great singer-songwriter feel, with some amazing harmonies on “Bainmarie.” But I can’t get over the catchy chorus, all of the little acoustic bends, and horns on “Revelation.” Always dug Purling Hiss but kinda hope Polizze keeps doing solo records too.
Don Yonder – Another Monday Night
I love how this amazing side project from Cleveland singer-songwriter Jason Kaminski just randomly dropped one day, like, “here’s an EP!” And goddamn, it’s fuckin beautiful. This song’s catchy as hell, with a sweeping pedal steel and some really nice harmonies. Really hope there’s a future physical release of this and more releases.