Nixon Nation
Gig Seeker Pro

Nixon Nation


Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Local Bands Fight To Play Original Music"

OCEAN CITY -- In the next few months, bands born and bred in Ocean City will have a major record label album release, have their original songs played on national television shows and will tour all over the United States.

But will the hordes of resort visitors know about it or hear one note by a strong core of bands on the rise? Probably not. Especially if they're not looking really hard.

That's because getting a foothold, even just getting on your feet, as a band playing original music in the resort is next to impossible. Even for bands that have proven they've got the talent and a repertoire of solid original music.

To hear some of the best Ocean City-born original acts like Ever Since Radio, Nixon Nation, G-13 and Semiblind tell it, it's a bit of a shame there are such limited venues in the resort to feature original music, but there are some places -- and they are making it.

Nixon Nation, whose album "13 Songs" has had music featured on Spike TV and MTV programming, features two of three musicians from Ocean City. But they couldn't reach their current level of success until essentially abandoning the resort.

"It's a really hard area to crack with originals," said guitarist Josh Miller. "I cannot name one band that's had major success that's stayed in the area. Our only option was to get out of the area."

Nixon Nation still comes back to the resort to play some of the few original-friendly venues like the Dungeon, but Miller -- like so many -- essentially concedes the entertainment rich area to cover bands.

"You can take a part-time job and work to play your music or make a full-time job playing covers and sacrifice your artistic sensibility," Miller said. "If you want to make money it's not a bad area to play four or five times a week for four or five hours and play covers."

But it's the fact that the area's big clubs with the stages and capacity to handle Ocean City's larger original outfits have little interest in giving audiences a break that bothers many local bands.

"I say in that area what they're selling in the clubs is beer, food and atmosphere. Bands, acts are all secondary at places like Seacrets. As far as they care as long as someone is making noise they're making money elsewhere," said Semiblind guitarist Jim Hogsett, a man from the resort who has played in multiple Ocean City bands through the years.

So with that in mind and Semiblind more focused on succeeding in the smaller region, Hogsett and the rest of the group decided to concede and play a tight set of popular covers while also producing a number of original songs.

"We said we've seen it happen when bands try to go nothing but their own original material and they get no shows at all or a very limited market they can play," Hogsett said. "We decided right from the jump to figure exactly what the audience wants. If you play '70s rock, modern rock and then something original people love it."

But Hogsett agreed with all of the other Ocean City-based bands that they won't find the mass amounts of open minds thirsting for original music unless they hit the bigger markets like D.C., Baltimore or Philadelphia.

Many of the bands say the problem isn't that people who come to Ocean City don't like original music, it's that the resort doesn't have the right venues known for it.

"Ocean City has no musical diversity in it for original acts ... there are no 930 Clubs, Theatre Of The Living Arts, The Norva, Electric Factory, or other bars, all-ages concert halls in or around OC," said Ever Since Radio's Alexx Hall. "We have enough liquor stores, glowstick shops, condos, Sunsations, but nothing that can be considered an all-ages venue for musicians."

"There are really three types of places to play in Ocean City," said G-13 bassist John Sybert. "There are the small places where they can only fit acoustic sets, mid-sized places and the big clubs where they only want cover bands."

"Probably right now there are very few of the mid-size places. The mid-sized bars have all left like Mellow Beach. We used to play there every week," said Sybert. "There's room in the area for that. Look at Sydney's Jazz and Blues club (in Rehoboth) that supports original jazz and has a great following."

G-13 -- the band that has arguably come the closest to major commercial success in the resort -- did join with a promotional manager they credit for the major leap in their success by introducing them into the right new scenes, but the band originally started when all its members who were living on the barrier island showed a bit of a new formula on how to succeed out of the resort.

Instead of just a grassroots pounding of regional shows to get their music out, G-13 spent an inordinate amount of time perfecting their very best original songs, scrapping a lot of others, and producing them at top quality to make sure whoever might hear the songs liked them.

The strategy paid off. Ratdog guitarist Mark - Maryland Beachcomber: Jay Hodgkins

"Nixon Nation Plan Summer Tour"

OCEAN CITY -- With two fingers extended on each hand and arms raised above their heads, the four band members of Ocean City's own Nixon Nation can proudly proclaim -- no, not "I am not a crook" -- but instead "Nixon Nation is going to storm the nation."

Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon mask in tow for lead vocalist Kevin Thomas to include as part of the act for their shows, Nixon Nation is in the midst of a busy playing schedule this summer in the resort area.

They will appear Friday, May 13, at the Broken Oar on S. Baltimore Avenue in Ocean City and Saturday, May 14, at the Ocean City White Marlin Festival and Crab Soup Cookoff on Somerset Street in Ocean City.

Several appearances at Trader Lee's in West Ocean City as well as at the Dungeon in Ocean City and Brew River in Salisbury this summer, however, might become small potatoes compared to the news that the band has recently signed on with Omega Syndications, a group that guitarist Josh Miller said will provide two tour buses, $100,000 worth of new equipment and a national tour for the band later this summer.

The 3-year-old band, featuring three local area musicians, has come to its brightest point by reinventing a form of music that dominated rock only a decade ago.

"We have a unique modern sound that is a type of music kind of like grunge" said Miller, who hails from Ocean City. "We're going back to the Nirvana and Soundgarden age."

Grunge music, which exploded out of nowhere in the early '90s ending the reign of hair band heavy metal, represents a lot of the bands that Nixon Nation takes after, but other influences like softer jazz sounds and Thomas' dedication to Iron Maiden provide a different edge.

"It's definitely not something you're going to hear around here," Miller said.

Although Nixon Nation is only 3 years old, Miller said he, bassist Troy McDaniel and drummer Billy Esposito have been playing with each other off and on for roughly nine years.

The group won't have to worry about being part-time anymore, however, because Nixon Nation just became a full-time -- and full-paid -- job.

To go along with the national tour, the band is heavily promoting its second album, "13 Songs," will record a third album in August and will be able to lean on the resources of Omega Syndications to keep performing at full speed.

Back home in Ocean City, though, Miller said, "We are going to try and hold off the summer tour as long as possible. We are going to keep our summer dates (in Ocean City) unless we absolutely have to go on the tour."

That way the band can show appreciation for their dedicated following of local fans.

"It's really great being with the fans out here because everyone knows us," Miller said. "Really, interaction with the fans is our whole show."

Despite Nixon Nation getting ready to face the nation and take the next step in the life of a blossoming band, the group will still keep a grassroots mind set to grow with the fans.

Miller said, "We always really try to make a point when we see a new fan that's really into the music to go meet them and give them a CD."

For the big fish in the small pond, as Miller calls it, meeting every new fan is about to become a daunting task after this summer. Now the Nixon Nation's music will do the talking -- and it is certainly no crook. - Maryland Beachcomber: Jay Hodgkins


"13 Songs" LP: JetSpeed Records - Hollywood, CA


Feeling a bit camera shy


Nixon Nation is a 3-piece original rock band out of Baltimore, Maryland, signed to an indie label JetSpeed Records from Hollywood, California. The band currently has an enormous international indie buzz with tens of thousands of fans on their very popular myspace site ( In addition, their music has been featured in 2 MTV/Spike TV Productions entitled, "Tripped Out" and "10 Things Every Guy Should Experience". For the last several months, the band has maintained a Top 10 position in the Maryland MySpace Top Artists Chart.

The band consists of Kevin M. Thomas on lead vocals and bass, Josh Miller (songwriter for the band) on guitar and background vocals, and Billy Esposito on drums and background vocals. Their sound, a mixture of many of Josh’s favorite songwriters, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stone Age and Sting, fused with Kevin’s Iron Maiden influences as well as Billy’s Steely Dan and REM influences, create a flavor all their own.

Nixon Nation is using the Internet to its fullest and has built a large network of fans. These are cultivated by Nixon Nation’s lead singer Kevin, and then passed on to a driven group of loyal individuals and believers, an organization they call ‘THE EMPIRE’, which handles everything from Fan Coordination and Street Teaming to Retail and Radio Promotion. Filling up rooms in Baltimore and Ocean City, Nixon Nation is carefully preparing to spread the network throughout the Northeast and beyond.

One layer beyond ‘THE EMPIRE’, are the band’s most loyal ladies, called the ‘Nixon Vixens’. These ‘Vixens’ are constantly spreading the word, and preparing their entry into a new market. They even had a busload of fans follow them to their NYC debut at the Lion’s Den on one of the rainiest nights of the year.

The band has recently added Baltimore entertainment attorney, Kathy Jarmiolowski to their team, and has signed with Cindy da Silva of Jolly Roger Management in hopes to take Nixon Nation to the next level and beyond.

Nixon Nation’s CD, "13 songs", is available at CD Baby, iTunes, and select stores in the Northeast.

Jolly Roger Management
Cindy da Silva, Manager
405 2nd Street
Suite 1-L
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Phone: 201-920-9027