Opened//Closed Out Now!!!!

Our debut EP Opened//Closed has been released to the world for you guys to enjoy! It’s coming to iTunes soon but in the meantime you can pick it up/preview it at www.hearthevoiceless.bandcamp.com

Brand New Single and Official EP Release Date!

I am so excited to finally share this song with you! We’ve been playing this song live for over 2 years now and it’s finally ready to release to you all as the lead single off of Opened//Closed! Want to listen? Check it out!

You can also listen/share it on youtube!
https://youtu.be/6bUTAhyr9L0

I’m also able to FINALLY announce the official release date for the EP! Opened//Closed will be released on August 12th and you can pre-order it for only $3 right now on our bandcamp!

Thank you so much for your patience during this process! I’m so excited and for me the wait has been worth it! I can’t wait for you to hear the final product!

Adventures is a song I wrote about a dear friend of mine a few years ago as she was turning 18. I hope that you find encouragement in it to never give up on your dreams and know that your life has so much purpose and promise! The future is bright no matter how scary it may seem!

Hear the voiceless!
Stephen

EP Artwork Reveal!

The songs are in the process of being mixed and we’re moving ever closer and close to the release of our debut EP Open//Closed! Today, I’m proud to reveal the cover art for this EP!

draft 1

Big thanks to Hannah Stokes (www.hannahstokes.bandcamp.com) and Sam Mcumber for doing the photography and editing!

Can’t wait to announce more in the coming days!

Hear the voiceless!
Stephen

A Long Journey

Its been a long journey getting here, but I can finally announce that the debut EP from The Voiceless will be released in May! Everything has already been tracked and right now the producer is mixing the 6 songs that will make up Opened//Closed!

Its funny, the whole process of recording this EP was so appropriate. Nothing with this band has ever come easy and this EP was the same way. Plans were made to record for the first week of February and be finished by the middle of week two. In reality, tracking started the second week of February and didn’t finish until mid March. On top of that I lost my job during this time period. As frustrating as the delays were, I guess nothing more perfectly mirrors reality. When I was 19 I was certain that I’d have my first EP released by the time I was 20. Life had different plans though, and now 5 years later its finally happening! It’s hard to really explain how exciting this is for me! I love this music and I hope with all my heart that you will too and I can’t wait to share it with you! I’ll be blogging some this next week or so about Opened//Closed and the future of The Voiceless so stay tuned for lots of news and info!

So ya… Opened//Closed is coming! Can’t wait for you all to hear it!

Big thanks to Matt Goings from Killian Studios for producing it! You can (and should) check out his band at https://allgonegrey.bandcamp.com/

Also a big thanks to Lamar Butler for playing drums on the EP! He’s a killer drummer and you should also check out his band at https://janeeyrefl.bandcamp.com/

Hear the voiceless,
Stephen

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Let’s Be Honest

Many of you that know me personally know about this, I’m a very open person and I’m not afraid to talk about things, but this is something I’ve never really publicly talked about. I want to be honest and not hide, and talking helps so here we go…

To be honest, I’ve been struggling with depression for quite some time now. Both on and off of medication and both in and out of counseling. Some days I barely have the strength to drag myself out of my bed and show up for work. It affects everything I do and has for quite some time now.

To be honest… I’m scared. I’m scared that I won’t accomplish these dreams that God has given me, that I won’t be able to function socially in a healthy way again, that I won’t be able to bring the music that I love to you guys, and that I won’t thrive in life. The words of Switchfoot’s song Thrive come to mind. I’m a musician, so I process the world in music. “I wanna thrive not just survive.” That’s me right now. I can survive just fine, but what kind of life is that? That’s not the life I was intended for and I know that.

“I’ve been awake for an hour or so
Checking for a pulse but I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes”

To be honest I don’t feel like myself. I miss the hope I once had. I miss the wide eyed naive teenager I was that believed he could do anything he set his mind to. Deep down inside I still believe that, but its hard for to live like I still do. Another song that’s really been resonating with me lately is “Late Nights in my Car” by Real Friends. Fair warning there’s some language in this song.

“I’m not where I should be
I’m not what I could be
But I’m not who I was

Nostalgia gets the best of me
When I wake up it’s the same day
It f—s me up and makes me miss who I used to be
All I have are thoughts of me from back when I was eighteen and my bony knees”

To be honest I feel beat up. 6 years of adulthood have been nothing like when I thought I’d be looking at when I was 18. I’m 24 years old and I’m where I thought I’d be when I was 19 or 20. I’m still here, I’m still fighting, and I’ll never give up; but often I feel like I lose more than I win. I want to believe in the future like that again, and I know that someday I can.

To be honest, I so often feel hopeless, like nothing I do helps or makes things better. Like I keep crawling through a dark cave and there isn’t an end in sight. Like this will be how I feel the rest of my life and nothing is scarier than that!

To be honest, doing anything, even entertaining myself can be a massive struggle. I once heard someone compare depression to having every single food you eat no matter what it is taste like mashed potatoes and this is such a great analogy. Even things I used to love: stories, socializing, songwriting, gaming, sports, practicing instruments… they all have had so much joy sucked out of them. They don’t taste the way they used to and I so desperately want them back.

To be honest, I hardly see or talk to my friends anymore. This didn’t happen overnight, it happened slowly and gradually in a way I didn’t even notice until I found myself feeling completely alone and isolated. I stopped cultivating friendships that were good to me. I cut people off and I pushed others away. This is one of the worst things I’ve ever done and something I’m trying so hard to remedy. If you feel like I just dropped out of your life I am so sorry, please know that I still love you and haven’t forgotten the great times we used to have.

This is not the end of my story, its only a momentary pause, a side quest in this grand adventure we call life! An adventure that won’t end with me stuck in some dark dungeon but triumphant and full of life! I’m not there yet and I won’t be overnight, but this can be defeated and it will be. Depression is my dragon, my monster to slay, and even though it’s huge and scary and its claws and flames hurt me over and over again, the dragon will not win. I’m still here, I’m still alive, I’m still fighting and I won’t stop until I march out of this dark hole a champion. You don’t get to be called a champion for doing something easy, and this isn’t easy, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

But to be honest… I don’t feel like a champion, I don’t feel brave, and I don’t feel like I’m going to win. I know I will, but I don’t feel like it. Right now I feel lost and alone, hurt and exhausted; and that’s how I feel most of the time day after day, week after week, and month after month.

If you feel like this… you’re not alone I promise. You are not alone and we don’t have to suffer alone. One of the biggest things I’m trying to do is stop pretending I can do this on my own… I can’t. I need help… and that’s ok. Its ok to ask for and have help guys! Please don’t forget that and struggle alone!

Thank you guys for reading this and for hearing me! Thank you for allowing me to spill my heart to you! One last final “to be honest”… this was hard for me to write. Not because I’m afraid to share this with my friends, but because depression takes away motivation to do even things that are good for us and because I’ve had this strange fear that being so open about this would hurt me as a musician trying to make it in this industry. But that’s silly… I value honesty and openness in my music to pretend this wasn’t happening would make me feel like a fake… and being honest with you guys is way more important than any strange fear of looking bad for a label or whoever it is I shouldn’t be worrying about. Thanks guys 🙂

Love,
Stephen
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What am I doing in New York?

So I’m in New York! Crazy I know! I’m living on Long Island doing an anti-bullying musical called No More Victims with a non-profit theater company called All Access Productions. We’ve spent the last month rehearsing and on Friday we start our 2 month tour performing in middle and high schools across Long Island. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this company!

When I met them last fall, the director Dan talked about being a voice for the voiceless and standing up for those who are bullied, abused, and alone. Anyone who knows anything about me or this band knows that that is the goal I have for this band, it’s the reason we’re called The Voiceless. Being here is giving me the chance to not only live out that message, but to learn from people who have been doing it for years! I will still be moving to Nashville after tour is over and the band is still going to continue so no need to worry about that! There are big things for The Voiceless in the future and being here is a part of preparing and walking into that for me! Here’s a look at what I’ll be doing for the next 2 months!

2015 All Access Promotional Video from All Access Productions on Vimeo.

This is a message that the schools of America desperately need to hear. Countless kids are suffering everyday because of bullying and it’s time to say enough! Students should not have to suffer at the hands of their peers! It’s time to see empathy and compassion return to our culture, and this production is a powerful tool to work towards that end!

We have a cast and crew of over 20 people and it cost a lot of money for us to be housed and fed as well as the money it takes to produce and run a program like this! Each and every one of us is making absolutely nothing off of this. We’re walking away from jobs and opportunities to spend 3 months doing this for free! Not even our directors or staff make even a dime off of this! In order for us to meet our budget we’d have to charge each school we perform at $6,000 and that’s just way too much money! We want this to be in as many schools as possible so we’ve cut that number in half! Each school we perform at is asked to pay $3,000 for the day, and each of us as cast and crew have committed to raising $3,000 to match that and make it possible to bring this to the schools!

We need your help! I need your help! Not a dime of $3,000 I’m raising goes into my pocket! Every last penny goes directly to helping a school afford to bring No More Victims to their students! I believe this is a cause worth supporting! Would you be willing to join us? To help fight for those that have no voice? To be a voice for the voiceless? To help us tell hurting kids in these schools that they are loved and that there is hope? I still need to raise around $2000 to meet my fundraising commitment, would you be a part of that? Don’t think that what you can afford to give won’t help! If 200 of you gave just $10 then we’d have the money we needed to help a school bring us in! Imagine the power of just 10 people giving $200 dollars to make this a reality!

So many of us have either personally been affected by bullying or seen it tear apart people we love. Its an evil horrible thing that we can bring and end to! Enough is enough! You can make a difference! If you want to donate you can easily donate on the All Access website through paypal!

Donate Online!

If you have checks, you can send a check directly to our offices and ensure that 100% of what you donate gets to the schools! (paypal takes a percentage out of each donation that we lose).

All Access Productions

PO Box 663

Smithtown, NY 11787

Either way, please include a note, either as a paypal memo or with the check designating that you’re donating to help me meet my fundraising commitment.

Thankyou so so much! I really believe in what we’re doing and I want to see this get in as many schools as possible! We’re still booking and we’re looking at reaching between 20 and 30 schools over the next 2 months! Can’t wait to get new music in your hands this winter and can’t wait to see you on stage again soon!

Hear the Voiceless,

Stephen Jesse Nettles

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Rocking out with Spoken and Random Hero

Last week on Tuesday we had the opportunity to open up for Spoken and Random Hero out in Kissimmee at Second Saturday Showcase. This was a particularly exciting concert for me because I used to go to shows out at SSS all the time as a teenager, and finally getting to play their was a blast. On top of that, we got to open for Spoken, a band I used to listen to back in middle and high school and a band I have a lot of respect for. For those of you that weren’t there, the concert was absolutely fabulous. The show was booked last minute which left us scrambling for a fill-in drummer and our buddy Billy (formerly of fellow local pop punk band Kids Without Heroes) came up big time for us and was amazing. Despite the last minute nature of the show, it was the best show we’ve ever played. I had fun again, and left encouraged and hopeful for the future. Something I’ve learned about music: if you’re not having fun, the audience isn’t going to either; so if playing your music ever becomes a chore, find a way to reenergize it and never forget how blessed we are as musicians to get to write, play, and share music!

This was our first ever show opening for a nationally known touring act, and both Spoken and Random Hero were wonderful to be around. They were friendly and didn’t make me feel like I was less than them. They were real and down to earth and that meant a lot to me. I woke up Wednesday morning with the weirdest feeling, Tuesday night was the first night of the Spoken/Random Hero summer tour and they were heading to Jacksonville that night. I, however, was heading into my daily job, and all I wanted to do was be on that tour with them. This year has brought a lot of changes to my life. My parents are moving, I’ve graduated from college, and I will also be moving later this year. The show on Tuesday came at a very good time for me. Ever since graduation I’ve been continuing to battle depression and have at times felt aimless and drifting. Being around people that are doing what I want to do, and getting to rock out on stage with my brother and friends for the first time in a couple months was exactly the encouragement I needed.
I’m no longer that college kid with dreams and a part time job. This is the time in my life to make things happen and to chase after dreams. Part of this last month for me has been coming to that realization, that I no longer have to wait to finish college. The time is now, and I’m going to be making some big changes these next few months to make that happen. I can’t wait to look back on my life next year and see all the adventures that happened in 2015!

Speaking of adventures, here’s a live video of our new song called Adventures from the concert on Tuesday. Hope you guys enjoy it and I can’t wait to get new music into your hands (and ears) soon! I’ve also added a couple of other fun videos to my channel if you want to check them out. Expect that channel to become very active over the next few months!

Hear the voiceless,
Stephen

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Moving Forward

Dear friends,

Things seem to rarely got to plan. If things had gone to plan we would’ve spent last week recording our debut EP in Daytona Beach with our friend Matt Goings. Obviously to anyone that had donated to or followed our kickstarter campaign, we were unable to raise the funds to do so. Before I continue I need to say thank you so much to each and every one of you that supported us, it meant the world and to me and to the rest of the band and we still can’t wait to bring this music to you! We had close friends and total strangers contribute and each and every pledge brought a smile to my face. (Since the campaign failed to achieve its goal, none of your accounts were charged by kickstarter so no worries on that part).

So now the question of where we go from here. I came into this year with some huge plans, and I still hope that some of them come to fruition. I’m going to be very open and honest in this blog post with you guys. This year has not been easy for me so far. I’m finishing up my last semester of college and recently found out the medical reason why I’ve been so exhausted for the last few years. Finding out that there was a reason for my constant fatigue, was a huge relief and hopefully I will be back to my energetic self by the time summer comes around! I would appreciate any prayers you can offer on that front! The fatigue has affected productivity in all areas of my life including at school, work, and in music. The added stress of constantly feeling behind in my responsibilities and not having the energy to focus or keep up has affected me emotionally as well, leaving me in a place I really haven’t wanted to be. Taking this all into consideration, I’ve realized I need to slow down and not rush things with this band. I feel that God has given me this huge vision and dream of what this band could be, but I can’t rush it and try to force something we’re not ready for.

So here’s what this all means. First of all, we are still looking to bring an EP to you as soon as possible, hopefully this year. We’re looking into several options and will keep you guys up to date as we decide how to proceed. We are certainly at least delaying until the summer. This allows me to focus on my final semester of college and finish strong so that I can then give this music the full attention it deserves and the attention that you as listeners deserve. We hoped to tour the east coast this summer and that is most likely not going to happen, but we will continue to play shows and we’re looking to expand in both the number of shows we’re playing and the geographic range we’ll be visiting.

I believe in a bright future for this project! I believe these are simply speed bumps along the way to seeing these dreams come to life! And speed bumps aren’t always bad, as annoying as it is to be jarred into slowing down, often times it keeps us from moving too fast for our own good. This is just the beginning, and there will be so much more to come!

Please pray for me as I finish my college degree and as I face down the fatigue that has held me back! Please pray that as I grow and enter this next phase of my life that I will once again find the joy, motivation, and energy (both physically and emotionally) that I once had! God is good, and even when life is hard he is always faithful. Love you guys and can’t wait to see you at a gig or out and about in life!

Hear the voiceless,

Stephen

 

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Help us record our debut EP!

Find our kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1064825570/help-the-voiceless-record-their-first-ep

 

Music is so much more than just sound, it’s a movement, it’s an art form, and it’s a culture. It says things that cannot be communicated by words alone. My name is Stephen Nettles and I’m the lead singer/frontman of a band I call The Voiceless. Why the name The Voiceless? Well let me tell you a story. When I was younger I heard a song by Blink 182 called Adam’s Song. It was a song about a kid who everyone thought was happy, who was actually miserable inside and contemplates suicide. The effect on me was powerful, I was never able to look at those around me quite the same again. My eyes were opened up to the reality that everyone needs love and hope even if they look like they have it all together. It was music that helped understand that, and music continues to be my language. I chose the name The Voiceless to stand for that. I want to reach out to those that need to know they are not alone, that they are not the only one that feels how they feel and that there is something better in this life, that there is hope, and that there is someone who loves them no matter what may be happening in their life, and that that love is fierce and persistent. Love is the message God has given me to share, and music is the language he has given me to share it with. I also want to be a voice for the voiceless, to share their stories and to bring light to it. Whether its the hurt and sorrow that are so often a part of life, or huge issues of injustice around the world. This is a multi part process, music is a part of this, but more than anything I want this mentality and vision to shine through what me and my band do off stage and after shows. Whether its meeting with fans and just listening to them and praying with them, or talking about issues that matter and raising awareness and giving calls to action. The alternative music scene is what I call home, and music is what connects us. Recording this EP is a huge step in walking into the calling I feel is on my life. I plan on bringing the band on our first tour this summer and this EP will give us music to tour on and promote ourselves with. I want to be completely honest with you, this is not about producing a “Christian” album or even an album full of messages. The main bulk of ministry I want to do happens off stage and in conversations or in the causes we talk about and promote. This EP will contain everything from love songs to songs about friends to songs that are just about life. Please consider helping me move this project forward. Help me get out there where I can make connections and make a difference. Help me be a voice for the voiceless!