Getters are a band of old friends from Houston: after growing up they went their separate ways, between them accruing years of experience in the music industry; between them being signed to major labels, running bands, touring the world
…and now, all these years later, here they are again, this group of friends, back together and, in the lockdown, making music for the joy of it. With wisdom accrued, lessons learned, and an urge to return to their roots.
Having each been a part of numerous musical projects over the years, the members of Getters share nearly two decades of friendship and artistic collaboration. In the shadow of 2020 and with live touring put on pause, what began as a spare time creative outlet grew on the hearts and minds of those involved, inspired by a simple desire to connect with others in an otherwise bleak moment in time.
We connected with Jerry Nettles from the band and asked him a ton of questions….
indieRepublik: We notice a healthy dose of irreverence and humor in your music. Is that intentional?
Jerry Nettles of Getters: As a unit, we believe in both subliminal and ambiguous approaches. We certainly do not take ourselves too seriously, while taking ourselves too seriously. The most important thing is that the listener connects in some form or fashion. We may connect via ‘x’ as the writers, but various listeners connect because of ‘y’ or ‘z’ or ‘a’ or ‘b’, you get what I am saying. But that is the beauty, songs being connected to because of their interpretation of it. We are all for it.
indieRepublik: What’s the Houston music scene like – as a place to play; and as a place for a band to get started and grow?
Jerry Nettles of Getters: Houston is a lot like most major cities in America. It’s prime real estate for any venture your heart so desires, especially music. It is quite a melting pot, so you are sure to find someone, somewhere that is willing to stop and listen. Houston has grown into a popular music festival destination, so Houstonians have become spoiled to being able to show up to one place and get a taste of everything. In general, most people are genre-agnostic and willing give back the energy that is being given to them.
indieRepublik: Where do you get lyrical ideas from?
Jerry Nettles: All of these songs lyrically have come from conversations between a few of us before we start tracking. Someone is either going through something or we find ourselves going through completely different things that bring up the same emotions. There are a few pop culture references but there are absolutely references to current or past life experiences, to the mixed drink in the cup that is being sipped. Different sounds call for different sources of inspiration
indieRepublik: Which bands would you list as major influences?
Jerry Nettles: I grew up religious, in church singing hymns. I still really enjoy the structure and melodies in hymns. Easy to sing along to and quite catchy. I don’t blast hymns through my ear buds though, lol. I leave that space for artist like Blake Mills, Coldplay, some Dua Lipa, Phantom Planet, Mute Math, and Butch Walker.
indieRepublik: Tell us a little bit about your musical background
Jerry Nettles: I started playing music at very young age around 8-9 then really dug in around 12. I was in my first rock band when I was 13 with some high school and college kids where I grew up in Brenham, TX. Back then, my dad had a CD burner/recorder set up in our garage so he could burn CD’s for the church band to listen to all the songs they had to learn for that week. He let me know that “some how you can record on this thing too” so I “Jerry rigged” an old console and hardwired a rig to be able to record in my garage.
After I figured that out, I was the only person in Brenham (that I know of) recording bands, so naturally I recorded my own rock band. That’s how I got into music. Then by high school, my parents were driving me to Houston to attend a performing arts high school where I was able to not only keep learning music but also how to record, midi, etc.
Toward the end of high school, I started a rock and roll band and started van life after signing my first record deal with Warner Brothers. Good times for sure, but after moving on from that, I fell back in love with the recording process, and business side of the industry which ended up taking me to NYC to learn so, so much more from the record companies I’ve had the pleasure of working for.
Now full circle, I am back in Houston, a little older, a little wiser, and still enjoying music as much as I did when I started.
indieRepublik: How did you come up with the name GETTERS?
Jerry Nettles: Like a lot of things that Getters do and the way we make decisions together, we go with the most obvious (to us) solution. The band name is an amalgamation of each of the members last names: Goodwin, Miller, & Nettles. Originally Mettles, whe n the band was just Micah and I, but once Chris joined, we felt it necessary to have full inclusion of participating members.
indieRepublik: How did you get together as a band?
Jerry Nettles: We’ve done a lot of growing up together in the same music scene/circles, toured together, played in the same band together (not all three of us at the same time), etc. Micah (drummer) and I have been best friends for the better part of two decades. I was reeling from a divorce and subsequent depression between that and choosing to leave a fantastic job working for a cool record label in NYC.
At the time Micah decided it best to load up his kiddos every weekend and come to my house. My son Henry and Micah’s two boys would play sunup to sundown and Micah convinced me that the best thing I could do is dust off the electric guitar from my closet and us write some music together. Micah’s persistence (annoyance) persevered, and we began writing music. Soon enough we had a small collection of musical beds that we were really excited about. Eventually we decided to give our long-time friend Chris a call and convince him to sing for the project, and voila, Getters arrived.
indieRepublik: Tell us something about yourself that you always wanted to say but no one has ever asked you yet.
Jerry Nettles: Q: Do I agree with Lars Ulrich’s stance on Napster?
NO!!!! I DO NOT AGREE WITH LARS’! As songwriter, musician, producer, engineer, record label partner, and artist manager! I 100% believe the music business missed such a huge opportunity by delaying their understanding and the power of streaming! Frankly, I believe the a lot of the music industry is still trying to figure streaming out and is ass hurt over it and paying huge consequences for their ignorance. Can it be anymore obvious right now to the industry how fans want to enjoy their music?
Spotify has done so much to lead the empowerment of artist, artist have more control than ever before right now. Artist now have the opportunity and power to prove their value to future investors and be better partners with record companies. Touring gets old, artist get tired of playing the same songs over and over, live on the road, turning their art into a requirement and sucking the life out of it, etc in order to pay their rent.
Now, music is just a part of the endless amount of opportunities that are available for an artists brand. Now artist are encouraged to pursue all their dreams, make smart investments with their finances, think bigger picture. Here’s my prediction, Metallica will sell their catalog in the next 10 years for a fraction of what they could have 20 years ago if the music industry would have realized the opportunity to lead into the streaming ecosystem 20 years ago, the transition from spending $15-$20 per CD to spending $20-$40 per month on endless streaming would have been a no brainer.
No free tier’s, nada, and people would have continued to keep buying CD’s and vinyl on top of their streaming service fee. That was a rant, sorry. Never mind, I am not sorry, LOL. I hope you are reading this Lars.
indieRepublik: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
Jerry Nettles: Micah will usually send a iPhone vid of him playing a beat and I will pick up the guitar and/or a few instruments and write something over a part or two of it, and send it back to him, then archive it. When there is more time to be spent writing, we will either find an idea we started and I will re-track everything and make it a more put together thought or Micah and I will get together and go back and forth until it eventually turns into a musical bed. After that we will usually send it to our good friend Gabriel Cavazos, my brother Brent Nettles, and Chris to see if anything sticks out to them. Then I will either get a ruff vocal of their idea or meet up with one of them to finish writing the vocal and lyrics.
indieRepublik: If you had to describe your music to a deaf person, what would you say?
Jerry Nettles: Hmm. Well, my Uncle David is deaf, unfortunately I don’t see him very often but he loves music. I actually have a 1970 Gibson acoustic guitar hanging on my wall that he gave me that I played on these Getters tunes. Next time I see him, I will play it for him in a car or somewhere with a sound system that will allow him to feel the vibrations. I think our music has a lot of feel to it that he would appreciate.
indieRepublik: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Jerry Nettles: RomCom, all day, every day. I believe we have a collection of songs that can fit almost any mood, so we would fit in ALL the phases: crush, first kiss, dating, break-up, and get back together.
indieRepublik: Tell us a secret about yourself.
Jerry Nettles: I’ve never voted for a president. I hate politics, I don’t do enough research about the candidates to feel confident enough to put one of them in charge of the United Stated of America.
indieRepublik: Do you dream in color or black and white?
Jerry Nettles: Full blown 1080p color! Super realistic dreamer over here.
indieRepublik: Do you see your songs in color or in black and white?
Jerry Nettles: Again, very colorful. For me, when writing, I absolutely have a visual of whats happening. In the beginning, it’s a full blown film score. The beat holding a lot of weight (bop your head, or mellow you out?), then the chord structure, then every part chasing/following each other, speaking/making sounds when it’s there turn and complimenting each other. Then it gets more real when you have to tell a story lyrically and melodically. What a great experience, fun colorful experience, I love it!