Hailing from Birmingham, AL, Ryan Howell and John McNaughton make up the experimental hip-hop duo known as Nerves Baddington. Ryan and John are 20-year veterans of the Birmingham music scene, having previously performed in several bands together since the late 1990s.
After their stint playing in various punk and hardcore bands Ryan turned to hip-hop and honed his skills as an MC with Birmingham group Abstract Chemistry and eventually relocated to Denver to pursue hip-hop full time. He attained considerable success under the Inkline moniker, sharing the stage with national acts such as Dilated Peoples, Hieroglyphics, The Pharcyde and Gnarls Barkley.
After returning to Birmingham, Ryan spent most of his time writing music for a solo Inkline album entitled Stones Cry (released 2014); he also wrote a handful of songs with a guitar that did not fit the Inkline aesthetic, but were crafted with the same brutal honesty and social commentary. Howell reached out to McNaughton and Nerves Baddington was born.
In their hometown of Birmingham, Nerves Baddington has continued to wow fans at all of the city’s favorite venues and have performed as part of Birmingham’s best annual festivals such as Secret Stages, Sidewalk Film Festival and High Five Fest. They recently took part in Atlanta’s famous A3C Hip-Hop Festival. Nerves Baddington has released multiple music videos including one the for their single “Addict” which was featured on many online sites and spent multiple months at the number 1 spot at MTV and IndiMusic TV online. They released an EP entitled New Rules on October 11, 2016, which features Addict, two new tracks (New Rules and Crocodile) and four live tracks, recorded for The Audiovore’s Spectra Sonic Sound Sessions. Nerves Baddington is actively working with manager / producer and engineer Jason Hamric to complete a full length album, due out in 2017.
Nerves Baddington combine programming and live instrumentation in a unique and exciting manner on record and, especially onstage, where they take pride in delivering an impassioned performance. The duo lean on their punk and shoegaze influences through their use of effects, synths and other unconventional instruments, as well as their choices of samples. By adding Cam Johnson on drums and other guests to the live show, this aesthetic makes Nerves Baddington a unique change of pace.
With energetic songs, thought provoking lyrics, an unstoppable live show and an ear toward societal issues, Nerves Baddington is turning heads.