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Northlane, And Finding The Perfect Amount of Mayhem

Column: Features   |   Date Published: Sunday, 14 May 17   |   Author: Andrew Myers   |   2 weeks, 2 days ago

     "Since joining Northlane I’ve learned so much, about living, about music, about the world."

In 2015, Sydney-based metalcore/progressive metal band NORTHLANE claimed an ARIA in the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal category for their phenomenal third album Node. Now in 2017, their latest release Mesmer is already walking on the same footpath of greatness. Northlane have not returned to Canberra since Groovin The Moo in 2015 where they shared the stage with big-name acts like Hilltop Hoods, Peaches and You Me At Six. With the upcoming Intuition regional tour in May, fans can experience the anthem-like messages, crushing riffs and energetic performances face-to-face.

Since their inception in 2009 and following the releases of four highly successful albums (and one split EP with brother-band In Hearts Wake), nothing seems to have stood in the way of this five-piece. Mesmer was dropped out of the mist in late March to an uproarious cheer of praise and approval. From it came two politically charged singles, ‘Intuition’ and ‘Citizen’, both tackling the problems of the digital age, corruption and the breaches of privacy that come with living in the 21st century where everything is either live, streamed, downloaded or recorded.

BMA had the privilege of talking to lead vocalist Marcus Bridge, delving into the meanings and experiences behind the chaotic wonder that is Mesmer. Bridge states that the meaning behind the title concerns animal magnetism, personal change and connectivity on all fronts. This was also apparent in the band’s choice to release the album out of nowhere – for fans to experience “the entire story that’s being told all at once and not just little bite-size pieces.”

Mesmer was recorded throughout September 2016, the band retreating to a New Jersy studio with Bring Me The Horizon produer, David Bendeth to lay it down. According to the band, the process wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
“We have grown immeasurably as people and as a band through the toughest recording process we’ve ever endured. We’ve been tested every step of the way and have come out the other side with something we are truly proud of. We felt we owed it to this album to try and think creatively about every aspect of the way people would experience Mesmer … We wanted to make everyone’s discovery of this moment special.”

Bridge joined the band in 2014 when original vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes left due to health issues. Their third release Node introduced Bridge as the raspy and sweeping vocalist. With the progressive and harmonic path the band has taken since Bridge’s recruitment, he has vocally and lyrically sparked a newfound flare and direction for the band. Seriously, read the lyrics to ‘Veridian’ or ‘Citizen’; the latter includes the lines, “satellites track our lives beyond the skies / Not even your mind can hide from big brother’s eyes” (cough, cough, Nineteen Eighty-Four, cough, cough, Snowden).

The modest singer said it is still daunting being the new kid on the block – or in this case, new kid with the microphone – but he is more comfortable recording an album this time, “with a clearer idea in mind.”

It’s rare in the music industry for one to be able to support themselves doing what they love. The opportunity is something for which the band are ever grateful. “Through determination, hard work, sacrifice and a bit of luck, we are able to travel the world taking our music to fans both old and new,” they say. “We’re able to spend time crafting the music we want to hear with the benefit of not having to leave the studio early to go and work a job. To an artist these are real luxuries.”

The band were more at ease this time around with writing “more personal” songs. This is prevalent with tracks like ‘Veridian’, which tackles bereavement with a family death, and the closing song ‘Paragon’, which is dedicated to the late guitarist Tom Searle of English metalcore band Architects, who passed away in August of last year. The song is comprised of recycled Architects lyrics in the musician’s memory, as Northlane members were huge fans of the band. Bridge says that Architects are an “important band in Northlane’s history”. After all, Northlane took their name from an Architects song. This was a humbling realisation, being a fanboy of Architects myself, and knowing that one band you look up to can also seek inspiration and influence from another.

Bridge said the reason behind wanting to head out on a regional tour was to interact with fans that wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to make it to the bigger shows. The youth centre and pub shows bring a “crazy energy,” says Bridge. “The perfect amount of mayhem”.

When asked if joining a band and touring in his early twenties has changed him, his response was humbled and down-to-earth. “Since joining Northlane I’ve learned so much, about living, about music, about the world – I’ve never travelled before”. According to him, seeing and travelling the world gives one a whole new perspective on life and reality, treating every opportunity as a gift.

Northlane drop by Academy on Wednesday May 17 from 8pm with special guests, local heroes Hands Like Houses. Tickets are $33.90 +bf through Moshtix.

 

 





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