Interview: NorthlaneWritten by Kenny Leys
We at RMP sat down and had a chat with Marcus Bridge and Josh Smith from Northlane before their first show ever at Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium.
Hi, and welcome to Graspop. This is your first time at graspop. In 2105 you had to cancel your show at Graspop because Marcus was sick. Are you ready for your first graspop show?
Marcus: Yeah, I got unwell unfortunately. So it’s good to finally get here, I was really bummed about last time. Graspop is just one of those festivals I remember from watching live sets on “Youtube” when I was younger, so it’s good to be here.
You’ve never been on Graspop before as visitor?
M: No, never before. So it’s quite the experience.
Josh: We don’t live close enough to come and watch. [laughs]
Yeah Australia is kinda far from Belgium.
You surprised your fans with a fourth album ‘Mesmer’, how has the
response been so far?
M: The response has been great. When we released the album the respons was overwhelmingly positive and there was more reaction than northlane ever received on the initial release of a record. It’s so good seeing so many people being positive about it. Especially with that lack of warning.
J: Yeah, I think it was a cool way to release, it was a gift to our fans, they could listen to it stread away on “Spotify” or wherever they wanted. And they didn't have to wait. We noticed when playing the new song live, that they are going really well. The audience are singing the words, they know the songs, they're really enjoying them.
That's good then.
J: Yeah we're very happy. [laughs]
Mesmer is derived from physics, can you give us more content about
the term ‘mesmer’?
J: Well Mesmer is referring to Franz Mesmer, all of his theory's where disproven. He had some really cool theory’s about magnetisme between all living things, he called it animal magnetism. I thought that this would be really interesting, I think it’s quite a cool theory.
M: I guess that idea of everything being connected has weaved its way true Northlane’s music along time. It's just a different angle on it I guess. That was very interesting to us.
J: Most of all we thought it was a very cool sounding.
When releasing the album you stated that this was the toughest recording process you’ve ever endured. How come?
J: We all went thru a lot of personal stuff enduring the process. We lost friends and family, we had relationships failed.
M: A lot of bad things happened while we were writing the album.
J: We were able to channel that into the stories we told with our songs. Marcus especially was pushed really hard by our producer David Bendeth to bring things up he never really talked about before and truly convey what he was saying through the music.
M: Yeah there's definitely a lot of deeper, not issue’s, but deeper kind of feelings that a lot of us, especially myself, never been able to let out and get channeled into our music. And I think it was very freeing and therapeutic to talk about some of this tragic stuff that’s going on. And in the end I think it’s made for songs that are more personal and something people can connect more when they are listening. It was definitely difficult but I think we achieved something special with it.
The album artwork got a very graphic feel to it. How did you come by this design?
J: well, there’s a certain style of designers we are into. There was this one guy in Montreal, he goes by the name Fvckrender, [laughs], he uploaded new pictures on his instagram account that he come up with. We spoke with him about doing our album artwork because, we thought his stuff was really cool. We gave him a concept and then he did something for us and we didn't really liked it. So we weren’t really sure what to do, we thought about for a week, and during that week he uploaded a picture. As soon as we saw it we were like, oh my god that's perfect, that’s us. It had got like these things in it, these recurring motives that are in all of our album art and straight away we told him we want to buy that album artwork of you. We had to modify it a bit, because everytime he makes a picture he doesn’t save any of the stuff, he just uploads it and then it’s done. So he created something very similar and that became our album artwork. It was really cool.
You also use a triangle in a lot of your merch or band design. Does this has a reason?
J: No, there is no real reason.
M: I think the interesting thing with the Mesmer art as well, it’s a combination of art that all have come before us, a lot of the colors are very similar to our past artworks. And I guess the cube looking design that Northlane had in their designs for a long time so it’s a cool mix of everything.
Any bands playing here today that are or have been a great inspiration for you guys?
J: yeah, Rammstein. [laughs]
M: Did I see Sepultura is playing today? Cause that's outrageous.
J: They were one of my favorite bands as a kid too.
M: and I am very keen to see Europe. Their not necessary a big influence on me, but they're a band that I am very excited about to see.
Thank you for the interview, do you have any last words for our readers?
M: thank you, thanks for having us. Good to be back in Belgium.
J: Yeah, good to be back.