Northlane have just dropped their new album ‘Alien’, out now via UNFD. Billed as “the most personal statement of their career,” here’s everything you need to know about their revealing new full-length, as told by vocalist Marcus Bridge.
The instrumental side of ‘Alien’ was tracked in Western Sydney in the same studio that ‘Hollow Existence’ was recorded. The vocal tracking took place at Electric Sun Studios. On top of Discoveries being engineered there, I have a lot of history with the place, having recorded there with a previous band almost ten years ago.
The vocal break leading into the final breakdown of ‘Talking Heads’ was taken from a live performance late last year. We tried tracking it in the studio, but it didn’t feel natural. The take you hear on the record came from a live performance while trialling the song in Europe and captures that breathless, raw energy that the part needed. Also in ‘Talking Heads’, after the first chorus, the guitar is pitch-shifted lower. In order to get even more weight and clarity behind the pitch shift, we recorded those guitar parts through a bass cab.
The chorus you hear in ‘Bloodline’ today was actually the first version we wrote, but self-producing a record means you can try whatever you want, for better or worse. In this case, we just confused ourselves. We wrote 10-15 different versions of the chorus with alternate lyrics and melodies, but they never felt right. Almost 18 months later, we reverted to that original chorus. It taught us to trust our instincts and not overthink things if they feel right.
During the ‘Alien’ recording sessions, we stayed in the Airbnb from hell. There was black mould along the skirtings and this damp smell that you couldn’t escape. We complained at the end of our stay, but the owner tried to turn it back on us saying that “no-one else had ever complained and that we didn’t clean up after ourselves” which we most certainly did.
Once or twice a week, Josh [Smith, guitar] would cook dinner for everyone and take a special request from each of us. One night I asked for seitan buffalo soldiers, and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. He made some crazy stuff during our time in the studio; the man can cook!
Taken from the September issue of Upset. Northlane’s album ‘Alien’ is out now.