Last Friday, 24th March, Northlane surprised everyone with a new album, dropping their fourth full-length ‘Mesmer’ out of the blue both digitally and in shops all over. While the band stick to their norm of not playing by the rules, their new record sees them finding new influences, and exploring new themes, as frontman Marcus Bridge explains.
So, what made you decide to surprise release your new album?
Northlane have always done things a little differently when it comes to releasing music. Whether it was the countdown to ‘Quantum Flux’ and ‘Singularity’ being announced, or sending ‘Ra’ as a gift to those subscribed to our mailing list. This time we wanted to give something back to everyone who’s stuck by Northlane through thick and thin. We wanted everyone to hear it as soon as they could without having to pre-order something they wouldn’t hear for two months.
Was it difficult keeping the secret for so long?
There were a few close friends I had told, but besides that, it’s been four to five months of silence! Which has been very hard, as I’m so proud of it!
Other than having to keep it all quiet, has releasing this way presented any new challenges?
Obviously, it’s a bit risky releasing an album out of nowhere, but we have already been so overwhelmed by the response we’ve received. We didn’t want to worry about first week sales or anything like that; this is a gift to the fans.
Do you think you’ll continue to use different-from-the-norm release methods in future?
Northlane have always messed around with different ways of marketing; we’re always trying to do something new.
How did you find the reception to ‘Intuition’? Was it received as you’d hoped?
We got to debut ‘Intuition’ at Unify gathering earlier this year, and the response was wild! When you play a new song for the first time, it’s not unusual for people to just stand there and watch, whether they like it or not. They’re just trying to take it in. But at Unify, there was a crazy energy as soon as this kicked in and it was possibly my highlight of the weekend.
What were your major influences during the album’s creation?
I draw inspiration from all sorts of music, but I couldn’t pinpoint any specific influences for ‘Mesmer’, at least for me that is. I draw inspiration from bands like Underoath and Slipknot, but then Panic! At The Disco and Bruno Mars were getting spun a lot during the making of this album.
What’s your favourite thing about the record?
We were able to touch on a lot more personal stuff on this album which was very important to me. Loss and death are subjects that kept coming up, and it was quite therapeutic to release some of those feelings.
Is there anything about the release you really hope fans ‘get’?
I want fans to listen to ‘Mesmer’ with an open mind. We talk about a lot of things we’ve mentioned before, but we also delve into something new with songs like ‘Fade’ and ‘Heartmachine’. Some of the more personal songs helped me move on and grow from some very tough times in my life, and I hope that people can connect to these songs, coming to terms with the loss of those close to your heart.
Do you have big plans for the rest of the year?
The rest of the year will see us touring quite extensively! We’ve just announced a whole lot of stuff including playing the Main Stage at Download, and a bunch of other European summer festivals followed by a run of shows in Canada! There’s a lot more in the works, but I can’t wait to get back on the road!
Northlane’s album ‘Mesmer’ is out now.