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NORTHMAAN: "The metal family are the best and most loyal fans in music. If this doesn’t drive you and your emotions in any way then there is something seriously wrong."

Interview with Northmaan from Northmaan
by Patrick McMahon at 18 April 2021, 3:41 AM

With his shotgun greeting to the music world, NORTHMAAN is off to a phenomenal start with a self-titled release. His work captures the best of many styles, to bring commercial success back to the alternative world. Metal Temple writer Patrick McMahan had the pleasure of asking key questions about the process, pandemic, and the future of NORTHMAAN.

To start on the right foot, I want to thank you for taking the time to interview with Metal Temple. How has the community been receiving your album so far?

Northmaän- The community has been very supportive this far and I am getting some really encouraging reviews feeding back to me. Obviously, a lot of hard work has went in to the writing and production processes so hearing the positive feedback makes it all worthwhile.

Obviously I have to retract the credit from the review I posted, You are the solo artist and the production was done with Jayce Lewis. How was that experience?

Northmaän- Yes that is correct. Jayce recorded and produced the album at Northstone studios in South Wales. It was a very satisfying and productive time in the studio. Jayce has a great work ethic and very supportive so I felt comfortable right from the start. The attention to detail he has is second to none.

Did any challenges stand in your way while you put this record together?

Northmaän- The main challenge for me was the pandemic. That really slowed the production of the album as obviously I couldn’t get to the studio, so a lot of ‘reflection’ time was to be had.

What are your feelings on this pandemic, especially in the way that it has affected this release?

Northmaän- I’m not sure you could publish my true feelings on the pandemic as it wouldn’t make for pretty reading! Along with millions of other performers and artists there is so much frustration and helplessness felt as we try to keep our heads above water. One thing the pandemic does show is that life is very fragile and also very precious. I really hope the population take this on board as we move on.

What is your plan right now, trying to bring this performance to the rest of the world?

Northmaän- Yes that is the plan in a nutshell. Getting Northmaän ‘out there’ is the number 1 priority for me right now. I am making the most of the downtime however by keeping myself busy with the writing of more material for future releases.

Have you had any opportunity to bring on band members to this project?

Northmaän- Yes indeed. I have a band primed and ready to go once restrictions allow. Out of the tracks we get to see on the album, “Persevere” resonates with me the most.

Obviously, as listeners we get to apply our own meanings to these tracks, but what is the song to you personally?

Northmaän- Persevere to me is about being strong. Don’t let life beat you down. I also factor in a little religious satyr as well. Have your own thoughts and beliefs. Don’t allow some jumped up story teller to brainwash you about ancient fairy tales.

This release seriously resonated with me, and I feel like there is always more drive to the subjects you have gone after. Have you started any planning for another release?

Northmaän- As I stated earlier, I have started writing for a future release. Time is on my side just now due to the situation we are all in (every cloud) and I will be making the most of it. I do anticipate that when things finally open back up, the music scene will explode in to life again, hopefully taking me with it!

I think of all the things I enjoyed on this release, the very purposeful and driven production came from somewhere. What were some of the studio elements that contributed to the sound most?

Northmaän- Jayce and I spent time working on various tones and combinations of equipment placement at the start of the recording. Again, with Jayce’s attention to detail, even with the basic stuff, really reflects on the finished product. That is the reason there have been so many big acts recording at Northstone. It speaks for itself really.

On that same note, do you have any instruments or gear that you rely on for your sound?

Northmaän- I try a multitude of different combinations (too many to list) before the record button is pressed, from guitars and amps to drum tunings and mics. My guilty pleasure is getting an old beat-up piece of shit guitar and making it a destroyer in the studio. It’s the simple things!

I saw your interview with Total Rock, you mentioned that you are building a studio and that the music is really your only focus currently. Have you found any like minded projects to work with in your own studio?

Northmaän- At the moment the studio is still at the building stage. Getting it up and running however is a big priority. More so for my sanity than anything! I would like to work with up-and-coming acts in the future. To try and bring them on and get material released. If they can use that material to shape a career in the industry it would be very satisfying.

You achieved a strong balance on this album that makes it unique. Where do you think that other bands in the scene have come short of the mark?

Northmaän- I know a lot of bands are under a huge amount of pressure from ‘up above’ to get new material recorded and released. This could maybe be a factor to why the scene gets a little stale from time to time? I don’t know. At one end of the scale we have the likes of pop punk still coming out of the States and at the other end we have Gojira. The new stuff that Gojira are currently releasing is incredible so it is not all doom and gloom in the metal/rock world. These guys along with a few others are bar setters. All of this of course is only my opinion.

You have made statements about the metal community as a whole being the driving force of the music. Are there other projects in the community that you “tip your hat to”, so to speak?

Northmaän- Absolutely! The metal family are the best and most loyal fans in music. If this doesn’t drive you and your emotions in any way then there is something seriously wrong. This is why metal musicians get up on stage night after night and do what they do. As for tipping my hat, there are a few that stick out at me personally. Obviously, I have mentioned Gojira. Behemoth are another act making huge waves and have been for years. Even off stage Nergal is an inspiration with what he has been through with his health back in the day, to the fights he has now with the draconian blasphemy laws bullshit. Jinjer are another. That band seem to be getting stronger with every release. I still to this day have no idea how Tatiana does what she does with that amount of ease!!!!

What is the rest of 2021 for you?

Northmaän- Well, I, like most are at the mercy of this virus. Hopefully we can start getting some form of normality back real soon. Until then I will be concentrating on building and writing.

I thank you again for taking the time to talk with me. I hope to see you and this album out and making a big splash in the music world as we all get back to normal!

Northmaän- Thank you very much for the support. For everyone reading this along with yourself Stay safe, stay strong and never give in!


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Edited 05 June 2023

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