After years of hard work in Australia, battling to prove themselves as contenders worthy of touring not only their own country, but overseas in North America, Northlane officially stands triumphant as they play shows in the United States for the first time ever. Like other Australian bands who have crossed over to the Americas, like Tonight Alive and Hands Like Houses, Northlane shines above their peers and puts every bit of passion they have into their music. Coming to play here in the states had always been a dream of theirs, but in an interview guitarist Josh Smith reveals that touring here has proven to be a little bit more challenging than expected; however, at the end of the night, the hardships all prove to be worth it.
Northlane’s ethereal atmosphere blends with their metal roots in an enticing way, creating a unique sound, which helps set them apart in the scene. Their music video for “Dream Awake” debuted last month and the images and style of the video visually compliments the sonic and lyrical aspects of the song. The young Aussies clearly know their own style and their music videos definitely illustrate that.
Northlane currently shares the road and the stage with Veil of Maya, and Structures, Vildhjarta and Here Comes the Kraken. Their first U.S. tour ends December 14th but 2014 will be filled with tours, according to Smith. Find out what else Smith has to say about Northlane’s journey and experiences from Australia to America in his interview below.
Substream Magazine: The Australian invasion, including yourselves as of this current tour, has been extremely prevalent in the past year. What about the Australian music scene do you think contributes to the presence of such outstanding talent from young bands like you guys?
Josh Smith: In Australia, it’s very hard to gain footing as a band, there are huge distances to travel if you want to tour and in comparison to America, not very many people. There aren’t many opportunities and this forces Australian bands to work very hard. The ones that travel overseas have already cut their teeth in Australia, which is why we have so many good bands coming out of our country for its relative size.
SM: Northlane finally came to the United States for a tour. Had that been a goal for you guys? How does it feel to be touring here?
JS: It’s a huge deal for us, a lifelong dream that we’ve finally been able to live.
SM: You guys have said that the band Structures, also on the tour with you, has been really helpful in your career. What does it mean to be able to spend your first U.S. tour with them?
JS: They sure have been. It’s great to be on the road with them, having familiar faces around makes you feel more at home and it’s so good to hang with those guys.
SM: Are there any notable differences between Australian tour life and the tour life here in America?
JS: There’s so many places to play here compared to Australia, and because of that, the tours go for about 3-4 times as long so it’s much more grueling (and way colder!).
SM: Your full length album Singularity came out in Australia back in March and had really great reception; however, the record only just dropped in the U.S. last month while you were on tour. How has reception here been? Have you noticed kids singing along?
JS: The reception has been insane, really not something we were expecting and we couldn’t be happier with how this tour has gone, big sing-alongs indeed!
SM: Will Putney, who has worked with legendary metal bands like Lamb of God, produced and mixed Singularity. What was it like to work with him?
JS: Will was great to work with. He’s an extremely intelligent dude and did a great job on the record.
SM: Your video for “Dream Awake” recently premiered on Loudwire and the video for “Quantum Flux” came out earlier this year. What about those videos visually represents your music?
JS: The visuals in “Dream Awake” I think are a great way of representing our band in an almost crossing of the senses. It’s strange how music can make you feel certain things, we wanted to try and recreate that in a video.
SM: Who writes most of Northlane’s lyrics? What mostly acts as inspiration for those? What about “Dream Awake?” What inspired such ethereal imagery in that song?
JS: Adrian is the primary lyric writer in our band. He’s mostly inspired by his life experiences. “Dream Awake” is about transcending the negative aspects of your life in order to rise above them and live the dream you want to be living.
SM: What was the most humbling experience you had as a band this year?
JS: Playing on tour with Karnivool was extremely humbling for us. Watching those guys play was something else and a huge growth experience for us as a band.
SM: This was a fantastic year for Northlane. What are some of you favorite memories of 2013?
JS: Some of my favorite memories are playing the Soundwave festival tour, our first trip to Europe and our show last night (December 7) in New York City!
SM: What can we expect from Northlane in 2014?
JS: A whole lot of touring!
Catch Northlane on the final few dates of their tour!
12/12 Toronto, ON @ Annex Wreckroom
12/13 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
12/14 Chicago, IL @ Reggies
Don’t forget to enter to win one of TWO copies of Northlane’s new album, Singularity, right here!
Interview by Alice Carson