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article imageMarcus Bridge of Northlane talks about 'Alien' album, technology Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 25, 2019 in Music
Vocalist Marcus Bridge from the Australian metalcore band Northlane chatted with Digital Journal about their fifth studio album "Alien," which will be released on August 2 via UNFD. Bridge also spoke about the impact of technology on the music business.
On the song selection process for Alien, he said, "We don't often leave much on the cutting room floor when we write an album. Sometimes there are a few ideas we mess around with early on, but if it doesn't feel right, it doesn't make it to the point of putting vocals on it. We allowed ourselves a lot more time to write and try different things for Alien but in the end, that just meant we spent more time making those 11 songs perfect."
At the moment his favorite song on the album is "Freefall." "It retells a true story from my childhood in it's rawest form and really immerses you at that moment. Those are the kind of songs I enjoy listening to from other artists and for me, it really hits hard, so I'm really proud of that one," he said.
On their future plans, he said, "We have the 'Alien World Tour' kicking off in a couple of weeks in Japan where we will be playing with Crystal Lake. After that, we head back home ahead of the record release before heading off to the U.S. for the first time in a long time. We'll be wrapping up the year with shows in AU/NZ and then, EU/UK up until Christmas. We are planning out next year as we speak but I expect it to be just as jam-packed."
On their musical inspirations and songwriting, he said, "We're inspired by many different things. Musically we like to experiment with different sounds and styles outside of the 'Metal' scope and this time around, we were heavily influenced by the darker and more industrial side of electronic music."
He elaborated, "In the past, we have written about various things that we are passionate about, both personal and broader issues, but with Alien we took a different approach and dug deeper to match the tone of the music. These songs are the most vulnerable we have ever put out lyrically, touching on drug addiction, domestic violence, anxiety, and depression. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to these songs and will hopefully inspire more people to feel comfortable being open about their past."
Digital transformation of the music business
On the impact of technology and streaming services on the music industry, he said, "It's obviously changed the game quite a lot, you can easily record a decent quality song out of your bedroom and instantly upload it to the internet. I think as we observe these advances in technology, the best thing we can do is move with it and use it to your advantage."
"These days music fans are more dedicated than ever which means you are able to do some pretty interesting and interactive stuff in order to create a unique relationship with the people listening to your music. I think the idea of making crazy amounts of money from releasing and selling an album alone is a much harder thing to achieve these days, if at all, but if that's why you play music, you're in it for the wrong reasons," he said.
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as a musician, he said, "It's a tool that we constantly use for demoing and recording music, finding new music or just keeping in touch with fans or the rest of the band via social media and Messenger, it's a necessary evil these days."
"Our bassist also lives on the other side of the world in Toronto, without the technology we have today, we wouldn't be able to make that work," he said. "Also, I personally haven't owned an amplifier in years considering how far amp and cab simulators have come. Despite our reliance on our phones and computers in our everyday lives, we also have so much at our fingertips to help in our creativity and productivity which I think is pretty amazing."
On their dream collaboration choices, he said, "There are a bunch of bands and musicians I'd love to work with on a personal basis and with Northlane."
"One of the first people that comes to mind is Corey Taylor. As I get older, I come to realize how big an influence his vocal style has been for me. Karnivool would be another band that I'd love to work with one day. At the other end of the spectrum, I'd love to work with Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco. Deep down I'm an emo kid so that would be a big deal for me," he exclaimed.
For their fans, he concluded about Alien, "The main thing I want people to take away from Alien is that there are people all over the world who have had the same or similar past and upbringing to you and you don't have to be afraid to open up about it. Through this exploration of my past experiences, I hope to show people that despite your upbringing, you aren't destined for that same path, you can change the story."
To learn more about Northlane, check out their official Facebook page.
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