Interview With Northlane Bassist, Alex Milovic
NORTHLANE have been a band under the spotlight for the last couple of months. After announcing new vocalist Marcus Bridge, and releasing their brand new single ‘Rot’, they are back in the UK supporting Australian brothers and metal core giants, PARKWAY DRIVE. Here’s what bassist Alex Milovic had to say when we recently caught up with them.
Welcome back to the UK man! Is the UK treating you ok?
The UK has been very, very good to us. UK shows are always kind of like a second home. London was amazing last night and Nottingham was huge. UK crowds are very kind to us.
It’s the second time you’ve toured the U.K. this year, both times venues have sold out weeks in advance. How does that make you feel?
Well, you know they weren’t sold out for us! We did a support for Architects, and a support for Parkway (Drive), but knowing you’re coming into a venue that’s sold out is always exciting. Like a thirteen or fourteen hundred capacity room, and you know that it’s sold out is awesome. A very good feeling. Does it make anyone in the band nervous? I guess everyone has their little nerves and stuff like that, but that’s natural, whether it’s a hundred cap room, a thousand cap room, or you know some shows with Parkway back home with six thousand cap rooms. You’re always going to get a few jitters and nerves, but if someone’s not nervous then they’re not human.
You guys announced Marcus Bridge as the new Northlane vocalist less than a month ago; there must have been a fair bit of pressure preparing for this tour?
As with any tour, there is always gonna be pressure. This is our first tour with Marcus, and his first international tour in general, so more nerves just coming into it. Parkway’s been a band we’ve all watched grow, and you know so its great. Marcus has also said a couple of times where it’s like kinda surreal that he’s even here touring with us. He’s been a fan of Northlane since we started, so it’s been a big change for him. There was a lot of preparation, we have a practice room back at home where we were jamming out like two or three times a week, getting all tight. But nerves wise, his first show with Northlane was in Sweden in front of twelve hundred people, so if you’re not nervous, like I said before, you’re not human.
There have been a large amount of positive comments on social media regarding the current tour. Given the time frame you’ve had with Marcus how do you think the tour has been?
Well, Marcus is an amazing vocalist, and we didn’t doubt him for a second.
Obviously, that’s one of the reasons why we chose him to front Northlane, and obviously the people coming to our shows might have only heard to covers he’s done on YouTube or the Northlane stuff, so haven’t really been able to hear what he’s capable of until our shows. It’s great that we’ve seen a lot of positive feedback and a lot of positive comments, so we’re just stoked. We’re unbelievably stoked by where we are as a band now, and we’re even more stoked that the fans love the decision that we made.
Have the crowds reacted well to Marcus’s vocals?
Yeah, there’s been shows where we’ll walk out and there will be ‘Marcus’ chants and people chanting for Marcus and really getting behind us, so they kind of calm the nerves for him a bit. It could well have been a very negative reaction, but overall it has been amazing, and we couldn’t have asked for a better transition, and a better run of shows to introduce him. When Marcus put the first audition up there were a lot of mixed feelings. Had you see any of Marcus’s work before that point? Yeah, the first audition that went online wasn’t actually the first audition. There were quite a few. Obviously, when we put the audition processes up, a lot of people put them straight up on YouTube, but just as many people sent them straight to us via email with embedded videos and audio. It was a big process… a career changing process for us. Marcus had done a ‘Quantum Flux” cover that was just emailed to us, and what a lot of people don’t know is that he used to play guitar in a band, he used to play drums in a band and he sent us a couple of songs that he wrote the drums, guitar, bass and sung over. A couple of other people did that as well, but it really showed his creativity not only as a vocalist, but as a musician. He did a lot of things before that YouTube video that people don’t know about.
Are you guys looking forward to a quiet Christmas after the tour, or will it will a busy time preparing for the return to the States in January?
It’s definitely not a quiet Christmas for us, that’s for sure. We get home at 9 AM on Christmas Eve, so spend Christmas and New Year at home, and then we do a festival in Melbourne, Australia, that is put on by our label, and then we’re just writing and prepping for the States, so its definitely not a quiet one, but definitely looking forward to having Christmas at home before jetting off again. How does the American audience compare to the European or the Australian audiences? Look, I’m sure anyone will say this but, there’s nothing like home. But, they’re crazy. Like, American audiences are crazy… European… UK. This year we’ve toured the States, done a couple of headline shows, supported BRING ME THE HORIZON. We did the Architects support, we went back home and headlined and now were back with Parkway Drive. All the shows have been ridiculous. Maybe in New York people were doing big circle pits, but in London people were reacting to a different song. Everyone is going crazy for their own thing that they like, so there’s no like, bettercrowd, but it blows my mind the places that we go where people like our band.
Australia seems to be at the heart of industry recently, with a lot of talented bands breaking out onto a global scene. Which Aussie bands need a shout out? Who should we keeping an eye and ear out for over the next couple of years?
There are good friends of ours on our label called IN HEARTS WAKE, who recently did some shows over here with BURY TOMORROW, a couple of months ago. Obviously, the AMITY AFFLICTION are huge, so they are already up there. Another skeleton if you will are a band called BREAK EVEN, who went on hiatus a few years ago, but are back with a new song, and its seems like they are back kicking again. Yeah, a bit heavier there’s a death metal band from Perth called MAKE THEM SUFFER, that are really killing it at the moment, and are about to release another CD.
What was it like for you, as a band, to gain recognition outside of Australia?
It was a long process, man. Before we released ‘Discoveries’, which was our first album, we were playing shows to like, twenty or thirty people, and we did that for like, three and a half to four years. There are a lot of places in Australia where bands don’t usually go, and we were just doing these ridiculous shows in towns to like, fifteen, twenty people, but because of all of those crazy tours that we did, when we released ’Discoveries’, and announced that we had signed to UNIFIED, there was a very strong backing behind us, and it was not so much over night, we really saw we did have a lot of fans. When we started playing city tours, where those small towns might have been only an hour away, people were driving and travelling to see us. From there, we were really able to cement a very loyal, and very strong fanbase, which fortunately, after ‘Singularity’, and as we tour more, keeps growing. We still see people at shows that have been coming to shows since before we released ‘Discoveries’ and you see those familiar faces that have been to like, fifteen Northlane shows, or something. Yeah, it’s a great feeling man.
You’ve just been announced to play DOWNLOAD this year. What does it mean to be apart of one of this country’s biggest festivals?
Crazy, man! You know, I first kind of got whiff of Download Festival back when Throwdown was still a band, and watching live videos from them. Even just before we came on this tour, watching bands like, our monitor guy works for Bring Me The Horizon, so watching them play Download and Crossfaith. To be announced on that with SLIPKNOT is just like the fifteen year old me is going crazy. Not only was it a goal for me to play a show with Slipknot in my life but also were playing one of the UK’s biggest festivals. Mind blown. It’s still kind of really surreal that it’s even happening.
You’d already started to write for another album before Marcus Joined the band. What’s the plan for new material and another album now? Has the change in personnel forced a change in producing the next album?
Look, Northlane has always collectively been a band about progression, so if you listen from our first EP to our album, to our second album it’s not really the same thing. We’re always changing… were always evolving. I guess you can kind of hear a bit of that with ‘Rot’, but before Adrian left, before Marcus came into the band, we needed to start writing. There are some things that we wanted to do that we started writing for. The only change, with Marcus being in the band now, is that he is predominantly a singer, but also an amazing screamer, so it’s just opened the doors with what we can do with our music. The dude has a range that is absolutely phenomenal. The music wouldn’t really change, no matter what vocalist we had, because its what we had already been working with and working towards, but having Marcus in the band will obviously change the vocal dynamic range of the band but for the better. All positives.
The tour has given your fans the chance to see and hear what Marcus brings to the live show, what do you thing he’s bringing to the new album?
He’s an amazing vocalist! I hate to sound like a fanboy for him, but he’s a great vocalist. The topics that we have always written about, with a lot of positivity and a lot of uplifting lyrical content, is something that Marcus embodies as well, so he’s very much on the same wavelength as the rest of us. When it comes to lyrics, I know Adrian was a great lyricist, and that’s something a lot of fans have said they will miss about Northlane, but I can assure them, with Marcus in the band, those types of themes and topics will always be a collective. Marcus has a different kind of approach to vocals. We have always wanted to incorporate more singing and Marcus will give us that freedom and versatility. A lot of our favourite bands are LINKIN PARK, INCUBUS and COLDPLAY. We love metal, don’t get me wrong, we’re a metal band, but we’ve always wanted to explore the potential of putting out the best music we can possibly put out, not only for our fans but for ourselves. So, I guess with that being said, just a lot of positive change.
What else lies ahead for the band in 2015 and future years?
Well, we’ve announced that in January we start our full American support with AUGUST BURNS RED, and that’s with friends of ours MISS MAY I and ERRA. A great band… haven’t met those guys yet, but a great band. That drops us in New Jersey straight after that tour, where we go to record. But yeah, we’ve announced Download, we’ve announced Greenfield Festival, so we’re hopefully getting the album out just in time for festival season, which will see us maybe back in the UK, and back in Europe hopefully for a headliner. We’ve done three supports here so we’re trying to work that out. We’ll see what happens. Just a lot more touring really.
Any message you want to send out to the fans and our readers?
The UK and Europe has always been amazing to us, so thank you to anyone who has come and watched our band, supported us, bought merch, sent Facebook comments or messages. I know everyone says this, but without the supporters, the fans of the music, and the bands we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, so thank you very much.
Interview by Siôn Roe
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