Monday, September 15, 2014

Rise Of The North Start Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Vithia (vocals) : Recording sessions ended in December 2013, in January we went to Japan to play three shows and we took advantage of this trip to shoot our latest music video Welcame (FSOM) and some promo pictures for the album. In this same tame frame, the record was being mixed and mastered by Zeuss in your country. We kept on playing shows, released another extract from the album : a Pharoahe Monch cover song « Simon Says », I created my own music label and signed the band, we did brilliantly at many summer festivals and now I finished all the artworks for the album. It's coming and it's going to be heavy.
Fab (bass) : We also started to promote the album. It really takes more time to do everything on our own. December 2013 seems to be far from now, but we didn't stop working hard to give our first album the best exposure.

2.You have a new album coming out in September, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
V : this album is definitely richer and more accomplished than anything we've done before. We tried to get a heavy and sharp sound and put in relief the natural groove of the band but also the guitar riffs and solos. This is the first time we take some much time working on « our sound » and Zeuss did a really great job. To me, this album is the outcome of 6 years of hard work. All my love for Thrash, NYHC, Hip Hop and Manga is crystallized in this first album, I'm very proud of it.
F : This record is really rich, the Japan's edition length is close to 50 minutes, it's not a « purely hardcore » record... This style is built up in our music but this is not the label we want to put on our music. Also, when you listen to the tracks one by one, each one covers a very wide musical spectrum and I think many people will find their own taste. If people like WELCAME (FSOM), they will like the album. Not because all tracks sounds like this one, but because each one, in its own style,   as rich as this one.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
V : Themes didn't change, I have set the tone since the beginning with « Tokyo Assault » (our first Ep / 2010) and I'm not going to turn my coat. Nevertheelss on an LP, I had more space to go deeper and express myself, this record tells about us and is an open window on a side of Japan that people might not really know, a darker one but still rich. I use the manga metaphore to get messages and ideas out... The eleven lyrics of the album sum up a full working year and a dunce schooling haha
F : « an open window on Japan » with also a title about Mike Tyson haha ! Vithia wrote great lyrics with huge punchlines.

4.Can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Japanese culture?
V : This is a love story that started during childhood, we all discovered Japan through animes and mangas... Personnaly, it really helped me to find my way, growing up and asserting myself I drawn many resources from it. And also a certain strength of character.
F: We talk about the american influence here but Japan really lulled us too. Classic shonen mangas are inevitable. When you get lumbered with cartoons and suddenly you have Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Hokuto No Ken or even Akira blasting your screen with such a visual violence, you must get into it. At least, that was the case for me.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Rise Of The Northstar?
V : Rise Of The Northstar is a direct reference to the manga Hokuto No Ken, Fist Of The Northstar for you. In the comic, Ken is a violent avenger character... We are here to settle the scores with ourselves and the whole world. Since the beginning, the band is an outlet for me. Through this rage and violence, I aspire to a certain degree of fullness. To rise in other words. So this is what's behind the name ROTNS, the need to move forward, assist by this infinite wealth that Japanese culture has.
F : By the way, I got introduced by the band in a pretty stylish way : "Fabulous Fab aka Da Saiyen Avenger, Nanto Roku Seiken School.", Nanto Roku Seiken School being the « opposite » to the Hokuto one, gathering them brings stability. The same stability we found after having faced line up pains.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
F : I joined the band two years ago. During this period, I would say that the first Resurrection Fest we played at (Spain, 2013) was really outstanding. On top of people chanting our choruses, we saw for the first time guys dressed like Goku and Naruto in the pit, we found it very funny. Our show in Taïwan (January 2013) left a strong mark too. More recently, our last shows in Japan were huge and I can wait to go back there. Regarding our show performance, you should better ask the fans to describe it. One thing is certain : when we go far from our home, it's not to stay static on stage and least of all not to upset people showing up and pay to see us.
V : Yeah we generally turn the tide on shows thanks to energy on stage. We all come from the punk/HxC scene and met at shows or through this music in general, so we are from this school that puts an explosive live performance higher on the ladder than musical accuracy haha. There's only Eva-B who is really really clever with his instrument, he's not here for fun, he is our Champion on a musical aspect... Just behind me haha

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
V : We used to but many shows have been cancelled due to my recent back injury. But by 2015, we'll announce stuff so stay tuned.

8.The new album is coming out on Repression Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
V : There's not much to say about it haha, I created my own label to keep and absolute artistic and financial control on my band, this is our home, we do what we want and work with who we want.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of hardcore and thrash?
V : This question should be asked to our supporters, not to us haha. We get messages and receive show offers from everywhere in the world, that's cool. I think people are tired to be stuck with always the same bands looking like each other, telling the same things, doing the same shows and endorsed by the same brands... and most of all who write the same songs, the fans usually talk about our freshness and the unique aspect that characterize the band.. We thank them for this.
F: In general we get a warm welcome. People that are not used to amplified music can also appreciate our sound. Our imaging, our universe and our relationship with mangas tends to seduce a wider spectrum than the generic fan of extreme music... This is awesome.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
V : Wherever we want.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
V : RATM ! All the late 80's classics such as Metallica, Slayer, ST or Sepultura. But also bands like Pantera, Machine Head or the Korn of its early stages, NTM, Assassin, your Rap golden years, and of course classic HxC acts like Madball, Terror or Agnostic Front... It's huge. Nowadays, I often listen to Rage for a change haha, the latest maxi from our friends The Great Divide and Schoolboy Q.
F : Vithia just well summed up our influences. Each one of us has his own musical background but we all agree on those bands and vibes. For example, Eva B is a big technical death metal consumer, and melodic hardcore for me. But the five of us all have those influences in common. In the last while, I've been playing back to back our latest album and the The Great Divide one. Otherwise, I stay true to my classics : Comeback Kid, Down To Nothing, Terror, Allegiance, Killswitch Engage.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
V : Mangas
F : this and horror movies

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
V : Thanks to all supporters from around the world. ROTNS is an authentic band that moves forward at its own pace in the most noble way ever : in harmony with ourselves. We never claimed to be part of any specific scene, we play the music we want, may people classify us as they wish ; the most important thing is not where we come from but where we go, and we aim for the tops, peace !

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