What would you ask Tucson-based North if you had the chance? Well, our first question would be: why name the band North when you’re from the Southwest? Seems a little geographically confusing. Where’s North from, you ask? The Southwest. Eh?! A more apropos moniker would be, well, Southwest. Then, North’s fans would always know where their favorite band is from at all times without having to pull the old Whatchamacallit skit from early ’80s television commercials.
All nonsense aside, North’s new album, The Great Silence, is a bonafide rager. Maybe a slow motion-ish rager, but a collection of songs that make me, you, and the person standing next to you at the bus stop stare at the sky in pure “Woah, dude…” ponderment*. They got the “universe is heavy” quotient married to the “what are we doing here?” question formula down like they got Ph.D.s from Harvard’s (or Oxford if you’re from that other country) School of Philosophy & Other Expensive Shit.
So, yes, you heard North’s new moon beams here. Of course, you did. It’s the Deciblog!
And, now, for a killer track-by-track commentary courtesy of the North dudes:
“Nihil Novi Sub Sole“: Matt originally wrote the chords for the intro to sentience instead, as an extended intro for the song, but we decided to make it a separate first track and fade it into the next track instead. We like to have intros/segues, to establish some sort of mood for the album, this is the only one that appears on this particular album.
“Sentience“: We jammed out this song in the middle of the writing process, it started with a lot of samples and guitars and keys, we titled it “Sample Song” initially. We originally had a different ending that we actually toured with, there’s a live recording floating around with that ending. When Evan returned to the band after a brief hiatus we added an additional 5 minutes to the track that we felt resolves the previous 8 minutes much better.
“Inanimate Fathers“: Matt came in with the intro riff and the melodic solo part, this was written with a previous guitar player, Matt worked out all the twin guitar parts together on a looping pedal which is what most of the album’s guitar harmonies were written on. The rest of it was more of a collaborative effort especially the chilling ending, which also used to have a keyboard part.
“Origins“: We called this “James Bond in Space” see if you can figure out which riff evokes that for you. It was initially supposed to be a shorter instrumental segue track but after jamming through we felt it needed more and it it ended up in it’s final form with the vocal harmonies you hear.
“Pulse/Patience/Paradox“: This was the first song we wrote for this album. It was written as one “Mega Song” all together and eventually after we demoed it we figured out where to split the 3 parts. This song has to be at least 2 plus years old but we still really enjoy playing it. It was the first song written when we moved into our practice space so there was a lot of creative buzz flowing leading to the longest song we’ve ever attempted. We think this is one of the song(s) along with Sentience that really showcases all the extremely hard vocal work Kyle Hardy and Evan put into this record. They spent recording nights going back and forth working out their parts and it really makes the album special.
“Où Est Tout Le Monde?”: Matt brought this banger into practice one night with the title “Inception” because the opening riff reminded us of some parts of the inception score. It was a tough song to learn and get the whole band on the same page. When we first played through the ending we thought the roof was going to fall in on our space, it was so epic and dreary. The whole package of this song from the music to the lyrics to the mood sums up our album concept and theme of the failed search for extraterrestrial life perfectly.
* Yes, “ponderment” is a made-up word for purposes of this bloggo.
** North’s new album, The Great Silence, is out August 28th, 2012 on Cavity Records. It’s available for pre-order HERE. Get all three colors (limited, natch) for $50, and feel like you’re stacking the proverbial deck for your future kid’s college fund. Either that or steal someone’s ISIS Sawblade EP.