Decibrity Playlist: North

I first read about North via Catherine Yates’ review of What You Were back in 2008, but it wasn’t until I perused our Managing Editor’s writeup of the record in that year’s top 40 that I thankfully got around to listening. Even though it’s been a while since then, once you’ve read last year’s interview with guitarist Matt Mutterperl, all I really need to tell you about what the Arizonians have been up to recently is that they dropped a self-described “transition” EP Metanoia back in March and that it’s great to have them back. Since the trio will be hitting the road next month, we asked Mutterperl and drummer Zack Hansen to contribute another chapter in our ongoing series of what gets played in the tour van. After you’ve checked out their picks below, get a copy of Metanoia here. What You Were is also being released on vinyl for the first time next month, and you can pre-order that here.

When I’m on the road and it’s my turn to drive, it’s essential that I have a few things: coffee, light assorted snackery, and tunes that keep me engaged and pass the time. Here are my picks.–Matt Mutterperl

The Smashing Pumpkins–Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (1995)
I first got this album when I was in grade school and I only jammed a few other songs besides the singles. Years later when I revisited it, I listened all the way through it and it was totally captivating. I love this record. We attempted covering “Bodies”, but it’s been on the drawing board for a while, unfortunately. Gets better with every listen through, I think. Perfect to get lost in.

Q And Not U–No Kill No Beep Beep (2000)
I moved to Arizona in the middle of high school, and I had zero friends for a little bit, except for the internet. A forum I was on had mentioned Dischord Records, and somehow I came across Q And Not U. This album was a real eye-opener/taste-shaper/mind-expander. It’s catchy as hell, and usually [bassist/vocalist] Evan Leek and I can sing along to most of it and dance like a couple of hip jerks!

Weezer–Pinkerton (1996, 2010 deluxe edition)
Again, an album that I briefly flirted with as a youth and came back to appreciate later. Pinkerton has that raw, visceral emotion that Weezer’s other offerings don’t really do for me. I can listen straight through, finger-drumming along for almost an hour before we hit the b-sides and live tracks: “Getting Up and Leaving” and “Tragic Girl” are solid tracks that I had never heard before and instantly fell in love with.

Glassjaw–Worship And Tribute (2002)
I’ve listened to this album countless times, and it never gets old to me. From front to finish, Daryl Palumbo’s vocals never let up. Hell, every instrument is shining here. “Tip Your Bartender” quickly sets the tone and all of the sudden I’m on “Pink Roses” and still jamming. I can easily get lost in this piece for it to satisfy part of an overnight drive. This album is timeless to me.

Sleep is such an invaluable resource on the road, you really take for granted just how comfortable the minute sounds of your own room are. Then you have to take into account the guys snoring their skulls off, the hardwood floor, the unfamiliar houses and the non stop ringing in your ears. Most of the time music is a necessity just to get those four hours of sleep you need to get back in the driver’s seat. North plays loud, heavy, and extreme music and so many of my favorite artists and groups are the opposite of that. I think a good contrast is needed. Here are some albums I need to get by on tour.–Zack Hansen

Sigur Rós–Ágætis byrjun (1999)
Such a monumental record, this band can do no wrong in my eyes. When we first started touring, I didn’t drive a lot. I would just throw on this record and ( ), and pass out in the back of the van for hours. I’m not sure I could stay awake through more than two songs, it was just so soothing and melancholic that I had no choice but to shut down completely.

Sylvain Chauveau–Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) (2010)
I listen to a lot of composers and I think Frenchman Sylvain Chauveau is one of the strangest. Singular Forms bucked the trend of his previous albums and went so completely minimal that it becomes borderline creepy. The vocals make this project and really set it apart from the rest of his work. It’s rhythmic, raw, repetitive, and disconcerting. Doesn’t sound like the most appealing music when you need rest but it works. This is one of those albums where I’ll fall asleep over and over, only to wake up in the middle, only to go to right back to sleep again.

Mouth Of The Architect–Quietly (2008)
One of the most important records of my adulthood. It came out around the same time as our first full length, What You Were, in the summer of 2008. We were on tour for a month and our route was a few days behind the MOTA, Intronaut and Behold The Arctopus tour. We sometimes even played the same venue. All the while I listened to Quietly twice a day at least. It was my go to record when I needed peace and quiet. At the same time it’s not a gentle record, quite the opposite in fact. It’s so depressing and dark, from the opening sample of the wind chimes to the final vocals on “A Beautiful Corpse”. This is the music I needed to shut down the rest of the world for a time.

Braveyoung–We Are Lonely Animals (2011)
We toured with Braveyoung when they were known as Giant in our early instrumental days and they really showed me how tour was supposed to be done. I look up to them musically and as people. They went from putting out such a ridiculously crushing EP in Song to instrumental perfection on We Are Lonely Animals. I could listen to this all day and night, and sometimes do. It’s a nice reminder of the art and true beauty in music. It’s making me sappy as we speak. Their last record Will The Dust Praise You is equally inspiring.

*Photo by Andrew Weiss

**Pick up a copy of Metanoia here and check out the band on the following dates:

8/01/2014 Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
8/02/2014 TBA – Santa Fe, NM
8/03/2014 Denver Black Sky – Denver, CO
8/04/2014 FOKL Center – Kansas City, MO
8/05/2014 The Triple rock – Minneapolis, MN
8/06/2014 Quarters – Milwaukee, WI (with Northless)
8/07/2014 The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL (with Northless)
8/08/2014 Ottawa Tavern – Toledo, OH
8/09/2014 The Shop – Pittsburgh, PA
8/10/2014 King Fun Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
8/11/2014 TBA – Brooklyn, NY
8/12/2014 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
8/13/2014 Slim’s Downtown – Raleigh, NC
8/14/2014 The Poison Lawn – Knoxville, TN
8/15/2014 Wallstreet – Murfreesboro, TN
8/16/2014 The Forge – Birmingham, AL (with Set and Setting)
8/17/2014 Hey Café – New Orleans, LA (with Set and Setting)
8/18/2014 Hi-Tone – Little Rock, AR (with Set and Setting)
8/19/2014 Lindbeerg’s – Springfield, MO (with Set and Setting)
8/20/2014 The Conservatory – Oklahoma City, OK
8/21/2014 Holy Mountain – Austin, TX
8/22/2014 Lowbrow Palace – El Paso, TX
10/16-19/2014 Southwest Terror Fest III, Tucson, AZ

***Past Decibrity entries include:

The Atlas Moth
Arch Enemy
Eyehategod (Part 1) (Part 2)
Iron Reagan
Fight Amp
Junius (Part 1) (Part 2)
East Of The Wall
Drugs Of Faith
SubRosa (Part 1) (Part 2)
Vattnet Viskar
Orange Goblin
God Is An Astronaut
Primitive Man
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Kings Destroy
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Shadows Fall
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)