Spotlight #11 – Interview : ABOVE THE NORTH (April 2015)

 

Photo : Caroline Culcasi
Photo : Caroline Culcasi

 

A few weeks ago, we were introducing to you this young band called Above The North, because, surely melodic hardcore is in safe hands with them. We recently spoke to their guitar player, Aurélien, and here is the result. 

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– So you guys are from Lyon [France], what’s your story?  
We’re a band since 2012. I started Above The North with my friend Maxime (our former 2nd guitar player) when we were 16, then Nathan, Robin and Baptiste joined us. We released a first EP called “Changemaker” in november 2012, which allowed us to play some cool local shows in 2013. In march 2014 we had some line-up issues and parted ways with Maxime and Baptiste, our former vocalist. We became a four-piece, welcoming Clément as our new vocalist. Since then we wrote new songs, played shows in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and we recently released a new EP “A Tale They Whisper”, that’s pretty much it!
– Your latest EP was released a few weeks ago, how was the recording? How did you process its writing and recording?
We wrote this EP between April and July of 2014. We wanted to change our way of writing, instead of using tabs or pre-producing songs on the computer, we all jammed at our practice space and created these four songs. We wanted to make sure everything would sound great live, and we’re glad we did it this way!
As far as recording goes, in August 2014 we packed our gear and spent ten days in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland, tracking these songs in Clement’s grandmother’s chalet. This was maybe our best experience as a band.
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– It’s called ‘A Tale They Whisper’; what’s the record based on? Is there a theme or a common thread leading it? 
We chose the title “A Tale They Whisper” during a band practice, it’s from lyrics of the track “Bright & Honoured”. We think it fits the idea of the EP, dealing with the different chapters in a man’s life, such as vanity, love, truth and death, and we liked the way it sounded.
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– The EP was mastered by Brian Hood at 456 Recordings, how did that come about? What did you learn from this experience?
I discovered Brian’s work hearing Gideon’s Milestone and being blown away by its sound. Since then it had always been a dream of mine working with him, and I’m glad we could on ATTW. We had already worked with him in the past but it was just for some guitar reamps, this time we wanted someone to fully mix/master our songs. We’re really really happy with the outcome.
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– The artwork for this EP is visually interesting; I guess imagery is equally important to you as your music. How did you come up with this artwork? 
You’re right. Music first, but image really matters these days. This artwork is a watercolour paint done by my mother, Agnès Mariat. It was inspired by a photo we took in Switzerland during the recording process of our EP. Finding the right artwork was maybe one of the hardest thing about this EP but we finally found something we’re all happy with, and the feedback has been great so it’s all good!
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– Speaking of images, you also recorded a music video with Zak Pinchin (@Zak Pinchin Media), how was it? Would you renew such an experience in the future?
This was such a cool experience. Zak stayed in Lyon for three days, we filmed the music video but also had some time to chill together and he’s a great guy. The shooting went smoothly and we’re stoked about the final video, we definitely want to work with him again one day!
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– Which song of this EP represents Above The North best and why? 
That’s a tough one, but I’d say “Bright & Honoured”. It’s fast, angry, I love to play it live. There’s some great vocal lines on it too.
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– What does your music aim to? Is there a message you want to convey? 
We’re not a preachy/positive/negative/politic band, but we’re trying to gather people from different horizons thanks to music. Music is an universal language, it’s a great feeling to see people connecting through this art.
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– You’re part of a genre that many qualify as crowded, how do you believe you can manage to stand out from the others? 
I can’t say we’re trying to bring something new to the table, we just write what we would listen to. Although what can makes us stand out from other bands is the fact that we’re all quite young in the band, and we’re French, but it’s not something we want to focus on. We want our music to speak for itself I guess!
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– Speaking of your music scene, in France, what are your thoughts about it in its current state? How do you think it’s evolving nowadays? 
Like every scene, the French one has its ups and downs, but there are some great bands, venues and promoters who stand for it. That’s part of what keeps us going on. Some people know the scene better than me, maybe they wouldn’t agree, but I feel like it’s getting better. Especially in Lyon where we’re from, there are more and more shows.
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– If you could pick up your dream festival line up to play with, who would you chose? 
This years’ Groezrock festival basically. While She Sleeps, Defeater, Basement… so many great bands. I can’t pick only a few bands but I’d love to play with Architects one day, or any other bands from our ITunes library!
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– Is there anything else you would like to add? 
Thank you for this interview and for everything, we’re really thankful for the support Plug-in Mag has shown us!
– Thank you for your time!
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Above The North will play a few shows in France and Italy with In Archives next month. They will open for Every Time I Die in Lyon in June. 

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Mary
I have a tendency to seek for new sounds and humbly contribute to its living. I'm a dreamer, I live for today and take the time to appreciate every single thing that life has to offer.

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