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After taking us all by surprise earlier in the year with a belting secret album ‘Mesmer’, Northlane are set to open and tear up the main-stage at this years Download festival! We caught up with frontman Marcus Bridge for a quick chat about Download, ‘Mesmer’ and more as the big weekend approached!
You have had a monstrous 2017 so far, dropping a brand new album out of the blue in the form of Mesmer, as well as playing various festivals and coming off of the back of a very heavy 2016 touring schedule. How did you find the time to get back in the studio to work on Mesmer?
We actually went into the studio in-between two tours and were finalizing mixes while we were in Europe with The Amity Affliction at the end of 2016. We spent a lot of last year working on what would become Mesmer so we were reasonably prepared.
This is the second album with the new line-up, do you feel as though you now have more creative freedom and know each other’s limits more so when it comes to writing?
When we recorded Node, I had been with Northlane for only 4 or 5 months, a lot of which was spent on tour. I was still finding my feet and getting used to a different style of music. Almost 3 years on, we’re all a lot more sure of ourselves and the music we want to create. After playing material off Node for so long, we’ve learnt what works best in a live setting and what our strengths are.
Mesmer itself is an excellent album, arguably your best release yet. When and why was the decision made to keep this as a secret release and do you feel as though there are benefits to doing this?
It’s has been a crazy few years for the band, as well as our fans. We didn’t want them to wait for months after an announcement to hear Mesmer. We weren’t worried about first week sales or anything like that. We just felt it was necessary to release it this way as a gift to our fans. The surprise release also meant that people would hear the album as it was meant to be heard and didn’t give them the chance to make assumptions of what it would sound like.
One of the first festivals you did in the UK with the new lineup was actually Download in 2015 on the Maverick stage. You are now opening the main stage, which is incredible, especially on your second appearance at the festival. Do you have any expectations or any ways you will be approaching this differently to any previous festivals?
Playing Download for the first time was a dream come true for me but I feel like we’ve all grown a lot since then. To be playing main stage is insane to me and we’ve got a whole lot planned to make this time around really special!
You have played with a few other bands on this bill, most recently touring with Ocean Grove who are on the stage you played in 2015, as well as a few shows with Casey who are playing the doghouse stage. Are there any bands you will specifically want to check out or encourage people to do so?
I can’t wait to see System of a Down, they’ve been one of my favourite bands since I was a kid. I’m also super keen to see Code Orange! Casey are playing on a different day so unfortunately we’ll miss them, but definitely check them out!
Download and Donington Park are iconic for rock and metal bands, a place that can leave a lasting legacy, what kind of legacy would you want to leave at Download festival?
Opening main stage is quite daunting but we want to make a big impression to kick the weekend off! We’re going to make sure we’re not forgotten by the end of it!
If you could pick 3 ultimate Download Festival headliners, (excluding yourselves!) who would you chose, and why?
My Chemical Romance would be insane if a reunion ever eventuates. I didn’t get to see Yellowcard on their final tour so that would be great and of course Limp Bizkit because Limp Bizkit.
You have a very strong and dedicated fan base in the UK, do you have any plans to return in 2017?
The UK is like a second home to us, we always look forward to coming back! I’m sure we’ll be back by the end of the year but I can’t say too much right now!
Finally, what kind of goals do Northlane have going into the future?
I’m always shocked by all of the amazing opportunities we’ve been given, I just want to keep growing and learning more about music. We’re very lucky to tour all of these amazing places so lets hope we get to keep living our dream!
Northlane will beopening the Main Stage at Download Festival on Friday among some other rad bands, be sure not to miss them!
For more information visuit www.downloadfestival.co.uk
Interview: Adam Jones