Sad Game of Thrones has come to its conclusion? The Northmen will ensure the spirit of the North lives on…
We are from a small town in upstate New York called Watertown. 15 miles from the Canadian border. The Northmen indeed.
How did you meet?
3 of us (Jeremy, Matthew, and Brendan) are longtime childhood friends that shared common musical interests. We decided one day that we didn’t want to watch shows anymore. We wanted to be in them. Alixx is a kindred spirit that met up with us to get a copy of our original EP he caught wind of. He had been living even farther north in and an even smaller town called Malone. He also happened to mention he played guitar – and we happened to be looking for a permanent lead guitar player. The rest is ancient history.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We technically started at the very beginning of 2015. We just went into the band room and compiled a list of songs we knew, and songs we wanted to learn. But the main focus was the compilation of riffs we had come up with, and to figure how to make them a song somehow. We had a lot of faith that they were worthy of the bands we listened to and we believed in ourselves.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Well, as said in the first question, we happen to be from a significantly northern part of New York, so it seemed fitting. But, we were also pretty big fans of the Song of Ice and Fire book series (Game of Thrones). A pretty common theme is that of the people of the North. The Northmen was not just a people from true north but a culture. Rugged and weathered. Aggressive and fierce. We liked that a lot. We imagined one day when people bought tickets to our show, they would say “The Northmen are coming…”. Seemed pretty catchy. Like we are invading.
What are your influences?
We a very heavily influenced by the likes of Metallica, A7X, Bullet for My Valentine, Volbeat, Guns N’ Roses. All the high energy stuff.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We are unique in that we do truly stick to our routes. Big, chunky guitars. Beast-like drums. But we also do our best to add those characteristics to anything and everything that comes to mind. Even if it’s more upbeat and “happier”. We use the heaviness as an accent. We love our influences but we are very careful not to turn to them too much in our writing. We don’t want to replicate them. That music has already been written. Again the guitar technique, the vocals. We use the style of our influences to accent the kind of melodies we come up with and we think that manifests into a sort of hybrid style.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The themes honestly very. One song can be emotionally uplifting and deep – the next could be an epileptic barrage simulating what it’s like to be on a battlefield. Some are very abstract and contain no less than 100% metaphor and allegory. And some are classic rock and roll monsters with clever innuendos. We try our best not to get nailed down into any particular category. We just want to write music that any person could hopefully enjoy as much as we do.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We are relatively new as far as bands go, but the amount of shows we played is too hard to count. I mean we aren’t competing with The Rolling Stones by any stretch of the imagination but we play as much as possible. We do our best to get on the best show we can. National acts anywhere from Sick Puppies to Bret Michaels. We’ve also played shows for 2 people, or even just the members of the other bands on the bill… it comes with the territory. Either way, a room with a couple thousand or just a couple; we go nuts on stage. We are high voltage all the way. We’re still pretty low budget but we bring stage risers when possible. If we can’t do that we find a way to crawl up the walls. Do backflips. Whatever it takes. We want the crowd to get their money’s worth.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Honestly the wildest thing to us is seeing an army of black shirts with the white Northmen logo. That to us is the coolest thing. You see your goals and dreams coalesce in front of your very eyes. I’d say that’s pretty wild.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Jackson bass guitar played on a TC electronic combo amp
2 Epiphone Les Paul customs, and a Marshall JVM 410 head with 2 custom Marshall 2×12 cabs
Gibson Flying V. Epiphone Flying V. Epiphone Les Paul. Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan pickups. Custom Marshall 4×12 cabinet with vintage 30 speakers. Mesa boogie triple rectifier. Kemper Amps.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
At the moment we just have a video we are pushing for our first single ever called “Forevermore”. Other than that we are getting all our ducks in a row for a serious move towards the industry. We can say that we’ve started working with Paul Crosby and Derrick Pichon of 434 management. They opened a lot of doors for us and we are doing everything in our power to make this a career. Until then, anything we would promote is getting nice and warm in the oven
What are your plans for 2019/2020?
For the rest of 2019 we have a string of summer shows. We will be all along the east coast with an awesome Metallica tribute band called Fade to Black. We have a few big local events like the Watertown block party and Black River Brew Fest. But our main body of work will be tying up the loose ends on a big writing project we’ve been working on. We’re going into the studio. And soon. We’ve got a hot full-length album in the works. We should absolutely have an album, and hopefully, be working with a label by the start of 2020
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
If we are being honest here, we aren’t pulling any punches. We’d be direct support for Metallica. And we would have our friends in Young Other out of Massachusetts right with us
What is your dream venue to play?
The Coliseum… in Rome. Or maybe the Pyramids… Something never done before, for sure.
The Northmen: facebook