Adrian Fitipaldes, lead vocalist of Sydney-based alternative metal group Northlane, kindly had a chat about the band’s latest release, their appreciation of the people that support them and life on the road.On the day Singularity was released, it rocketed to number 1 on the iTunes chart. What was the feeling like in the band when you heard the news?
We were all pretty stoked. I think the campaign was planned to perfection. Hitting number 1 on iTunes, there’s nothing better than that. It was a really good sign for the release.
With the record there was the whole Singularity 2013 promotional campaign, with the mystery binary codes and the website counting down to the album’s launch. Did you and the band have any input into that? Or was it just a record label decision?
It was our guitarist Josh and the label working together. He put the idea forward to us originally and we all gave it the go ahead. It was almost like a collaboration, you could say.
What was the process of making Singularity like? Was it much different to making Discoveries?
It was a lot more intense because we had a deadline. We were coming off the back of a three-week tour in Canada. We were told that we were going to be going straight to New Jersey to record right after our Canadian tour. John and Nick and all of the boys in the band had probably four songs max written for the album at the time we heard that we were about to leave for Canada, and then to New Jersey to record. We spent the following two months on the road writing some more material. Because of how tight the schedule was, we ended up rocking up at the studio with about three or four songs left to write. Needless to say, the pressure was intense, because we couldn’t start recording until the songs were written.
I don’t know how John and Nick did it, but they managed to smash out around four songs in three days. I’m very proud of them – they showed immense effort under such intense pressure. Things were moving fast and we had to move fast as well.
I really wanted to grab a few questions from fans and get a fan insight for this interview, and the question that came up a lot was the themes of ‘expanding your mind’ in Northlane’s music. Is that something you believe strongly in and really want to put across in your music?
Yeah, definitely. We’ve always been a band that stands for truth, reason and knowledge. There is a lot of b*******t in today’s world, a lot of lies and a lot of misinformation. I really think expanding your perspective on reality and expanding what you know about the world helps you to understand your own life and your own place in the world. We might feel so small and insignificant, but I think knowledge and information can really empower people, especially in the age of information and internet where it’s all so accessible to us.
Another thing brought up by fans was about your lyrics and how amazing they are. What sort of process do you go through when writing your lyrics?
I don’t really know. I have two approaches really. Sometimes there’s just sort of writing without music. I tend to just write free verse sometimes without following any particular types of structure. It’s almost like a sketch out on paper or canvas. Other times I write just because I’ll be sitting down thinking, listening to music or reading. Certain words tend to bring out certain emotions or vibes. Sometimes it could be just a word or a very simple line. Sometimes the thinking can be very linear, sometimes it can just come out of nowhere.
That’s what I love about writing lyrics or writing poetry, because sometimes it can feel as if it’s coming straight out of nowhere, out of the void if you will. It’s not that I really have a particular way of writing lyrics, it’s more of a feeling. The ironic thing is that it’s indescribable. I try and put words to it, and that’s the best that I can do really. It goes beyond words, that’s for sure.
I’ve noticed that the band uses social networking a lot. Is that something that helps you connect to a deeper level with your fans?
Definitely. The internet is really helping connect all the minds on earth and that makes it really easy to communicate ideas and information from all around the world. It’s really helped us to maintain contact with our fans. If you have a computer or even an iPhone, your whole fan base is literally just sitting there, so can literally have any interaction with all your fans at any moment. It’s something that’s really changed the music industry.
We really care about the people that are supporting us and who are going to the effort of buying our albums. It feels so good to be able to go on the page and say a big thank you or express how I feel. Because some days that’s what you really want to do.
How does it feel to make positive impact in people’s lives through music?
I’d have to speak on behalf of all the boys when I say it gives all of our lives a big sense of meaning and purpose, by being able to touch people’s lives and help them feel more positive and inspire them. Nothing gives my life more meaning and purpose than being able to spread a good message and something positive into the world. There’s a lot of darkness and lies in the world right now, so at least in the alternative metal community I hope we can sort of be a shining light. That’s all we really want to do, we just want to spread as much goodness and happiness as we can.
You’ve just finished a string of multiple appearances and one-off shows, and now you have an album tour coming up. Is it safe to say that you guys love touring?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, sometimes it can be tough. This morning I ended up staying up until about 7 o’clock in the front seat with Alex while he was driving. Those parts can be a bit tiring, but besides that I love being on the road. Being at home can get a bit too repetitive. I think as human beings it’s good to break out of your pattern and do something random, different and chaotic once in a while. I think you know, screwing up your sleeping pattern and playing a bunch of shows every night is just a good way to test the mind and body. By doing something that you wouldn’t normally do, it’s just like stepping into the unknown.
That’s what I love about it. It’s almost like jumping off a cliff every time we do these things. It’s an exhilarating feeling.
Stay up to date with the latest news from Northlane at www.facebook.com/northlane