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Marcus and I chatted about everything really that the band is doing right now as well as talking about his essentials and first musical experiences. Having Marcus as the mouthpiece for this interview was a great view into what it’s been like during his first album with the band. He talked about how the crowds have been and their reactions to him being the new vocalist. If the packed show a few hours after our interview is any indication of what the rest of their touring has been like, this is sure to be Northlane’s year for world domination.
You’ve been in the band for a little while now even though this was the first record that you are fully on. Maybe what are the three things you must have with you while on the road to survive?
Well I guess clean underwear. Some honey. I always want to sooth my throat I guess after a long week of touring or whatever. What else? If it’s cold, I put on these unique pants that I always bring with me. I think that’s about it. I don’t really bring too much with me that’s crazy. Just bring what I need.
Then correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first headlining run that you’ve been on with Northlane. How do you think it’s been going over so far considering how well ‘Node’ did?
It’s been going really, really well. This is the last show of the US bit of it so we got about a week in Canada. Yeah it’s been going really, really well. Everyone’s been responding to it. It’s been really surprising actually. It’s quite a lot of shift in the sound. People have been so responsive with it on the other side of the world. I think we kind of underestimated the US. We had a show in Philly the other day and it ended up selling out. Turned people away because there were too many people. So it sucks in that sense but it’s also really good to see that we can come over here and do the headlining stuff and people actually care. So it’s good.
Then I wanted to ask you, “Node” only came out in July but it was number one in Australia. You guys have been touring here a lot lately. You were just on the tour with August Burns Red this winter and now they’re opening for you in Australia. I love how that works. I know We Came As Romans opened for In Hearts Wake really recently when they headlined in Australia. Maybe obviously it’s been going over well, maybe for you it must be a great feeling considering it’s your first record with the band.
How do you think it’s been going over? Obviously, well at home.
Yeah there’s always going to be a little bit of negative response just because of the old sound but yeah as we’ve been kind of going and the album’s been out for a big longer and people are listening to it, we’ve kind of seen the positive and negatives shift more in our favor. So yeah it’s all been going really well. Yeah I think we’re just really excited to I suppose see what we do next because I think this album is definitely something where we had to make a big change. We kind of have all of these elements in there that we really want to keep but we haven’t quite perfected what we want to be doing yet. But yet, it’s been going really, really well. All of this is just a dream for me really. All I can really do is play music so it’s been groovy to be over here. To have people be really passionate about what we’re doing. Yeah, I love it.
Perfect and then you obviously have played shows in the states and you’ve toured with the band before the record came out but maybe how did you guys go about the writing for this record? Was it one person, more collective?
Yeah well how it used to work was Jon would come into the studio and he would write all the music. Then everyone would come in and put their spin on it. For this one in terms of vocals and stuff, Josh wrote most of the lyrics and we’d kind of come together to just work on little things. Like pick out things that we wanted to change or whatever. Then I’d focus more on the melodic side of it. More of how I suppose it would be structured. Yeah I love doing that. With the short time period leading up to doing the album, it would have been rough to have offered to have it all on one plate. I’d love to work on the lyrical stuff on the next album. We’ve kind of gotten past this hurdle and kind of have gotten more comfortable to focus on the future but yeah I loved working like that with Josh. Josh is like really inspiring. It’s cool to see the ideas he pulls out of his head.
Then like you said, there was obviously a bit of a different sound with this record. Not just obviously your part of it but the whole vibe of it. Do you think for the next record, you’re going to expand on that, do you think it’s going to be pretty similar?
I’m not actually too sure.
It’s still so new.
Like maybe just over a month now.
Yeah we started testing the waters of what to play live. We have changed the set a couple of times just because some of the stuff is just too new. People aren’t quite there yet with it but as far as playing all of this stuff live and seeing how people react to it, it kind of gives us an idea of where we want to head. But it’s still so hard to tell. We don’t know what is going to happen in the next year or two musically or just us as artists, what we’ll do. Just because we pull a lot of influences from all over the place. I listen to a lot of pop rock stuff, Johnny listens to lots of electronic music. We’re all pretty varied in that sense. So yeah I’m not really sure.
Then like I said, I feel like a broken record, you do in Australia have August Burns Red as main support. From at least their show here, I know it was to like twenty five hundred kids. Maybe advice to Australian bands to kind of leave, I don’t want to say the safety net, but if you’ve already built this level of success like you have and In Hearts Wake has in Australia. Advice to kind of make that jump, like try to tour out of the country?
I suppose it just comes down to working hard. I’m still very new to it.
I know it’s very new to you but as someone coming out of their home country to come to the US and come on the road here.
Yeah it’s pretty weird. It all came down to working hard. When I was told I was going to be a part of Northlane, I was practicing every day. Was getting some lessons on what I wanted to work on. Learn to be able to maintain my voice on tour and stuff. It really just comes down to being passionate about working for it. I think as well to have the chance to do that is because of Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction and stuff. Parkway Drive especially was one of the first Australian bands that really showed that they can get out of Australia. They absolutely do really well. I did my first tour with Northlane opening for Parkway Drive in Europe. That was insane. It was my first time out of the country. I’ve been really lucky with the opportunity I’ve been given but I still had to work very hard. There were a lot of great vocalists who were trying out for my spot. So to take advantage of that and not work for it would be pretty rough. So just working hard really.
You seem to be really warmly received.
Yeah I get a lot of stuff after we play where it’s like ‘I was skeptical about it before I saw you live but I see now what they’ve done that’. It’s good to hear but it’s always the back handed compliments. Like ‘Yeah I didn’t like you at first but you showed me that you’re alright’. It’s fine.
Then maybe the first CD or first cassette that you can remember buying as a kid? Then maybe the first concert?
The first CD I bought myself was Underoath. It was “Define The Great Line”. Also the first like single was, have you ever heard of the boyband Five? It wasn’t them, it was just one of the guys from Five’s solo project, Abs. He had a single out. I was used to love Five. First concert was Jet from Australia if you know who they are. That song ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’.
They made it big in the US.
Yeah! Say them when I was about twelve or something. It was the first one that was in a big place. It was pretty cool. My first I suppose metal show was Disturbed which is pretty cool as well.
Those are pretty good ones! Then maybe, like you said, this is the last day of your US run but you’re on a massive touring schedule for this record. Back home and I believe in Europe.
Yeah we have like a month off back home after this, then off to Europe then we come back to do the Australian stuff. Then I’m pretty sure we’re announcing another American tour in the next week or two. So we’ll be back here by the end of the year again it’s pretty crazy.
Before the end of the year?
Yeah. It’s pretty weird actually now that I think about it. We’ll be back in America three times in one year.
Is this your first tour back since Frozen Flame?
Yeah, the next tour will be a co-headliner with one of our friends but we can’t say it yet.