Friday, July 04, 2014

The Inquisition: 014.North

Evan Leek: Bass player/vocalist

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

I wanted something simple but bold, and for some reason I've always had a fascination with the movie North starring Elijah Wood. Pretty obvious after that.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

We've written songs in various ways but you are right in the sense that we will take a main riff and stem off from that to fill in the frame work. But again, various practices at different times.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

I take a bit of influence from everything but mainly people, places, and experiences. Lately when I'm working around the house or relaxing, I love to put on some blue grass. Something about it just makes everything seem a little more simple.

4. What’s the first record you've ever bought ?

Band Geek Mafia - Voodoo Glow Skulls

Zack Hansen: Drummer

5. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with?

I'd love to go somewhat unconventional and tour with someone like Tim Hecker. It would be such a stark contrast to what we do. I really enjoy the thickness and atmospheres involved in ambient and electronic music, especially Tim Hecker's, it could give us a chance to try and bridge the gap between loud and quiet, even if he is quite loud live. Maybe we could do more drone like pieces as well. It'd be interesting to tour with Pelican as well, we used to be compared to them so much when we first started. Go full circle.

6. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

Oh so much, when we first started we were sending out CDs everywhere to try and spread the word. So many great blogs and websites put it up for download and without them we'd probably be nowhere. The exposure provided to a young completely unknown band that comes with the internet is astronomical. I can't emphasize that enough. To this day I get so pleased to send out records overseas. Australia might be the furthest away we've sent records to. It feels like as foreign a place as possible. Southern hemisphere, across the Pacific Ocean. Again, not possible without the internet to help out.

7. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like spotify?

Let me go on the record and say, North loves bandcamp. There was never a real service in place before to help you distribute your music digitally, and I really mean YOU distribute. The revenue sharing model destroys every other streaming/purchasing platform. I despise itunes/spotify/amazon. They are the essence of pure corporate greed. Bandcamp is as DIY as you can get for digital. We released our newest album Metanoia by ourselves, we are the only distributor and I mean the only for digital and physical records. It's not available from anywhere except our bandcamp and a few of our favorite record label's distros (Gilead Media, Halo of Flies, Cavity Records soon). We keep 85% of the sales and it keeps us afloat. Bandcamp is the ultimate leveler against the other services. I could go and on and on about this forever. I don't ever want another record on itunes again.

8. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

That's a very good question, because if you asked me where I would see us in 5 years, 5 years ago, I don't know what I would have said, but I don't think I would have predicted this. We have been through so many member changes, I'd be thrilled for us to have the same lineup in 5 years. Will we be touring more consistently? I certainly hope so. Maybe we won't have to. This will never be our day job unfortunately but I'd love to be touring worldwide (Asia, South America, why not parts of Africa?) and putting out records still as North.

Matt Mutterperl: Guitar Player

9. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

Oh, without question. Yes. I don't think there will ever be a part where album art will be overlooked - even very minimalist designs are doing something. However, today there's  the onus to create/make/arrange/capture something that you think will not only represent the music it's fixed to, but having that stand out amongst what I can only imagine to be thousands upon thousands of other album art out there. It ups the ante in what you do since more has been done, which is interesting given that old saying: "good artists create, but great artists steal." On a more personal note, the digital era has forced me to adapt to Photoshop, which I would have never thought possible if you had asked me a few years ago. Photoshop and my busted printer/scanner combo. Interestingly, a significant portion of The Great Silence artwork was all drawn in Photoshop with my finger on the Trackpad. My formative years were spent with a wired mouse and MSPaint, so I adapted it over. I'll most likely never do that again though.

10. What is you favorite album cover?

I have so many, and for different reasons. The cover of Dookie has some excellent artwork - I used to love cartoons as a kid, and that piece is so iconic. It's impressively chaotic, like looking at a Where's Waldo? book for the first time. 

John Dyer Baizley's album covers have become more beautiful and intricate since First & Second came out - I'll have to say my favorites are Red and Blue. The color, composition, and detail of his pieces leveled me when I first began getting into Baroness. 

Don Caballero's What Burns Never Returns is a favorite of mine. 

I love how bleak and depressing Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God looks, too.

11. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

I really couldn't tell you why this is happening again, but I will say that I enjoy doing album artwork for vinyls the most for the sake of having more real estate. I grew up with CDs and cassettes, and although I did like rifling through liner notes and staring at album covers, vinyl allows whatever art you're doing to have enough space to breathe.

12. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

There've been a lot - one funny story is how the band got started. Evidently, Evan wanted to start a new band, and Zack would only agree to it if he could drop-kick Evan in the stomach. He did. I'm told it didn't hurt. We're all big Tim & Eric fans, and talked to James Quall when we saw him walking down the street in LA when we were on tour. He's absolutely as crazy as you'd imagine, or he's great at always being in character. To be fair, a lot of the funny moments are less objectively funny and more "you-had-to-be-there" funny, in the same way that a lot of band humor is mostly inside jokes.

North recently released their latest album "Metanoia", available on Digital/Cassette/CD & Vinyl.

They are touring the US on August as well:
8.1.14 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
8.2.14 - Santa Fe, NM - Dave Cave
8.3.14 - Denver, CO - Denver Black Sky Fest
8.4.14 - Kansas City, MO - FOKL Center
8.5.14 - Minneapolis, MN - The Triple Rock
8.6.14 - Milwaukee,WI - Quarters
8.7.14 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
8.8.14 - Toledo, OH - Ottawa Tavern
8.9.14 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Shop
8.10.14 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
8.11.14 - Brooklyn, NY - The Knitting Factory
8.12.14 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
8.13.14 - Raleigh, NC - Slim’s Downtown
8.14.14 - Knoxville, TN - The Poison Lawn
8.15.14 - Murfreesboro, TN - Wall Street
8.16.14 - Birmingham, AL - The Forge
8.17.14 - New Orleans, LA - Hey Cafe
8.18.14 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone
8.19.14 - Springfield, MO - Lindberg's
8.20.14 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory
8.21.14 - Austin, TX - Holy Mountain
8.22.14 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace

More info:
Official Site

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