Interview & Photography by Felix Bartlett 

We caught up with lead guitarist Josh Deiley from Northlane on their current UK tour to talk about their latest release ‘Alien’ and the past experiences that have influenced it. 

Felix: It’s great to talk to you Josh, I guess first and foremost, how does it feel to be back touring in the UK after last years Never Say Die Tour!?

Josh: It’s awesome, our album ‘Alien’ is out now, and the crowds are really starting to grow. London was sold out and one of my favorite shows ever. 

Felix: It’s been two years since you released ‘Mesmer’ how have you found the previous two years spent on the road touring and writing your latest album ‘Alien’?

Josh: We spent the vast majority of it locked in the studio working on ‘Alien’, aside a few trips over to this side of the world for festivals and the never say die tour. It was a very stressful and difficult time for the band with a lot of things looking quite grim. However, at this point we have turned it all around.

Felix: ‘Alien’ definitely touches on the personal trauma than previous albums, could you give me an insight into the darker themes you touch upon yourself and as a band?

Josh: The record is about Marcus’ upbringing and how that ongoing trauma still affects him to this day. However, it is lined with a sliver of hope that things can improve and get better.  

Felix: With this album exploring the trauma of Marcus’ past are there any songs that you yourself found touched upon any personal issues you endured throughout your life?

Josh: Yeah, I did, but Marcus’ stories are so insane that it just doesn’t feel relevant what hardships I’ve gone through, it pales in comparison.

Felix: As a band how did you find writing this album, did some Marcus have more of an input than other members or did any personal stories intertwine with others? 

Josh: All the stories are Marcus’. I’d sit down with him and we’d identify a way a piece of music Jon had written made him feel. We’d relate that to a story from his past, he’d recount events and I would take pages and pages of notes. From that I’d construct with him the bones of a song, the core topic and meaning.

Felix: How have you found performing your new material on tour, have there been any stand out songs you’ve found especially impactful when performed during a live setting? 

Josh: Yeah, Bloodline is probably our biggest singalong of the night now. The new songs are really resonating with all the audiences. 

Felix: Moving away from the present and reflecting on the past, how did you find the transition of becoming manager of the band?

Josh: Incredibly stressful and difficult. I carry a huge burden of responsibility, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I screw up, it’s all on me and the consequences can be severe. 

Felix: Over the years you’ve had seen a lot of members come and go, how has the relationship between members evolved over these experiences? 

Josh: We’ve become the closest ideal group we could, at this stage I wish we were this line-up from the start to be honest. This is by far the best we’ve ever been both on stage as a band, and off stage as a group of friends.

Felix: Coming back to the present have there been any standout moments on your current UK tour?

Josh: In Manchester I got booed off stage after I totally butchered the intro to “citizen”. The band got a fan out of the crowd who played it for me and I just crowd surfed out the rest of the song. 

Felix: As for the future of Northlane have you as a band got anything in the pipeline for 2020?

Josh: Oh, we do, a lot actually. Including a trip back to the UK for a pretty big festival.

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By Felix Bartlett