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.