Interview with NORTHERN SHADOWS
Oh where oh where shall I begin with this one. Northern Shadows, (funny that they are named that because as I write this I’m sitting in the Northwest Territories at a fly in fishing camp) are amazing Winnipeg band whose musical influences are as interesting and unique as they are. Viking Metal... I’m not kidding you. Samael & Chris were kind enough to answer all my questions. What troopers they are. OK here is all the info you could need...
BSW - When and how did you become interested in music?
Samael-I got into music oddly enough, when I was young in school, we took lessons to play the acoustic guitar, then when I was in grade 4 I went into school choir, and stayed in choir till I was about in grade 12, but I quit that half way through the year, because I started to hate it. In grade 6, I started learning keyboard, and kept playing till I was about level 3 in theory. Then in high school I took formal vocal lessons, and mainly concentrated on opera/classical music.
Chris-I was interested in music most of my life. I remember seeing a picture of myself when I was 3 or so, I was playing air guitar with a fryin pan haha.
BSW - What are your musical influences?
Samael-Well the main important ones that are the reason I sing the way I do, are mainly Nocturno Culto from Darkthrone, Abbath from Immortal, and believe or not I am also influenced by crooners like Elvis Presley, and Glenn Danzig.
Chris-Metal is mostly my musical influence. If I had to chose bands, those bands would be Cannibal Corpse, Ensiferum, Psychotic Gardening, Slipknot and Cliff Burton and James Hetfield from Metallica
BSW - Does anyone else in your family play music?
Samael-My sister played the keyboard, and so did my older brother but that would be it.
Chris-My brother plays guitar and bass. Also I have a couple step-brothers who also play guitar.
BSW - Where do you see the band 5 years from now?
Samael- Where I see the band in 5 years? Well, hopefully going to Europe and leaving Winnipeg for good.
Chris-In five years I see the band playing in many countries and still rockin it hard.
BSW- What else do you do besides play music?
Samael-Work, and play video games. Well I can't really lie, I mainly scope out other bands, and girls too hahaha.
Chris-I work, watch horror movies, Scope out bands, Chill with friends and my girlfriend, and play video games well mainly GTA 4.
BSE - Why did you decide to write Beyond the Dark Sun?
Samael-Well first of all we didn't write that song it's a cover of the band Wintersun from Finland. And the reason we decided to cover this song was to show people that not all music from Winnipeg is about playing one note, blast beats and pig squeals.
Chris-I wasn’t in the band when they decided to cover this song.
BSW - What is that song about?
Samael-The song was more or less written as part of the album being a story, it's really hard to explain if you wanted to know more about it, you can just look up their music and figure it out.
BSW - What does it take to play a song like that?
Samael-Well that song needs a lot of preparation and determination to work the hardest on that song, because you can't just go on stage and blindly play it, though we haven't played it live, but as far as the recording, it took the guitarist a while to do the recording.
BSW - What is special about that song?
Samael-What makes Beyond the Dark Sun so special is it's a song that is epic and at the same time makes you go wow, why isn't the guitarists fingers falling off?
BSW - What is it about the way you play that song that makes it different from other songs?
Samael-It's different from most songs because it was written by the genious Jari Maenpaa. Enough Said.
BSW - Why did you choose this music genre?
Samael -Well when we started off the band in the first place we wanted to do melodic death metal, but that soon changed when we found a more suiting music genre which was folk/viking metal. Plus we like the genre a lot, because it's more or less none existent in Canada.
BSW - How did you come up with your band name?
Samael-Well the name was taken from a whole situation that happened a long time ago, and what I got from the situation was that a friend of David's came up with the name and the ex guitarist Scott said it should be the name of the band, and it kinda just stuck on it.
BSW - What inspires you to do what you do?
Samael-The inspiration to do what we do, basically comes from music from Finland primarily it's just a lot better than it is here in general, and the fact that if we get big we wouldn't have to work at a regular job.
Chris-I get most of my inspiration from music. Also I think making music as a career is way better than a regular boring career.
BSW - What's new in the recording of your music?
Samael-Well we are currently working on our demo which is set for release July 24 when we are playing with Bolero, Moria, and a lot more at the Centre Culturelle Franco Manitobain on provencher. It will be a four track demo which you can purchase at the release party and tour launch.
Chris- We are currently working on our demo and wrapping it up. Everyone should come out to the Centre Culturelle Franco Manitobain on July 24 and get a copy of the demo. It’s gonna be an awesome demo.
BSW - How do you describe your music to people?
Samael-Straight forward music you can drink too, and it's aggressive too.
Chris-It’s epic. Also it’s music that you’ll love haha
BSW - When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
Samael-Myself I was young when I was a musician so I really can't recall why or how.
Chris-I first knew that I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life was early 2005 when I was getting into metal.
BSW - What is it you love most about your fans?
Samael-Well for the ones we have, it's awesome that they like us as musicians and always tell us how much they love us, so it's a great deal of respect from both sides. Also the fact that some of our fans are actual musicians and some of them are older folks, which is shocking too us, it's a great deal of variety.
Chris-I love that the fans come out to support us at local shows and they tell us that they love our music.
BSW - What do you want your fans to get most from your music?
Samael-I want our fans to think that this music is intense and will make them bleed out of their anus. All joking aside it's more the fact that this music is virtually new and they should appreciate and enjoy the culture of the viking!
Chris-I want our fans to experience
Also I want our fans to experience Viking metal shows in Winnipeg or other cities/states where they don’t have any Viking metal bands or vary few.
BSW - When can your fans expect the next CD out?
Samael-Well our fans can hold off for an album for a while, because we are only going to be recording that fall or winter of this year and won't be pushing it till summer 09 when we go on a cross Canada tour with Tyrants Demise and possibly another band from Winnipeg.
BSW - Is there a place to purchase your CD and other merchandise?
Samael - People can buy merchandise off our site www.northernshadowsofficial.tk or when we have some ready at our shows.
BSW - And most importantly... Could you tell me about your tour plans?
Samael -Well we are currently going to be going on a mini tour in Ontario and Montreal. Our first stop is in Sudbury, ON with Impaled Nazarene from Finland, Emeth from Belgium, Allguilty, and August 2nd we're booked at the Newcastle Deathfest with Bolero, Panzerfaust, Horde of worms and many more. The other shows are TBA but will be booked soon.
BSW - So what do you think about that… Viking metal… I told you I wasn’t kidding. Check these guys out when you get the opportunity, you won’t be disappointed. Well off I go back to serving the fishermen. Hope you’re all having a rocking summer and remember… “Without Music… life is Silent”