Geography is no longer an issue. Still there is something to be expected from an American band that you don’t get from any other place. So please let me introduce NEVERLIGHT. Josh Farrell, the guitarist answered the questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-It was a bit hard to decide on the name. In early 2013 when we decided we wanted to start a band, we came up with a list of possible names that included Neverlight. We didn’t like it right away, but we wrote a song called “Neverlight,” and after that it sort of grew on us. We think the name fits the music pretty well. It’s almost a mission statement, a promise. Our music is dark and heavy, and the name says so.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have?
-Amanda and I grew up listening to 80s hard rock and metal, so bands like Dio and Iron Maiden were pretty influential early on. I would say that a pivotal moment came for both of us in the mid to late 90s when we discovered that there was a true metal scene in Europe. Heavy music in America at the time consisted largely of grunge and nu-metal, neither of which struck a chord with us. Amanda reintroduced me to Helloween in 1996. I’d heard them in the 80s, of course, but I didn’t realize that bands like that were still around in the mid-90s. After that, we started collecting music from European bands whenever and wherever we found it. I would say that the real beginnings of Neverlight came in early 2003 when we discovered Evergrey and Nightwish on the same day. Those two bands were definitely instrumental in changing the various ways Amanda and I wrote and thought about music. It took another 10 years before we were ready as both performers and songwriters to launch our music in the form of a band, and in that time we’ve cheerfully added bands like After Forever, Kamelot, Epica, Revamp, and, more recently, Tesseract and Earthside to our list of influences.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-I don’t think the tempo directly affects our decisions much when it comes to arrangements. Fast or slow, we try to put songs together in a way that will be engaging, interesting. I think that can be more challenging in slower songs, but we don’t do anything consciously different for them.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
-We have played quite a few shows at this point, mostly in small clubs. We also really enjoy doing small, intimate acoustic shows. We’ve done a few of these and will be doing more soon.The music definitely works well live, and we love playing it and performing together, and we have had some amazing audience responses. While we do love playing these small venues and stages, it would be amazing to have the opportunity to play theaters and festivals. I think the music would definitely benefit from a larger stage!
Everybody seem to be disappointed with something once they have released a recording. What would you have liked done differently the last time around?
-This is a very timely question for us, as we’re in the process of writing and demoing material for our next album. In my mind, the biggest problem we had making our last album is that we didn’t give ourselves enough time. There are many aspects of the album that definitely didn’t benefit from being rushed. It was the album we had to make, though, to help us decide who we are and what we stand for.
This time, we’re being more careful and thoughtful about the whole process, and we have a much better idea of who we are as a band. We’ve already sidelined two of the songs we’ve written because they don’t fit the vibe of the other fifteen. We’ve scheduled much more time for both rehearsal and recording. And we’re planning to have this new album mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Denmark.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-I think it’s both harder and easier to reach potential fans now than at any other point in history, and the reason for both is the same: the internet. Anyone can put their music on the internet, even in “legitimate” stores like Amazon and iTunes, so it’s really easy to get the music out there for people to hear. The other side of that is that there’s an incredible amount of music for listeners to sift through when they’re looking for new stuff, and that makes it harder for new and small bands to stand out.
We’re trying to create a community of individuals who share the same values we have, when it comes to music and perhaps on a more philosophical level, as well. It is quite a lot of work, and we’re still in the process of learning how to do it. So far we’ve used social media extensively and have had some level of success with that. A few webzines, like battlehelm.com, have featured us, and that certainly helps.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A great album cover should reflect the feel of the music without telling the story of it. Amanda designs our album covers, and she likes to use abstract concepts for that reason. Also, abstract concepts leave room for interpretation. I think album covers can be works of art on their own and that that should be the goal when creating the cover.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for music in your country?
-We don’t think of Neverlight as being a part of a national – or even a local – music scene. Our goal is to be a part of the global community of bands and artists whose only wish is to make great music without the need for gimmicks, masks, or false fronts.
The United States, and probably all other nations, has a vast music industry comprised of and controlled by conglomerations of recording companies and media outlets that determine what music is fit for mass consumption. This has always been the climate for music here.
Alongside that media machine has always been the underground. In the days before the internet, the underground consisted of college and indie radio stations, indie labels, and word of mouth. Now we have the internet, and the internet is the underground for non-mainstream music such as metal, and the underground is getting quite large, and it is global. That is the scene we are a part of, we in Neverlight and you at battlehelm.com, as well. We’re quite proud of that and wouldn’t have it any other way.
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
-We’re not trying to get rich and famous; we’re not setting out to be rock stars. All we really want to do is make music. What we hope will happen while we’re making music is that we’ll attract a small group of really dedicated fans. We would really love it if these were all people that we’d be happy to go to the pub and have a beer with. To this end, we try to be honest about the kind of people we are, just as we’re honest with the music we create.
What does the future hold?
-We’re working on material for a new album now that we hope to release in the summer of 2017. We’re really excited about the new music, which is both more melodic and more progressive. After that, it would be really nice to have the opportunity to go to Europe and play some festivals!