NORTHERN

When known as Cold Northern Vengeance I checked out their debut album. Now they have shortened the name to NORTHERN and have a new album out. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
-We recorded the new album in a trailer that sits next to a chicken coop in a town where people talk like this… “Ike bub! You want beer you bettah get down the store fore they close up!”
Imagine a place where fireworks , liquor stores, guns, tattoo parlors, porn shops, and fried seafood is the law of the land… Now imagine an arctic tundra snowstorm wreaking havoc on these here lands amidst a heroin epidemic … Then think about the mountains an hour or so away from this coastal hell hole. Lots of big mean mountains looking down at you… Think about what it would be like to eat magick mushrooms up yonder…
I know , I know you have to head up 93 North sometime where Crowley was hanging out on a lake and where GG Allin is buried… Some back woods place in New Hampshire no one really pays much attention to …. I guess what I am trying to say is I want you to…
“Enter an enchanted forest of dark Paganism, serial killer stomping grounds, Gnostic demonology, death fascination, hillbilly substance abuse, and other assorted devil worship. Join us in the land you know not. A distant and unknown region. These are the Desolate Ways to Ultima Thule…”
Somehow this all relates to the music… Let that sink in.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-I started this project over 15 years and the name was originally Cold Northern Vengeance… At the time we were having crazy nor’ easter snow storms on the coast and we would get drunk and stoned and run out to the ocean at night during the storms… And I just thought the named reminded me of that chaos… It’s also part of a Bathory lyric “Only the sound of the Cold Northern Breeze.”
I formed the band with a guy I lost all respect for but we won’t go there. The band is called simply NortherN now because the line up is different and I like the less is more ambiguity of it… When I started all those years ago we were kind of worshipping the black metal bands we were emulating but as time has passed I have developed a sound that is more unique that is still NortherN sounding but more New England ish rather than trying to copy the Scandinavian bands… There you have it… Draw down the moon on a dark and stormy night! Black pagan heavy metal witching hour draws nigh!

Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-Back in 1993 there was a club close by where I lived called Chapter 2… I went to see Autopsy, Incantation, Vital Remains, Morgue, and Desolate. Vital Remains at the time had a lot of theatrics going with the candles and bones, baphomets, corpse paint, fog etc… They really got me amped up about finding out more about them… Let me make it clear that the old Vital Remains was a lot different back then to what they became… They were so killer!
Back then there was no internet so it took me awhile to find their album “Let Us Pray” but when I did it had the vocalist Jeff’s address so of course I wrote letters and he would send me flyers for all this totally underground stuff at the time. So I just started sending well concealed cash for whatever looked cool to me… I got the Grand Belial’s Key demo and started ordering anything Full Moon Productions had… So of the early stuff that really blew me away was the Emperor / Enslaved split, Burzum self titled on tape, Hades “Again Shall Be”… It just went from there and when I found Mercyful Fate that was very special… Those times were so great because of this feeling of stumbling on to something dark and mysterious… Not a lot of people knew about it around here. This all had a big impact on me…
I am also very inspired by old Morbid Angel, British heavy Metal, Venom, The Lucifer Rising soudtrack, The old show Dark Shadows, Occult literature, Boyd Rice, Crowley and places and history around here in New Hampshire, Maine and some parts of Massachusetts… Let your mind wander… Sink deep into this trance of the strange ‘other’.

When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
-You already have the answer on that one. I had been trying for years to get a band together before 2002 when CNV started… The season of cold freakish weather here brought everything together and the rest is history…

I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
-I don’t care to be honest. The millennial generation and the internet ruined this genre in so many ways. I live like the 90’s never ended… I make this art because it is a passion of mine so I have no delusions of making $$$ or being a star. It would be nice to make something off your work but like I said things have hit an all time low and the genre is over saturated with releases as well.

What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
-I usually have an idea for that as the album starts taking shape… I will have some kind of vision of what my album is reminding me of and it manifests one way or another.

Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-Sure it has but I also have Moribund Records to help me with that. This label has been around so long so I don’t have to worry too much about that… They have put out so much killer stuff like Grand Belial’s Key, Acheron , Sargeist, etc…

When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-We are part of the legacy and saga of the Blackened Heavy Metal Gods! It is a special feeling but I do not care too much about the “scene” of today… Most of it just bores the shit out of me… I appreciate what comes out of New Hampshire though… I am also impressed with stuff like Urfaust, Destroyer 666, White Death, Malokarpatan, Negative Plane for active bands…
My heart lies in the ancient past though! Where Mercyful Fate is exalted above all thrones! Forever!

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-Playing live here and there but no big aspirations on that front. I am more into making albums, song composition and constantly pushing myself to get better as a musician / artist… I ain’t here to party. Too old for that.

What will the future bring?
-Just to keep creating art that taps into the other worldly … Whatever happens, happens… I continue to find inspiration by not being around people and spending time out in the nature of the mysterious North! The next album will be a total abomination that will have some surprises for sure!!!
Hails to my band mates who I cherish … Noctis, Claytanas and Hassassin. Thanks for the interview!
Thanks to all who support this work that has spanned over 15 years ! This is the devil’s defiance… Bring fourth the acausal and the ancient ones!

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