Northlane + In Hearts Wake Give Birth To Musical Baby; Unfortunately Not Called Northwake Or In Hearts Lane
Earlier in the year, two of Australia’s biggest heavy exports announced a co-headline tour of gargantuan proportions, sending their hordes of mutual fans racing to the box office. We could have assumed that that was that, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s to expect the unexpected from Northlane and In Hearts Wake. Today we’re sprung with the news that the two gangs of long-time friends and label mates have secretly joined forces to accompany that tour with a collaborative EP, an ambitious 10-man project that sees both bands widening their creative spheres. Luckily BLUNT had already caught up with Northlane’s Marcus Bridge and In Hearts Wake’s Jake Taylor for a bit of an early inside scoop.
For those playing at home, what is Equinox and how did this idea come about?
Jake Taylor: We are getting together as two equal musical forces, and putting everything we have to offer into this release. There’s a lot of creative minds at work and we’re very excited about it.
Marcus Bridge: Yeah it’s also just a lot of mates getting together as well, a lot of hangs! I guess In Hearts Wake and Northlane have had a long history together growing up – I’m kind of new to that, but even still, you can feel the energy between the two bands, there’s a lot of love between us. And essentially we came together at the end of a tour last year in the US and everyone started talking over a barbecue in a carpark about doing a co-headliner tour, and that developed into adding this EP aspect to it as well, and it just seemed like a perfect time to do it.
So would I be correct in understanding that “Refuge” is an In Hearts Wake song featuring Northlane, and “Hologram” is a Northlane song featuring In Hearts Wake – or is it not that simple?
Jake: Well that’s not really how we would look at it, or how we want people to see it – I mean, you could get into the specifics of discussing which song sounds more like each band, but in reality it’s the bringing to the table of two pieces of music, which everyone then could have an input on, rather than just saying “I’ll sing here, you sing here.” We definitely had each other in mind while the pieces were being written.
Marcus: The cool thing about this as well was that when we were recording we were all there together in the studio and we all were able to chuck ideas in and got on the same page of where each song was headed as well. And one of the cool things was that this project allowed both Jon [Deiley, Northlane] and Ben [Nairne, In Hearts Wake], as the main writers of each band, to think a little wider, outside of what their own bands would do usually.
Jake: We had to each bring some ideas into the studio to begin with, stuff we’d each worked on while on the road, but then everyone added the glue to gel it together, and developed the interlude track “Equinox”. And then lyrically, Josh [Smith, Northlane] and I really worked hard on both tracks together to get across messages that were important for both In Hearts Wake and Northlane.
Tell us more about these lyrical messages.
Jake: I spoke to Josh on a phone call, discussing themes, and we both agreed it was too big of an opportunity for us to write about some kind of throwaway topic, or just write about “being mates” or anything like that. We wanted to dive into topics we were really passionate about. In “Refuge”, I led the charge on that one and it’s about the refugee crisis that we’re witnessing in the world right now and the state of mayhem it’s causing. The number of displaced individuals is currently higher than it’s ever been – higher than it was even in World War II. And then in “Hologram”, Josh and Marcus wanted to discuss the concept of fear and how it’s being pushed down peoples’ throats under current regimes.
“We are getting together as two equal musical forces, and putting everything we have to offer into this release. There’s a lot of creative minds at work.”
Given that both your bands each have one main composer, what was it like to go from that to having ten creative minds to try and please? What challenges did that present?
Jake: You have to be more flexible, and open to hearing more ideas. It’s like talking to your parents versus talking to your friend’s parents – when your friend’s parents talk to you, you’re probably a lot more polite and you hear what they have to say!
Did the parties butt heads at any point?
Marcus: Amazingly no, not really! Although there was a solo… a weird little funky, bluesy solo that someone was messing around! [laughs] I think it was kind of a half-joke idea, but yeah that didn’t quite make the cut! Luckily Will [Putney, producer] was there to bring us down to earth when we needed it.
Jake, you guys have worked with the same producer for three albums now. What was it like for you to change it up and work with Will Putney?
Jake: It was really good – not as challenging as I thought it might have been, because he’s really good at making his bands feel comfortable. But it was really refreshing for me and the guys, especially because we haven’t recorded in three years, having had that secret record up our sleeves. I don’t think there could have been a better person to take on this project.
When and where was this all recorded?
Marcus: Well we flew down to Melbourne in January and wrote and recorded parts between two different studios – Holes & Corners and Sing Sing. Putney was down there hanging out for Unify as well. And I think we did it all in about five or six days, including drums, which is pretty insane. In Hearts Wake disappeared off to Unify, while Nic [Pettersen, Northlane] was still tracking drums.
Jake: We were tag-teaming in and out – one person tracking guitar while other people were writing lyrics or developing an intro and then we’d come together for feedback. It was just this crazy process of big long days, but we kept it really fun.
Going back the topic to your band’s history together, I believe this will be your fourth tour together!
Jake: Yeah, we did a tally the other day and I think we worked out we will have played a total of about 68 or 69 shows together. We’ve done those tours, and we’ve done Unify and Download Fest and crossed paths all over the world. Download was our first time playing together overseas, and what a day that was!
What do you remember of the first show that Northlane and In Hearts Wake played together?
Jake: The first show we played with Northlane, we rocked up to Alpha Park Hall in Blacktown, and we rocked up to the gig and there was this pasty white man with a polo shirt on, and he had his guitar out and was sitting there practising on the grass facing out to the street, and we were laughing at this bloke, like “What a dork, what is he doing?” And it turned out to be Josh from Northlane, who we later realised was an amazing guitarist and his band ruled. And the rest is history!
Stream the three-track EP in its entirety below.
Northlane / In Hearts Wake / Hands Like Houses / Ocean Grove
Fri Jun 10th – Metro City, Perth (18+)
Sat Jun 11th – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (AA)
Sun Jun 12th – Festival Hall, Melbourne (AA)
Fri Jun 17th – The Tivoli, Brisbane (18+)
Sat Jun 18th – Big Top @ Luna Park, Sydney (AA)