EMQ’s with NO:IR
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Bristol, UK based Modern Metal band NO:IR. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
E: I’m Evvi and I do vocals. The band came together 3 years ago when we all met at university. We
wanted to be a ‘heavy’ band and our style/genre has progressed throughout the last 3 years to get
to where we are now.
S: I’m Sonny and I play guitar in the band. I’ve been making music with my twin Jake for years now.
The rest of the guys we met at uni and decided to form a metal band. It’s been a big journey for us
and we’ve made a lot of changes in our sound and image before becoming the band we are today.
A: My Name Is Alex, I play guitar and the band started in late 2017 where we met at uni. We played together under a variety of different names and styles until January 2019 where we properly launched the band with the current name and sound.
G: I’m George, I drum and do backing vocals. We met on our university course. We used to be a
metalcore band, then a hard-core band, then a prog band. Now we’re NO:IR!
J: I’m Jake and I play bass and do a bit of backing vocals.
How did you come up with your band name?
E: We spent a while under different names before NO:IR, but when we were trying to come up with a name that would suit our style of music, we knew we had to make it a bit unusual but memorable. So, when we came up with NO:IR it seemed like a great fit.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
E: We’re from the South West (Somerset) and there’s quite a big scene in Bristol for metal.
J: Me and Sonny are both from Bristol and the music scene here is great! It’s a diverse music scenewhich loads of different genres all on top of each other which has created some really interestingbands.
S: Yeah me and Jake are both from Bristol and the band is based in the South West. Bristol has a greatscene there’s loads of really great bands. I find a lot of people in Bristol scene are accepting ofdifferent genres and new bands. The Bath music scene is pretty much being kept alive by Moles,which is probably one of the best venues in the South West.
A: Were from the South West around Bristol and the scene is pretty good in Bristol with some bigbands and good venues
G: I’m from Plymouth and the scene is real small and super tight knit. In Bristol where we are now Itis a lot bigger but still a lot of friendly faces, and a really good core of people around it.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
E: Our latest release is our 4th single, ‘Placebo’. It’s a direct juxtaposition to our 3rd single ‘Vanity’ interms of our writing style, the emotions portrayed and artistic direction.
A: Our latest release is a single called ‘Placebo’ which shows another side to the band, we have a lotmore stuff in the works for 2021 so there will be more stuff to be released
‘Placebo’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
E: Personally, my greatest influences have been Flobots (A rap/rock group I’ve been into for around 10 years) and Mac Miller.
A: That depends on who you ask in the band. Personally, Daron Malakian is a big influence for me, and Brad Delson from Linkin Park are big influences on my playing
G: I’d probably say that Aaron Gillespie from Underoath is the reason I play how I play, and MeWithoutYou really influence my song writing.
J: When I started playing bass, I went through pretty much every song on “Californiaction” and learnt the bass for it so it would have to be Flea. At the moment though I’ve been listening to a lot of triphop and other electronic music and I’m taking a lot of influence from that as to what role the
bass plays in the music.
S: As a musician my influences are always changing, the only bands that have stayed constant are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn and Minor Threat. A lot of my influence for guitar playing doesn’t actually come from guitarists, I really like replicating vocal lines or synth/piano melodies.
What first got you into music?
E: My parents are music teachers, so I was surrounded by music all the time in my childhood. Ilearned to appreciate all forms of music too.
S: I don’t think anything got me into music, I’ve always loved it. The first artist I was really into, whenI was 10/11, was Michael Jackson, which was probably the first time I really wanted to create music.
A: My parents where always big music fans so I listened to a lot of their music but for me finding myown music taste That would be Linkin Park after hearing what I’ve done I started listening to more bands and music around that time and start practicing guitar
G: my parents used to listen to music all the time – Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Ocean ColourScene etc. My dad has a beautiful Pearl 70’s kit so I had a great start really.
J: If I’m honest Sonny has always been the more creative twin! Ever since I can remember he wassinging to himself. We would always come home after school and watch Kerrang together when itwas on TV, so I guess that kinda pushed us both to more alternative music.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
E: I think we could make some great tunes with Ghostemane, $uicideboy$ or Scarlxrd.
S: As a band we’d love to collaborate with a hip-hop artist like Tech N9ne or Token. Personally, I’dlove to collab with Tricky.
G: Yeah, maybe Mike Shinoda or Corey Taylor.
A: There is loads to choose from. Someone like Kadeem France from Loathe or Poppy would be cool.
J: Billie Eilish would be mad… I don’t think anyone would turn down that opportunity, but I’dprobably have to go for Justin Vernon as I love his music.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
E: Rock am Ring would be dope.
A: Probably Download I’ve been a big fan of the festival since I was a kid and playing it is definitely on the bucket list!
G: 2000 Trees or Download would be insane.
S: I’d love to play Download Festival or Rock Am Ring. I always used to watch videos of the bands Iloved playing those festivals it would be mad to be play on the same stage.
J: Cambridge Folk Festival…. I think we would really fit in.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
G: We’ve had a few people buy us pints which is really sweet of them. Nothing weird so far though.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
S: Probably just thank you, I don’t think people quite understand how far their support for us goes.
E: You haven’t seen anything yet. We’re still just warming up.
G: It’s getting cold, and we have some sick hoodies that’s all I’m saying.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
E: Chris Cornell, for sure
S: Probably Amy Winehouse, she was taken too early and had so much more mazing music to make.
A: Chris Cornell
G: Freddie. Can you imagine the party?
J: Bob Marley…I would have loved to have seen him.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
E: I love being able to express thoughts and feelings through the music. I hate not being able to articulate my emotions in a way that sounds good musically sometimes.
A: The best thing is having this outlet for all our emotions it really helps to express ourselves. The worst is probably the heartbreak when stuff doesn’t work out/work the way it should cause so much hard work goes into stuff beforehand.
G: It’s the most cathartic and fulfilling feeling to sit down behind a kit, knock a song out the park and
lock in with other people. There’s just nothing like it. Honestly, the physical wear and tear gets me
down. Especially since we toured for like 9 months, and with work and other stuff still going on it
just gets so draining mentally. It’s 100% worth it to get the feelings we get from playing in front of a
J: I don’t think I could really explain the feeling of being on stage in a packed-out venue playing songs which you wrote…it’s such a rush and a really emotional experience. The worst part is that you have
to accept that you will put so much time and work into something and then see tiny results…It can
be hard to find that motivation.
S: I just love being able to put my emotions and feelings into my playing, I can struggle to get my feelings across with words so having another way of expressing them to the world is nice. I just hate how some people see playing about how technically good you are and how expensive all your gear is. Music is about making shit that sounds good not shredding in odd time signatures.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
J: The industry is completely who you know rather than how good you are. Everyone knows everyone and if you’re not part of that network it can be very difficult to work your way up.
E: Give more opportunities to up-and-coming bands, they need more help than ever to get the exposure and punters going to their shows.
S: I’m the same as Evvi…a lot of people don’t have any time for the new bands. Some people would happily pay £100 to see Metallica or something…which is fine…but the same people wouldn’t spend a fiver on seeing some sick smaller bands.
G: I would reopen some of the venues that have shut over the last 10 or so years. There are just so few places to hear live music, especially with the situation as it is.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
E: I like so many genres it’d be hard to pick. If we’re talking metal it’d be “Autotheism” by The Faceless. I think that album is flawless in my opinion.
A: My current favourite album is “I Let It In, And It Took Everything” by Loathe it’s such a cool new sounding album in heavy music with a blend of sounds and genres.
S: I’m just gonna list them; RHCP – “By The Way”, Minor Threat – “First Two Seven Inches”, Amy Winehouse – “Frank”, Megadeth – “Rust In Peace”, Cattle Decapitation – “The Anthropocene Extinction”, At The Drive In – “Relationship Of Command”, Tricky – “Maxinquaye” and MJ – “Thriller” (it was the first album I bought)
G: Oh god no one said anything about hard questions. “Ten Stories”. Wait no, “For Emma, Forever Ago”.
J: George beat me to it…Gotta be “For Emma, Forever Ago” by Bon Iver
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
E: I think they all have their place. I do enjoy listening to records as physical media just has something more special to it, but downloads are very accessible and quick.
J: I love vinyl and have my own little collection. What’s best though? None of them. They all have a place and purpose.
A: Vinyl’s for me are my favourite for physical music but downloads definitely have their place for easy access, it allows us to release more music quickly and have constant engagement with fans.
G: Honestly, I grew up in the mMP3/YouTube downloader era so CD’s sound so good to me now. I can’t imagine burning a 300-song workout playlist onto 17 CD’s or taking a vinyl player on tour though. Maybe it’s tape then by process of elimination.
S: I think they are all good to be honest, music is music doesn’t matter how you listen to it.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
S: Some of my favourites have been The Dublin Castle in Camden, Macmillan Fest in Bristol and Moles in Bath
A: Probably the gig we did with Phoxjaw at Moles, the energy was insane for that gig and the crowd was electric
G: Oh god, probably our home show at Moles with Phoxjaw. The atmosphere was just nucking futs.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
E: I’d hopefully be doing what I do on the side at the moment, Graphic Design.
A: Probably a marine biologist something that involves scuba diving
J: I have no idea I really wanna do so much in my life…I’d definitely be putting on events and be involved in activism in some way.
S: I’m not sure, I’ve always wanted to be a musician. I love the environment and animals so maybe
something to do with that…I also love cooking so maybe a chef or something
G: Decomposing probably.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
G: The guys from the band and someone who could cook.
J: This is such a hard question for me because I’d want to put together people who, not only, I really look up to, but I think would get along so it’s a mad dinner party. I’d probably have to go for Justin Vernon, Noam Chomsky, David Attenborough, Angela Parks and Nicholas Winton. It’s quite a mix of people but all very inspiring.
S: Off the top of my head; Tom Hanks, Donald Glover, David Attenborough, Vivian Westwood, Madonna (when she was young and cool)
What’s next for the band?
G: Big releases later down the line once it’s safe to use a studio and we can get some money to pay
an audio engineer for their time.
A: As we’ve said we have a lot of stuff planned for 2021 with both releases and adapting to the
Covid regulations for gigs so next year is going to be a big year.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
E: We mainly use Facebook and Instagram.
A: Instagram is probs the best we also have Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Also follow us on Spotify to stay up to date with releases and playlists.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
E: I’d put them in a biscuit tin, so I’d have to go with biscuit.
S: Biscuit cos I wouldn’t put a candle in one
G: They are garbage for waste disposal.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
G: Maryland’s til I die.
J: I’m gonna be proper cringey just because I can… I think the best advice I have ever got is from my dad who told me ‘always do something you enjoy, because it’s likely to be something you’re good at’.
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