EMQ’s with HERR NOX
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Quebec City, Canada based Alternative artist, Herr Nox. Huge thanks to him 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?
My name is Herr Nox and I would define myself as a multi-disciplinary artist. I’m a one-man-band/composer/music producer/mixer/video director and graphic artist. I started seriously doing music in 2007 when I joined a goth-metal band from my neck of the woods. My role was limited to vocals, visuals and live theatrics. Then I took a little hiatus in 2012 because of health issues. I got back into it in 2017 with my solo project and loving the creative freedom ever since.
How did you come up with your band name?
I guess you could translate my name to Mister Night or Lord of the Night. “Herr” is German for “Sir”/”Lord” and “Nox” is Latin for “Night”. Berlin has always been the Goth capital of the world, so I thought it was a nice nod. And I’ve always loved the symbolism and weirdness attributed to dreams. There’s sometime intangible and incredibly creative about nightfall.
What country are you from and what is the metal/rock scene like there?
I’m from Quebec City, which is a French capital in Canada. The metal scene has always been thriving here. People will know Voivod, Cryptopsy, Kataklsym, Gorguts, Augury and a couple of others. I’d say death-metal is pretty much the biggest metal genre here. But it doesn’t get the media coverage it deserves. However big it is (or could be), it’s still treated like an underground scene.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
I have just released my second album on February 5th, 2021. It’s called “Where Shadows Fade” and it was pressed on a gorgeous “golden” vinyl record as a limited edition. I also have directed 2 music videos which are already available. The first one was for the title track ‘Where Shadows Fade’ and featured saxophone from Jørgen Munkeby of the Norwegian avant-garde band Shining. And my latest music video, which I’m really proud of, is for the song ‘Black Butterfly’ and features vocals from my great friend and fellow Canadian Lindsay Schoolcraft. You may remember her from Cradle of Filth, but I urge you to check out her new supergroup Antiqva, they’re an amazing chamber black metal band.
‘Black Butterfly’ (feat. Lindsay Schoolcraft) (Official Video)
‘Where Shadows Fade’ (feat. Jørgen Munkeby) (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
My top influence is without a doubt David Bowie. He couldn’t care less about genres. His artistic expression and integrity were always his top priorities. And that’s my main goal. I don’t need musical boundaries; I’ll just go wherever my music wants to go. As for bands that I listened to a lot during my formative years, I would say My Dying Bride, Type O Negative, Arcturus, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Sisters of Mercy, Ulver and Mozart. I listen to a wide variety of music; I hate close-mindedness just as much as I hate to stick labels on things.
What first got you into music?
I can’t remember honestly. I’d like to have a beautiful story to tell you, but the truth is I dont have a “definitive” moment. I just remember getting myself a really banged-up Yamaha acoustic guitar and trying to play by ear to the songs on the radio. I guess I’ve always wanted to make music and create sounds.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I’m still processing the fact that I was able to collaborate with Jørgen Munkeby and Lindsay Schoolcraft on my latest album. They were on top of my list for years and I was lucky enough to get them both at the same time. Who’s next? I don’t know, but I could do with Lindsay and Jørgen again, haha! Otherwise, I’d probably go with someone really unexpected and out of left field.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
That’s a tough one. Wacken Open Air is the obvious choice because it’s the biggest stage of them all and it’s a well-oiled-up machine. But there’s also M’era Luna and Wave-Gotik-Treffen. Notice a pattern? They’re all in Germany.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I’m still waiting for a weird gift. People are generally really nice and polite, so I have nothing to complain about.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Keep supporting independent artists. And share music whenever you can on social media and in real life. Because art is meant to heard and seen. It lives and exists only by traveling from one person to another. It’s like ripples on a lake.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
David Bowie, who else? Maybe we’ll find him again when we get to Mars.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
What I enjoy the most is the fact that I can express myself in so many different mediums. Composing is great, but I love visual arts as well. And flying solo allows me to dabble in that. It’s the complete freedom. Also, the way I see it, being self-taught in all those fields might lead me to create something unique rather than something formatted. What I hate about it though is how time consuming it can be.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
If somebody had the sufficient funds to start up a non-profit streaming platform where revenues, after operational costs, go back entirely to artists, that would be a nice start. I think it’s time for artists to come together and create such a thing. If we all stand together, we can elevate each other. For the time being, BandCamp is still the most ethical website though.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“The Dreadful Hours” by My Dying Bride is one of those perfect albums.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I can understand how downloads are nice for portability, but I mostly listen to vinyl. A vinyl record requires you to stop what you’re doing and listen carefully.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
When I left my former band, we did a farewell gig and had Lindsay Schoolcraft come all the way from Oshawa to Quebec City (a 9-hour drive) to perform her parts from the album. It was an emotional gig and the crowd was so much into it.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I guess everything I do today minus music, ha! Which means photography, graphics, videos, painting, etc.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I think it would be quite entertaining to have David Lynch, David Bowie, Peter Steele and Robert Smith over for dinner. Now that’s only four people so who’s the fifth? Probably just a cat because everybody loves them and honestly, I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t.
What’s next for the project?
I’m still entirely immersed in the release of “Where Shadows Fade” at the moment, but writing the third album is next.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They’re delicious biscuit-sized cakes.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you for having me!
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