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Port Noir

Onlangs bracht Port Noir het tweede album ’Any Way The Wind Carries’ uit en dat was zo’n voltreffer dat we de band contacteerden voor een interview. Het is moeilijk om de band in een bepaald genre te stoppen, maar dat liefhebbers van alternatieve rock, Anathema en Muse deze Zweden beter moeten leren kennen staat als een paal boven water. Aan het woord is Andreas Hollstrand.

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder alternative / pop

Since this is the first interview with you for Lords of Metal, let us start at the beginning. How did you guys meet each other and how did it resulted in forming the band Port Noir?
Love and AW used to play in a band together a couple of years before Port Noir existed, I just quit playing with my old band, Saving Joshua and really wanted to start playing again. One night in November 2011 we were all out separately drinking beer and AW approached me and said they wanted to start a new project and asked me if I wanted to join. A couple of weeks later we met at their rehearsal space over a couple of beers and wrote and recorded the basics of Sun dè Man. During the week and the forthcoming weekend we finished the recording and also recorded a music video which can be found on YouTube. After a couple of days we received an e-mail from Anders Fridén, singer of In Flames and label boss of Razzia Notes who asked what our plans for the future were and shortly after we had our first label deal. All of this within our first month of playing together.

Where does the band name ‘Port Noir’ come from?
When we started playing we had a project name which we felt needed to change. We all wanted something clean, catchy and easy to understand. At first we thought Post or Port would be cool but those were already taken. Noir gave the right arty touch we were looking for, therefore we all agreed on Port Noir.

The first result was putting a video for ‘Sun Dè Man’ on line and it must have been pretty exciting what happened next… please explain
Correct! You can read more about this in your previous question!

Can you tell about your first meetings with Anders Fridén and how it turned into inking a deal with his label?
It started with that e-mail where he asked what our plans for the future were, and we all remember the train trip up to their office. We weren't sure if it was a prank or not until we actually shook his hand and saw him in person. From there we had to prove ourselves more than just one song, so we kept on writing and sending demos until he was satisfied. We then met up with Daniel Bergstrand to record our debut album in 2012.

But Century Media is also involved, so how is the label deal now exactly?
Century Media and Razzia Notes started a partnership last year where we, along with Dead Soul and Black Temple got to join ranks with Century Media. Razzia takes care of Scandinavia, and Century Media handles the rest of the world excluding North America.

Your debut album ‘Puls’ was released in 2013 and it got huge success at several levels. Can you tell a bit more about your next steps towards more success, caused by this album?
I'm not really sure! It just feels like a beginning. We still have so many doors left to open and I believe that Puls was a great stepping stone to start at, and our latest album is also a step in the right direction.

What about playing live and tours in the wake of ‘Puls’? Is Port Noir a band that often plays live?
We're trying our best to play as much as possible. If it were up to us we would be playing live all the time, literally. We love performing live, travelling and meeting new people. It's what really connects us to our audience. Hopefully we can do some bigger supporting tours in the future. We just got home from our third headlining tour a couple of days ago.

Since the release of that first album, you constantly wrote new material. Can you tell a bit more about the writing process for ‘Any Way The Wind Carries’?
We're always writing new material, always trying to develop our sound. We never want to stop at just one place and get stuck with it. For 'Any Way the Wind Carries' we focused more on every individual song than on the concept of an album. We wanted variety and identity to each and every track, and focused more on keeping it concise and easier to get into. Next time we might do something completely different!

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It was the first time you introduced the use of synthesizers. Can you go deeper into that, the reason why, new influences or whatever?
Sort of! It was the first time we let the synthesizers take a major part of the compositions. Yeah, we were really digging the 80's sound from both pop music and film scores such as Tron and Blade Runner to name a few. We tried to weave the atmosphere into our music and we're happy with the outcome!

You worked again with producer Daniel Bergstrand, but this time you went to Spain. Please tell us a bit more about that experience?
It was both very special and exciting! We really wanted to do something completely different from the last album which was recorded in Daniel's studio 'Dug Out Studios' in a gray and cold Uppsala. We decided we wanted to rent a villa in a warm country and record it there, so we did! We had a hard time getting all the gear down there, but we managed. You might think that we spent all our time at the beach or by the pool but most of it was unfortunately spent indoors recording as much as we possibly could. But every night at 22:00 Don Digitalo's (My alter ego) Bar opened in the yard and we enjoyed drinks for a few hours, but we kept on working late nights after that too.

What about the lyrics? Is there a main lyricist and what are sources of inspiration when writing lyrics?
Inspiration towards the lyrics come from anything from our daily lives, earlier situations, world problems and relations between people seen from our perspective. They're often quite dark, metaphorical and open for discussion, we think it's important that everyone can relate to our lyrics in some way. We're all a part of the lyrics writing process.

You deliver very well-done music video clips and are often in charge for the artwork yourself. Can you tell a bit more about those segments of your art?
We think that the artwork and the music videos must be in level with our music, there's no quick or easy way to anything. Everything must be just right and fit to the feeling and atmosphere. Both AW and Love are great visual artists.

In October 2015 you released an EP ‘Neon’. How do you look back on this issue and why not put those songs on the sophomore album we have now?
We finished recording 'Any Way the Wind Carries' in the end of 2014, so the album was finished way before the release of 'Neon'. That's the reason why none of the songs are on the new album!

What are the plans for the near future and are there any tour plans in the pipeline?
We just got home a couple of days ago from a shorter tour in Europe. In July we're playing UK Tech-Metal Festival and later this year we're playing on Euroblast Festival in Cologne. Hopefully there will be a couple of shows around these dates too. Stay put!

We occlude on a funny note: around New Year you put wishes on line. All of you had a Hoegaarden standing before you. Fans of Belgian beer?
We're all fans of great beer. Belgian beer is indeed awesome! But there's a lot of great craft beer from all over the world today!

If there is anything you want to add, feel free to do so…
We'd like to thank everyone out there, both people we work with and every single person who enjoy and support us in what we're doing! The more support we get, the more time we can put into doing what we love. Creating and performing music. Keep an eye out on our homepage and Facebook for future updates! Hope to see you in the future!

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