Hi! First off, congratulations on releasing ‘Noir’ in a couple weeks. It’s an album to be incredibly proud of. Before we start off, how have you been?
Thank you! We've been great thank you for asking, we just came home from a very long tour so we're all exhausted but happy about a successful tour!
’Noir’ is quite a departure from ‘Souvenirs’, in both sound as well as direction. Where ‘Souvenirs’ was a blueprint of what djenty metalcore could be, ‘Noir’ sounds more developed and more involved. Was it a conscious decision to abandon your sound for ‘Noir’ or did it happen naturally?
It was both natural and a conscious decision. Let's just say the decision came naturally, little by little in our minds, but then when it was time to start, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to create an album with no compromise made, just 100% what we wanted, without even caring what our fans wanted to hear (sorry..!). The goal of this album was to make ourselves happy and proud. And it's a success, cause we couldn't be happier or prouder of it!
I think I named a couple of your influences in Periphery and Tesseract, but what are some other influences you would pick as very important for the sound we hear on ‘Noir’?
Periphery and Tesseract have definitely influenced ‘Souvenirs’ but I don't think they influenced ‘Noir’ at all. We've been listening to Pvris, Nothing But thieves, Don Broco etc... a lot of pop-rock actually, very few metal. I personally listened to a lot of Post Malone and Justin Bieber, Matteo's playlist is 90% rap music. We have very broad influences !
I’d love to go in-depth into some of the songs that stood out to me personally, if you don’t mind, starting with the first single ‘The Light, The Fire’. It’s one of the catchier songs on the album with a stellar chorus and an immense main riff. What made you decide to make this the first single?
It was actually never supposed to be the main single haha. It was always supposed to be ‘L'appel du vide’ but we've had issued with the music video which made us delay over and over again, to the point where we had to release something, our director did a quick video for ‘The light, The Fire’, we all loved it so we decided to release it as the first one. It's definitely one of our favorite anyway so it'd have been a single!
The solo on ‘Monochrome’ is also a moment that really stood out to me. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after hearing it for the first time. Who played it, an what went into creating that moment and that solo specifically?
If you're talking about the sax solo, it was written and played by my girlfriend's dad actually, John Heinrich. He's a professional musician from Nashville and I’ve always wanted to have him on a track so I convinced everyone and we're all happy about the result! The guitar solo is from Flo, I’m just like you, always surprised by how good his solos are!
’Les Nuits Noires’ and ‘Grey Souls’ are a lot groovier than a lot of other songs on the album and it features some pretty heavy riffs. Is groove an important aspect of your sound, you think, or is it not something you consciously think of while writing?
Definitely not conscious, I think groove is just something that comes 100% naturally. Those songs are in the ‘heavy’ chapter of the record so they definitely showcase some heavier riffs than the rest of the album. My personal favorite being ‘A bitter end’, even though most people consider it less heavy than the two others you mentioned!
The chorus on latest single ‘A Bitter End’ really ties the song together and I’m hearing some interesting lyrics as well. Are there lyrical themes to the album, or does every song stand on its own lyrically?
Yes and no. If I’m being honest, we aimed to have a very coherent lyrical theme in the album, but Matt's brains didn't like being put in a cage, he just wanted to write about whatever the fuck he had in mind, which he did! In the end, we figured how to tweak a few things to make it coherent with the concept of the album, and we're happy the lyrics are at least very genuine!
’Joie de Vivre’ is probably one of my personal favorites on the album because it’s so uplifting. I might be wrong, but I believe I also heard a guest vocalist on this song. Who is he and how did the collaboration come about?!
There's actually two collabs on this song: Zac from Young Lions, Dream On Dreamer does the verses. We met him on tour a year ago and absolutely fell in love with the dude and his voice, so it was obvious to have him on the record. Jesse from Erra does the choruses. He was originally just helping us finding a line for this chorus, but we loved his take so much we decided to put it on the record!
’A Travers le Mirroir’ also features a stunning solo, and the scarcity of the solos on the album really make the ones that are featured stand out. How do you usually approach writing songs as a whole? Is it someone coming up with a song and delivering it to the band, or is it a joint effort in the rehearsal room?
I'd love for us to be the kind of band that write in the practice room but truth is Amael and Flo sit in front of their computers for days and they then send us the result, sometimes they will collab but most of the time the songs are a solo effort, which is why you can here two very clear sides in Novelists writing. At the end of the day, it makes our songs more diverse so I’m quite happy with having two composers!
You guys are going on tour in October, if I’m not mistaken. What can the fans expect and is there any chance you’re coming to Holland any time soon?
I'm answering so late to this interview that the tour is already over! Was an amazing tour and I’m hoping the fans got what they were expecting. We're planning to come back in a few months for our headline Euro run, and hopefully there should be a show in Holland!
Thank you so much for your time. I can only imagine how busy you guys are. Is there anything you wish to say to close out the interview?
Thank you to everyone that's been enjoying ‘Noir’ and supporting us. We have written this album selfishly and it feels amazing to know people can relate to it anyway. Thanx for the interview!