Heavy metal band Northlane release their new album ‘Alien’ in early August, their fifth, and fans expecting similar content lyrically may need to have a serious re-think. In 2014, Marcus Bridge took over the lead vocal duties for the band and ‘Alien’ is really an album about Bridge’s experiences growing up in a household most would only describe as a hell on earth.
Growing up, Bridge was living with both parents battling drug addiction so severe that his home life was one of abuse and violence as a by-product of that addiction. There was guns, aggression, and desperation, parents unable to parent at a normal healthy level and a despair that few thought Bridge could overcome. But remarkably he has, but that journey hasn’t been an easy one and part of the process of acceptance begins with ‘Alien’, a raw album that is as much a chance to get everything off his chest to begin a clean slate in life.
“That period defined who I am as a person. I was always terrified to talk about it. I really thought it was selfish not to tell this story. It’s been a very reflective period. Very difficult. But hopefully it offers some hope for other people experiencing the same. There’s a need for people to be comfortable talking about these things. It would be the best thing to come from it.”
The thoughts and experiences Bridge had growing up were eating away at him until it was time to either face them and discuss or probably hide away from them forever, which wouldn’t have been the healthiest option or way to deal with them.
“I wanted to write about this for a long time. The darker tones suited this story.”
Musically there are different themes running throughout ‘Alien’ that really suit the timeframe that Bridge has written about; late 1990s electronica vibe for example. As he says “it all fell into place.”
“It isn’t a particularly positive album, but being able to write this stuff has been important.
“It’s been a long process but glad now it’s on the way. It’s been 18 months in the works. And the band wanted to spend more time on the album feeling the songs out. We would leave the songs and then come back to them with fresh ears. “
Bridge says that after joining the band there was a shared “feeling out” that was happening with the other band members to begin with. “I didn’t want to impose too much. It’s been a progression and the guys understanding me. I didn’t want to take away from what had already been done.”
‘Alien’ is out on August 2, and will be followed by tours of Australia, as well as more touring in the US and across Europe. Tickets remain to their Melbourne show at 170 Russell on Thursday, October 17.
The band are also holding a free intimate release show at Yah Yah’s in Melbourne on Friday, August 2 to celebrate the release of Alien. The event will also feature a pop-up store and attendance will be at a first-come, first-serve basis. Be sure to get there early to avoid disappointment.
Written by Chris Michaels