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Northlane are an Australian metalcore band from Sydney, formed in 2009. The band comprises guitarists Jon Deiley and Josh Smith, bassist Alex Milovic, drummer Nic Pettersen and vocalist Marcus Bridge. Northlane have released four studio albums: Discoveries (11 November 2011); Singularity (22 March 2013), which reached No. 3 on the ARIA Albums Chart; Node (24 July 2015), a number one album and Mesmer (24 March 2017). At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 the group won the Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album category.
Early years and Discoveries (2009–2012)
Northlane were formed in 2009 as a metalcore band in Western Sydney by Jon Deiley on lead guitar, Brendan Derby on drums and percussion, Adrian Fitipaldes on lead vocals, Alex Milovic on bass guitar and Josh Smith on rhythm guitar. They are named after the 2007 track "North Lane" by British metalcore band, Architects. In 2013 Fitipaldes described their formation, "pretty much, through the internet and common interest" where Deiley and Milovic had contacted each other to start song writing. He continued that "once they had the songs down, they started recruiting members."
Their six-track debut extended play, Hollow Existence, was released in January 2010: it was generally well received. Kill Your Stereo's All Shall Perish praised the group's "admirable and mature standard, a vital quality that is rapidly becoming extinct in most up-and-coming Australian bands" and summarised that it is a "Fantastic six track EP that has substantial replay value and will leave you craving more." Mark A of Sputnikmusic felt "One can certainly tell that it is a first try, given the deriative presentation of the music. Breakdowns are incredibly over-utilized on the 6-song EP, punctuated by clean guitars only when they are gearing up for another breakdown." Northlane toured Australia in support and "established a reputation as a tireless live act."
In late 2011 the band signed to the UNFD record label, which released their first studio album, Discoveries, in November that year. It reached the ARIA Albums Chart Top 100, No. 49 on the ARIA Digital Albums chart and No. 1 on the ARIA Hitseekers Albums chart. The album was followed by the Discoveries tour around Australia, and tours supporting August Burns Red and House Vs Hurricane shortly afterwards. Parkway Drive took them on the Sick Summer tour in February 2012.
In September 2012, the band went to Canada on tour with Counterparts and Stray from the Path. At the end of the tour, they settled in New York City to record their new album with Will Putney. In December 2012 the band toured with in arenas with Parkway Drive on their "Atlas" tour in Australia.
Singularity and Fitipaldes' departure (2013–2014)
In January 2013 the band completed a tour across regional Australia with In Hearts Wake and Endless Heights as supporting acts, in support of their new single "Worldeater". They also played in Adelaide at The Cavern to make up for their missed flight the previous month. In most shows the band leaked a new song titled "Masquerade". Northlane played at the 2013 Soundwave festival and Pushover 2013 alongside other Australian hardcore acts such as Thy Art Is Murder, Amity Affliction and In Hearts Wake.
A music video for the song "Quantum Flux" from Singularity was released on 22 February 2013. It achieved mainstream success, debuting at #14 on the ARIA Australian Artists Top 20 Singles Chart in the week of 4 March 2013. On 22 March 2013 Northlane released their second studio album, Singularity, which debuted at No. 3 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It went to #1 in the Australian iTunes albums chart. "Singularity" received critical acclaim around the world. It was nominated for Triple J's "J Award Album of the Year" as one of the 10 best albums of 2013, and was voted as the Best album of 2013 on both The Racket and Short Fast Loud. In the Blunt Magazine readers poll, Northlane took home a multitude of awards in 2013 including "Band of the Year", "Album of the Year" and "Best Vocalist". iTunes Australia nominated Singularity as one of the most notable albums of 2013.
The "Singularity" tour in Australia included Structures, Stray from the Path and Statues. In August they supported Karnivool around Australia.
Northlane made their United States touring debut in November 2013, touring nationally with Veil of Maya and Structures. In January 2014 they played on the Big Day Out touring festival, before touring the US with Bring Me the Horizon, Of Mice and Men and Issues on the American Dream tour. In March and April they supported Architects on a 39 date tour of Europe and the UK. Northlane announced that they would curate their own festival called FREE YOUR MIND, with the first tour taking place in May 2014 in Australia. Northlane headlined the festival with support from Thy Art Is Murder, Veil of Maya, Volumes and Make Them Suffer. All dates on the tour sold out in advance. Northlane appeared on the cover of Blunt Magazine in the April edition prior to Free Your Mind. It was after this tour that Northlane became activists and heavily supported many charities including The Smith Family by donating used drums sticks and guitars
It was announced in September 2014 that founding vocalist Adrian Fitipaldes would be leaving the band. Northlane issued a statement via their Facebook page, citing an impact on Fitipaldes' health as the catalyst. Northlane also announced that they will be accepting audition videos for a new vocalist.
Arrival of Marcus Bridge and Node (2014–2016)
On 14 October, Northlane announced that they had found their new vocalist. Two days later, they announced that they were shooting a music video together for a new song, titled "Rot". The track was recorded with producer Will Putney in Sydney shortly after being written. Describing the new single as "one of the heaviest Northlane tracks ever", the band released the song on 20 November and the new vocalist was identified as Marcus Bridge.
Their third studio album, Node, was released on 24 July 2015, with Will Putney producing, which reached No. 1. Smith stated that Node features "a lot more ambience and rhythm section driven stuff" as well as "more depth and dynamics" and possibly more clean vocals. Additionally, in 2015, the band hopes to perform in New Zealand, South East Asia, Portugal and, in the summer, Germany. They also hope to do a headline tour of the UK some time after playing Download Festival there. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 Node won the Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album category.
Equinox and Mesmer (2016–present)
On 19 April 2016, the band announced that they had been working on a collaborative release with In Hearts Wake entitled Equinox. It was recorded in Sydney with producer Will Putney. The EP features three songs: "Refuge", "Equinox" and "Hologram" and was released on 20 April, through UNFD. The band stated that they would be playing all songs live on the Equinox tour, co-headlined with In Hearts Wake and supported by Hands Like Houses & Ocean Grove. Since their European tour of early 2016, the band have changed their stage appearance in an effort to make themselves look more unique. Since early 2016, Jon has worn an array of masks, including an anti-pollution mask, a black medical mask and a rhinestone covered mask which conceals his entire head, plus a pair of large black contact lenses. Alex wears a long wrap-around jacket he acquired while in Japan. Nic wears a black singlet and medical mask. Josh wears a white long sleeve and Marcus wears a moth eaten black t-shirt with bandages on his hands.
The band premiered a new track 'Intuition' at UNIFY Gathering in January 2017, before releasing the track as a single and a music video filmed at the festival. Northlane announced an Australian tour in support of the single in March 2017.
In a now-deleted post on Reddit's r/metalcore community, guitarist Smith revealed the band's new album would be released in May / June 2017. To promote the album and its forthcoming singles, the band took to Facebook and created a chatbot on Facebook's Messenger service called "Citizen" for fans to interact with that gave clues to upcoming singles and videos.
The band has released two singles from the upcoming new album. The first, "Intuition", was released on 17 January 2017. The second, titled "Citizen", was released on 19 March 2017. On 24 March, a countdown timer on Northlane's website finally ran down to reveal their new album, Mesmer.
Style, influences and songwriting
Northlane's musical style has been described as metalcore, progressive metal and progressive metalcore. Guitarist Josh Smith stated in early 2015 that their influences include their favourite metalcore band Architects (whose song "North Lane" they are named after), the Australian progressive rock band Karnivool, the instrumental metal artist Cloudkicker and the alternative rock band Incubus, while some of their other favourite artists are DJ Tiësto, Dirty Loops, Michael Jackson and Tycho, as well as Deadmau5 and Bruno Mars, all from the realm of pop and electronic music. While growing up, bassist Alex Milovic's favourite band was the metalcore band Underoath, drummer Nic Pettersen's the nu metal band Limp Bizkit, vocalist Marcus Bridge's the pop punk band Fall Out Boy, guitarist Jon Deiley's the funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers and Smith's the thrash metal band Slayer. The band's favourite Australian bands include the metalcore band In Hearts Wake and the punk rock band The Living End, as well as the unsigned bands Graves, DVSR, Glass Ocean and Endless Heights.
According to Smith, Deiley writes most of the band's guitar/bass tracks, and "before he left, [vocalist] Adrian [Fitipaldes] was writing most of the lyrics. Now it's [Smith] and [vocalist] Marcus [Bridge] for the most part."
Northlane's guitars are tuned to open-F (F-A#-F-A#-D#-G-C) for several songs on their Singularity and Node albums. This tuning differs from the conventional open-F tuning (F-A-C-F-C-F) due to different note choices and addition of a seventh string.