Exclusive Interview: No Soul talk “Open Me”, making music videos and Jazz!
Hailing from Rutland Vermont and giving us some spine tingling chills and brutal breakdowns with “Open Me“, their debut full length album in Avante Garde Deathcore style are No Soul. After reviewing their skull crushing and yet sensitive nine track opus, we spoke to them and asked a few burning questions having digested the album which has more thrills and spills than an Alfred Hitchcock classic. This is what the edge of the seat was made for…
In your bio you mention having had filler members and not feeling that you were up to speed with how the music industry works when it came to your 2017 debut EP “Head Trauma“. Listening back to it now, while it sounds like a much more raw recording in terms of quality, the essence of “Open Me” is there but, perhaps without the certain something to carry it off. How do you feel about those tracks now? Will you still keep them in your live set? Recording that EP specifically was a nightmare for us looking back. I don’t think we really realized it at the time, but we just assumed that recording our EP and getting the quality we were looking for out of it could be done by anyone. We were sorely mistaken and us being so young at the time (barely allowed to play bar shows) I’m glad we got a big mistake out of the way. We paid way too much and got way too little out of our first recordings. Though Will (guitarist/founder) and I still have a soft spot on it, i’m not sure if we will play those songs again anytime in the near future. I think the real meaning behind those tracks was just our chance to make music and put it out there. Along the way creating that EP we made friends with our now guitarist Adam Thomas Legget, who is featured vocally on one of the tracks. Along with another friend of the band, Tyler Small of Saving Vice. I think it stands as more of a timepiece or cornerstone to “Open Me” and our future releases.
There is so much going on in “Open Me” that we’ve called No Soul a Avante Garde Deathcore band due to the brilliant off kilter moments you’ve got in play. How did the ideas for those come together? The Jazz moment in “Delineate” really is something else! When it came to recording the tracks off of “Open Me” the ideas were not always apparent. I like to think of it as more of a natural development. At the time I was listening to some really deep cut music like the pretty infamous The Shaggs. Though I’m an avid pop / jazz listener, examples would be Nat King Cole or Kermit Ruffins. I sort of looked at the chaotic flowing nature of jazz and wanted to put that under a microscope to use it as a tool to express something within a track alongside turning some heads and give some people that “what is going on?” type reaction. Within “Delineate” I personally wanted that cut to emphasise the duality of the track in a way making the jazz section the “space between the walls” a minor moment of calm in an otherwise off the handle track.
You worked with Ian Urquhart for the music videos for “Wishender” and “Delineate“. How did you come to choose to work with him and what was the process like to get them done? We chose to work with Ian after noticing the amazing grind he has. Such a hard working guy with a real passion for what he does. We saw his work on some live show / tour recap videos with Currents and our friends in Saving Vice and immediately were just excited to get to work with someone local who was in the New England scene with great talent for what they do. When we decided the video outline for “Wishender” and Ian had received it, a stand out moment for us was his reaction to us wanting to waterboard one of our members with blood for the video. It was a mix of both intrigue and extreme caution. Though when we finally explained what precautions we had in place and how we wanted to do it I think it put him at ease for the most part. That was definitely the messiest thing I think we could’ve done. I actually happened to be the one holding the cooking pot full of fake blood. I actually missed the first take and ended up covering the bathroom with red dyed chocolate liquid. It splashed EVERYWHERE, it was a total mess but super memorable. After a really awesome product we accomplished with “Wishender”, Ian of course was on board to work with us again for “Delineate”. There was less of a direct concept for the video so most of the language is used in the filming and motions of the video. We didn’t want any performance shots for the video which made filming take a little less time. But the amount of takes we had for the song was up there and once again we got an awesome music video in the books. We will most definitely continue to work with Ian in the future, whether it be his photography or video work. Great stuff.
You’ve got some brilliant tapping sections in your guitar work as well as some seriously bludgeoning rhythmic poundings. Who would you like to play with live should the option of a deep run come up? Would you prefer to head over to Europe with bands like Rings of Saturn or Brand of Sacrifice or would you prefer to do a West Coast US run with bands like Lorna Shore or Chelsea Grin? Glad we got this question. To answer it I think if we could we choose both of those options right now. With everything going on in the world it’s been disheartening not being able to play shows. That aspect is just something else entirely and it’s like missing a piece of your routine. It just doesn’t feel whole without it. We’re all ready to get back out there and go but we have to sit and wait for the green light whenever that will be. Hopefully in the near future. P.S Our guitarist Adam Thomas Legget practiced like crazy for those tapping melodies, dude works like a madman to get them just right!”
If you could have any band play one of your songs for a Metal Magazine cover compilation CD, who would you choose, why and of course which song would you pick? This is a doozy. It’s a really tough decision due to how personal each of the songs are to me. I personally would love to hear a Kings & Creatures rendition of our track “Dirge”. Just a complete re:imagining of the track instrumentally would be a great listen.
“Open Me” by No Soul is out now and available over at bandcamp