Oh, the power of an 'e'. In 2011, a not-really-black metal band was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and called itself Noir. Earlier this year, the band completely changed the pronunciation of their name by bringing the 'e' and becoming Noire. Last month, Deathbound Records released the band's debut full-length Dark Reverence, and we're giving you a taste of it today. We also had the opportunity to ask the band a few questions and investigate the mystery of the 'e'. Enjoy the savage/pretty title track from Noire's new record as you start making preparations for... next Halloween. (Hello, Richard Christy!)
How did the Noire project get started?
Noire got started sometime in 2011 when our first drummer and [guitarist] Bob [Fitzgerald] were looking to start a metal project. We jammed with many different people and it wasn't until we (Bob and Andrew [Lawes, guitars/vox]) were introduced that Noire truly began!
Once we wrote the first Noire song (“A Fire Shall Burn”), it was clear that we shared the same musical philosophy and it was time to start writing the album Dark Reverence. About half way through writing it, Craig [Peeples, bass] approached us after learning that we needed a bass player. He had seen us play without bass and knew obviously this was not by choice. Shortly after that we had to replace our drummer and after auditioning a few people we managed to grab Derrick's attention. Derrick [Kroll] was a perfect fit for Noire. We finally had a full band with its members all dedicated to the same goal. Noire has a very specific musical vision and has had to make sacrifices to remain true to it.
How does songwriting happen? What processes, inspiration and work led to this new set of songs?
Our song writing process simply starts with us (Bob and Andrew) sharing riff ideas and together we lay the groundwork for the song. We tend to approach songwriting from a compositional standpoint while trying to create an overall classical feel with the melodies and harmonies and at the same time try to stay true to our metal influences. We set out to write a dynamic song that tells a story and that will evoke varied emotions. We want to explore a new musical path each time we write new material and feel we are on a road less traveled in the metal world.
Your press kit says you seek to "extoll the beauty of the lightless side of music." Can you talk specifically about what draws you to this mission and what makes you feel satisfied in your achievements on this album?
Collectively as a band we do have a deep respect for the concept of darkness and the relationship it has with light. We want to portray this in our music. In general we find this subject to be quite intriguing and beautiful. Darkness is patient, eternal and constant and eventually all light, all energy must succumb to it. We feel that this can be used metaphorically to view many things in life. This was our main inspiration for Dark Reverence and we are satisfied with the material on this album however we are confident we can explore this subject further.
What were the recording sessions like for Dark Reverence?
Our recording sessions for Dark Reverence were quite interesting. First off, for some of us it was our studio experience, so there was a little bit of a learning curve and because Derrick joined the band only a few months before recording, he had a lot of catching up to do. He had to learn and write some of his parts in the studio. For example, "Faithless" was not finished until after we began the recording process. Any obstacles we faced were overcome with the positive and relaxed atmosphere at Grimfrykt Studios. Overall we learned a lot and we will take that knowledge to try and create something better next time.
You mentioned you opened for Absu. What has Noire's live experience been like?
Noire's live experience has been very fulfilling so far. Having completed a western tour and played several local shows, we have realized that many people identify with us. We are very serious on stage and without the use of props or stage banter we set a dark, brooding atmosphere where the songs alone captivate the audience. We feel we have a strong, quiet connection with the crowd, more so than our previous projects. The music can be quite emotional and we have seen it affect people live.
What bands/musicians would you really be interested in playing shows with?
As far as bands we'd like to play with. We would love to share the stage with any one of our main European influences and hopefully some of our new label mates. Enslaved or Catuvolcus maybe. Also there are still some local bands we have yet to perform with.
Any current thoughts on Noire's direction for the foreseeable future?
Noire's direction for the future involves working with our label, Deathbound Records, to promote Dark Reverence and to take it out east. Hopefully play some shows in Montreal. Also we have already started to write new material for our second album. We will continue to extoll the beauty of the lightless side of music.