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Thenighttimeproject - Interview

Interview with: Fredrik "North" Norrman
Conducted by: T.V.

Fredrik "North" Norrman, better known as ex-guitarist in Katatonia and main member of doom/death metal combo October Tide, returns to his most noteable roots with Thenighttimeproject. This is a band for all those who are more familiar with his unique guitar playing style while he was still in Katatonia and shows another great addition to the universe of atmospheric and melancholic rock/metal music. Thenighttimeproject's self titled debut album was released in January through Aftermath Music (read a review over HERE) and showcases a suprising engagement, close and far from what one would expect. Thenighttimeproject's line-up is then completed with Tobias Netzell of In Mourning fame, along with Nicklas Hjertton, formerly of Mandylon. I talked with Fredrik mostly about the debut album, connections with Katatonia and his return to the soothing melodic and atmospheric melancholic tunes.

T.V.: Hi Fredrik, how are you? It's nice to see you returning to the melancholic atmospheric rock/metal sound. Can you for starting this interview make a short presentation of Thenighttimeproject to our readers?
: Hi! This is a project I started when I quit playing in Katatonia six years ago. I had some unused ideas from the Katayears that didn't fit October Tide. So I just had to start a new project with focus on a more ambient rock sound. Tobias Netzell from In Mourning and Nicklas from Mandylon joined and now is our debut album released.
T.V.: The name of the band kinda indicates that this band/project was born in a late night while you guys were hanging out and jaming... or am I wrong?
Fredrik: It's basically only at night when I have time to sit down to write music. Family father as I am with a fulltime job at the factory... So it became my standard answer when people ask me how I get time with music. That music has become a night time project.
T.V.: Now I understand why it took you so much time to finally release the debut album. I must congratulate you for making such an outstanding job and I wonder how are you satisfied with the final product?
Fredrik: This is not the only reason why it took so long time. Main priority has been October Tide, so we've been working on and off with this. Tobias also has his other bands. But yes and thank you. We are very pleased with the result. The guys at Fascination street studios made a great job with mixing and mastering the album.
T.V.: In a way I find the music of Thenighttimeproject like a continuation of Katatonia's sound before they stripped down the guitar sound. Can we say that you have felt kind of an emptiness after you've left Katatonia, and aren't you afraid that people will make too much of connections right with Katatonia?
Fredrik: Many of the songs are based on ideas that are made during my time in Katatonia. Either they are unused or I just thought that they didn't fit Katatonia. So I understand if people make connections with Katatonia. But I don't care about that too much.
T.V.: So, when you were writting those lines I believe that you've had in mind Jonas Renkse would sing, and I wonder if it was difficult to find the appropriate vocalist? It's quite a surprise hearing Tobias singing this way...
Fredrik: I actually searched for a while until one day I was talking to Tobias about everything and nothing, when he said that he wanted to try. So I sent him the track "Among Reptiles" which ended up great.
T.V.: I agree on that! And how did you found and came in contact with Nicklas?
Fredrik: I joined his old band Mandylon as a session bass player on a few gigs years ago. He's also from the same town as I am, so that part was quite easy.

T.V.: I see, pretty natural development of things. Is Thenighttimeproject album's purpose just to release your old unpublished and unused stuff or will be there more music from this side?
Fredrik: It will be more. But if there will be a full-lengh or if we release single songs every now and then only time can tell.
T.V.: I certainly hope so that we'll hear more from Thenighttimeproject! Tell me now how did the collaboration with Aftermath Music started and how are you satisfied with their job?
Fredrik: I think it was Tobias who sent Haavard at Aftermath a few demo songs. Tobias and In Mourning have some collaboration with Haavard so they knew each other very well already. It was basically the only label we talked to. It´s a small label but they do their best and that´s good enough for us at this moment.
T.V.: I hope that they do their best for you! Are you guys planning to do some live shows in the near future?
Fredrik: No plans for live shows at the moment. Both me and Tobias are busy with our other bands at the moment. In Mourning is about to start mixing their new album I think and the new October Tide album just got finished a few days ago.
T.V.: The front cover of the album is pretty much minimalistic and I don't really see a connection in that picture with the music, or maybe you can explain it to me where's the catch?
Fredrik: The moon and a nightly creature. It´s all about the night. In a way I can understand you. It perhaps do not connects with the music directly for some people... but to me it´s quite clear. Not sure if I can or want to put words on it. It´s all about a feeling and it´s up to each and everyone to interpret and building your own image around the music and the images. The logo/creature is made by my fantastic Ukrainian friend and artist Vlada Vladkova.
T.V.: Ok, this certainly makes sense! And who stands behind the lyrics of Thenighttimeproject? What are you dealing mostly with in them?
Fredrik: Same problem in this project as in October Tide. None of us write lyrics. So Laurence who helped October Tide on previous albums and the new album also contributed on this record. Also Björn from In Mourning and another friend of Tobbe contributed. So it makes it kind of fun for us a well, that we have to think twice when we read the lyrics.
T.V.: Interesting, really... so you guys don't hold that much melancholy in your minds and hearts as you should for this kind of music? Just joking, but maybe there's some truth...
Fredrik: That infact is the truth. We're in it only for the money (laughs). Or is it that also writing music or painting or whatever it may be also is a way to express all kinds of feelings? As if you would write lyrics?

T.V.: Yeah, I know and I completely understand, haha... Two more villas for you in exotic places wouldn't hurt... Now, please tell, my favorite track from the album is the opener, "The Annual Loss", and I wonder if you can give me a bit more of a detailed description or an insight into this one?
Fredrik: Two more villas is not a problem (laughs)... What is to say about that one? It's built around the opening riff, which is two chords. Those two chords runs through the whole song, more or less.
T.V.: Ok, haha, that's the description that I want. No, jokes apart. Tell me which song is your favorite and why?
Fredrik: Yeah, I know how to deliver good answers, haha. I really like "Oneiros", not only because it's an interesting song. It was also great fun making it, lots of things going on in that one. I also like "Amends", perhaps the best I have ever written.
T.V.: Your main band, October Tide, is near to release the fifth album, can you give me a bit of an insight into it. What can your fans expect from it and did you follow the same formula as on Tunnel Of No Light?
Fredrik: The new album which is titled Winged Waltz is definitely a more angry and varied album than Tunnel Of No Light. But the melodies and all that is still there.
T.V.: One personal question, hope you can answer it. Do you prefer to play and compose death/doom metal or atmospheric/melancholic rock?
Fredrik: I prefer both. It's equal fun if I may say so. When I write I never sit down with the intention to play either that or the other. It's usually the first idea that pops up that determines. If I were a better guitarplayer I would probably play other styles of music as well.
T.V.: A better guitar player? I think that you are one of the best and most respected guitarist inside the genre. Ok, Fredrik, I think that's everything from my side for now. Is there anything that you would like to add at the end of this interview?
Fredrik: I guess I could practice stuff to become a more technical guitarist but I always end up writing insted. But writing and composing music is more fun. The only thing now to add is a huge thanx for shown interest! Cheers!

Thenighttimeproject links: Facebook

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