We sat down with Parisian Metalcore outfit, NOVELISTS to catch up and chat about 2024, their upcoming UK/EU tour with The Word Alive, Ashen, and Elwood Stray, recent member changes, and their new guitar plugin, Kernel, which the band just released.
Hey guys, thanks for joining us for a quick catch-up! Loads have happened since we last spoke. Let’s kick it off – the biggest change to the band since we last spoke is the introduction of Camille on vocals. I saw there were some concerns when Tobi left on your 10-year mark as a band. She is a perfect fit! Really dig the vibe she brings to the project. How did it come about getting her on board and how has it been working with her?
We met Camille in 2019 through our friends LANDMVRKS, she was singing in a band with their guitar player then. We were looking for someone to lay some feminine harmonies on our album and she was down to do it for us, so we invited her over to the studio, spent a few days with her and ended up featuring her leading a verse in one of the tracks.
Fast forward to 2023, Cam was into it as soon as we mentioned the idea to her, she is full of energy and that's exactly what we'd been missing. Working with her has been so refreshing, her talent amazes me every day!
The latest three singles you guys released have been received really well by your fans; how was it writing in Morocco, besides Day 1 being a train smash? Haha! We’re super stoked to dive into the new music!
We realise whenever we're home life gets in the way too easily, and we end up losing focus, and efficiency drops, so we try to go away to write more often nowadays. Being just the 5 of us in a remote area helps tremendously with creativity and focus! Obviously, it being Morocco, with its amazing weather (well not all the time but mostly !!), beautiful landscapes everywhere didn't hurt either! We're touring a lot this year so I'm not sure we'll have the time, but we're eager to go as soon as we can!
With the writing of the new album, which bands/artists/experiences have had the biggest influence on the new music?
Man, that's a tough question, I guess the biggest strength but also the hardest part of being in this band is we're 5 people with 5 different opinions, tastes and influences. I can't tell for the other guys but for myself “Nothing More” was influential on some of those choruses I wrote as I was listening to them quite a lot last year!
I think mainly the idea was to try and have an album that represented the whole spectrum of our influences, I was a little disappointed by Déja-Vu as I thought it ended up being a little too unidimensional for me. I strongly pushed for more emotional stuff on this new one. We also tried to bring back some richness, and technicality to our guitar parts and I think overall to just explore more avenues sonically, be it in our past catalogue but also just new stuff we had never done before!
The production on your Live in Lyon livestream is amazing! Can you give us a rundown of what goes into recording a livestream of this calibre?
I feared for a long time I was being too ambitious with this one, we were broke so I booked only 2 days, one day to set up the gear, lights, clean the space etc.. and the 2nd day to shoot only. When I announced to our video guy ( Seppe Germaux ) I wanted to do 10 songs in 4 hours on day 2 he thought I was kidding. In the end, it took us 8 hours to shoot it all, 4 to 5 takes per song until we had the right take.
I laugh to myself when I see comments about how “ the whole production crew “ did a great job when it was just 2 people + the band haha. I do think it turned out sick so I'm very happy with it! But in retrospect, it was a little too much for everyone involved, so if we were to do it again I would book more time and more hands to help us.
You guys are hitting the UK and Europe soon with The Word Alive, Ashen, and Elwood Stray; what can fans expect from these shows? A sneak peek at some new tunes from the new album perhaps?
Sorry to disappoint but we won't be playing any unreleased tracks on that tour. I always felt weird when we did it in the past, fans don't know the song so we can't share the moment with them you know? Have a look at the live session on YouTube, if you like it come experience it in person and with 3 other sick bands!
Being a band for 10 years is a phenomenal milestone to hit – what have been the most valuable lessons you’ve learned as a band over the last decade?
Don't wait to be noticed by the industry, make things happen by yourself because nobody will ever care about your band the way you do. Some people might make you feel like they do care a lot, but most of them would drop you the second the band's music doesn't perform as much as they want it to.
On a more positive note, cherish the people that are loyal to you. There are not a lot of people in our team who have been here since the start and through the ups and downs, but the ones that have I try to show them how grateful I am.
Congratulations on the release of Kernel -Novelists, what a cool project to take on as a band. What initially sparked the idea of creating a guitar plugin and could you give us a glimpse into the process of tackling something like creating a plugin from scratch? It sounds amazing BTW, you guys created something special.
Thank you!! This started as a joke, the first idea of the plugin was meant to have pictures of seriously stupid faces etc. I hired a developer on Fiverr and a friend of ours did the whole graphics/brand identity. After working with them for more than a year it became apparent that it was not a joke anymore, they crushed it and exceeded all expectations so we decided it was time to take it seriously!
We're giving away 2 x download codes for Kernel - NOVELISTS to two lucky winners. Sign up below to enter the giveaway!
You guys had a very busy 2023 with loads going on – what can fans expect from NOVELISTS in 2024?
TOURS, seriously we're going to announce a lot of great tours! Busiest year ever for us for sure! We're eternally grateful to see the band thriving and getting more opportunities than ever! And yeah, I guess we still need to release that record we've talked about, don't we?