We caught up with Parisian Metalcore outfit, NOVELISTS to chat about 2022, their 4th record “Déjà Vu” which was released via Out of Line Music, and what the new year has in store for the band.
Hey guys, it’s an absolute pleasure having you guys on board, thanks for taking the time. NOVELISTS had a busy 2022 with the release of the new record on September 23rd and a busy touring schedule – how has the new record been received by your fans?
Hey! We’ve received an overwhelming amount of love since the record came out and the numbers are looking great so we’re all very happy about the release.
You guys have been vocal online about approaching the release of new music in a non-traditional manner – what is the thinking behind the new release strategy? Is it purely to keep things fresh and push new music more frequently or is there a different thinking behind the strategy?
When we started the band almost 10 years ago I already knew I wanted to only release singles after singles, we did it for the first 2 years and were getting great results, fans were into it and we were happy about the workflow. Then we signed our first label deal and I don’t think the industry was quite ready to give up on their old ways so we had to release 3 records with a more traditional approach but as soon as our deal was over I knew I would never allow us to release an album in that manner anymore.
I was tired of writing 12 songs only to end up with a 3 months promo period, 3 singles, and 9 songs that would never get the attention they deserved. We did get some negative reactions from fans that were disappointed there were not many surprises or much unheard substance to the record when it came out, but realistically releasing all the singles prior to the album like we did is what helped us get a lot of new fans so I don’t regret it and I intend to do a similar release in the future!
How long did you guys work on the new record? Was it a lengthier process than usual since there is an evident shift in the sound of the band and Tobias jumping on board on vocals?
It was definitely a long process, which is the only thing I don’t want to reproduce on our next records. We started working with Tobias in the summer of 2020 and we already had a lot of demos then, but somehow finding a new workflow was a lot more difficult than I anticipated it. Thankfully we are doing better now so this shouldn’t be a problem anymore!
You guys recently wrapped up a big UK/EU tour with Bury Tomorrow and August Burns Red – any standout moments from this run that you’d like to share with our readers?
Honestly, the whole tour was literally a dream come true. We have about 15 tours under our belt so I was expecting this one to be similar although slightly larger in terms of venues and crowd, but the bands have been so humble and welcoming, the atmosphere was lovely and the crowd was insane every night, which, as an opener, is not something that you can not take for granted.
Best tour ever, no contest.
How was it having Sam from Kubrick filling in for Tobias on the UK leg of the tour?
Sam made it possible for us to jump on the tour at all so for that we are eternally grateful, he is a monster of a vocalist and a genuinely great person. It felt very natural to have him around! Couldn’t thank him enough.
NOVELISTS had a busy tour schedule for 2022 – from UK Tech-Fest here on our soil, Hellfest, Fallen Fortress, the Imminence EU/UK tour, and of course, the BT and ABR UK/EU run; what are your tips for approaching a busy year out on the road as it is not always as glamorous as perceived by a lot of people?
I wish I had some good tips, truth is we’re dead after every tour and it takes all of us a good week to get back into normal life! One thing that we try to do is to eat healthy. I’m not saying beans and carrots every day but we are very conscious about what we eat and the alcohol we drink, and try to not abuse it!
Also, I tend to book nice Airbnbs or hotels on every day off just so the whole band and crew can have a good rest and enjoy each other’s company, rather than staying in a stinky bus for a whole day off. If I had one piece of advice I would say just don’t be too cheap, if you try to save money on every aspect of the tour you will go home with a bit more cash in your pocket but it will impact the experience a lot. Find a good balance between both, if you want longevity the experiences need to be great.
Do you prefer playing smaller intimate shows or big festival stages? They obviously have their own set of pros and cons. Do you mind naming a few here?
I think for us open air shows are very difficult since our performance is based around creating a darker atmosphere. I love playing festivals, Hellfest was one of the highlights in my life and I’m sure the guys would agree, but I think we entertain people a lot more in mid-capacity rooms. My favourite is the size we just did last month: 1500 cap venues. Big enough to have all the comfort on and off stage, and small enough to still feel close to the people.
The French metal scene seems very healthy in 2022 with quite a few bands making big splashes – any bands you’d like to mention here that our readers should not sleep on?
We’re starting up a new segment here – what is your fictional “dream” festival looking like? There are no limits, you can go all out and get creative. Location, line-up, indoor or outdoor, etc.
On a beach in Greece, mid-summer.
Line-up would look something like this:
Nothing But Thieves
Lower Than Atlantis
What can we expect from NOVELISTS in 2023, if there is anything you can mention here, of course.
We’re really working hard to deliver part 2 of “Deja Vu”. So hopefully a release by the end of the year with a headliner tour in Europe! Either way lots of new music, and we do not want to stop releasing new music often, it is what makes us the happiest! We should also announce a tour soon, in a territory where we’ve never gone before.