Normadr had played just before Vesperia, and they had an interesting, slow-moving doomy/sludgy sound to them, in comparison to Vesperia’s epic fast-paced onslaught. Whoever was working on the sound was doing a great job and all the instruments could be heard, each sounding crisp and distinct. The formula of most of their songs was repetitive but interesting. Colin MacAndrew on drums laid down constant groovy beats, while the guitar roared mid-tempo, sounding somewhat like a buzzsaw. Stephane St. Hilaire stood in front of the crowd and screeched into the mic. “This next song is called Intergalactic Suicidal Porkchops,” he said. I had been waiting for that song after hearing about it from Stephane earlier in the night.
KL (Kyle Lapointe): So you guys are Nordmadr. What’s the significance of that name?
SS (Stephane St. Hilaire): It’s the old Norse word for “Northman.”
KL: What’s the significance connecting yourselves to the Norse language and culture? A couple of the bands tonight have songs titled in the language.
SS: Well, we specifically style our music after bands from Scandinavia. The reason we say we’re Nordic themed is our band is similar to those bands with Nordic heritage.
KL: A lot of time when I see these bands from Scandinavia, they always seem very intense and as if they are not the joking type. Would you say that about your band too? Do you agree about my assessment of the Norse people?
SS: Yeah, they’re often not really the joking type. The only somewhat joking song I’ve ever seen from a Nordic metal band was Turisas when they did Rasputin, by Boney M. Mostly these bands make music based on traditional folk.
KL: What do we expect from you guys tonight? Will you guys be incorporating folk themes and instrumentation?
CM (Colin MacAndrew, drummer): I wouldn’t know about if we do lyrically, they’re always pretty screamed…
KL: You don’t know what the lyrics are?
CM: No (laughs). They just play it and I follow along.
SS: Our latest song is probably the only one that has Nordic mythological themes in it. The other ones are mostly symbolic to my life. As far as songwriting, our music isn’t all that folk influenced. I’m trying to learn the bagpipes right now but our guitarist is a little bit iffy on including that.
KL: How would you measure success in making new music with this project? I’ve talked to some more pop-oriented musicians and I imagine you guys look at success in a different way.
SS: Well, for a successful show, there needs to be no running back and forth and the equipment should be there – easy transport from the jam space to the venue. This time we double-checked and triple-checked the jam space before we left. As far as my aspirations for the band go, as long as we continue playing, as long as we continue to progress and move forward, that’s all I care about. There are metal bands that take years and years and years to struggle before they make it big. For me, even if ten years down the line if I’m still in Montreal but playing for a sizable crowd, I’d be happy with that.
Check out part I, the interview with Vesperia HERE.