The North is a post hardcore band currently living in the Hampton Roads area. Their debut EP "Tradewinds" is set to release in 2014.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Justin Pyles: vocals
Dan Interrante: clean vocals/bass player
Robby Latalladi: lead guitar
Mike Christensen: drummer
Napoleon Brown: rhythm guitar/vocals
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to The North? How long has the band been around?
Justin : East Great Falls (Screamo)
Mike: I Time Bomb (Pop punk)
Robby: Intentions to Murder (Deathcore)
Dan: Through Districts Divided (Metalcore)
Napoleon: Hollywood Ending (Screamo)
The band has been around since early 2013 and began playing shows June of 2014.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The North represents Dan's hometown of Boston. This all started when Dan's wife encouraged him to follow a different path in music and along the way Napoleon joined Dan and started hinting at the idea of a full band. Once Mike came on board for drums, Robby was recommended by Napoleon and Justin just fell in to place. The North as a band name just stuck with everyone. We're a band made up of people from all over America so to us The North represents a collective region and the idea of home.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Normally the writing process includes a pot of coffee, Netflix and Napoleon's special "stashing through the snow" coffee mug. After that Dan will lay down a skeleton track with a general direction of drums, guitar, bass and vocals. After that each member comes in and adds what they believe flows best. After each section of the track is complete we'll discuss what we like or what can be improved.
Brew up another pot of coffee: all of our songs are based on good and bad life experiences. We write music that people can apply to their own lives, whether it be applied to a relationship, the loss of a loved one or deciding to make a major life change. We want to always stay true to writing about real experiences and emotions. We feel like that's what sets us apart. We lay our lives out for everyone to see with our music, but still make it relatable to others.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
The bands currently inspiring us both music and stage presence wise are: letlive, Counterparts, The Wonder Years, Silverstein, and Therefore I Am. All of those bands put everything they have into their live shows because they write songs that matter to them, not just what sounds cool. Anyone can buy a CD or stream music but these bands make going to a show both entertaining and emotional. We strive for that as an upcoming band.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
For every person in a band there is a defining show where you tell yourself "wow this is what I want to do with my life. Now should I tell my parents....or?" for Dan it was seeing Brand New in his hometown of Boston when he was 15. What a first show! Robby is on the opposite end of the spectrum. When he saw Drowning Pool at Lunatic Luau he knew he wanted to play music. In 6th grade baby Justin found Underoath, and Napoleon saw Motion City Soundtrack in a basketball stadium at the local university while in high school. Mike is the most special case though, he was inspired by the movie Drumline. He absolutely loves the tone and emotion behind drums and knew he wanted to play music. We're all hoping he doesn't want to do a marching band though, we're all really bad at choreography.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
We warn up before a show several different ways. First Dan and Justin scream and sing to Silverstein in the van. Robby disappears to everyone else in the band to meditate before going on stage while Mike stretches his hands and practices drum rudiment warmups. Napoleon will check equipment and make sure everyone is good to go. Normally we all come together right before we play to stretch our arms and legs and work on jumping to get limber. We'll then try to scrounge up enough water and before loading on stage begins, the hugs start.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
One if our biggest highlights so far is packing out our hometown show for a special one night release we did for the people who have been there for us since we started. The atmosphere was electric and every band on the lineup killed it. We had such a great time and so did everyone attending. People talked about that particular show for weeks and how amazing it was. It was really awesome to know we hosted a killer show.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Dan: Of Machines all the way. Their musicianship and stage presence is incredible. They set the bar really high.
Napoleon: Chiodos- they make their live show so theatrical and interactive. It's a blast and their music is awesome.
Mike: The Chariot because you don't know if you are physically walking out of that show or if you'll be carried out by your buddies who may be limping themselves. They set stuff on fire. Need I say more?
Robby: Heartist because they are up and coming and put everything into their music. I've had a few conversations with them and it means the world to me that they took the time to talk to me. They're great guys with awesome music.
Justin: Lions Lions because of the way they represent themselves and how fun they make their live shows. Who doesn't find Hummus Hummus hilarious?
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Something we'd love to add is just a huge thank you to everyone in our hometown who has been supporting us and going to shows. Anyone who bought a tshirt from us or tipped our super special merch girl. We have an incredible team behind us like our manager Greg Haberek of The Cardinal Coalition and have been really fortunate to meet some awesome bands while on the road. We strongly believe that you are who you surround yourself with, and so far we've got to say we must be surrounded by some amazing people. We have 100 percent support from our families and it really means the world to us.