CATCHING UP WITH NOSNOW/NOALPS
Their latest single, Kaleidoscopes, is just 3 months short of being a year old yet, despite the absence of any new releases since, rock band nosnow/noalps has been far from idle. With the band having just returned from playing festivals in Denmark and Italy, MikeBugeja.com catches up with them to find out what they've been up to.
Kaleidoscopes was clearly a pivotal release for the band, wasn't it?
Sarah: Yes, that single was the start of a new chapter for us really, being our new single following 2014's GO GO GO GO EP. We got a lot of positive feedback through word of mouth, social media and radio stations, and we're very proud of the music video too, which was a lot of hard work to put together. We're a very DIY kind of band so we were very hands on with the video - helping with the lights, smoke machine, etc. We worked with a small but amazing team, the two dancers had never even met or rehearsed the choreography, but everything just gelled together! The video was first released through our PR agency in Italy on their website and social media platforms, which gave it a good boost on YouTube.
So, what's the band been up to since Kaleidoscopes was released?
Nick: Quite a bit has happened since Kaleidoscopes. To start with, our drummer Benji went to India for a few months, which gave the rest us time to work on other projects. More importantly, it gave us the chance to prepare for our summer tour, which included local performances as well as dates in Denmark and Italy.
You've been to both these countries before. What were the events you played at and what was the experience like this time around, having been there before? Nick: Having been approached to play in two festivals this year was a major boost for us. The first was Nakskov festival in Denmark, and a week later we headlined the Clear Mountains Festival in Italy. Both events were amazing, and despite both being situated in small towns, the turnout was fantastic, with over a thousand people showing up at both events. As you said, we've had the opportunity to play in both Denmark and Italy before, but not in Nakskov and Montichiari, so it felt like a first time all over again.
Sarah: The Danish festival was particularly memorable for us because we got to meet up with a lot of old friends from there including our old band member Mai who performed a couple of songs with us too.
The band has been performing abroad practically from its inception. How different are the opportunities you are being offered now from the ones you got back then?
Nick: The events just keep getting bigger and better every year. We feel this is also because we are always improving as a band. At the Nakskov Festival we had the opportunity to play before and after some of the biggest acts in Denmark at the moment like Blak and Jimilian. Both festivals were very different in musical style, but both were very well organised and professional.
Sarah: So many doors are being opened when we play abroad with all the people we meet and connections we make. People are starting to know our name in both these countries as we've been touring here for a few years now, especially through foreign radio interviews and social media.
How much has performing abroad contributed to the development and growth of the band, its music and its profile?
Nick: I think performing abroad is a huge part of the band's progression; the more live shows we play, the tighter we get, not to mention that we get closer as friends and share some great experiences together. We've also met some great people and musicians and at the end of the day this is what it's all about for us; the experiences, challenges - this is what makes us stronger and gives us the opportunity to grow and improve as a band.
Sarah: I feel it's contributed a lot to our growth - playing abroad is very different to playing in Malta, there's a new sense of uncertainty performing in a new country with new venues and people to entertain. Even the fact that you don't know who's going to be taking care of your sound, we have to be tight, confident and have our A-game on no matter what.
It's no secret that the band refuses to stick to one particular sound...does this make life easier for you or more complicated when it comes to writing new material? Nick: It depends, it can be pretty hard to get a set list organized sometimes, but most of the time it works in our favour. People always respond well to the vibe through out our shows and this is because we don't always stick to one style.
Sarah: I'd say it's easier because when we're writing we don't really think of any particular sound or direction; we just let everything flow naturally - whatever the outcome as long as we're happy with it.
Last but not least, what are your upcoming plans, have you been writing new material and when is the next album or EP coming out?
Nick: We've been working on some exciting shows for the near future, including our 10th Anniversary concert, which should be taking place early next year, but that's all we're giving away for now about that. In the meantime, yes, we've started writing for our next album, with the intention of going into the recording studio at some point next year.
Sarah: We've actually been writing since before Kaleidoscopes, but had to stop for a couple of months due to other commitments. We tend to record our jamming sessions which is great because months later we can look back and continue developing an idea that might have been put aside. Big things are in store for the band, and we can't wait to share them with the world.