Exclusive: NORTHLANE + IN HEARTS WAKE // Release ‘Equinox’ EP today

What’s better than a new Northlane song or a new In Hearts Wake song? Three new songs written by both bands combined in the form of their Equinox EP.

Sophie Benjamin grilled Marcus Bridge and Jon Deiley from Northlane, and Jake Taylor and Ben Nairne from In Hearts Wake about the creative process and logistical nightmare behind a secret inter-band collaboration.

Yin and yang, night and day, heaven and earth. The concept of dualities combining to create something bigger than the sum of their parts has been central to the work of Northlane and In Hearts Wake. But if there’s anything the bands are better at than downtuned riffs and concept albums, it’s keeping secrets. In Hearts Wake managed to keep the existence of their Skydancer album secret for a year, and Northlane have kept everything from album releases to new singers under wraps. So, how did they manage to keep the creation of Equinox quiet?

298A5124In the studio // Photo: Neal Walters

“We almost fucked it up this time with Instagram!” says Northlane guitarist Jon Deiley, laughing.

“Somebody was posting pics of us in the studio … like we just like to hang out in studios for no reason. We got an email from the label pretty quickly saying, ‘are you insane?!’.”

“You really just have to keep it to yourself,” In Hearts Wake guitarist Ben Nairne continues.

“Some of your best friends will be asking what you’re up to and you have to tell them that you haven’t been doing anything, that there’s no new music written, because if you tell one person and they tell one person, the rumours will just keep spreading and it’ll be all over.”

Northlane and In Hearts Wake have shared stages, gear, tour vans and a label for years, so a musical collaboration wasn’t much of a stretch.

“When I was in high school, Roadrunner Records put together this thing called Roadrunner United’s All Star Sessions where a bunch of bands on the label collaborated to put out this album of metal covers to celebrate the label’s 25th birthday,” says Northlane’s Marcus Bridge.

“It’ll be something really special.”


“It was awesome and I don’t know why there aren’t more metal bands collaborating like that, like pop and hip hop musicians do.”

“Originally we wanted to start the writing from scratch together and were trying to find time to all get together for a week or two to write, but both bands just had such a busy 2015 that it was really impossible to make the dates line up,” says Ben.

“So we ended up deciding to work on a track each, get some ideas, and then take those songs to the studio and get everyone’s input towards the end. I think it actually worked better that way—if you have too many people throwing stuff in at the start you can end up just going nowhere.”

“I think we ended up going into the studio a little bit over prepared,” says Jon.

“When I was writing our song, I tried to keep moments in mind where a more In Hearts Wake style of breakdown or chorus or riff would work.”

“I definitely had the idea of Northlane’s proggier stuff on my mind when I was writing our parts too,” agrees Ben.


Bros // Photo: Neal Walters

The bands flew producer Will Putney (The Amity Affliction, Northlane, Thy Art Is Murder) over from the US and set up camp at Holes and Corners studio in South Melbourne for a five day session, with a quick detour to Sing Sing Studios down the road to track drums.

“Northlane have worked with Will for nearly their whole career, but it was the first time we’d done anything with him,” says Ben.

“Will was really the director of the whole project, and it was great to have that person outside of both bands to be objective and make the project as good and productive as possible,” explains In Hearts Wake’s Jake Taylor.

“His role was saying ‘oh Marcus should sing on this bit, or Jake would sound good here’, and we got along with him well from the get-go,” Ben continues.

“He had to keep it to a certain amount of people in the studio at times, so it wasn’t like we had ten people in the studio at once all playing over the top of one another or being distracting.”

northwake2Hard at it // Photo: Neal Walters

“For me it was just such an awesome experience working with different people’s voices and people’s different ideas, and getting the right person to do the right part rather than just giving it to someone because that is their role in their band,” says Marcus.

“It’s so cool hearing Kyle and Jake on our stuff and me sneaking in on an In Hearts Wake track.”

“It’s so cool hearing Kyle and Jake on our stuff and me sneaking in on an In Hearts Wake track.”


So, will the bands be able to pull off the Equinox EP live?

“We weren’t sure how it was going to work, but it’s looking like we’ll be able to make it happen,” says Jon.

“You’ll get to see all these layers come to life,” says Jake, “and it’ll be something really special.”


Kitchen hangs // Photo: Neal Walters

Northlane and In Hearts Wake Equinox is out now through UNFD. 

Stream below, download or order a copy of Equinox here


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