One of Australia’s finest purveyors of metalcore, Northlane, have been continually making waves both nationally and overseas with their bold brand of heavy-hitting tunes.

The five piece have had a pretty busy 12 months, following on from the recruitment of new vocalist Marcus Bridge the band have played huge festivals slots at UNIFY and Groovin’ The Moo, and just last week unleashed Node, quite possibly their most impressive record yet.

Beyond writing and performing some of the most blistering metalcore we’ve heard come out of this country, there’s one other thing these guys do better than most and that’s encourage and nurture a passionate and loyal fan base. We caught up with the band’s guitarist Josh Smith to find out the different ways these guys reward and connect with their fan base.

The Public Frontman Audition

“The audition process for Marcus was born out of necessity. We found the best course of action was to host completely open video auditions. This would ensure we’d not be selling ourselves short and find the best possible candidate to be our new vocalist.

At the time we didn’t realise how valuable the fan feedback we’d see on these auditions would be as well. I think people really appreciated us being completely open and honest about the situation and it allowed a bit of time for them to get behind and get used to hearing Marcus before we released a song with him.”

Mailing List Special Treat

“Realising that our fans had been extremely unsettled by the process of us changing our lineup, and also with the foresight that the change in music direction would ruffle even more feathers, we decided that it would be nice to give them something back to say ‘thank you’ for sticking by us.

So we picked a song off the record (Ra) to send out to our mailing list as a stream link with a short message from us. Although our intentions were good, it was taken a little out of context and people seemed more concerned with what they thought the song did or didn’t have.

Within this email we included a stream link, a low quality and high quality download link. The download links included a readme file with a link to the twitter account we’d set up – @soma_6633 (6633 spelling out node on a keypad).”

The Puzzle

“This linked to the next song in the track order on the album with another snippet of lyrics. To crack the puzzle you followed this until you finally got to @Animate_6633 which had a picture of the album artwork with Braille spelling out the name of the record (we weren’t going to make it too obvious!). Furthermore, when every cover photo of each twitter account was overlaid it shows the url http://unfdcentral.com/ra6633/ which had an instrumental version of the track Ra.

I guess people found this interesting, it’s nice to be challenged sometimes and this definitely drummed up a bit of excitement.”

The Song Hunt

“We also wanted to do something interesting for ‘Leech.’ We know that people always seem to expect a little more when it comes to our releases, and wanted to challenge our fans.

[include_post id=”454605″]We scattered the song in 26 parts around the internet, in order to be listened to as a whole it would have to be constructed. The process for this began a month prior to us planting the audio, at the end of some of the behind the scenes videos we shot in the studio there were a few fleeting glimpses of a set of numbers, and then a string of how these numbers were sequenced.

The numbers – 7.1 to 7.26 represented the 26 parts of the 7th song of the record ‘Leech’. We uploaded the clips to the song with the hashtag #nl6633 around the internet so they could be found and assembled. In a demonstration of the beauty of social networking, the song was assembled in only a few hours, much faster than what we anticipated. People seemed really excited about this one, it definitely received the most positive response of anything we’d done so far for this record.”

Northlane’s new album Node is out today the 24th July via UNFD