Interview: Northstar

(this interview originally appeared in issue #38 of Modern Fix Magazine in 2003).

– interview by tom maxwell

Always Shining to the North

When a band assaults you with heavy distortion, expressive melodic singing, intense down to earth lyrics, and a poppy head banging attitude you tend to take notice. Then when the same act uses thrashing breakdowns surrounded by guitar minimalism, stunning vocal harmonies and a thunderous double bass it hits you and you realize that this thing is loaded. As a matter of fact this is the type of thing us music lovers live for. Let me tell you this Huntsville, Alabama based quartet will blow you away. Without further adieu I bring you Nick Torres, lead singer and guitarist of Northstar.

So, how’d the tour go with Taking Back Sunday? Did you meet any interesting people?
That tour was great. Every show was sold out or almost sold out, so we never had to worry about a decent turnout. Plus the exposure and getting to tour and hang out with your friends every night was a plus. We met a lot of “interesting” people on that tour, but most of them were either drunk or on a lot of drugs.


“Is this thing loaded” has been out now for a little while and with the critical acclaim it received with the critics and the push it has received from those rock stars at Triple Crown have you seen much success?
Yeah, it’s slowly getting bigger and better. Triple Crown is a good label, and they help us out as much as they can. Most bands don’t become successful overnight, especially when you do things a little different than everybody else. You have to work for it, and if you have a label that believes in what you’re doing, then the process is a lot easier.

Was it hard to build up a following at first in a town like Huntsville, Alabama?
Well, It can be very easy or very hard, depending on how good your band is. If you are really good, then people will come watch you because in this town, there’s really not much else to do. if you suck, then people really don’t care. It’s the same as any other place.

I’ve heard you don’t exactly care for your hometown…
We like playing Huntsville, cause its where we’re from and kids are really into it cause there’s really not any other bands coming out of here. But there’s really not a scene here. We would rather be on tour because we want to spread the rock evenly throughout the U.S., as opposed to just one town.

Isn’t Hank Hill from Alabama? Oh wait, that’s Texas. Same difference though right?
Yeah, although Texas is bigger, which means they have a larger population of rednecks. It’s a different breed though.

How many of your band’s original members are still around? Has it been difficult to keep on keeping on with line up changes happening left and right?
Gabe is the only original member. He started the band I think. It hasn’t really been that difficult keeping things going because Tyler and I are the ones that write most of the songs, and once we were in the band together, all we’ve pretty much gone through is bass players. I think we’re pretty much set now.

You didn’t use to be a different type of band like mariachi or anything though?
Ha…no…although about 4 years ago we had a different singer, and we played a lot “harder” I guess cause he screamed a lot. But I think that was a completely different band. We should have just changed our name.

For Nick: I really liked the song “Daybreak”, but I’ve always wondered what was going through your head when you wrote the song…
Actually that was the one song on the album that Tyler wrote the lyrics to. I’m not positive, but I’m sure he was thinking about his ex-girlfriend a little.

What is the band doing to prepare for the next project?
We are constantly writing. It’s just a matter of finding time to put it all together. When we are together working out songs, it has to be perfect (to us). We can’t be just “content”, so sometimes it takes us awhile to finish a song. We’ve also been drinking a lot.

Where is your sound going with new material?
Well, we thought about trying some different things on our next record, to be a little more creative recording wise, because we’ve been writing some stuff that doesn’t really fit into the “genre” of music we’ve been thrown into. But in the end, we just want to rock. Playing those songs live would be boring. Look for it on our 3 rd record.I think the world is scary enough already

Final thoughts to scare the kids?
I think the world is scary enough already.