Heavy Metal isn’t dead and London based NIGHT SCREAMER are one of the bands setting out to prove this. Rock Out Stand Out’s Lotty Whittingham grabbed a chat with vocalist Gadd, bassist Julia B Cadau and guitarist Calvin Lever. They spoke about their sound, their debut album Dead Of Night and who they would have round for a dinner party.
Tell the readers who Night Screamer are and what they are all about.
Calvin: I started the band at the end of 2013. I had been writing instrumental demos for a couple of years and it became the right time to dust them off and see where this vision could go! The idea was to create music that has a strong sense of imagery, that paints pictures and stories. I also work as a graphic designer, with a love for album cover art and movie posters. So, in my mind, I connect the two worlds. We’ve had a few different line ups but the core of the band, Gadd, Julia and myself, have been a constant backbone. Kilian and Jamie are the new guys but have helped us deliver our first album and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome.
Who are your musical influences? As a band and personally.
Calvin: It’s a cliché but we all really have different influences. My influences start with Heavy Metal, let’s say from 1984 – 1994, movie scenes and posters. We could reel off all sorts of stuff from the others here. Broadly speaking, I know there is also a draw from Punk, New Wave, Black Metal and some 80’s mainstream music! You could probably categorise Night Screamer comfortably within a couple of metal sub genres, but I believe influences come from everything you soak up in life and you become a product of your experiences.
You released your debut album; do you have a favourite song on the album?
Julia: Paradise Lost and one I wrote, Night Screamer.
Calvin: Paradise Lost, it was the last song written for Dead of Night and I like the haunting twist it added to the whole album.
Gadd: I spent so much time with these songs. Listening to them over and over when I was working on the mix, so it’s hard to say. If I really had to choose one, I’d go for Rise Above. It’s very much my baby, more so than other songs, and I just love the way it came out.
What do you write about in your songs?
Gadd: Short answer, everything that pisses me off! Inequality, war, politics, stupidity and almost everything I hear about in the news. I think it all boils down to injustice. There’s a lot of that going around in the world.
There are also more personal introspective songs like Out Of My Mind and Action/Horror stories like Hit & Run and Night Screamer. Whatever the topic is though, it has to be good at story telling. If I can express my rage in a song while telling a good story, I consider it a success.
Who designed the front cover of the album?
Julia: I primarily came up with the concept for the cover design, but as an illustrator I don’t draw cars, or landscapes. So, we contacted a brilliant artist who goes by the alias of Pye. He turned our idea from a sketch on a napkin to the coolest cover we could have hoped for. Check him out!
Am I right in thinking the cover represents living life in the fast lane?
Julia: In part, yes. It had to work with the album title as a way of saying we’re everything but dead. It’s also a nod to themes present in our EP’s Hit ‘N Run and March of the Dead: zombies, fast cars, b-movies, that 80’s atmosphere. Then there’s the ominous figure in the sky, the ‘Night Screamer’ Gadd sings about in the self-titled track.
Gadd: For me the cover works because it also tells the story of the band’s journey so far. Driving past a desert of death, where we’ve been inactive for so long, leaving old themes behind and pushing forward towards a new night.
You had the album launch; how did that go?
Calvin: It was great! We were very pleased with the outcome. We held it at The Devonshire Arms (The Dev) which is an excellent heavy metal pub in Camden, London. We knew we didn’t want to hold a ticketed event and keep it a more casual ‘walk-in’ night, and it was the perfect place for that. The pub always has a good footfall and we had a great crowd that looked like they purposely came to see us. The guys at the Dev are really cool and make the atmosphere a more light-hearted affair. Obviously, we approached it with a degree of seriousness but it made for a really fun evening.
If you could have five people round for a dinner party, who would they be and why? They can be dead or alive.
Gadd: I need more than five. But if I could, I’d have Freddie Mercury, Johnny Cash, Prince, Chris Cornell and Dio I’d be happy. Clearly that’s never going to happen though.
Julia: I’d invite five people from the industry so we can get them drunk and sign a record deal. That’s how it works, right?
What does the rest of 2019 hold for Night Screamer?
Julia: Can’t say too much, don’t want to jinx it. The album is doing well, but we definitely want to reach a wider audience, play the UK and Europe. We’d like to make the album available on some different formats: cassette, vinyl etc. T-shirts are also in development. The list of things to accomplish is long but we’re ready!
Thank you guys for taking the time out to chat to Rock Out Stand Out and best of luck with the album.