Janus – is an ancient, two-faced Roman god of gateways and beginnings. Also the root word of January, Janus is a mythological figure that looks both forward and back and symbolizes change and transformation.
JANUS is also one of the best rock bands to come out in the last few years (yes, that is my opinion and I’m sticking to it).Hearing the Chicago based band is ready to release another masterpiece of a record made me a happy girl. The music these guys create gives you a sense of calmness, a bit of anger and a bit of overall power. The music is liberating pouring out sheer beauty with a twist of darkness and mystery, but with a sense of “light at the end of the tunnel” mentality.
NOX AERIS the new album is coming out this week on March 27th and the band has been touring already for this amazing record. The guys have a full package; a killer creative side, an amazing live setting and a brilliant sense of storytelling.
I had the pleasure to chit chat via email with singer David Scotney while the guys were on the road with Chevelle and he gave me a little insight on the record, the artwork and how he got into performing,
SINCE THIS ALBUM IS A TAD BIT HEAVIER DO YOU FEEL YOU TOOK THE SUCCESS OFF OF EYESORE AND CREATED FROM THERE FOR THIS ALBUM?
I would say it wasn’t a conscious choice to go heavier, based on the success of “EYESORE,” but we certainly wanted to go to a different place with the new record than the last and we had a lot of experiences to draw on that fed into the writing process.
WAS ANY OF THESE NEW TRACKS TAKEN FROM PREVIOUS DEMOS OFF RED RIGHT RETURN?
No, we started from scratch. There were certainly demos lying around, but we really wanted to tread new ground. It was the only thing that seemed inspiring enough to motivate us to make another record.
STAINS REPRESENTS A DARK POINT OF VIEW WITH A PROCESS OF SELF HEALING, WAS THISTHE OVERALL THEME FOR WRITING THE RECORD?
In a lot of ways that is true. There were many challenging life experiences that we endured as a band, and personally, throughout supporting the last record on the road and the writing process of the new record that we channeled and which led to the darker perspective.
THE ALBUM TITLE HAS AN INTERESTING MEANING WHICH YOU ALSO PLACED WITHIN THEBANDS JOURNEY THUS FAR WHY?
When it comes to the album concept and title, we always try to find something that speaks to where the band is collectively. A lot of the songs can be much more personal, but the bigger album picture always speaks to where the band is as a whole. The idea of connecting a man-made myth from the late 14thcentury around the Black Death seemed liked an interesting metaphor for where we were as a band during the writing process.
HOW MANY SONGS DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE IN THE DEMO STATE OF WRITING AND HOW DO YOUCUT IT DOWN FOR THE FINAL OF THE ALBUM?
We have a lot of parts that we demo, but very few that make it to song format. If we can’t get a few parts to the point where they work together vocally, as a verse and chorus, we usually move on.
We did look at a lot of the late 14th century artwork and imagery around the plague doctors which definitely inspired the art, but the challenge for us is to always try and make any historical visual reference feel modern so we try to put our own twist on it.
DID TOURING CHANGE YOUR IDEAS ABOUT SONGWRITING?
I think it definitely affected our writing in a good way. When you hear the crowd reacts to certain songs more than others you get inspired by it, which can then inspire you in the studio. I think you also know what songs you may not end up playing live so you can take a bit more freedom on them to explore other directions.
DO YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND ADD A HEAVY VIBE TO THE LAST ALBUM?
No, I think there are songs on the first record that mean a lot to us and reflect where we were as a band at that point in time. Those are the kinds of things you never want to change.
BIGGEST GROWTH FOR YOUR BAND IN THE STUDIO AND ALSO OUT ON THE ROAD THIS TIMEAROUND?
In the studio, I would say we’ve become very efficient. We’ve learned a lot and having a deadline motivates you for sure. On the road, I think we’re taking much better care of ourselves and have certainly learned a lot from our past experiences on the road.
YOU’VE TOURED WITH CHEVELLE BEFORE HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THIS TIME AROUND?
We’re playing new songs and we have a history with those guys, which make it fun. We like what they do and they get what we’re doing so it’s a good fit.
WHAT MADE YOU BECOME A FRONTMAN? A SONGWRITER AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN VISUALLYCREATIVE??
I started out painting and then learned the guitar. I didn’t start singing until later and mastering the front man persona is something I think is always evolving as you evolve as a person.
DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATIVE IDEAS ON VIDEOS FOR SONGS?
Unfortunately, we have no plans to make any videos for this record .Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to explore videos in the future.
DO YOU FEEL THE BAND INSPIRES FOR THE FUTURE OR TAKES A LOT FROM THE PAST TOCREATE MUSIC THAT IS UNIQUE BUT STILL CURRENT?
I think we try to explore music and textures that we’ve never experimented with and try to always push our songwriting. Outside of not wanting to repeat ourselves there’s usually no conscious effort to draw from the past or present.