by Jonathan Matthews
We recently had a chat with Jorn Viggo Lofstad, half of the two-piece-powerhouse Hard Rock duo, Northward. The band is comprised of Jorn of Pagan’s Mind (from Norway) and Floor Jansen of Nightwish (Denmark), and we chatted about their debut album that’s been over ten years in the works, as well as how one manages to juggle time between different bands, and how the duo recently signed to Nuclear Blast Records.
SR. You guys have recently signed to Nuclear Blast records and announced your first album, can you tell me a bit about that?
Northward is a project that started over ten years ago, and it’s finally coming to light. The record was recorded in earlier this year, and then we searched for a label to release it through. We found Nuclear Blast, and it all worked out great, our album is going to be released sometime this month, and we’re really excited about it to say the least.
SR. As a two piece band, do you ever experience any challenges or limitations that larger bands wouldn’t encounter?
Absolutely not. I mean, as far as songwriting goes, it’s a fluid and natural process between us. When I met Floor for the first time, we were jamming on stage for a big festival, and we had a really good time. After that, we hung out a bit and decided to keep in contact. That was back in 2007. In the beginning of 2008, I travelling to Holland to have some songwriting sessions with her, and it worked out really well, it was very productive. After that first session we decided to go for it. We caught up occasionally on weekends to jam and write music, and make demos of our music. Both of us got busy with our own lives and other bands, and we never thought that there would be ten years between the writing of the album and the release of what we originally intended, but here we are. Floor had a break in 2017 to take time off from her other band, Nightwish, so we got back together and finished the album during that time. Other than changing a few minor things here and there, we just picked up the songs where we left them. It worked out really nicely in the end.
SR. With the lengthy gap in production and release was there ever a point in time where you thought that maybe the project and album would never come to be?
I don’t know, maybe after a few years had passed, I thought she would be too busy with Nightwish. I was wondering what to do with the music, I thought it would be a shame to throw it all away but kind of had a feeling that it would come together somehow, so I didn’t get rid of anything. She reached out to me to eventually, finally to finish this project, and I’m super happy that she did. Both of us really put our heart and soul into making this album the best that it can be, and we’re really excited for the release. We don’t see it as ‘just a side project’, we really gave it our all, and we’re super proud of what we created.
SR. Do you have a favourite song off the new album?
It’s hard for me to choose between three or four songs on the album, maybe ‘Get What You Give’ and ‘Paragon’ would be the top ones for me. They’re very different songs, what I like about this album is how it doesn’t sound like the music we’ve made in our previous bands. I play in a progressive band called Pagan’s Mind, and Floor plays in Nightwish. I like how it’s different and fresh. I have a classic hard rock background, so writing for Northward was very natural. If I would have started my own band, it would have been what Northward is now. When we wrote the album, we just let it flow and happen naturally, we didn’t force anything.
SR. have you guys got any plans to come to Australia any time soon?
Not at the moment, Nightwish has a pretty tight schedule, and Floor has an eighteen month old daughter, so I guess we’ll have to see what happens in the future. We’re super stoked about the album release, but we’re still figuring out how and when we will play live shows. I think there might be a sequel album in a couple of years, and if that happens, we’ll very likely do a bunch of touring after that.
Keep up to date with what Northward are up to by following them on social media or via their website. Their debut album will be out soon, and available for purchase on iTunes or streaming via Spotify. Give these guys some love, and hopefully we can see them in Australia in the future.