‘5 Minutes Alone’ with NO:IR and Not the Girl Next Door Show
Written by Angela Mockbee on June 1, 2020
Have you ever been totally blown away with a band at first listen? If not, try NO:IR on for size!
Hailing from the UK, NO:IR is a force to be reckoned with, from amped up, high intensity riffs, to euphonious sounds that obliterate through rough and clean vocals and are portrayed with a flow like no other! I had a chance to interview the band and find out a little more in an unadulterated, unedited interview.
Tell us a little about the band, where are you from? How did you meet?
George – Well I’d seen these guys around but when the call went out “who wants to be in a metal band?” I was just like ME PICK ME.
Alex – Yeah, we all met during the first week of Uni. I think we all got together and went out for a pint just because we had a shared love of heavy music and we just all clicked because of that. We started jamming out some covers in rehearsal rooms and straight we all kinda went ‘we have something pretty cool here’.
What kind of music would you describe your sound as? Who are some of your musical influences?
Jake – The best way to describe NO:IR is Nu Metal, but we’ve never viewed it like that. When we started playing together we just threw in all our ideas and the mix between Hip-Hop and Metal just stuck. We prefer the idea that we are almost a Hip-Hop band writing in the style of metal but really, we just write what we want to splicing together different influences and ideas.
Sonny – Our overall aim has always been to create something new. We love metal but a lot of it is just the same and we want to step out beyond the curve and hopefully turn a few heads with what we are doing.
Let’s talk about the single “Vanity”Tell us what the song is about and what inspired the song? Also, explain the idea for the music video.
Evvi – Vanity’s a diss track to people who are in-genuine I guess. It’s like needing that gratification from doing your art, but never knowing what is good enough, and the insecurity that comes with that. A lot of people can change so much just for attention in the world today. My mind gets super tangled sometimes, and writing raps is my way of straightening it out.
George – Restlessness and working non-stop. Holding up a real mirror to someone and taking a real look at how far we’ve really gone.
Jake – The music video was kinda designed to take influence from these ideas. The use of mirrors was definitely taking directly from the lyrics in Vanity and the fast pace, intense style of the shots was just to bring out the intensity and aggression of the track. The video was actually shot in a barn and we spent like two or more days setting everything up and almost a month collecting all the mirrors. Colour wise we always knew Vanity would be red and black. Even before we recorded it we wanted that to be the theme of the song.
How does the collaboration process work as far as writing/composing music?
Alex- The special thing about NO:IR’s sound is that it comes from having the five of us jamming in a room together. The process will begin with one of us coming up with an idea and then the rest adding everything else on top. We re-write our songs a lot, rearranging the different parts and messing about with time signatures and riffs.
George- One of the guys comes up with a part that I love. I try and work something into it to enhance the vocals and the main lines and the bass all at once to try and make the drums as musical as possible.
Jake – I’m like George I base pretty much all my playing from what the drums are doing. My approach to bass playing is very much don’t worry about the notes and just work out the rhythms and really tie that in with the drums. I think me and George work really well together in that both bringing out the best bits in each other’s playing.
Evvi – It’s 100% collaborative. The beauty of NO:IR is that everything is written equally by all members. We all will come up with ideas for each other’s parts we don’t always stick to our instruments when writing.
How does it feel when you put all your hard work to the test and perform live? Do you have any crazy performance band/fan stories?
Sonny – Playing live is everything, we really try and put a lot into our shows. I don’t think we have ever finished a set not feeling exhausted. We love touring as well and there have been countless crazy moments on the road. One of the craziest moments for me was at our last headline show, the crowd were mental, they knew all the lyrics to our songs and even sang some of my guitar parts. They also just went for it moshing and jumping and all that. It’s always been mad when we travel all over the country and people come to our shows wearing our shirts and singing our lyrics.
George- t’s the only thing I ever want to do. It’s the best job in the world. One time at our local venue moles, one of the guys made me laugh so hard they heard me from 2 floors up outside the venue down the street over a live band.
Evvi – Playing live is fun. We put everything into our shows, I don’t think there’s been a gig where I haven’t felt like throwing up after playing. We once made Alex play with a bucket on stage for him because he was had be sick all day.
Alex – It’s always great when hard work pays off and there are plenty of stories from tour like when a guy literally did a hand spring into the middle of a wall of death.
Jake – As much as I love playing live I always think some of the best memories I’ve got from touring is everything around that. Exploring new places, meeting new people, finding the most dodgy kebab possible and just hanging out with your best mates. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as when it’s 3am and ya driving down an empty motorway barely able to move because of all the gear piled on top of you.
Let’s shake it up a little. Tell us some strange facts about the band, that virtually no one would know.
George- I can laugh at over 90 decibels. Literally all we listen to on gig days is nothing but calming folk and stress relief music.
Sonny- A wild story from the early days of the band is when we got booked to play at this pub in Bath. We basically got kicked out of the venue after less than a song for being too heavy. We were pretty pissed at the time. People may also not know that me Jake and Alex are all Jewish by race which is mad and three of the members have a dad called Nigel with a brother called Mark. I think four our birthdays are all within two weeks of each other as well!
What do you have planned for the rest of 2020?
Jake – We’ve got a lot of plans for the rest of the year…. A lot we can’t really say too much about as well. I guess just expect new music, bigger tours and more merch. We have a lot in the works right now and hopefully we will be back on the road as soon as.
George- Exploring the great indoors until it’s safe to gig again, then hitting the road as soon as.
Evvi – We’ve got stuff planned and we will be doing some cool stuff despite everyone being stuck in doors.
Sonny – The first thing we are gonna do when lockdown is lifted will be a big ol’ hang with everyone we haven’t seen each other for months now. We do really wanna get back in the studio as soon as we can, and obviously get back on the road.