Josh Smith and Jon Deiley of Northlane: “We create trends"

(Image credit: Press/Supplied)

Cutting their teeth as UNFD darlings in the world of mathy, mosh-primed metalcore, Northlane started dipping their toes into the realm of a more electro-centric style with their third album, 2014’s Node. It wasn’t until their fifth, however – 2019’s career-defining Alien – that the Sydney trailblazers would go all the way, twining to their signature slate of tearing riffs and brutalised breakdowns a shimmery palette of thumping trance and visceral bass music. They were unfazed by the prospect of throwing off their fanbase, but they needn’t have worried to begin with: Alien was a monumental success.

So, for its follow-up – Obsidian, the band’s first wholly independent offering out in April – Northlane have pushed themselves further outside the box by cranking up all the experimental chaos they explored on Alien well past 11. The riffs are thicker, faster and more intense, the electronic elements more explosive and defined, and Marcus Bridge’s kaleidoscopic vocal prowess taken to a whole ‘nother level. To find out how they did, Australian Guitar caught up with Josh Smith and Jon Deiley, the band’s guitarists, producers and core songwriters.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…