Interview by Cristóbal Torres
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SENSE OF NOISE is a new band that is giving a lot to talk about on the Mexican scene. Not only their melodic death sound has captured the ears of many fans, to this is added the fact that we are dealing with a perfectly established group and with a very well laid out plan.
At the beginning of this year SENSE OF NOISE made a surprise breakthrough with their first singles entitled: “The Broken Hope” and “Morning Glory”, showing great care in all aspects: musical, production and image.
They recently released their new single “Zero Killed”, which features SOILWORK frontman Björn Strid, confirming that SENSE OF NOISE is a band that is aiming really high.
We had the opportunity to contact Nibs, the band’s keyboardist, to tell us about the group and the long-awaited debut album that will be released in October and many are eagerly awaiting.
How was the band born, when did the spark to form SENSE OF NOISE come about?
Nibs: SENSE OF NOISE, as such, was born in the middle of the pandemic in mid-2020, with the brothers Jero and Bart Chanona. Both had already had a band together and had been involved separately in other metal projects and, in fact, had decided to leave the stage; but, due to some conditions of the pandemic, they decided to create a new band, to give themselves a new opportunity in music.
The rest of the band was joining in the following months and, although SENSE OF NOISE emerged in 2020, ideas and songs were taken from a personal project that Jero worked on in 2018 but never saw the light.
Many Mexican bands struggle to find musicians. How was the recruitment process for members; did you know each other before or was there a call?
Nibs: Actually all of us in the band have been friends with Jero and Bart for a long time. Diego (Caná), the guitarist, has been a friend of theirs for a long time; in fact, I have known them for about 8 years; and Fede (d’Empaire) is the one who produced those songs that I mention in 2018, so all the pieces fell into place very naturally.
There was no audition of any kind; besides, being friends, some for a long time, the band has an incredible vibe. We were recently joined by Mao Rubio as bass player (and Diego switched to guitar), he has also been in touch with Jero and Bart for years.
Well known is Jero’s career as a bass player, how did he decide to go from bass to vocals; has he always sung or was it something he just learned?
Nibs: He has always known how to sing guttural, but he only did backing vocals. His decision to go on vocals is because he was looking for something new; in his other projects he was always bassist; he fit the bill because he’s a great frontman and has a lot of stage presence.
How is the synergy between Jero and Fede in the voices; do they write the lyrics together or how do they agree to know when to enter and what verses to interpret?
Nibs: The original idea was for Jero to be the only singer on SENSE OF NOISE; but, by the nature of the music, a clean voice was necessary. It turns out that Fede is a great singer too and, although at first he was somewhat reluctant to sing, Jero ended up convincing him.
The synergy is very fluid and the songs are as balanced as possible in terms of voice. The lyrics are mostly written by Jero, with the help of Bart and sometimes I make contributions. Fede more than anything makes sure that the lyrics fit well into the music at the time of recording it because he is the producer.
Something that strikes me is that the members already have an interesting journey through the scene. In what way has this factor allowed SENSE OF NOISE to take better thought out steps than a rookie band could?
Nibs: It has been a very important and even crucial factor in practically all aspects of the band, not only in the musical because we know how to compose better, think better the riffs, the structure of the songs and the general operation of the music and the vision that we have about it, but also at the level of management of the band has helped us a lot.
Things like branding, marketing and later the concerts is something that we have polished as much as we can, and all that has been given us by experience, by learning and also by mistakes along the way.
Jero and Bart once told me that we should have made a band before, and although it would have been fun, I think that at this point the learning and experience was found in all of us in a perfect way to make it work TODAY; yesterday it wouldn’t have worked that well.
How was the experience of recording “The Broken Hope” y “Zero Killed” videos taking into account the restrictions due to the pandemic?
Nibs: All the logistics of the band due to the pandemic have been somewhat complicated, especially the first months. We met in cells to work on different things: Jero and Fede on music, sometimes with Bart too; Jero, Bart and me to see branding and marketing topics; Diego also met only with them to see the progress.
It took us several months to get ALL of us together, in fact we did the photoshoot and the video in the same week and that was the second time we all got together.
Very few people had to make the video, basically the band; two people who recorded, one person who assisted us in the image and makeup and that’s it. Fortunately there were no contagions because we took great care of ourselves.
We recently recorded another video, this time for our new single with Björn “Speed” Strid from SOILWORK, with more production and more people.
But there were no infections either, because we also take good care of ourselves. The takes of Björn were recorded by him at his house and sent by email. It has been a real challenge but we have also learned to take advantage of the circumstances.
In your singles we can hear a style that combines various elements, do you seek to generate a unique sound or is it something that sprouts naturally?
Nibs: Many things have arisen naturally, but we have looked for many things to achieve a sound that is our own identity.
Although we have very marked influences from many bands, we do not want to be the copy of any; we are currently fine-tuning the last details of our debut album and we are working to make it have its own sound and at the same time be solid.
That has taken us time to think, discuss, test things but in the end we reached a result that we all like.
How is the composition process; does everyone participate or is there someone in charge of taking the lead in this regard?
Nibs: Most of the compositions are by Jero and Fede, but the rest of us have also put a lot on our part, not only at the strict level of composing, but also at taking the song on a creative level to something much better elaborated.
Some of us have composed things for the band, but sometimes we just get together to round out songs with different ideas and influences from everyone.
How did you manage to get Tony Lindgren’s services and how much do you think it was the factor that gave your music a boost?
Nibs: We simply sent Tony an email asking for his services, it has been a very important factor in giving the music a boost, probably the one it needed.
Fede is a very creative mind at the production and recording level, very perfectionist, and does a great job mixing, but we decided to turn to Tony and Fascination Street Studios because they are basically the best in the world when it comes to working with the subgenre that we do, so Tony knows exactly how to give that push to our music.
I understand that the singles will culminate in an album, can you mention a tentative release date and the title?
Nibs: Sure enough, the singles will culminate in an album, the title will be simply SENSE OF NOISE and it will be released in October this year.
Do you currently have all the songs recorded or are you still going to the studio? By the way, where are you recording; Fede d’Empaire is producing?
Nibs: Fede produces and records in his private studio in Mexico City; the songs are practically already recorded, only production aspects are missing, some mixing and mastering. The songs that we have already released are already mixed and mastered.
Will there be a new video before the album?
Nibs: Yes, we recently released one with Björn “Speed” Strid as guest on the song and in the video, and there are plans to release a couple more official videos. There will also be visual material of another type, such as playthroughs, behind the scenes, and so on.
A common case in Mexican bands is that they release an album and then let many years go by in silence. Does SENSE OF NOISE have a plan to stay current and that doesn’t happen?
Nibs: Of course, being a fairly professional project with a vision to take it as far as possible, we are fully aware of the market demands and we know that we cannot remain silent for years.
But not only that, we always want to give the fan something new to listen to and see at concerts, besides that we are musicians always with compositional concerns, and we are always composing.
You who have already seen the European scene closely, do you consider that Mexico is the breeding ground to reach that level or what would it lack?
Nibs: My personal opinion is that, although there is musical talent in Mexico, it is not enough to make Mexico a powerhouse in metal, due to the fact that the vast majority of bands only care about music and, in this industry, music is just one of its pillars.
The vast majority of Mexican bands ignore aspects such as the image of their band, the quality of production in their music, videos, designs, etcetera; everything that branding implies.
They are also unclear on marketing and public relations. I am a musician and I would love for music to be just about the music itself but, for better or for worse, if you want to excel in the industry and even make a living from your art, there are other aspects outside of music that you MUST attend to.
Thank you very much for your time and we will keep an eye on your album, any final words for readers?
Nibs: Thank you so much for reading, we want to invite you to listen to our latest single “Zero Killed” which features SOILWORK’s Björn “Speed” Strid as a guest and if you like it, look forward to a great Melodic Death Metal album.