Code Noir, a duo from Greece and Sweden, have had a bit of a rough go since their formation in 2015. The band began with a full lineup but when the time came to record their debut EP, Burn Card, they had to carry on as a two piece. Fast forward to now and the band is readying their second EP, Jack of All Trades, and it seems as though a narrow stable may have been the best thing for them as their hard rock thunder meets blistering metal sound is tighter than ever. Just ahead of the EP’s release we had the chance to pose our set of Profile questions to vocalist/rhythm and lead guitarist/bassist Michael T to get the backstory. Head inside to see how it went down and show them some support from the links contained within.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
I picked up the guitar at age 13 because I wanted to play like Randy Rhoads. Soon thereafter, I decided that being able to write songs like Steve Harris was more important. You can measure success in many different ways, and I’m happy that I’m still able to be doing this, but obviously, I’m not going to be quitting my day job anytime soon, haha!
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
Luckily, I’ve never been in a position where doing anything like that was a realistic option. So, you want an embarrassing story? How about playing a show in front of about 500 people and forgetting all the lyrics, except the first line, which I repeated over and over till the end of the song. I tried to avoid looking at the fans, but I could see the ones in the front rows looking up at me, dumbfounded. I was mortified!
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
As far as the worst in concerned, the obvious answer would be the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the metal scene with the cancellation of concerts and festivals and whatnot, which has made it incredibly difficult for many bands to earn a living. On the flip side, one of the best things is that most bands are taking advantage of the downtime to write new music, so we should have a slew of great releases heading our way next year.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
The lyrics I write for Code Noir tend to revolve around inner turmoil, hidden desires, failed relationships, and debauchery, haha. Some bands have done the political thing in music really well. However, I prefer other modes of political action with regard to important issues rather than singing about them.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Back in 1983, I was reading an article panning metal in a music magazine. All the negative comments made me curious, so when I read (in that same issue) a review of Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind saying that it was an ‘ok heavy metal’ album, I figured that it would be a good album to start with. Once I heard the guitars in “Where Eagles Dare,” my life changed, haha! I was in love with that sound, and nothing was the same again, musically. My parents -and particularly my father- were always supportive, I just annoyed my sister when I was playing my records too loud. She’d always say, ‘if it’s good music, then it will still sound good when it’s played quietly.’
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
That’s a really good question. I don’t have much insight into your side of the music business, but what every musician needs is to be able to reach an audience. In that respect, with all the restrictions in place nowadays due to COVID-19, your role is more important than ever.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
World domination sounds cool, haha. Barring that, being able to play and release music is a blessing, and I’m happy to be doing it.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Here are a few albums I’ve recently enjoyed: Haken – Virus, FFDP – F8, Angel Witch – Angel of the Light
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
The big thing for us is the upcoming release of our mini-LP Jack of All Spades. Mark it in your calendars, people! Friday, November 13th, 2020.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Michael for his time!
Jack of All Spades will be available November 13 on Leviaphonic Records. For more information on Code Noir, visit their Facebook page.