Northern Weather Releases Midwest Emo Classic Single "Neal Says He’s a Viking"
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Northern Weather is taking pop-punk in a beautiful Midwest emo direction with new single "Neal Says He's A Viking"off upcoming album.
Sometimes when writing music, writing without a filter is the only way to write. For some, this isn't hard to do, as social media has made this possible for all of us to be raw and candid. But with music, writing without a filter is almost like poetically writing in a journal. But when that piece goes public, that piece is no longer ours, yet can still touch others in ways that still meant something to you.
“It's funny, I think I was more upset about the breakup than he was. I despised how his partner treated him and treated others. This was a person who clearly didn't care about the relationship but still used my friend to pay for things, and they were afraid of being alone. Yet they more often than not would push him away to be alone or would fly off to another state to hang out with friends instead of being there for him. As you can see, still someone I'm not a fan of. I've never been good about writing about my relationships, so I take inspiration from others around me.”
Northern Weather has long understood that concept of vulnerability. The concept of writing without armor in a world that constantly judges. When the band first released their first two singles, "Forgive and Forget," and "End of Page," they were not only highlighting their sound but their ability to bring us into their world in a mature, melodic, and exploratory way.
Their new single "Neal Says He's A Viking" off their upcoming album is no different. Taking a deeply personal matter and interweaving it with the emotional pull of cascading guitar strings, it's making us excited for what's to come for the new record. Whatever we think pop-punk is at this point, bands like Northern Weather are taking it in a different instrumental direction. Unpretentious and denuded in their approach, sometimes you don't have to recreate the wheel to make a great single or record. Sometimes it just takes writing from the heart.
What was the inspiration behind Northern Weather? What made you guys want to start this band?
The band actually came from another band, we essentially just changed our name from our previous iteration (Before There Was Fire). We had more of a pop-punk sound. We went through a couple of member changes and decided to solidify our sound and changed things up which resulted in a name change to Northern Weather. For the first band, Rob (guitar/vocals) and our former member James had been in bands together since high school, so this was sort of a natural continuation of that. Always trying to make new music and push ourselves creatively, we don't want to do the same thing twice.
What are your musical interest? Your new single "Neal Says He's A Viking" has those flavors of Midwest emo and pop-punk.
Yes, that 90s Midwestern emo is certainly there in the vain of American Football, early Jimmy Eat World, etc. We also take a lot of influence from newer bands like Free Throw, Origami Angel, etc. Also, we borrow from some more emo/punk adjacent bands like Title Fight, Balance and Composure, Citizen. Pop-punk is definitely there for some of us as well. A nice blend of the 90s,2000s,2010s, rock.
Lyrically, where is "Neal Says He Is A Viking" coming from? When you began to write this, where were you guys mentally?
I (Garrett-bass) wrote these words about a friend's most recent failed relationship. It's funny, I think I was more upset about the breakup than he was. I despised how his partner treated him and treated others. This was a person who clearly didn't care about the relationship but still used my friend to pay for things, and they were afraid of being alone. Yet they more often than not would push him away to be alone or would fly off to another state to hang out with friends instead of being there for him. As you can see, still someone I'm not a fan of. I've never been good about writing about my relationships, so I take inspiration from others around me.
You guys released two singles, "Forgive and Forget" in 2019 and "End of Page" back in 2020. How is this different from these last two singles?
"Forgive and Forget" was the first song we wrote as Northern Weather. We had plenty of songs from our previous band, but this was the first song we wrote and figured out when Kevin (drums) joined the band, so I'm calling it our first. In that aspect, it's a really important song to us, we used to close every show with it and still play it frequently. "End of Page" is also one that's important to us, both of these songs were meant to highlight us as their own thing. We didn't know if they were going to go on an album, an EP, or just stand-alone. "Neal Says," we know is going to be part of our upcoming album (as are the other singles). We had a clear goal with "Neal Says," for it to speak as the first representative of what we're about to release, and we feel it does a good job of that.
What have you taken from this release that you want listeners to take from it as well?
So far we've had a great reception from releasing "Neal Says." It took months to get our earlier singles to nearly as many plays as "Neal Says" already has, so we're very grateful that people have been listening multiple times and have been enjoying the song. We hope that people dig the more pop-punk-like elements of the song because there's lots more of that coming on later songs on the record.
In many ways, this single is the start of a larger beginning for you guys? Can we talk more about that? How has the writing and recording process been going for you guys on that?
So we have an album coming out, right now we're hoping in early February. There are going to be 11 tracks on it, so we're very excited to be able to showcase our sound in that way. We're hoping to get back to some regular shows once the album is out. Plus we've begun writing for whatever comes next...we never stop writing, and we're so excited for whatever comes next.