While on tour in support of their latest record, Amplify Human Vibration (out now), Rôka and Löki of UK cinematic post-rock duo Nordic Giants were kind enough to answer a few questions we had about their show at this year’s ArcTanGent festival, the concept behind their new album and the documentary it accompanies, among other topics.
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It Djents: A few weeks ago, you played the opening day of this year’s ArcTanGent festival. How did the show go?
Nordic Giants: ArcTanGent is always one of the best festivals of the year for us, simply because it is a beacon for people interested in the style of music that we perform. This year was a wet evening, but that didn’t stop the crowds braving the weather and filling outside the dry boundaries of the tent to witness the performance – so for that we thank everyone who came.
ID: Did you find it hard to translate your visuals-heavy live performance to a festival setting?
NG: Our performances are not diluted in anyway for festivals and we don’t have any big hits or crowd pleasers to play, so it is hard to know how the audience digests the show, especially in a festival setting. Not everyone connects to the performance in the same way, so it really comes down to an individual basis. For some it’s the connection with the films and the storyline, while others will connect with the music alone – the energy, emotion and stage presence – hopefully for most the two elements combined will still be the most powerfully, the films will tangle you in a story as the music make your hairs stand on end – that’s the way we would like the underlying messages to be absorbed, regardless of setting.
ID: Since your new album Amplify Human Vibration is out, please tell me a bit about the concept and recording process.
NG: The title came from the motion that everything in our universe is made up of energy and vibration at the molecular level. Our thoughts create, our emotions amplify, and our actions increase the momentum, so it’s really up to each of us to amplify our own strengths and not our weaknesses, to become less divided by religions, colour, or the country we were born in. To shed our egos and embrace the shift that is happening. Despite the fear led narrative we are made to swallow daily, there is so much positivity that needs to be amplified! The music was recorded ourselves half in France and half in the UK over just one week – there is really not a lot of detail to go into with the recording process – for us that’s usually the easiest and quickest part of what we do.
ID: When did you come up the idea of making a documentary?
NG: The Amplify Human Vibration project started with an idea for a film end of 2016. We wanted to create something uplifting to show that every person can make a positive impact on the world, no matter how small and to simply remind everyone the true power each of us have, especially when we all unite together as one.
The film was shot and directed by us, without a mask or instrument in sight. We travelled the U.K, camped on beaches and slept on floors, personally searching and meeting inspiring people from all walks of life including some of our fans. Although we did all the hard work behind the scenes, the film is really not about Nordic Giants in any way. The film is about down to earth people, doing what they love and trying to make a difference – it really is as simple as that!
ID: Can you tell me about the explicit topics addressed in the documentary and soundtrack?
NG: Some of the questions touched upon, or perceived by the listener of the soundtrack or the documentary may include: Why are we here on this planet? Are we heading in the right direction as a race? Does consciousness exist after death? What problems do we face, and what are the solutions? Do we live in an illusory world simply going through day-to-day business as usual motions? Have we forgotten who we really are and the power that resides in every single living soul?
Touching on these kind of subjects, especially within music, is quite a risky move, even for a project as different as Nordic Giants. Everyone is at different levels of their lives and everybody has their own views and beliefs, so the balance of information was crafted as best we could – to give food for thought, but also leaving a lot up to interpretation by the listener.
ID: When shooting for it, did you already have the soundtrack in mind or did that part of the project come afterwards?
NG: On this project we were writing the music and shooting the film at the same time, so they both became intertwined – one influencing the other. The underlying message of the film became embedded in music and the energy and emotion of the music started to mould the film – we did not plan this way of working, it just happened!
ID: What can your fans expect from the live shows in support of Amplify Human Vibration?
NG: The live show is a mix of old and new songs, a blend of light and dark films, both shocking and uplifting, thought provoking and also in your face action. The set reflects the dualistic world we live in – its not all sunshine and rainbows and it can be quite dark at times. It is as much of a wake up call as it is a journey for the mind, a performance that may even take a few days to truly sink in and work out the meanings! The U.K leg of the tour ended every night with a message of hope for humanity, a message for us to wake up and really see the world for what it is, so we can unite together – For one show we even duplicated what was on the film and had over 60 extra people on stage in full costume, adding extra vocals to the performance – there was some energy created on stage that evening and that encore will not be forgotten by us any time soon . . .
ID: Will the documentary eventually be seen on the big screen or is it meant only for your live shows and the fans that will buy it?
NG: Once the documentary is completed, we plan to give it away for free online, for all to see and for all to share, maybe one day we will score it live as a performance, or possibly release it alon[g]side the music and bonus material – but nothing is set in stone as of yet. The main thing for us is that everyone will get a chance to see it for free!
ID: Anything you’d like to add or say to the It Djents readers?
NG: Amplify Human Vibration can be interpreted in any way, shape or form; that’s the true beauty of music and film. It can be someone’s therapy on a bad day or it can be the soundtrack to a quiet moment, however you want to use is up to you! So go where you feel most alive and do what you truly love…remembering the time to act for any positive change is not tomorrow – but today . . .
Rôka & Löki x
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Thanks again to Nordic Giants for taking the time to do this interview. Their new album Amplify Human Vibration is, as I mentioned earlier, out now, and can be purchased here or streamed on all major providers. They are currently on tour across Europe, so get your tickets here if you’d like to see them – it’s a rather stunning experience! Make sure to follow the band on Facebook to not miss any important updates in the future.