A Look Inside Elm by NOETA

1.) Introduction to your band(who you all are, roles in the band)

NOÊTA consists of me, Êlea, and Ândris. We both do a little bit of everything in the band. On the new release both of us contributed to songwriting, mixing and recording. Lyrics and singing are always by me. 

2.) How you guys became a band

We worked together for a small period of time in 2013, and we would sometimes play together after work. We kept in touch and then started making music on a distance when I left Sweden. 

3.) In terms of your band name, how did you come with it? Does it have a significant meaning?

I wanted NOÊTA to be a place for me to express the irrationalities of thoughts and emotions. At the time I was reading about nous philosophy (thought philosophy) and thought it was fitting to use noeta as a name. As for its meaning it can generally be considered as either objects of logic, thoughts that come from within and not due to external impressions; or to be constant forms of energy embedded within a universal subconscious.

4.) You guys just recently released “Dawn Falls” what was the songwriting process like for that single? How long did it take to complete?

It took many years to finish. The first part of the song, with the layered vocals, I wrote that back in 2016, before the release of “Beyond Life and Death”. We we’re not in agreement how to proceed with the song after that, there was a lot of back and forth on tempo and things of that nature. Finally in 2018 Ândris came to my house and we recorded the guitar, then I added the main and background vocals and we mixed it. So it came together quite quickly, but we had it lying around for a long time before it was finished.

5.) Can you give us the backstory on your new single?

Well the song came to be, initially, under a different name and with different lyrics. At that point it was about the dissonance of having two conflicting wills within you. As life moved on, I dealt more with the process of giving in to hope and trusting someone, versus holding back and isolating your innermost feelings. In the end, that’s what Dawn Falls is about. How we construct these abysses for ourselves for no good reason, but fear. 

6.) What is your current songwriting process like? Does it differ from the process that went into Beyond Life and Death? 

In a way, yes. Almost all of the songs we’ve written have come to be in a different way than the one before it. Sometimes Ândris will write a guitar melody, which I then add synths and vocals to. Sometimes I write something, either by synth or vocals, which  then adds an acoustic guitar to. In some cases, like with Dawn Falls, it starts with my vocal harmonies and then we produce it further from there. We never go into a process together and “jam” until we find something that works. We both work in our own time, in our own places, and share the project files with each other, send them back and forth continuously making improvements until we consider it done. Sometimes we meet and jam out the parts that we think are in need of more work. So it’s in a way a very dynamic process.

7.) Individually, what was the turning point that made you decide you wanted to become a full-time musician?

Neither of us are full time musicians. It’s not a very lucrative business, so it’s hard to make that transition, especially if you don’t play live.

8.) How has the pandemic affected you as a band? Has it made you stronger, more inspired, or the same as you always were? 

Same as always. Honestly I don’t think the pandemic has affected me very much at all. I live quite isolated at all times regardless. We finished the album before the pandemic hit, we do about 70% of the work on a distance anyways. The only impact I can think of is that it made it hard for us to take the pictures we intended for this release, as I was in Norway and Ândris in Sweden, and the boarder is still closed between the two. 

9.) Let’s talk a little bit about new music, if you can, can you tell us if you are working on anything new? 

Right now NOÊTA is not working on anything new. It’s been a long journey to finish “Elm”. We’re both working on projects outside of NOÊTA though, so we’ll see what comes from that.

10.) If you could play any venue, anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why? 

Oh, I honestly don’t know. I think if I could choose anything, it would be an old church with a huge reverb, or someplace that’s not a traditional venue. The only example I can think of is Haakonshallen in Bergen. I think physical rooms can impact your mental state, and change your mood. I’ve never been a fan of huge venues as they feel impersonal.

11.) If you could book your dream tour, with NOÊTA included, who would you also have on that tour? 

That’s hard to answer. The neatest thing would be Aghast or perhaps Susanne Sundfør.

12.) Do you think that the experiences of the past year had any impact on writing Elm?

No, the album was done a year ago. So it didn’t.

13.) Do you think that your unique genre sets you apart from other bands who may have a similar sound? Who are some artists/bands that influenced this sound? 

I hope so. People make music for various reasons, one of mine was to try and make music that wasn’t identical to something else, but rather a blend of several different genres. We’ve had broad range of inspirations, everything from Xasthur, Deathspell Omega, Vemod and Drudkh, to Etta James and Tallest man on Earth. Aghast, Alcest and Bergraven were inspirations on the last album as well. We even took inspiration from “The Spring Rite”, a classical piece, for the 6th song on the album. The result is supposed to be a mix with many of the disharmonic elements of black metal, with the acoustic guitars from folk and certain grand, filmatic sounds highlighted by the singing, which is sometimes inspired by soul or classical style singing. Another thing that sets us apart is that we continuously refrain from using drums in our songs (except for two on the debut album).

14.) What track on Elm means a lot to you? Why?

Dawn Falls and As I Fall Silent are the most special ones to me. Mainly because the singing arrangements and the lyrics are the oldest of the ones I have on the album. They were not written to be lyrics for these songs, and I always feel stronger about the lyrics I write as just texts or poems, rather than lyrics. It’s less forced and more honest.

15.) What can we expect from you guys in the future once life returns to normal? I.E.- shows, tours, music, etc.

Nothing to announce as of yet. Time will tell.

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