NORMA JEAN with VANNA, KEN MODE, THE GREENERY, MISFORTUNATE SONS and CITIES AND YEARS at The Pike Room

THURSDAY DECEMBER 5, 2013
doors at 6pm
tickets: $14 ADV / $16 (buy tickets)

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NORMA JEAN with VANNA, KEN MODE, THE GREENERY, MISFORTUNE SONS and CITIES AND YEARS at The Pike ROom





NORMA JEAN



In 2010 Norma Jean released their fifth album Meridional, a resurgent and brilliant reminder of everything the band had pioneered, modeled and become known for during their ten plus years in aggressive and progressive music. Wild and strong, it would have been a fitting end to the band's career, and for a while it nearly was.

“I can't lie, I felt like it was falling apart for a while,” admits singer Cory Brandan. “There was a point where we thought this was over.” In 2011 the band began a quest for new songs to make their sixth album, one they hoped would build on the successes of Meridional. Unwittingly the quintet started down a two-year road that would drive some to despair and others to the door. “This record was a nightmare from start to finish,” he continues. “What we made definitely had its way with us. We pushed ourselves to keep writing, scrapping songs time and time again, we knew it was not ready but remained hopeful that we'd find a way out.”

It got uncomfortable for Brandan, guitarist Chris Day, bassist Jon Finn, drummer Clayton Holyoak and guitarist Jeff Hickey, but the perseverance paid dividends. Wrongdoers came together amidst many setbacks, frustrations and creative tensions but the resulting eleven songs stand proudly among the sharpest blades ever fashioned by the unit. Thoroughly exhausted by the process, the band were heartened and galvanised by what they held when the dust eventually settled. “We're definitely seeing a lot of changes in the band now,” he reflects. “We're being forced to change as there is a new energy that has presented itself to the band, we're learning how to adapt to it.”

Reading that, natural expectations would peg the band's sixth record as their most atrophied and furious. Not so. “This is an album about what connects everyone,” Brandan continues. “You can hear a title like Wrongdoers and think of the word in an accusatory or hostile manner, but we see it is as a positive thing. Our wrong is something that brings everyone into the same light. No one escapes that category and it actually brings us together, we are united by it.”

With expanded categories for their life and music, Norma Jean have once more set themselves apart, choosing the narrow path to deliver an album that sounds like a debut, hits like a veteran and commands like a champion. “For us it's not just about writing a bunch of riffs and throwing them down,” asserts Brandan. “We do not cut any corners when we create, and I'm proud of what we made.”

Wrongdoers is not the extra chapter at the end of a great book, it's the beginning of a whole new story. You may be familiar with the visceral language and palette employed by Norma Jean, but this is a new sound, powerfully regenerated and re-imagined for what lies ahead. “There's a lot on this record about love,” he continues. “The Smashing Pumpkins, one of my favourite bands, used to write really aggressive songs about love. I always shied away from writing about love in the past but something changed, I embraced it and found a way to write about the difficulty to truly know love and be able to show it. There's something new going on with the band at the moment, let's see where it leads.”

 

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