By Craig Obert
Metalheads Forever has been given the opportunity to talk with amazingly talented band Novareign. Greetings from Colorado and Metalheads Forever; this is a pleasure.
Answers by Danny Nobel (Guitars / Vocals)
In researching, I’ve learned a great deal about the band, but not much about your origins. Please give us a brief synopsis of how the band was formed.
The band was formed officially in 2012. This may cause some confusion to anyone who, like yourself, has gone out of their way to do research about our origin. As they may have discovered some material predating the year. The thing is, frontman David Marquez and I had been playing in a previous band that… long story short, towards the end of our time together needed to change our name, for reasons. David then came up with “Novareign”, and we used that. But that band broke up about six months later without recording or doing anything official under the name. Finally, after about a year of inactivity, I finally built up the urge to start up a new band. I reached out to most of the previous members including David, with the idea of starting a new project featuring different music and a completely different direction. But, since I liked the name “Novareign” so much, I proposed to the guys that we bring it back and they liked the idea. The following years consisted of the time consuming task of finding the right members. We went through musician after musician. It was during this time that guitarist Balmore Lemus entered the picture, and after a couple of other bassists and drummers, Moises and Paul joined. This has been our line up to this day. It took a very long time to find the most like minded musicians that make us who we are today.
You’re characterized as being part of the New Age of Power Metal. Do you agree? If so, what are some key differences?
It’s an absolute honor to be categorized as such. Personally, I don’t find myself disagreeing with the notion. We set off to write power metal music, so to be included in the genre’s “New Age” selection is beyond flattering. If there’s anything that may separate us from what I guess would be a classic power metal band… would be our American routes. There are certain elements and signature styles that originate from American metal bands, and whenever I listen to the iconic power metal artists they don’t really feature these elements. Their style is a much cleaner, while american bands tend to be a bit more gritty. I guess that would be it, we are power metal but we’re also gritty. lol
Individually, your musical tastes range from traditional Metal to Death, Prog, and Power Metal. Undoubtedly, this helps create your unique sound. Can you describe your song writing process?
Usually what will happen is, I’ll crack out my barbed wire whip and put the boys to work! lol kidding. The main writers so far have been myself and Balmore. But it’s not like he and I write full complete songs and the rest of the guys have to learn it exactly how we wrote it. We present the band with ideas and compositions that we’ve put together. Sometimes the idea can consist of a single riff or even an entire song. We’ll then move forward towards completing the song, and through that process the rest of the guys will add their own signature elements. We’ll change a riff here, add a melody there, and remove certain parts entirely. The main goal is to end up with something that we can all be happy with and be proud to call our own. At the end of the day, if we’ve done that, then we’ve succeeded.
The new album, Legends is astounding. Standout tracks (to me) are “Mace of a Fist” and “Skyline.” I guess I’m partial to longer songs. I understand “Mace” is based on the story “Siege” (Marvel Comics.) How do comics find their way into your writing? Any other examples of this? What are your “go to” subjects for writing songs?
Thanks so much and we’re happy you enjoyed the record. “Mace of a Fist” is a song I wrote while removing any boundaries I may have had in my head. I didn’t care how long the song was and I’m happy to say that it seems not many other people do either. As your not the first to single the song out as a stand out. It’s my favorite song to play live. As for the subject matter within the lyrics, you are correct, the song is based off of the story line “Siege” by Marvel Comics. I’m a mega Marvel Comics fan, and “Siege” is one of my favorite runs. There wasn’t any particular reason why I chose to write a song based off the book. The truth is I needed a cool subject to write lyrics about, and I had the book sitting on my shelf and thought… “hmmm, how about that?” lol A story about gods and epic adventures is a shoe-in fit for our theme. The story is about Asgard, the home of the Norse Gods, relocating in the United States. This stirs up an insurmountable discomfort through the public and the US Government decides to wage war on the realm eternal. It’s a beautiful, tragic story. I also made the effort to not use any official names of characters, instead I referred to them as adjectives, such as; golden sentries, war gods, lords, fiends, and iron devil’s.” Anyone who knows the story might be able to distinguish which character is which. But considering all this, I definitely wouldn’t say we are a band that solely writes about comic books. It was just for “Mace” in particular. Our lyrics are put together by most of the members and we draw inspiration from all parts of life.
Balmore (guitars/vocals) was once in Exmortus and Warbringer. What other affiliations has the band had? What do you feel this brings to Novareign?
That is true, Balmore is a former frontman for Exmortus and even recorded vocals and bass guitar on the “In Hatred’s Flame” album. Balmore is a man who likes to keeps his fingers in multiple pies, he is regularly involved in ample side projects and will occasionally fill in for shows, recordings, and even tours. I don’t believe he was ever officially in Warbringer, but he did fill in for at least one European tour. We’re quite a friendly bunch the Novareign guys and I. We’re very easy to become friends with and it would take too much space to list all of the bands we’re friends with. To name a few, we get along beautifully with the likes of Railgun, Night Demon, Holy Grail, Sorizon, Immortal Guardian, Tower guard, Infinite Death, Australia’s Elm Street and many many more. In fact, a while back, David, myself and our former keyboardist were working heavily with Chris Peterson of Cellador. A fellow American Power Metal band based in Colorado. The plan was for us all to join and become the new line up but it ended up not being so. But we’re thankful as that’s how we got in touch with Balmore who ended up joining us instead lol. I think what the correlation with different bands brings to Novareign is, not only the obvious part of building up our connections, but it gives us an up close look at how other people operate and handle their own bands. It’s a healthy exercise to expose yourself to as many musicians as possible, and I feel that in us doing so helps improve our approach to our own project.
“To Wander the Stars,” an acoustic interlude, is a beautiful piece. Any plans to explore additional acoustic components?
Thank you very much! That’s me playing the acoustic guitar on the track and I’m honored by the compliment. Yes, definitely, I’m equally a fan of acoustic playing as shredding guitar and I think the rest of the guys are as well. I know I for one will definitely be putting forth more acoustic pieces for the band. We’ll see what else we can come up with together.
Rumor has it, you will be touring in the Fall this year. Can you offer any insight? What can we expect when we attend a Novareign show?
Well you know what they say about rumors… they are like a ripple in the grass fields, they are only ephemeral, but they don’t lie about which way the wind is blowing! wink* wink* lol I really can’t give anything away at this time. What I can say is that we have plenty of big and exciting deals that we are working on behind closed doors. And so long as you stay tuned to our social media you’ll be the first to hear about them as we go along on our journey. As to what someone can expect from a Novareign show, to put it simple, would be a fun time! That’s what we care most about. Of course while we work extremely hard to present you with the best performance we can ever give, our main focus is that every member in the audience feels like they have just become a part of our family. We make every effort to entertain and involve the audience, while also not coming off like we’re trying too hard. Which we all know some bands are guilty of lol We love our fans, and anyone who actually makes the commute to see us live will immediately earn an A+ in our book. lol
Thank you so much for your time. We wish you all the best. Any parting words for our readers?
Thank you very much for reaching out to us and we’re thrilled that you enjoyed the work we’ve put out there. To all of the readers, we’d like to compliment your choice of internet use and for checking out World Metal Domination, the OFFICIAL metalheads forever magazine! And to stay tuned for upcoming news involving Novareign, we just can’t seem to stop running into exciting things! Our debut album is called “Legends” and is available now! We hope you go and pick yourself up a copy and make it out to one of our shows to tell us all about your loving and/or hatful feelings about the record. We’re sure you’ll be itching to get them off your chest! Thanks for your consideration, and we’ll see you out there someday!
MHF Magazine/Craig Obert