Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Noija are a superb hard-hitting genre-bending band who hail from Sweden. The band recently dropped their amazing new single 'Crawl Into My Skin' on 3rd July and are gearing up for their most experimental release yet 'Broken Glass'.
I recently caught up with the band to talk exclusively about the new single, their signature sound and creating music in their underwear...
"We are just biding our time at this point, we have some new music coming out, we’re just going to promote that and restart that next year for our live performance."
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in lock down, what kind of things have you been up to?
Well Sweden haven’t been in lock down per say like other countries but there are recommendations to stay inside. It was more in the beginning when the pandemic started and everyone was just freaking out in Sweden, it took like a month or something then you started seeing folks sitting outside again.
As for our band we had some shows planned for later this year which are currently not going to happen, some in the summer as well. We were supposed to do a week over in Germany in May but that got cancelled. We are just biding our time at this point, we have some new music coming out, we’re just going to promote that and restart that next year for our live performance.
'Crawl Into My Skin' officially released on 3rd July and is an amazing track that features some seriously dark lyrics of depression. Where did the inspiration for these lyrics and lyrical themes for the song come from?
Well actually the intro melody for 'Crawl Into My Skin' came about around 2 or 3 years ago. I (Nick) woke up and I just had this melody in my head so I ran out in just underwear to the piano and I had the worst morning voice ever and I just hit record and sent it Ludvig, he thought it was a pretty cool melody and by the evening of that day he just said to me he just wrote the whole instrumental part. It was pretty cool.
Was Ludvig in his underwear when he wrote the instrumental parts too?
Probably haha. As for the lyrics so basically we made a post yesterday to what the lyrics are about. (below)
So it’s basically about when you want somebody to understand how you feel, for example when you always feel frozen and insecure in your body. For me (Nick) it was one of the worst things that always triggered my panic attacks.I lost control of my breathing and you feel so small when that happens.
Does this feeling link into the music video where there is a man talking to psychiatrist?
Yes, the whole concept was Max's idea. The more I (Max) listened to the song that was the kind of vibe I got from it. I pitched the idea and I feel that the video summarizes a lot of us as a band and what we write about. I feel like it was Max’s idea in the beginning but then everyone pitched in to make it the way it turned out.
Did Nick and Ludvig produce and direct this video like they have some of your videos in the past?
Nick is the one who knows the video stuff. We all come up with ideas and Nick is the one who films it. We kind of like have these different areas we cover up in the band. For Nick it’s the cinematography, photos and the visual kind of stuff but we help each other. For example, our debut video ‘Unknown’ Daniel was a big part of that with the whole rectangle in the background. Nick does the editing and the shooting in the background. For 'Crawl Into My Skin' we asked our friend Eddie because he is good with that kind of stuff. It went well. We should mention that Nick didn’t film anything for this video. Eddie is so good at everything that we just gave him free rein.
On social media you have stated that you have finished recording album 2. Is 'Crawl Into My Skin' the lead single from the album, a standalone track or something else entirely?
Who knows?! Just kidding, I (Ludvig) feel that 'Crawl Into My Skin' sets the stage. It’s the second track on the new album, the first with vocals after the opening track. What I like about this new album is that we have always had this thing where, for example when we wrote 'Colorblind,' we were so afraid to spread our wings and try something different. This new album is very, very dark but at the same time all the songs are different. 'Crawl Into My Skin' is kind of like 'Colorblind', not too different from what we have done before but there are some songs that are REALLY different.
"To be honest 'Broken Glass' is my favourite song that we have ever done"
Well that brings us perfectly to your upcoming single 'Broken Glass', which has much more of a pop feel than your previous releases.
Yeah, we are pretty nervous to release this one. It’s a very poppy song. Ludvig wrote it and we aren’t sure what people will think. People tend to hate on a band when they change their sound, but we wanted to try it. We have written songs that are pretty poppy before. To be honest 'Broken Glass' is my favourite song that we have ever done. I think this song will make better sense in the context of the album. I feel it’s still our type of mood.
When you start the process of writing a new song like 'Broken Glass' do you do this with the intention of trying to create a new sound or is this a natural process?
We don’t really go in with a mindset. We just find a cool sound and just start writing and see what happens and if it flows it’s almost like the song writes itself. Then we just start layering and just write what you hear in your head. Sometimes that’s a heavy part or sometimes that’s a synth heavy poppy song.
When you are creating a song do you create lyrics first, instrumental or does it vary song to song?
Most of the time it’s the music first and sometimes its just a melody like la la la la la and then I (Nick) add lyrics. There are so many audio files where Ludvig is just making sounds and he is like this is how I imagine the vocals going. Nick isn’t really good with instruments, so he just sits down and records something on the piano and send it to Ludvig and see what it thinks. So, in conclusion melody usually comes first.
['Broken Glass' is] "going to be cool because it’s basically a follow up. Broken Glass tries to take off where Crawl Into My Skin ends."
Can we expect to see a video for the next single 'Broken Glass'?
When I sent you the song today, I debated whether to send the music video too. The video is coming. The day you are posting this interview is the day we are going to tease the video. It’s coming on Friday 17th July. It’s going to be cool because it’s basically a follow up. 'Broken Glass' tries to take off where 'Crawl Into My Skin' ends. This was Max’s idea. Basically, when we had finished the video for 'Crawl Into My Skin' our friend, who plays the psychiatrist, did such a killer job and was just a natural so we needed to elaborate on this.
We knew after 'Crawl Into My Skin' we could fit them together and that’s where 'Broken Glass' came in. So eventually there will be three videos that follow on from each other.
Speaking of the video, it received its official release on YouTube via Dreambound. Can you go into the partnership with Dreambound in more detail?
So, when we were going to release our first singe ‘Unknown’ we reached out to Dreambound and told them we were fans of the channel and we would like to release our music on it. Since then we have released every single music video on their channel. We have a good relationship with the Dreambound people. They are super nice and when I wrote to them to tell them we were going to release 'Crawl Into My Skin' they were super happy. We have a good connection with them.
"When I try to explain it to friends and colleagues who don’t usually listen to this kind of music, I just tell them its poppy-rock music with metal influences."
Trying to explain your sound to someone who hasn't heard of you is very difficult, you guys blend a variety of genres with amazing results. What genre do you define Noija as?
That’s Hard. When we talked about this when we created the band, we thought maybe alternative rock/metal but that’s a broad genre.When I (Daniel) try to explain it to friends and colleagues who don’t usually listen to this kind of music, I just tell them its poppy-rock music with metal influences. There is so much in our sound it’s not just one thing. Our manager called us Emo once. I think its fun when you play your music to your parents and their friends. You say it’s kind of like alternative rock with a little screaming and they think it’s heavy metal because of the screams.
For those that don´t know Noija are a Swedish band. I can't even imagine the difficulties of writing and record a song in another language, how do you guys do this with such amazing results?
I’ve (Nick) actually never written anything in Swedish before. We all grew up only listening to English bands and TV shows. From around the age of 9 we get English really early in school and it’s until we graduate. It can be hard when we record vocals. We have to listen a few times to see if we are sounding too American. Ludvig has been super pick about that. In the beginning it was just irritating but we are so happy he never stopped picking on me. Sometimes it can sound like we have an accent on the recording but we try hard, so people don’t notice it. There’s a lot of Googling involved.