Interview with Canadian Metallers Numenorean

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NUMENOREAN interview

Calgary’s Numenorean may have had a rocky start thanks to the originals controversial cover art for their debut album, Home, released in 2016, but 2019 looks set to propel the band to new heights with the release of their stunning follow-up, Adore, set for release on Season of Mist on April 12.

We caught up with guitarist Byron Lemley to find out more about how their sound has developed, shedding the “post-black metal” tag and how touring with Metallica could help their diet!

Tell us about how the four of you originally started playing together.

Byron: Well, the band originally started as a two-piece back in 2011, with myself and twin brother, Brandon. We’ve had quite a few line-up changes over the years, well, still keeping the core of the brothers and guitarist/vocalist Roger Leblanc together. We’ve just added to our line-up for live shows and future recordings with a total of six members.

What was your vision for the band in the beginning?

I think it was only started as a way to get away from the over saturation of death and thrash metal that was happening in our local scene. My brother and I had played in those types of bands until we had to break away and start something a little more personal to us. It was never meant to be what it is now, as it was originally just a studio project, with no real goals of playing live or touring for that matter. We had a great response from our two song demo in 2011 and people wanted to be a part of it. It grew into something that’s very much the sum of all its parts now.

What bands were you listening to around that time?

Enslaved, Agalloch, and Woods of Ypres were the big ones, as well as all the old metal/rock we grew up on.

NUMENOREAN band calgary canada

Your first album cover certainly divided opinion due to its graphic nature. Do you regret the choice of artwork and did it have an effect on the success of that record? 

We don’t regret anything we’ve done, because at that moment, it’s exactly what we wanted to do. I think it had many positives and negatives for us, but it’s an album we would have made 100% again.  

How do you think your sound has developed since the first album? It seems quite a progression in sound.

If you go from the first track off of our demo, ‘Let Me In,’ to the last title track, ‘Adore,’ it’s completely night and day. As the main primary songwriter, I made a vow to myself early on to just always listen to myself internally and write what came out, despite if people liked it or not.  I’ve been in bands since I was 13 years old, and in your teen years, you’re still discovering what you even like, what you think it should sound like, and even why you’re writing, you know?  A bit of a learning curve, for me, was to find out what truly makes you feel something when writing is to just trust your gut without any preconceived ideas of what you SHOULD be doing.  Luckily, I’ve met some great musicians along the way that we’re excited about what I was doing, and vice versa, with ideas/songs being brought in.

Tell us about how your songwriting has changed since Home?

I think we really stayed in a certain mood for ‘Home’ and really tried to make it one long song cause it felt right to us, especially with the cover and lyrical themes. ‘Adore’ was a way for us to really challenge ourselves with new ideas that shouldn’t make sense together, but do. It’s a long and tedious process to make something like this, but I think it was worth it.  Something is very rewarding about beating a part to death for months, to then come in a room with a slight change and everyone instinctively knows it’s a golden moment.  I live for those times.

Lyrically, what are the major themes on Adore?

It’s all over the place, with reaching both ends of the spectrum with complete sorrow and anguish, to finding hope and believing you have a reason to live on this planet and love why you are here.  I suppose the best lyric to represent it is off the title track ‘Adore.’ “I feel whole again, I feel low again.”  

If you could only play somebody one song to represent what Numenorean is all about in 2019, which would you choose?

The title track from ‘Adore.’  It has everything in it, a part to cry to, a part to groove to, some dark black metal parts, and a Motorhead riff to just lose your mind to haha.  It’s definitely my favourite song we’ve ever written.

What bands do you see as your peers?

That’s a tough one. We really wanted to separate ourselves from the whole post-black metal movement because it was getting way too crowded with everyone being able to tremolo a riff and slap a reverb pedal on max haha. I feel like it was getting stale too, so I’m not sure who our peers would be now.  We don’t really think about it too much. Just want to do our own thing without paying too much attention to others around us. 

What are your plans when it comes to taking Numenorean on the road? Any Montreal shows on the horizon?

We have some things in the works, which we can’t disclose, but very soon it’ll be announced!

Name a band or artist that all six band members are fans of that might surprise your fans.

Deftones!

If you could only tour with one band for the rest of your career who would you choose?

Metallica, just so we could eat every day on the road haha.  

Big thanks to the band for taking time to answer our questions. We await those tour plans with baited breath.

Interview – Steve Gerrard

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