December 12, 2018 Interview – Fredrik Norrman of October Tide & THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT
The end of one path leads into the next, thus beginning a fresh, exciting new journey. Spending 16 years as guitarist in the popular Swedish Dark Metal acts Katatonia, in 2010, Fredrick Norrman decided to bid farewell to his longtime bandmates… but not with new endeavors in mind. Relaunching old projects including the Death Metal act Uncanny and more Doom Metal October Tide, Norrman has kept rather business over the past decade. Most recently he finds himself exploring more new territory with the further development of THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT.
A band including a lineup of Alexander Backlund (Letters From The Colony), Mattias Norrman (ex-Katatonia), as well as Jonas Sköld (October Tide, Letters From The Colony), they have offered a sampling of what is to come in future with the song “AntiMeridian,” and it is sure to make fans of dark, melodic heavy music mouth’s water. Taking the time to look back on his extensive career in music, Fredrick Norrman sat down to chat his time with Katatonia, the development of THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT, what is in store for October Tide, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in Rock/Metal for over twenty five years now, from your time with Katatonia to October Tide. First, tell us, how would you describe your journey in music?
Fredrik Norrman – I formed my first band Uncanny in the end of the ’80s. With that, I went through the whole birth of the Swedish Death Metal scene, which itself was a fantastic journey. The following years I joined Katatonia, formed October Tide together with Jonas Renkse, and played in a bunch of other bands as well. All in all it’s been a great journey, especially the years when we played live a lot with Katatonia.
Cryptic Rock – You certainly have done a lot, and you certainly would not disappear from music following your departure from Katatonia. In fact, in 2009, you would go on to to relaunch October Tide after a near decade hiatus. What inspired the reformation of October Tide?
Fredrik Norrman – I had been thinking of it for a while before I quit Katatonia. I didn’t really contribute with the writing in Katatonia during my last years – the riffs I made wasn’t suitable for the band. It simply sounded more October Tide than Katatonia.
Cryptic Rock – Very interesting, so it seems bringing back October Tide was the next step in your progression. Speaking of which, beyond October Tide, you have this exciting new band, THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT. The band put out music in 2016 and set to put out a new album in 2019. How did THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT come to be?
Fredrik Norrman – Well, I’m a really restless person so the idea was there already when I quit Katatonia. An idea of a band with a more Pop/Rock/Alternative oriented sound. I took a few years until I had a lineup in Tobias Netzell from In Mourning and Nicklas Hjertton from Mandylon.
Cryptic Rock – THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT has a somewhat similar sound to your time in Katatonia, with different textures of course. For THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT, you find yourself teaming up with your brother, Mattias, once again, along with members of Letters From The Colony. What has it been like working with this group of musicians?
Fredrik Norrman – Playing with my brother is like playing with anybody. We share the same friends and all that. He does the job very well, so it comes naturally to ask him. Jonas Sköld and Alexander Backlund are new members. Jonas is also playing in October Tide, but both are great musicians and have contributed a lot to the sound. Alexander is also the one who will handling the mixing in his own studio.
Cryptic Rock – The lineup seems very strong at this stage in the game! Hearing songs like “AntiMeridian” really stimulate excitement to hear more. What can you tell us about the forthcoming album in 2019?
Fredrik Norrman – The plan was to make it more live-friendly, but I think it’s gonna be more of everything. Lots of layers and stuff.
Cryptic Rock – It certainly be exciting to hear. It seems like it has been a very busy time for you. You have THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT set to release new music and reports say October Tide is also amidst recording new material. Is it a challenge balancing both projects. Furthermore, what information can you offer about the new October Tide music?
Fredrik Norrman – Under normal circumstances its not a problem to balance both bands. Due to lineup problems in THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT, the album recording got delayed, so its been a bit stressful lately. But it’s basically just vocals left to record with THENIGHTTIMEPROJECT and we entered studio with October Tide at the end of November, so its kind of under control. The feeling I’ve got right now concerning new October Tide is that its more Death Metal and a more colder feeling this time. Still melodic and melancholic though .
Cryptic Rock – It will be fascinating to hear more as the recordings develop from both projects. As mentioned earlier, you saw a decent amount of commercial success with Katatonia. That success grew once the band made it to a proper North America touring starting in 2006. Was that a different experience for you?
Fredrik Norrman – Yes, touring US is a bit different from Europe. But US is different from Europe, so it’s no wonder why. I especially remember when we play at Whiskey a Go Go in LA. We already were a tour-package with 3 bands, but the promoter added a bunch of other opening acts too, like 5 bands perhaps, and they all brought their own gear. The place was packed with drum kits and stuff. It was pretty fun.
Cryptic Rock – Wow, that must have been an interesting experience. Seeing you have devoted your life to music, what are some of your influences as a musician?
Fredrik Norrman – I would say mostly records from the ’80 and ’90s, but life in general.
Cryptic Rock – Life certainly is a constant source of inspiration. Last question. On Cryptic Rock, we also cover movies, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorites and why?
Fredrik Norrman – I barely watch movies at all. (Laughs) I’m not interested and don’t have the time to spend on movies.