NORTHWARD, the hard rock project featuring current NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen and PAGAN'S MIND guitarist Jørn Viggo Lofstad, has unleashed its debut single, "While Love Died", alongside a video for the track. The song is taken from NORTHWARD's self-titled debut album, which will be released on October 19 via Nuclear Blast. The cover artwork for the disc was created by Hannes Van Dahl and Chris Rörland and can be seen below.
"We are both very proud and happy to finally get to show you all what we have been up to," says Jørn. 'Here is our first single! We hope you will enjoy it!"
The "While Love Died" video was produced by Ville Lipiäinen (NIGHTWISH, PAIN).
"Northward" track listing:
01. While Love Died
02. Get What You Give
03. Storm In A Glass
04. Drifting Islands
06. Let Me Out
07. Big Boy
09. Bridle Passion
10. I Need
It was during the "all-star jam" at ProgPower USA festival in 2007 when Jansen and Lofstad spontaneously joined forces on stage for some cover songs and noticed a certain creative magic between them. Although the two musicians had never met before, they soon discovered their mutual love for stripped-down hard rock and decided to write some songs together. In 2008, still barely knowing each other, they composed an entire album's worth of material in next to no time — but due to their tight schedules with their main bands, their new project named NORTHWARD never found its way to the spotlight, until today!
In 2017, the year of NIGHTWISH's break, Floor took the opportunity to contact her old friend Jørn Viggo again to see if he was still interested in resurrecting NORTHWARD — and of course he was!
"Jørn Viggo was positive about the project and we started to make the overall plans, meeting again in March of 2017 in Sweden to go through all the material together to see if we still felt happy with what we had created", recalls Floor.
Stepping free from boundaries, NORTHWARD's sound is strong, euphoric and straight in the tradition of SKUNK ANANSIE, FOO FIGHTERS and ALTER BRIDGE but also bands such as DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN.
With the help of producer Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT), the two forged a raw diamond composed of heavy riffs and Floor's incomparable voice, free from influence of the musicians' main bands. And although the songs had originally been written in 2008, they just felt as fresh and alive upon a second hearing as they had on the very first day of their creation.
"The music is melodic, but also in-your-face and kick-ass rock," says Floor. "Cool riffs, good melodies and tasteful arrangements. We would simply like to call it 'good music.' We wanted to explore a basic rock sound, with drums, bass, guitar and vocals. Not the heavy layers of keyboards, choirs etc.".
Alongside Jansen and Lofstad, Morty Black (TNT) handled bass duties, while drums were recorded by Django Nilsen and Stian Kristoffersen (PAGAN'S MIND). You will also hear a guest appearance by Floor's sister Irene Jansen, singing a duet on the song "Drifting Islands". And finally, Ronny Tegner from PAGAN'S MIND played the piano on one song.
This year NORTHWARD is ready to break free. Jansen states: "We are happy and excited to be able to release this rock album under Nuclear Blast's name. They accepted the challenge of bringing this non-metal album into the world by believing in us as musicians, and also for the pure love for music that sounds good to them. We have both put our heart and soul into this album. We are very proud of it and we can't wait to show it to you all!"