“The songs are about various conditions of the human psyche” – Introducing: Code Noir

Code Noir is a heavy rock/metal band, having members from Greece and Sweden. Currently a duo, the group was initially formed in 2015 by Michael T  (vocals/guitars), Moth (guitars), Adam Chapman (bass), and Vaart Pilgrem (drums). The members brought their background and experience from a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from theatrical music to punk rock to extreme metal. At the time, their music was a mixture of high energy modern hard rock with metal and punk elements. Shortly before the band entered the studio to record their debut, Moth and Vaart Pilglem left for personal reasons, leaving Michael T and Adam Chapman to continue. The duo completed the recording of “Burn Card,” a six-song mini-LP with two bonus tracks, released by Metal Scrap Records

After a futile search to complete the lineup, Michael T and Adam Chapman decided that Code Noir would continue as a duo. With the musical style moving away from the punk influences to a much more heavy rock/metal focused sound, work began on new material. This resulted in the new Code Noir mini-LP, Jack of All Spades.

The five songs of Jack of All Spades speak of the darkness of the human psyche, drawing from principal songwriter Michael T’s experiences and insight as a professional psychologist. The lyrics talk about embracing the dark core that human beings mostly try to hide from others (“The Devil Within”) to avoid feelings of worthlessness caused by the endless pursuit of material gain (“Supersonic”). A relationship lost because of silence is the topic of Words Never Said, while Monarch focuses on manipulation and mind control through dismantling the victim’s personality. Finally, the mini-LP ends on with an optimistic note, as there is always a way to break through the agents of control and forge a new path (“Crucify Their Way”).  Michael T gave an interview to us soon after the new release – let’s get to know them better!

Beginnings:

Me and Adam go back 20 years, we initially got into contact on audio-related internet forums. The first songs we ever worked on were Iron Maiden covers. One of them, (Sanctuary) even made it onto the first Code Noir EP. Anyway, we decided to put a band together and got together with two other musicians. However, they left before we recorded our first EP, so we just carried on as a duo.

Behind the name:

Well, we were trying to come up with something that was both cool and interesting and also a bit mysterious/ambiguous. Code Black was taken, so the word Noir was chosen instead: Code Noir.

Inspiration:

Musically, I’d say Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Savatage. Lyrically, the themes evolve around normal day-to-day stuff like inner demons, personal struggles, failed relationships, and debauchery.

Inspiration behind “Jack of All Spades”:

We had a clear idea in our heads about the musical focus. Our first release, Burn Card, was stylistically all over the place which was both good and bad. This time we wanted something musically firmly rooted in metal. Lyrically the songs are about various conditions of the human psyche.

About the upcoming album:

Lyrically, I have a specific story in my mind I want to tell and it’s going to be over the course of a full length album.

Teamwork:

The labor is fairly divided, I’d say. Most often I’ll start something and send it to Adam. Adam will tell me it sucks and I’ll do it over and then there’s some back and forth until we’re both happy. However, “The Devil Within” and “Crucify Their Way” came to life during jam sessions. Also, Adam solely plays the guitar solos in Code Noir.

“If any of your readers have 22 minutes to spare, listening to our release would be a cool thing to do!”

COVID-19:

Well, because I’m in Greece and Adam is in Sweden, we pretty much always worked from a distance (except The Devil Within and Crucify Their Way, which was written when Adam was here in Greece). I’d even say that there was more time to work on music now, with the lockdowns and whatnot.

Fun facts:

I don’t quite know if this qualifies, but I do most of my songwriting on acoustic guitar. So yeah, to hear me banging out a song like “Crucify Their Way” on just acoustic guitar and vocal would probably be pretty funny to anyone that heard it.

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"I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers." - Christopher Lee

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