New Album Cosmetic Out Now Via Heavenly Recordings.
Listening to Cosmetic, the new album from Memphis noise-punks NOTS, is a unique and singular trip. Feedback swirls, synths adventure amidst the focused rhythm section, and all the whole vocalist/guitarist Natalie Hoffmann snarls over the top. This is abrasive, hostile and confrontational stuff. The songs careen with a kinetic energy that is spellbinding and infectious. The record builds on their stellar debut We Are Nots, to create a confident and assured sophomore effort that upon repeated listens continues to unveil itself.
We had a chat with Natalie and Charlotte Watson (drums) recently about not wanting to overthink the process of underthinking, influences on the themes of their new album, and what they both love and hate about touring.
O: I read an interview recently where you stated that you did not wish to overthink things while recording your new album Cosmetic. Do you think that, conversely, that can leave you in danger of underthinking or under cooking a recording? Is that something that concerned you during the recording?
Charlotte: When we recorded Cosmetic this past February, different songs were in different states of completion. We decided to record to tape and do most of the recording live and I think having these limitations and embracing them really worked for us so under thinking wasn’t really a concern.
Natalie: Is this because you work for Overblown? (Haha) I don’t want to overthink my statement about not overthinking.
O: One of my favourite songs on the record is ‘Inherently Low’. I think it’s the vibrations of the synth that does it for me. What inspired that song?
Charlotte: That song developed and changed shape a lot over time. It’s one of my favorite songs too.
Natalie: That song did change a lot. It was actually a bass line for another song at one point. It was written collaboratively in our practice space, and I came up with the lyrics almost immediately. I guess I was just waiting for an opportunity to yell “inherently low.”
O: Cosmetic is the second album you will release via Heavenly Recordings. What do you like about working with them?
Natalie : They are genuinely excited about seeing bands live, and about finding music that they find relevant. And they don’t try to pressure us to change our sound at all.
O: From interviews I have read, it is clear that you are a feminist band. Do you subscribe to any particular branch of feminism? What attracts you to this particular ideology?
Charlotte: I think that each of us as individuals are feminists however I wouldn’t want to say that we as a band subscribe to a particular branch of feminism. As a woman it is important to support other women in this world.
Natalie: The label a “feminist band” is strange to me. It isn’t a genre of music. There are plenty of feminists in bands. We each individually identify as such so of course that influences the way we act in the band but it also influences the many other facets of our lives. Pass on the rest of this question.
O:As engaged Americans, did the rise of Donald Trump and the upcoming presidential election have any impact on the writing of the songs for Cosmetic?
Natalie: The upcoming election had some influence on the lyrics for Cosmetic, but so did touring, and just paying attention in general to what was going on in our world and what dangerous patterns are consistently repeating themselves.
O:In October, you have a US tour planned. What is your favourite and most hated thing about touring?
Charlotte: I love traveling and playing shows every night but its hard work physically. Somehow I end up feeling equally stronger and weaker by the end of a long tour.
Natalie: Tour isn’t easy. But it’s worth it to be able to travel and play in so many different places.
O: What is your ambition for NOTS?
Charlotte: To continue to play lots of shows all over!!
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