1. Firstly, can you please introduce yourselves to our readers? Tell us a little about COLD NIGHT FOR ALLIGATORS.
Kristoffer: We are Cold Night For Alligators from Copenhagen, Denmark. We play emotional progressive metal and have just released our second full length album, called “Fervor”.
One of the main focuses in our music is variety. We love the mix of hard and soft parts, as well as mixing different genres into one.
We have existed for quite a few years now and performed live a lot, both national and international. Some of our highlights have been shows at UK Tech Fest and Euroblast which are very good memories for us as a band.
2. Track-by-track: what inspired your song, which topics is the song dealing with, what do you want to express?
Johan: I always write in a way that’s personal and honest. I decided that on this record would try to open up about the individual but nonetheless common personal crises we have in our lives. I went for themes that everyone in the band could relate to or might know about, but which are usually not talked about. There are topics like loss, abuse, mental illness, racism, etc. Things that we all had close to life in one way or another. When I presented the theme to the band, they were incredibly positive, but everyone agreed that there should be a hope in the lyrics as well. To explain where that hope could come from, I take Black Swan as a starting point. Black Swan is about losing someone to a disease that slowly changes the person you once knew. Despite the somewhat dark theme, there is still a positive angle. It’s not about being angry about the terrible situation, but to rejoice and remember the moments you’ve had with the person when they aren’t here anymore. The lyrics are written as a general theme but at the same time they’re deeply personal as it is about the course I went through when I lost my grandfather to ALS. It has sometimes been incredibly angst provoking writing songs based on someone else’s grief or thoughts. But at the same time it was inspiring and really instructive personally. I hope the honesty and the personality can be felt in the songs. This is sort of the overall purpose and theme of the lyrics.
The song has a main character in focus, who has been through an assault as a child. It has the main character’s own voice, as well as a narrator. It’s about letting go of old trauma, breaking destructive patterns and letting go of the fear of someone real wanting to reach out and help you.
This is about a person who feels exhausted, not due to anything about himself, but because people look down on what the person does. A lot of groups are being judged based on their job and their way of treating others. In this case, someone who helps and talks with vulnerable people on the street.
This is one of two “protest” songs on ther album. It’s about not fitting into the norm. To be ostracized of society because you are different. A proclamation which tries to hit the entire context of the record. It’s about society as a whole, which only want us to move on quickly, even though your mind needs peace and quiet.
I have already spoken about this song earlier. But I can add that it is one of the most important songs for me on this album. In the recording process, I also burst into tears when recording it. It was really too personal and too close to share with others. But when the whole focal point is that everything has to be shared and everything has to be talked about, I couldn’t really not tell my story. Even though it had been easier.
It’s about not being able to open up about one’s problems. To be silent. It can be both the best friend of a person who has experienced trauma, but don’t know how to talk about. It’s also about the person who needs to open up. I see this almost every day. And I as a person really try to do something about it.
Get Rid Of The Walls:
The narrative in this story, is how I often see people blaming themselves for decisions they’ve had to make in their life, even if they were right or necessary. Instead of thinking constructively about a sudden decision, they will blame themselves. It’s ok to question your decisions, but the lyric is about changing your approach.
It’s about being stuck in a feeling and not being able to let go. Being motionless, just laying there without any means of getting up again. It could be many things causing this but I think everyone at one time or another have experienced being captured in a feeling, a moment or a situation that they just can’t get away from. It’s that feeling of being in a place in which you really don’t want to be but accepting it.
It-s about someone you trust and love betraying your trust without admitting it. The feeling of being abandoned where you had expected more of someone. It’s about a person not being able to stay in control, whether it’s alcoholism, gambling addiction or something else. When something, which was not your choice, dictates your options. It’s about saying enough is enough and not letting someone pull you down.
Coloured Bones is about minorities. And how we are all alike. I see many questioning their own sexuality, skin color or gender and getting bored by others who does not respect differences in humans. It is about standing up for yourself and not being afraid, single the struggle of the individual is rarely unique. There’s always a thousand others in the same situation or with a similar story.
This is about my biggest fear. I have spoke with many people about this and know I am not the only one with it. It’s about being all alone on your deathbed and not being remembered by anyone. About not having left anything behind for people to remember. In some weird way, the theme of this song doesn’t really fit the whole “everything will be okay”-theme of the rest of the record. But when you’ve written nine songs about how other people (including yourself) should act in different situations, it felt important to end with a remark that I also have things that I can’t let go of and that I can’t solve with good advice. It was maybe a way to say that I can be a bit of a hypocrite for advising or admonishing other people.
3. Which song was the easiest/hardest to write? And how come?
Nikolaj: That depends on what you mean by easy or hard. A song like “Violent Design” got everyone very excited from the beginning, and definitely felt more effortless to work on. However, as all other songs, we went over it a lot and changed a bunch of things, though they were more detailed stuff that we felt improved it, so it was still a lot of work before we felt that we were done with it.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, songs like “Black Swan” or “Coloured Bones” took a lot of work and re-writes before we felt that we had a sense of what the entire song should be like, and we definitely had some tense arguments. I actually argued that we should scrap “Black Swan” at one point since it was so hard to finish up. I’m really glad we didn’t do it, as it’s probably one of my favorite songs on the album now. So, I guess the hard work and arguments were worth it!
In general, we spent a lot of time going over the songs in a very democratic manner and focusing on really having a structure which served the mood of the song, as well as strong hooks and interesting twists and turns. We also ended up not using quite a few cool things that we had worked on for a long time. “The Proposition”, which is now sort of an interlude on the album, actually was a full song at one point, which we rewrote a bunch of times before we ended up just using basically one section of it. So, I guess the hardest songs might have been the ones you can’t hear on the album, haha.
4. Can you tell us about the concept behind your artwork?
Nikolaj: We had sort of a drawn-out process with the artwork, so we went through a lot of different ideas. We actually worked with a photographer and a graphic artist to begin with, who we wanted to create a collection of motifs that we could use for the individual songs, but ended up not going forward, though they gave some valuable guidance and we were very happy to work with them. We ended up contacting Stefan Skjødt and actually giving him quite loose reins on it. We didn’t have a specific image or concept in mind, but Johan had a talk with him about the lyrics, and we gave him as a general guideline that we wanted something which looked dramatic without being too graphic or having too much of an “emo” aesthetic, I guess. We’re really happy with the final result – I like that it’s a bit held back without being minimalistic, and his choice of colors were cool.
5. What is the reasoning behind the title of your forthcoming release?
Johan: It is about passion and it’s about something that means something to me and to us. So, Fervor just felt right.
6. Which artists were sources of inspiration for the forthcoming release?
Nikolaj: I am positive you would get a completely different list of influences depending on which band-member you ask. We like really different stuff within the band, so sometimes we would agree that a song was cool, but totally disagree about which artists it reminded us of. Just to mention a few examples I remember Ihsahn, mid-90’s Michael Jackson, Port Noir, The Contortionist and Alexisonfire being mentioned specifically for some of the songs – maybe you can guess which songs when listening to the album?
Personally, I half-jokingly said several times said that I wanted the record to sound like a Michael Mann movie, as I really liked that we have more overt synth sounds on this record. I also tried to rip off as many cool drummers as possible, such as Baard Kolstad, Martin Lopez, Billy Rymer and Frost, but I’m not really able to sound like any of those guys, so I’m not sure it really comes across that way.
7. How was your creation process when making this album?
Christian: The creative process has always consisted of writing separately and bringing the songs together with inputs from all members in the end.
We have five different styles and musical approaches.
As it has been for a while, we write electronically on sheets or tabs, and share it in a folder in the fantastic cyberspace.
Same goes for the actual recording of this album: We tracked guitars and bass from setups we built for this purpose. This made it possible for us to simultaneously work our own parts of the album. So, it’s actually a very ‘modern’ approach, which works for our workflow, but might not work for others, who rely more on the creative process in a studio space with everyone being present at the same time.
It was the same process with the drums, vocals and strings.
They were all recorded on a two-man basis. I did all the tracking and worked as a producer and technical engineer in the studio with the different instruments and sections individually, while the guitars were recorded with a DI by the guys themselves in their homes.
All the tracks were then consolidated and collected in single sessions that we send to Ricardo Rodrigues at Fascination Street Studios.
8. Any new bands you would recommend our readers? What are you listening to most, at the moment?
I’m personally listening a lot to my close friends ‘VOLA’s latest release ‘Applause of a Distant Crowd’.
‘Slipknot’ has actually just released their new track ‘All Out Life’ which has some good vibes for sure. Looking forward to that release.
Currently, I’m listening to American ‘Between the Buried and Me’. On the 15th of Nov. I’m going to their concert at the venue called Pumpehuset in Copenhagen. A great band who always push their own boundaries.
Also, Australian ‘Karnivool’ is definitely worth a listen. Beautiful songwriting and interesting atmospheres for sure.
I really like the Danish band Odd Palace, who recently released their debut album “Things To Place On The Moon”. Really energetic, catchy prog rock.
Otherwise, I’m enjoying the new tracks from Psycroptic. They’re such an underrated band and I can’t wait for the new album!
9. Finally, tell us a little about what is in store next for COLD NIGHT FOR ALLIGATORS? Where can fans experience the album live, in the nearest future?
Kristoffer: Now that we are releasing an album, we of course focus a lot on arranging live shows. We can’t wait to get out on the road and play our new material in front of a crowd, as well as talking to a lot of people and hearing what they think of it.
We have a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes which we can’t tell you about, but we can guarantee that we will be travelling a lot. You will be able to find us at some of the great festivals for our style of music as well as being able to find us playing in several different countries. We hope that people like the album and will attend one of these shows to hear it live.
Course of Events (2016)