Five and Five: Noctura
Welcome to another edition of the Five and Five, where we interview the rock artists of tomorrow, today.
This installment of the Five and Five comes from Indianapolis female-fronted band Noctura who went from unknown to Internet sensation in a very short time.
After acquiring the help of Seether and We Are the Fallen producer Dan Certa, Noctura recorded Surrender the Sun and has since been burning up the airwaves in Indianapolis. I had the opportunity to interview lead singer Mandy Suiter after a duo of Northeast shows.
CFW- 1. How did you come up with the band name?
MS – Well, if you’ve ever had to name a band, you can probably attest to how ridiculously difficult the process is! We tossed around several ideas and tried to think of something that wasn’t already being used. We eventually ended up with Noctura – kind of a play on the word “nocturne”, which was already taken. I was drawn to the term’s connotation with darkness and tranquility.
CFW – 2. What artists/bands/songs/albums influenced you?
MS – For me personally, Evanescence has been a huge influence and inspiration. I remember hearing them for the first time and being so excited to hear someone so innovatively combining everything I love most about music into one package – heavy guitars & rock hooks, melodic vocals, and emotional piano & orchestral elements. I think they’ve served as trailblazers for a whole new genre of music. I’ve also been inspired by artists like Fiona Apple, Within Temptation, Sarah MacLachlan, Kelly Clarkson (I could go on and on)…
CFW – 3. What are you listening to right now?
MS – Florence + The Machine (Ceremonials), Adele (21), Hana Pestle (For the Sky), Foo Fighters (Wasting Light), Evanescence (Evanescence), Muse (The Uprising), and various 80s & 90s cartoon theme songs as found on YouTube.
CFW – 4. What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?
MS – To date, we’ve played five shows – all five have been great in their own way, but there was just something magical about our debut show in June, 2011 that would be hard to top. Everyone was so excited and supportive – you could totally feel the energy in the room.
CFW – 5. If I want people to remember one song from our band, it would be…
MS – Wow! That’s tough. I guess I would say “Venom” – only because I think it’s one of the only songs I’ve written that has a positive, hopeful lyrical message. The rest are a little darker.
CFW – 1. How did it feel the first time you heard your songs on the local station?
MS – Hearing our songs on the radio for the first time was crazy! We had no idea it was happening until we heard “Don’t Save Me” on air one morning, and then later that day, and the day after that. It ended up staying in heavy rotation on X103 for about six months, which was insane but very, very cool. Especially since it was still just Jeremy and me at the time. It was a really proud moment for us.
CFW – 2. This past June, you sold out your very first show as a live act. How did the band feel and are you getting used to the local fame at all? Has it really hit you yet?
MS – Selling out our debut show was another insanely crazy moment. We never would have imagined that so many people would be so quick to buy tickets to see us live when we had never played before – let alone sell out the whole show in three days. I don’t know if that counts as local fame or anything, but it definitely made us feel loved.
CFW – 3. Any plans in the near future for more live shows or more studio work?
MS – We are planning more live shows, for sure. Not sure when and where just yet, but since I’ve quite literally never performed at all outside of the handful of shows we’ve done, I’m anxious to get more experience on stage. We keep working on new material as we go and are definitely looking forward to recording more music. Hopefully next time around we can get a little fancier and have someone else push the buttons for us.
CFW – 4. I am a huge fan of your version of The Offspring’s Gone Away on Surrender the Sun. How did you come up with doing the cover that way?
MS – I play all kinds of songs on piano, just for fun. Sometimes they sound ridiculous, and sometimes they kind of work. With Gone Away, I love the original, but I’d always wondered what a more scaled back version would sound like – especially given the somberness of the lyrics. Once I started playing with the arrangement, I really liked the way the music was almost as sad as the words.
CFW – 5. What do you hope to accomplish in the months and years to come?
MS – My biggest goal is growing as a writer and performer. I’m not one of those people who’s been writing poetry and music since I was a kid – I literally just started a few years ago. As time passes, I get more and more comfortable and courageous, so I can only hope that the coming months and years will bring me closer to the artist I’m supposed to be. And hopefully our fans will be able to hear us coalescing as a band on our next album.
It was not only a pleasure to talk to Mandy, but actually see Noctura live as well. For a band that’s only played live five times, they sounded as if they’ve played together for five years. I think the rock music world and EMURG-ers will be hearing more from Noctura in the near future. In the meantime, you can check out their Facebook, Twitter, and listen to and buy their album Surrender the Sun from their Bandcamp page.