No Turning Back
“While Take Control is as far away from a concept album as can be, there is certainly a general theme behind the songs. Take Control in this case is meant quite literally. It's about no longer being a spectator but becoming a driving force in your own life and the world around you. It also clearly reflects our attitude towards the inner workings of the music industry, even within hardcore. We want to show that DIY ethics do not only apply to the way we run our band, but to every other aspect of our lives.”
Take Control, No Turning Back's new full length studio album, due out February 11, 2011 on Reflections Records, is not only the result of recent events in the members' personal lives but also of the highly inflammable chemistry between musician's that have spent the better part of the last two years out on the road. It is hard to talk about anything related to NTB without talking about gruesome touring schedules that reach even the most remote corners of the world, spreading the hardcore gospel and striking up intense relationships with new and long time fans alike. This approach has proven it's worth with sold out club shows worldwide, appearances at all the major festivals, over 25000 records sold, and even a never-ending stream of fans committing their love for the band to their bodies in the form of tattoos.
“The record really is about us taking control not only as a band but also as individuals,” singer Martijn Van Den Heuvel says. “This last year we had band members starting a van rental company for bands, a booking agency and even a workshop for custom built drum kits. The music and the lifestyle have become absorbed in our day to day lives. We feel Take Control is us documenting growing up and becoming adults while still remaining true to the ideals we had as 15 year old kids playing rudimentary music in our parents' garage.”
No Turning Back are not only maturing as individuals, upon first listen of Take Control it becomes immediately clear that they have grown immensely as a band. Where their previous album Holding On and Stronger were primarily tributes and homages to the classic hardcore sound the band has grown up on, Take Control has, according to guitarist Emiel Laurant, “A deep dedication to groove as well as more focus on song composition and arrangements. Holding On and Stronger were in a sense our breakthrough records and they are really just very punk in a lot of ways. Not that there is anything wrong with that but this time we wanted to push ourselves as songwriters and kind of push the envelope of things while still remaining a hardcore band in it's purest sense.”
Having entered the studio with fully structured songs, Laurant and producer Dirk Miers (De Studio) were free to explore new approaches to working with two guitarists. After a writing process that took up well over a year the band holed up in a remote and isolated practice space to really start hammering out all the kinks. “We took a couple months to put the basic song ideas together, then go back and put them under a microscope and really take our time to find out how all the different parts would fit together best so all the songs would flow together really well. When time came to record we had a lot of time to focus on contributing sounds or parts that would enhance the songs, lift them up from basic sketchbook ideas to real stand alone songs in every right.”
Martijn adds, “We were interested in making this record sound huge. Not like stadium huge but huge in a way that the songs would sound big in any type of setting, whether that be headlining a big fest or playing a dingy shed in someones back yard.” When saying dingy sheds in someones back yard you can trust Martijn knows what he's talking about. He’s been here since day one. NO TURNING BACK plays anywhere and everything: From house shows to a headlining slot at Europes’s biggest hardcore festival, Ieper Fest. Following the release of Stronger on various labels on all 5 continents on the planet, No Turning Back stunned both fans and critics when in 2009 they announced they would embark on the Stronger World Tour, literally playing everywhere on the planet and in the process becoming the first European hardcore band to hit such exotic locations as China, Costa Rica, New Zealand and South Africa. “With every record it has been a huge step forward. Every record has led to us playing more shows in more countries than any European band in this genre.”
As No Turning Back surges forward they fully acknowledge their accomplishments couldn't have been possible without their extremely loyal followers. “We recognized kids worldwide spontaneously started spreading the word about our band through numerous different media outlets. With Take Control we wanted them to be a part of the release of this record and simultaneously become a part of the original grassroots DIY movement that was hardcore before the advent of the internet,” says Laurant. “We are constantly in touch with kids worldwide personally who help us out. They have become our friends and family. They take care of us when we visit their countries and sometimes even their homes. We're all in this together. Something like this can only happen in hardcore. It's truly inspirational."