Hard Rock'n Metal from Raleigh, North Carolina.
"We have heroes of music and we want to be someone else’s hero."
-James Trogdon, NOXUS-
By Kreig Marks, September 2020
TRR: Hey guys. How have you been handling the pandemic? Worst online virtual story so far?
NOX: The pandemic put a stop to all of the live shows we had planned for the spring and the summer. Even though we may not be able to play live anytime soon, we have taken the time to write our first album and work on our stage performance. We want to better ourselves, not only musically, but as a band and come back full swing next year.
We have noticed that the world is very tense and political right now. Politics are being thrown into conversations and situations where it is inappropriate, even to the point that bands are driving a wedge between themselves over this instead of bringing them together. The worst experience online has been watching bands fight each other over differing opinions.
TRR: The pandemic has been very devastating to the music industry, artists and venues. Do you think this entire experience is going to change how venues bring in the bands and fans once it’s safe again?
NOX: This pandemic will change things for at least a couple of years. Precautions will be taken more seriously, but with that being said, we think the fans will come back and hit it hard. Fans will make it crazier than ever, with all of their pent up feelings from the pandemic and lack of shows. If anything, it may make the concert going experience better than ever with the amount of energy the fans will bring to shows, big or small.
TRR: What’s your best experience these days doing your music virtually?
NOX: While we have not live streamed a performance or show yet, we have been working to keep fans updated with everything going on with our social media pages.
TRR: Worst experience?
NOX: Having to make posts about cancelations and postponements of shows we had planned.
TRR: Have you all written new music during the pandemic?
NOX: As I mentioned above, we are currently working on our debut record to be released next year. We have taken the time to push our limits and take ourselves out of our comfort zones to make the best possible record we can.
TRR: Who’s the primary song writer of the group? Do you guys have a system that works for you?
NOX: By our definition of songwriter, we do not have one main songwriter in the band. All of us contribute to each song by writing their own parts. Here and there, James and Brandon come up with guitar parts and Thushara will contribute with drum ideas.
TRR: What’s the longest you were all isolated from each other the past several months?
NOX: Once the stay at home orders were put into place, we did not see each other for two months. That separation caused a fire beneath us going into writing this record and perfecting our live performance.
TRR: Your music heroes as a band. Who are they?
NOX: Since we are influenced by so many bands over the decades with different styles, we can sit here all day and talk to you about our heroes. Trivium are one of the biggest influences to us. We would also include Metallica, Motionless in White, Killswitch Engage, Dark Tranquility, and Volbeat.
TRR: What are some ticks you and the band have, like superstitions, or maybe someone tunes in a certain way, or has some funny ways of setting up for shows?
NOX: To keep from cramping up for a show, our drummer drinks pickle juice. We also do a mini huddle before every show to hype us up for our set.
TRR: Do you like being isolated or do you prefer being around a lot of people? Who in the band is the most introverted and who’s the most extroverted?
NOX: Depending on the situation, we are a little bit of both. Reese, being the most extroverted, handles most all of the social networking. James, Brandon and Thushara will talk, but tend to be more introverted than Reese is.
TRR: How do you pass time when you are by yourself, keep it clean.
NOX: We all game and watch movies together. Brandon is the most outdoorsman of the group and loves to fish. Reese loves to take walks and watch sports. James designs and prints his own 3D inventions.
TRR: Cool. What type of 3D inventions?
NOX: Typically boring consumer products. I’ll make containers, organizers, holders, shelves, and such. Occasionally, I’ll make something I find useful for music like cable clips or racks to hang things. I just made a mic stand for hooking up to Reese’s guitar cabinet for live sets.
TRR: Market the mic stand and put the band's logo on it. This is for the band. How about sex these days. I mean, if you’re single, what do you do then? Are you concerned about getting Covid or some other freaky disease?
NOX: Because we are putting our all into making this record, we are not really thinking about relationships at this time. We are all single, but more invested in this album and the band. We are not really worried about it, but still taking the necessary precautions so that none of us come down with Covid.
TRR: There are so many virtual concerts right now with everyone being isolated. Do you think some venues may adapt a sort of international virtual thing more so now?
NOX: It will probably become more popular, but it will not replace live shows. There is a certain experience that you get from attending a live show that you cannot get from watching the performance on a computer or TV. We think that most venues will come back closer to the way they were over shifting more towards virtual performances.
TRR: James, why so angry? How about a nice ballad once-in-a while?
NOX: Because I have to put up with Reese everyday of the week, and my God, it is horrible.
TRR: Let’s hear an example.
NOX: He has the absolute worst habit of playing guitar just as we start talking. Like, the very moment words start flowing, he strums. And as soon as we stop, he stops. It is a magical talent that he has without even realizing.
TRR: Sounds like a little Vyvanse or Ritalin could help clear that up! (speaking from first-hand experience.) Lol.
NOX: All jokes aside, that’s just my preferred way of expressing our music. I feel the aggression is far easier to empathize with than other emotions. More ballads are definitely coming on our first album, though!
TRR: Angry ballads?
NOX: Angry ballads, sad ballads, and happy ballads. I’ve got all the ballads.
TRR: Let’s hear the craziest band story so far. Something that you can’t even make up if you wanted to.
NOX: In one of our most recent shows, every band had a problem during their set. One band had a bassist quit on them before the show, we had our bass amp go out halfway through the set. Another band had a string pop during a solo, and the last band had guitar straps break. It was a big mess.
TRR: Your band gets to decorate a room, what would be on the walls?
NOX: All of our band records, all our personal achievements, and signed records, merch and sorts from other bands. Basically, a music shrine.
TRR: A cover that you really want to do but have been afraid to bring it up to the rest of the band because they may think you’re nuts?
NOX: Brandon thinks that we can make a pretty killer metal cover of the Mortal Kombat theme. We all grew up with the games and it may turn out pretty well (Reese also knows the intro).
TRR: That could be pretty cool. I'd like to hear that. Music affects emotions, how do you feel it has changed you?
NOX: Through music, you can express yourself and release all the emotions you are feeling. It can bring out the real you; who you are. Music has made us who we are as individuals. No matter if we are going through good times or bad times, music has always been there to help us. It is the driving force that keeps us going.
TRR: Any stories or situations come to mind when music helped you get through something difficult?
NOX: For Reese, college was full of highs and lows. Whenever he felt down and stressed out, he would pick up his guitar and write whatever came to mind. Before he met Brandon, he had over two hours of music recorded on his laptop, some of which we used in our EP Red Sun Horizon and even our upcoming first album.
TRR: What is ahead for all of you?
NOX: We have heroes of music and we want to be someone else’s hero.
TRR: Anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out to?
NOX: Will Baker from Hollow Intent for helping us get organized, as well as the others under Eye to Eye Records: Dying Oath and Entangled Dreams. Also, Valar Morghulis for helping us get our first show last year.
For further information about NOXUS, follow them on Bandivious.