Noisem, now there is a band to be reckoned with, a veritable rock and roll force, a group who break all the rules and yet seem somehow to fit perfectly into the distinct American Dream that we have carved out for this nations musicians. Sure these dudes party harder than a lot of the other bands on the road right now, but they are definitely a lot smarter than you’d think. Borne out of the twisted streets of Baltimore, life still may be tough for the boys in Noisem, but they have made clear progress and are proving themselves to be veritable metal masters. Fresh off their first real lineup change and hoping to tour Europe in the near future the band seems poised to take on the world.
Here’s the thing about Noisem, as much as the band play it down, it’s impossible to ignore that a band who tour as much as they do have an age range of 16 to 22. After emerging from the ashes of their old band Necropsy, these guys came forth and birthed upon the world the glorious abomination that is Agony Defined a death metal record that inspired critics the world over and earned the band a spot on many a top 10 of 2013 list. Agony Defined captures my imagination because in its death metal madness it reminds me of many old school records from the late 80s when the band members were all still extremely young. There is a certain youthful vitality that these guys get that literally none of their peers can imitate. Yet beyond that, regardless of age, Noisem are fucking good. Before I knew anything about them I knew that they were delivering top notch death metal and were not be fucked with under any circumstances.
These dudes are the darlings of the old school death metal crew too. Legends like Max Cavalera have professed their love for them and Carcass is about to take them out on the road, yet again. In my opinion one of the main reasons those guys dig Noisem is simply because they remind them of their own youths. Most death metal bands starting up nowadays are older, kids tend to go for hardcore, so seeing a band play with this level of proficiency and innovating this much at a young age is definitely inspiring and it speaks to the greater triumph of this band as a sort of symbol of hope for a genre that many have said has been long stagnant.
I think the fundamental truth here is that in many ways Noisem are living the dream and doing it with aplomb, even the not so glamorous parts. They embrace tour life in both its joys and its terrors. When you live a life like that I guess that this is the only kind of music you can really make. Yet here they are on the verge of another country spanning tour and preparing to write another record. They’ve transcended their surroundings and made something great out of the darkness that captures their reality. There is something distinctly ‘rock and roll’ about a group of guys in their late teens and early 20s driving all around America in a small van, one which I’ve had the privilege to ride in, and playing shows to anyone and everyone who will listen. It’s a very romantic backdrop for this extremely heavy music to start to form.
Despite all the cool stuff that they’ve been able to do though there is a very clear humility to this band. The first time I aw them was at This Is Hardcore festival where they played in front of a couple hundred kids. The next night I tried and failed to sneak into a 21+ show to see them. However after finding out I along with some other dudes weren’t able to get in Tyler specifically stayed outside and talked to us so we would have something to do, a cool story, and wouldn’t feel left out.
The second time I saw Noisem they played in a tiny warehouse in front of at most 50 people and actually moved their slot to before one of the (much smaller) local bands without complaint because the band showed up late. Sure the show was kinda shady and not a lot of people came, but they destroyed it. They performed a set that was to die for, showing they really don’t care about the venue or crowd, but simply the demented power of the music itself.
When I saw them for the third (And best) time, they played a show booked by a 16 year old fan because they thought he was “fucking rad” They got a pit going in a room that was packed beyond the gills. People were pouring out the door and into the street with just the hope of catching a glimpse of these Baltimore boys at their finest. Are they gods? Perhaps, come to earth to live hedonistic and twisted lives that prove to us the spirit of rock and roll will never die.
Sure metal bands tend to be nice and do stuff for fans, but Noisem take it to the next level, hell, they even guested on my shitty radio show even though by the end of the broadcast had no live listeners. Fully aware of this, they asked when they could be on it again, simply because they had a good time doing it. Along the tumultuous path of their careers they’ve helped me and others get out of sticky situations, helped promoters deal with cops, and they always remember their fans. This is what metal bands should be all about.
Before we wrap up, I think it’s important to make a note on their live performance. I feel as if when Noisem perform each members personality shines forth. Tyler fronts the group and is a sort of demonic being whose harsh vocals and vicious stage presence leave everybody moshing. He knows how to connect with people and make fans of all ages feel truly alive. Sebastian with his fiery red hair and flashy guitar parts spearheads the instrumental section. He writes all the songs and tries to act as a mature voice in the band. Meanwhile, Yago plays with ferocious energy, he gets into his riffs and forces the groove forward reflecting his witty and energetic personality. Harley hunches over his kit, a little bit shyer, but angry and very professional. Despite all evidence to the contrary he knows exactly what he’s doing and he just might kill you while doing it. As for Billy, well, I’ve only seen him once with Noisem, but I get the impression he’ll fit in just fine. He knows how to find the groove and plays with that crust punk joy that only a true addict can. Noisems live presence is machine-like, there is no stopping the incredible crush of this band and the rush I get seeing them tear apart crowds.
I just got off of a day of adventuring with Noisem and now I feel certain, they will always stand out as some of my favorites in this ever so crowded scene. They understand death metal and all of its glory, because they also seem to understand humanity. As my experience with them on my radio show revealed beneath all the layers of death metal madness, these guys are just stupid kids who like blasting Nicki Minaj and songs like Smoke Weed Every Day. They understand how lucky they are and yet somehow keep blasting forward, always humble, and always taking on new heights. They may not know where they are going on tour next, when they’re getting their next tattoo or even where they’re sleeping tonight, but they do know that the next time they come to your town they’re going to kick your fucking ass.