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  • Nicholas Zallo

Q&A with Magnetic UK Duo NOPRISM

The synthpop duo NOPRISM, comprising of Andrew Young and Mark Nelson have just released banger single ‘Happiness’ which will lift your mood, guaranteed. It rightly made it’s way onto Spotify Editorial playlists and continues to garner more attention for the band… join us as we delve a little deeper.

How did you two get together and where did the name NOPRISM come from? Both of us have been in bands before, moody type guitar driven noise bands. So we knew each other previously from that scene. A few years after those bands disbanded we had a chance meeting in bar in Newcastle bar called House of Smith. Its kind of a Geordie shore type bar, so we both laughed at each other as if to say “I didn’t think that this is the kind of bar you would go to”. After blaming our mates for dragging us in to the bar, we chatted about making some music, and NOPRISM was born. We named our last single “House of Smith” as a comical tribute to that night. A few years ago Andrew created a funk mashup mixing the theme tune from Boss N*gger, (a blaxploitation film from the 70s) with some Donald Trump election soundbites when he was promising to build the wall on the Mexican border (where’s your wall, Donald?). He uploaded it to Soundcloud and needed a name so came up with NOPRISM. He liked it because it had no meaning, but sounded like some kind of movement or belief system. A belief system that means nothing. Which seemed quite fitting. When we started doing these songs and putting an act together, we thought the name suited us really well. Anyway. Check out the theme tune, because it’s amazing. How would you describe your sound? We like big sounds which stems back to our post-rock/punk days, but with NOPRISM we try and maintain that size and aggression with a disco-esque pop electro sound. We love a bit of dance-punk. Bands like !!!, The Rapture and the bands that pioneered it in the late 70’s/early 80s like ESG, New Order and Talking Heads. We’re also really into French pop and disco, from the likes of Justice, Daft Punk, Carpenter Brut through to M83, L’imperatrice and Charlotte Gainsbourg. We’re here to make an unholy noise.

The title ‘Happiness’ is pretty bold… what’s the message of the song? We wrote Happiness when the cabin fever of the first lockdown was at its peak. I think the mindset is pretty obvious in the lyrics, but also the way the song builds into a frenzy in the middle. We had a lot of frustration to get out. You’re based in the North-East, UK. What’s the local music scene like? There seems to a lot going on, a lot of different sounding artists which is cool. Typically, the impeccable timing of our first releases came at the same time as the pandemic, so we have been unable to be part of any local live scene. Next year, we are hoping to check some of them out live. Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with? We’ve already started thinking about collaborations and features, plus we’re keen to start exploring remixes. As far as names go, we’re open to any ideas. What will NOPRISM be up to going into 2021? Our next single, Pantherbeat, is coming out in January, and we have a couple more lined up for the start of next year. We’re planning to compile all of our releases this year into some kind of EP, before starting chapter two. Also, we’re looking to tour next year and starting to put some dates together. So far, we have a date at Think Tank? in Newcastle booked for 25th June. It’s on Glastonbury weekend, but it shouldn’t interfere with our headline slot. Grab your tickets here:

Happiness by NOPRISM is out now

Stream Happiness here:

Keep up to date with the band here:

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