Madonna, Deadmau5 & More: The Songs That Inspired Northlane’s ‘Obsidian’

22 April 2022 | 12:04 pm | Jonathon Deiley

To celebrate the release of their new album ‘Obsidian’, Northlane guitarist Jonathon Deiley takes us through some of the songs that inspired the band during its creation.

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I like to explore different sounds and draw inspiration from a variety of styles of music and then channel that into the heavy genre that Northlane exists in. This playlist features a broad spectrum of music that has contributed to the sound of Obsidian and covers a lot of the makeup of Northlane. The playlist features some of the earlier rock influences like Rage, Incubus and Chili Peppers and some newer electronic favourites.

Madonna - Skin

I love this whole album (Ray Of Light), it’s genre varied like Obsidian, it reminds me of growing up in the late '90s and was probably my introduction to electronic music. Skin features fast techno beats and middle eastern sounding trippy vocal melodies in the rave parts which are just so sick.

Jon Hopkins - Open Eye Signal

What a banger and a journey. I’m sure this was quite difficult to nail, but I just resonate with this song so hard. The way the bass rotates over the straight kicks, making it sound like it never repeats is the key to this journey and has definitely influenced a few Northlane songs. Oh and that outro, don’t even get me started.

Filter & Crystal Method - (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do

Like Skin by Madonna, I heard Trip Like I Do in the late '90s and was drawn to it. If you’re wondering why all Northlane’s music sounds like it should be in The Matrix it’s probably because of this song. When it kicks off at 1:50 you can hear those big guitars with harmonics just as Northlane does and gritty melodic scream-singing that’s in just about every modern heavy song.

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Burial - Ghost Hardware

I love Burial so much. Dark yet beautiful is something I tend to do with Northlane and for Burial it’s second nature. All of the atmosphere he creates with vocal samples is unparalleled and I love that sometimes you don’t even know what the lyrics are, but the way the melodies and words are placed just feels right.

Deadmau5 - Gula (ov)

Listening to Deadmau5 reminds me of when Northlane first started, and my love for big fleshed out chords would be because of this. I don’t know who hurt this guy but this song is beautiful. This is the orchestral version of the original Gula and it feels like what might play if I was watching the earth from a distance be swallowed by a black hole, and just thinking life would never be the same. Definitely drew inspiration from this during lockdown.