Dutch hardcore legends in No Turning Back are on the verge of releasing their self-produced album No Regrets, through their own label Take Control Records. We’re very excited to see where this release will take them, and we were able to talk to vocalist Martijn van den Heuvel to get some insight in the recording process and upcoming plans. Support true hardcore, take control!
You guys are releasing a new record; are racism and taking control returning themes?
On our new record No Regrets there are a lot of songs with different themes, but sure enough racism and taking control are returning themes on NTB records. We feel that it’s important to speak out against racism and urging people to take control of their lives and surroundings.
Do you think your sound has changed when you look back on your previous releases, or your approach to writing songs?
We have our own distinct NTB sound, this grew in the last 15 years so I guess there is a “formula” to write our songs, but for us it has grown into that naturally. Our sound and the approach to writing the songs also grew over the years, and is still improving with each release. We really feel No Regrets is the best record we have ever put out… This sounds like a cliché but we are really proud of the fact we kept our standard high, and that we are rising since our first release.
How has the line-up change influenced No Turning Back?
Of course the members who have quit for different reasons are missed. On the other hand, new blood means new ideas, and enthousiasm. For NTB the line-up changes haven’t changed our sound or the way we tour or act on stage, because we are lucky that each replacement fits so well.
What is it like for you guys to release this record on your own Take Control Records label, and what made you decide to take matters into own hands?
It’s great doing things our own way, to decide what we think is best with every step in the process of writing, recording and releasing our record. We decided to take matters in our own hand because we feel times are changing, and it is still not clear what the role of a label is nowadays. With a label it is hard to get the attention we think we deserve, because there are always the other bands on the roster that we have to share the label’s attention with. It was clearly time to take control, as this was the only thing we didn’t take care of ourselves.
Can you give us some insight how you take care of the promotion and distribution of the album as these are specific tasks of a record label that require experience and a network?
We feel that after 15 years and a lot of releases under our belt, we can rival any label with experience and networking. Promotion-wise we have always taken care a great part of this ourselves with touring our asses off all over the world non-stop. In the past our labels have placed a few ads here and there, but we think that is a waste of money nowadays, since the internet is reaching more kids a lot easier. Distributing is also easier through the internet. We will see in time what this will bring us. Of course this does not apply to any band, but since we feel NTB is a household name in worldwide hardcore nowadays we think we can take control of this ourselves.
Why did you choose to record this album in Berlin, and what was it like? Was it completely self produced, or did you hire an engineer/producer?
We decided that it was time for something new, we recorded our last releases in De Studio, but we heard great material (Final Prayer) coming from Berlin (Dailyhero Recordings) and decided to give it a go. We worked together with Florian Nowak and Marc Wüstenhagen who co-produced this record, as it is always handy to have someone around with a fresh take on your songs and who push the buttons.
Are you planning on playing all continents again with this record?
As always our mission is playing as many places possible all over the world, and we will do so again to promote No Regrets. Just let us know where we can play and we will try to make it happen. Hook us up!
You’ll be playing some shows with Asian hardcore band Overthrown this fall. Any words why people should get excited for this?
Great band, great people. Don’t miss out or overlook them if you don’t want to miss out. We look forward playing with them and can’t wait to hang out.
What are the coolest places you have been to, or what has been the coolest tour you have been on so far?
We toured so much in so many places that this is hard for us to say, but the last tour we had in Asia was great. We had a great response and it was even better than we expected. In general everyone all over the world have made us feel welcome and until now we have never had a bad tour happening.
How do you combine day to day life with touring? What do you guys do when you are not on tour/on stage?
When we are not on tour we try to work as much as possible to earn our rent money. NTB takes up a lot of time though, it’s hard to keep a steady job, so it’s job hopping from shitty job to shitty job for most of us. Our guitar player Emiel [Laurant] is also busy with his van rental company DaxVans. I have Stronger Bookings, so we aren’t couch hangers when we are not on tour. Always busy taking control!
How is it for you guys to know there are kids around the globe walking around with No Turning Back tattoos?
It’s a special feeling to see a NTB tattoo on someone on the other side of the world. It’s a real honour, since we still feel we are just a simple, straight on, no-nonsense hardcore band. People dedicating their body to your band is the biggest compliment you can get. They will literally support you until their dead.
Can you name five influential records that have defined your music taste through the years?
Machine Head – Burn My Eyes
Nas – It Was Written
Cock Sparrer – Shock Troops
The Rolling Stones – Aftermath
Madball – Set It Off
Do you have any inspiring words for new, upcoming bands that are out there?
Work hard, believe in your dreams, and play your asses off. That’s what we did, and look where it got us!