Northern National has learned the hard way that not all family is blood.
That line was the inspiration for their new single called — yep — "Not All Family is Blood." The Dallas-based alt-pop band has reflected on their past and cut ties with everything and everybody standing in their way.
“Sometimes when we're writing, music comes first, melodies come first,” says band member John Michael Kanne, “but in this case that line came first.”
From the rocky beginnings of Northern National to now — like falling outs with band members and failing to get signed to a major record label — the band has still managed to meet people who have helped them and stuck with them. Northern National cites these people as the inspiration for their latest single.
“You get to pick who you tackle life with on a daily basis and this song is about that,” Kanne says. “It's dedicated to those rebels, those rag-tag groups of friends who take on challenges and grow closer together in the hard times. For us, it's our brothers in this band, the people we meet on the road who give us places to sleep when we can't afford hotels, the loved ones who support us pursuing a crazy passion called music, and so many others. Those people are our family as much as the families we were born into.”
Northern National began releasing music in 2015. An EP, several singles and a few member changes later, the four-piece is more excited now to make and release music than ever.
“We're just enjoying the ride and making music we like,” Kanne says. “We still get the ‘You're too commercial for me’ response sometimes, but that's OK. Not everyone will like the music we create, however we do. It's real to us, and it talks about real situations in our lives, from change, to our lead singer’s daughter, to depression and anxiety. It's been a wild ride.”
About two years ago, the Dallas Observer published an article called “Will Northern National Get Signed?” and to this day, they have yet to sign a major-label contract. However, they take pride in handling both the artistic and the business aspects themselves.
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“We don't know (if we’ll ever get signed), and honestly, we don't care as much as we used to,” Kanne says. “We're just enjoying playing music we love as often as possible, and creating cool art we can share with the world.”
While Kanne doesn’t mention the possibility of a new Northern National EP or album anytime soon, he reassures us that this won’t be the last we hear of Northern National this year.
“This year, we are releasing three different singles,” Kanne says. “The songs will talk about different topics in our life that we deal with constantly. These three songs will give you a taste of the future of Northern National, where we are going, and who we are as a band.”
“Not All Family is Blood” is available for download and streaming on all digital music platforms.