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Turbid North’s Guitarist on Moving From Alaska to Texas

Kasi Daine

Despite not having a proper label or promotional team behind them, Turbid North became one of 2010′s most talked-about underground groups. The Alaskan-bred quintet’s self-released ‘Orogeny’ album found its way into the hands of taste making sites like MetalSucks.net, who praised their forward-thinking yet ferocious songwriting. “All of a sudden we had a few sites and someone from Decibel talking about us,” says Turbid North guitarist Nick Forkel while on the phone with Noisecreep last week. “It was amazing to get such great feedback even though we didn’t have a label behind us. It just made us work even harder.”

After doing everything themselves, Turbid North hit the post office and tried to get a label to get into business with them. “We had been sending out press kits to a bunch of different labels and we finally heard back from a few that were interested and had already been watching the band. But that’s all they wanted to do — watch [laughs]. Then we heard from Trevor via email.” Forkel is referring to Trevor Phipps of the band Unearth, who also owns Ironclad Recordings.

“Trevor told us that he was floored by ‘Orogeny’ and then asked us if we would be interested in signing with his label. It was great because he got our CD from a friend of ours from Alaska. The fact that he reached out to us after being a fan of what we did was a great feeling,” says Forkel.

On ‘Orogeny,’ Turbid North take the listener into the Alaskan wilderness for a story of will, courage and survival. Coupled with the band’s propulsive arrangements and vocalist Brian McCoy’s authoritative performance, the album could be described as a Jack London novel on steroids. “We definitely went for that kind of feel since we’re from Alaska. Even the cover art for the record goes along with that concept,” reveals Forkel.

Noisecreep asked the guitarist if the group’s location hindered Turbid North’s progress in their earlier days. “Yeah, there aren’t enough venues for metal bands to perform at up there,” he says. “It’s a shame since there are a lot of people that listen to that kind of music in Alaska. I guess [anyone] with the power and money to get a venue going doesn’t care enough. Anchorage had a decent scene going, but where we’re from, Fairbanks, it was really tough to get anything going.”

Since becoming a full-time band, Turbid North have relocated to somewhere with a much more desirable climate. “We opened a show for Drowning Pool in our hometown and after our set they told us that they really liked what we did,” says Forkel. “They also said that if we moved to Texas, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — where they’re from — we would do well. At that point, we weren’t even thinking about leaving our state. But then we researched the area and it seemed really centralized to a lot of cool places. So we eventually went for it and moved to Fort Worth. Even though it was a hard road here, it was well worth it.”

Watch the video for ‘Between the Glacier and the Sea’

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