Cold Night for Alligators is a band that has really started to find its footing. While pandemic-related lockdowns certainly affected their ability to connect with their fans and diversify their audience, it did not stop them from producing their best work yet, the brand new album The Hindsight Notes, released this month via Arising Empire. It’s ten tracks of bass-heavy riffs, flawless vocals, and progressive metal precision. Melancholic, yet extremely catchy, the quartet focus on developing songs with unconventional structures, and powerful choruses.
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the group recorded The Hindsight Notes during the pandemic lockdown and are now stoked to be able to start playing it in front of live audiences. What differentiates it from their previous records is a more mature musical approach; more expressive lyrics, with some of the heavier parts having been slightly toned down so as to emphasize this maturity.
With The Hindsight Notes now officially out, and the crew gaining momentum by the day, drummer Nikolaj Lauszus has joined us to share with us six important lessons he’s learned about how to be in a band and ensure you are as functional of a unit as possible. He has titled it “Six Lessons on Creativity and Running a Band.”
To preface the article, drummer Nikolaj Lauszus offers the following introduction:
“I’m the drummer for Cold Night For Alligators. Our new album The Hindsight Notes is now out via Arising Empire. We’ve been around for a while now in a few different lineups, played across Europe and the UK a few times, and released some music we’re pretty proud of.
“During this journey, we’ve not only evolved into handsome alt-metal wizards, we’ve also learnt a thing or two. Some of the lessons are things we’re pretty good at, other are principles we aspire to. It’s pretty practical, because we’re practical guys and have made all the mistakes in the book.
“There’s no guarantee that this will make you rich and successful. We’re not there yet. But I believe there’ll be less anguish over the annoying things and more satisfaction from the good stuff. So if you want some advice from a middling Danish alternative metal band, please…”
1. It’s Ok To Suck
“Skill comes with practice. You will suck at stuff at first whether it’s playing your instrument, writing songs or navigating the business side of things. Accept your limitations, learn your lessons and try to suck less next time.”
2. Be Honest With Yourself
“This ties into the first point, but it’s important enough to merit its own point and I was told to write six. Being honest with yourself about your areas of improvement is the only way to suck less. Not owning up to your current limitations will just expose them, like a local tech death band hacking their way through a song the guitarist programmed in his bedroom.”
3. Assign Responsibilities and Get Out of Each Other’s Way
“Remember how you argued about your setlist for an hour and no one cared? Yeah, us too. There’s a ton of tasks that just need doing and they’ll only increase the more exposure your band gets. So, assign the setlist writing and merch ordering to one band member each and save your arguments for the important stuff, like writing cool songs. If you cannot trust each other to execute repetitive tasks reliably, you have bigger issues which lead to the next point.”
4. Align Expectations
“Being in a band should be like a trusting polyamorous relationship with four dudes (in our case) who are also your co-workers. If that sounds messy, try being in parallel manipulative relationships with four competitors.
“Discuss your goals and expected level of commitment openly. When stuff doesn’t work, have it out in the least messy way for everyone. Sometimes that means having a constructive conversation and growing together, sometimes it’s firing your bass player after changing all your social media logins.”
5. Get the Boring Stuff Done
“You’re running a business, and the sooner you embrace that fact the better your position will be when you get a cool opportunity. You probably didn’t join a band to update tech riders, keep track of receipts, or worry about marketing. But all these little concerns add up to the level of professionalism you meet potential collaborators with. And it means cooler and more skilled people will feel like working with you.”
6. Enjoy the Ride
“Success at most endeavours is fleeting and not guaranteed. It might shock you, but running a weird metal band with a silly name with animals in it is no exception to that. If it was easy everyone would do it and it’s probably worth the struggle if you enjoy the company and appreciate your collective creation. So take time to appreciate the experiences along the way and try not to compare yourself to others too much. They’re on their own journey and you’re on yours.
“That’s all I could think of. Please buy our album.”