The Number Twelve Looks Like You are back. The New Jersey-originating “mathcore” band emerged when that stylistic idea of furiously technical metal was just beginning to be a thing, and they transformed the burgeoning, still volatile ideas into a string of leading albums that funneled the energy right into a jolt to the soul — but then they went silent for awhile.
Called Wild Gods, the band’s first new album in a decade releases September 20 via Overlord Music, and the progressively elevating, fittingly enough truly wild tracks deliver not just the band but their now renewed commitment to finding personality in the midst of the chaos right back onto leading ground.
Plugging Back In
Vocalist Jesse Korman — who says that he’s not really been involved with any music in the years The Number Twelve was on the backburner — feels excited that he’s got a community to latch back into, he explains. Despite all the time when not a peep was heard from his band, fans of off-the-edge, intense music have ended up eagerly awaiting the group’s new material.
“Honestly, the craziest thing I’ve noticed is how with our fans it’s almost as if we never skipped a beat,” Korman shares, reflecting on getting back into the groove after going the better part of a decade without a new song or show. “It’s almost as if we never broke up. The same people would come out. It was just a testament, I guess, to the Number 12 legacy of just people like really sticking by us this whole time through that whole big hiatus. It wasn’t like this trend that was really moving back then and then we broke up and then people basically forgot about us. It was like people were still there. People were sticking by us the whole time. That was the coolest and craziest thing to see how great that was. That was amazing to see the loyalty of them.”
“I love it,” he adds. “I love everything about coming back and seeing all these faces.”
It’s even more than the returning fans who have impressed Korman.
“There’s a lot of new fans out there that I’m just so curious — I’m like, how the hell did you guys find us?” he says. “Why the hell did you guys find us? We haven’t been a band in seven years and why are these new people coming to see the show. I’m like — who’s been promoting this album. Who’s been talking about us. That to me was like really, really cool.”
Cultivating The New Songs
The music from The Number Twelve Looks Like You has helped spark a community running through the years.
When it comes to the newest music the band have prepared to inject into that community, Korman explains that going into this new work, he and his band mates decided to really up the ante of the grassroots element to their work. For him, that means that where he previously put mainly stories from his own life in the lyrics, now, he’s including tales of some of the volatile wildness that’s been inflicted across the globe.
“There were a lot of injustices, there were a lot of voices that weren’t being heard, and there were a lot of stories out there. The majority of the time it was about my stories and things that I went through, experiences that I went through for all these albums — but this time, it was like you know what, these aren’t my problems, but I can see there are a lot more problems that exist out there and no one’s paying attention to it, so that was so much fuel for my fire. It was just a built up rage inside of me, that I’m like how is nothing being done about these things? And my exchange with my bandmates was give me that powerful music, give me that platform to stand on to really make my voice heard, and that’s really what happened.”
The sound of the music itself treads a captivating line between brute technical force and immersive atmosphere. Korman says that treading that line was intentional — they didn’t want to craft something inaccessible. Instead, he and the fellow band members — including guitarist Alexis Pareja, bassist DJ Scully, and drummer Michael Kadnar — dialed into developing music that could accentuate and support the personality they were crafting around (this time at least) reaction to some of the thematic insanity.
“I feel like we needed to have a really, really powerful album,” Korman explains. “I didn’t want it to be just another album where you just sort of float through like oh it’s just another Number 12 album. I wanted this album to be the album that you listen to because you felt either emotional or you wanted to just feel power, and that’s like honestly the biggest thing for me. The bigger message to me is I wanted something to have so much feeling in it, because that for me — my biggest fear coming back is that it was gonna be just like ‘technical songs.'”
At the point of Wild Gods, The Number Twelve Looks Like You have already been reunited for a few years, so the front-row freshness of starting up again has been already developing into re-establishing themselves, but their story as a band and members of this community centered around unique music is still growing — and not just via what Korman calls the funny note that he realized he needed to stay more conscientiously fit now that he’s older to keep up with touring.
“When we had broken up, I had always felt like whatever that last album was never felt like the last album from Number 12,” Korman says. “But we were just all so done with the band, so when it came time, it was really like the big amount of space between being broken up and starting up again that’s really what I think we all needed — me and Alex at least — to sort of reset and recalibrate ourselves creatively as a musician, as an artist, as a singer — as anything. I think we needed to like wipe our slate clean, be happy in our own personal lives, and have a lot more perspective on everything and sort of just like listen to the world and listen to what it was saying, what it needed.”
Preorder Wild Gods at this link
Check out the single “Raised and Erased” below