What is it about some bands, that whatever they do, they do it their own way? They have something that is instantly recognisable as their own. This can make it very hard to categorise them. NoKTuRNL have always been more than the sum of the parts. Sure their music references many different styles, but they have their own sound, no matter what instruments they use, or what the song is. They don’t do this to be deliberately different, to be excitingly exotic, or to be in tune with any current trend. It’s just honestly how they are.
NoKTuRNL describe their music as ‘Rip Rock’ – mixing melody with menace and a message. Since bursting onto the musical scene in 1999, these three times winners of the prestigious Deadly Sounds ‘Band of the Year’, have offered a fresh take on contemporary Indigenous music. Forever evolving, the impressively full sound of their latest incarnation of two acoustic guitars and drums, will delight those familiar with their music, and surprise those seeing them for the first time.
NoKTuRNL have a personal take on the alienation, lack of purpose and powerlessness many people feel in this modern world. Some lyrics express a passionate pathos, others impatient anger, and some reflect on how we seem to ignore history and our place in it. Whatever the case, NoKTuRNL’s music celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in this potentially bleak world. It morphs from moments of instrumental and vocal intensity to sparse textures full of space and colour. It is a perfect platform for the engaging stage presence, and extraordinarily rich and expressive voice, of lead singer Craig T.
NoKTuRNL first came to the attention of Australian audiences in 1997 when they toured nationally with the top Australian band of the time, Spiderbait. What followed was a blitz of media, gigging and national TV exposure. 1998 ended with NoKTuRNL winning “Band of the Year” at the 1998 Deadly Sounds Australian Indigenous Music Awards. They won the same award again in 2000 and in 2003.
NoKTuRNL signed with Festival Mushroom Records (FMR) early in 2000 and released the single ‘Neva Mend’ whilst touring nationally as part of the Big Day Out. Neva Mend received ecstatic reviews, high rotation on JJJ and two ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award nominations. National tours followed with the Rollins Band, 28 Days and MotorAce. They performed on radio JJJ’s ‘Live at the Wireless’ and recorded a cable ‘Channel V’ special. Also in 2000 NoKTuRNL released the EP ‘Unveiled’, followed closely in May 2001 by the single ‘Haterz’. This was enough for Ralph magazine, to declare NoKTuRNL to be one of the top 100 Australian / NZ bands of all time.
Despite all the hype and the success of these releases NoKTuRNL struggled to find consensus with FMR about the form their debut album should take. After a series of frustrating false starts July 03 saw the release of ‘Time Flies’. It received glowing reviews, including 4 stars in Rolling Stone. However, the relationship with FMR didn’t improve and they parted ways in December 2003.
NoKTuRNL are now with Shock Records. They have re released ‘Time Flies’ with a bonus track and clip; as well as releasing the album ‘Unveiled’. Unveiled, was to be the bands first album, however, FMR rejected it before it was completed. NoKTuRNL have now completed the unfinished material and finally fans can get the record the band intended as it’s debut. It features the best from the bands singles and ep’s released by FMR, five other unreleased tracks from that era, a bonus track, and three clips.
Over the last few years NoKTuRNL have only performed sporadically in Australia, although they did tour Germany three times and perform in Norway and Brasil. In July 2006 and 2007 they performed at the Dreaming Festival in Queensland and in August 2006 they undertook a major tour of the top end of the N.T. Their performances at the Wave Hill Freedom Day Concert and the NT Indigenous Music Awards were filmed and recorded for broadcast on both the ABC and SBS.