Norma Jean get ready to Krank it Up

We were super amped to hear that Norma Jean would be playing Krank’d Up this year. In anticipation we have been giving the new album Polar Similar a spin in the office – IT IS SPECTACULAR!

First song The Planet is such a superb introduction to the album, with the first 1:06 minutes purely instrumental – really just exquisite. This album is not just a musical experience…it takes you on a journey. You really have to get your hands on this baby when it drops on 9 September.

Recording Studios had a chat to vocalist Cory Brandan to chat about the album and of course their upcoming visit to South Africa.

He gave us some intel on the creation of the album. Polar Similar was recorded at Pachyderm Studios. The album is a collection of complex items that all fell seamlessly into place to make perfect sense. The band was very much involved in the whole process of the making of Polar Similar.

On asked what the most personal song is on the album for him, he reckons he can’t choose just one, they are all pretty personal in different ways.
He has never been able to answer those questions like ‘name your ten favourite songs’ or ‘name your ten favourite bands’.

The Artwork

Norma Jean albums always have pretty cool artwork and Polar Similar is no exception. Cory was actually the one who found the imagery used (birds and rats). The layout was done by Donny Phillips.


Getting onto Krank’d Up

Norma Jean will be sharing the stage with Periphery. They have actually toured together before and Cory told me a great little nugget of a tale of the first time they did – many years ago.

They arrived at a small venue with a checkered floor (that made it look like it was a Diner).
For two bands who already then had a reputation and a great fanbase following, to walk in and think that they were playing a Diner, it really humbled both bands right there immediately.

So we ended up hitting it off really well that day, laughing about it and stuff. A funny weird first time meeting those guys

First time to our part of the world for all the guys in the band

None of them have ever been to South Africa. Norma Jean have always wanted to come here, but the expenses involved in getting five people over here, then renting gear etc. Added to that…domestic flights and travel, hotels….it all adds up.

Pretty much you just end up not making anything, even losing money, which is usually what it looked like was going to happen. So it was really hard for the band to get over here.

But the promotors at Turning Tricks, they worked their butts off to make it happen and make it work out for everybody. So if it wasn’t for them we still wouldn’t be coming over, for sure


Ah yes we do love that Duncan and Wayne – those guys rock!

Their expectations about how South Africa will be…the country and the fans?

They don’t have any expectations at all, but they have been getting requests to come and play here for years and years.

So I expect all those people that have been requesting us to show up, and hopefully they know about the show and come out and sing along and stuff

The music video for ‘Sword In Mouth, Fire Eyes features a lovable (I think) land-exploring shark. I asked how keen the guys are on sharks in real life, and if they’ll be doing some Shark Cage Diving while in South Africa?

They have actually been invited by a Shark Conservation Group off the Southern coast of Florida. They haven’t been that far down the coast since the invite though, to take advantage of the offer.



We love sharks! I would love to do that kind of thing – it would be amazing

You really should do it while in here in Saffaland boys – we are the leaders in our field! 🙂


Listen to the final clip of our interview where I ask Cory to sing a little snippet for us


Interview by The Original CC