As for the band’s timeline, Northlake is still in its infancy. Formed just 10 months ago in the midst of the pandemic, Northlake is now releasing their third single “Capo” with a brand new video.
An alternative rock band with a lot of pop sensibility, Northlake was born after the breakup of Burning Bridges, a metal band bassist Devlin Manning and guitarist Dylan Ackelbein began in their mid-teens.
“It was a four-piece band with about 20 members,” Manning laughs. “It was more of a pet project. With this one, we take it much more seriously. Like, that’s what we want our careers to be. I want to be 80, plugged in to oxygen, ride in front of 80,000 people in the stadium, you know? I want to do this for the rest of my life.
Going from the metal band to alternative rock was a trajectory Burning Bridges took before shutting it down, but the real change came when Manning and Ackelbein found singer Austin Deloach in a small studio in Fort Worth.
“He didn’t even work there,” Manning says. “He just hung out at the studio and ended up singing like a few harmonies and one of our tracks. We had her Instagram and we haven’t spoken to her for two and a half years. Then the pandemic happened, and I think we were all sort of done with this project by then.
“After, like, another failed audition, I see Austin singing a song by Matt Maeson [on Instagram], and I immediately sent it to Dylan at five in the morning, and I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ I didn’t recognize him from the studio.
Unknown to those who would later become members of his group, Deloach was in a period of real crisis in his life and almost missed his opportunity to be a part of the group because he simply did not have enough money to. answer the call to tell him where he was.
“I was homeless at the time and lived in my car,” says Deloach. “I didn’t have enough money back then to pay my… phone bill. So I couldn’t talk to anyone, basically. I don’t remember how I reconnected with the guys, but I did. I started coming to practice and a month later I informed Devlin of what was going on.
“We had no idea he lived in his car,” Manning interjected. “I said, ‘No, you’re not. Come here.'”
The two have lived together ever since. Being part of a group of old friends and new roommates was a welcome change of pace from the revolving door of teammates Manning and Ackelbein had seen during their time with Burning Bridges.
“It makes things easier, but I also think it makes it harder sometimes,” Ackelbein says. “I think it makes the music better, but it makes some things difficult. Not only do we have to balance a professional relationship, but it is also a personal relationship. The cool thing about being good enough friends is that we understand that we can be jerks to each other every time we write a song because we’re just trying to do the best job we can.
“I want to be 80, be on oxygen, ride in front of 80,000 people in the stadium, you know? I want to do this for the rest of my life.” – Devlin Manning
The band’s new song “Capo” is about inner turmoil, told from the perspective of someone who feels lost and is desperately trying to find inner peace through bad relationships and drug addiction without ever truly understanding who they are. The song title was once just a placeholder for an untitled song – named so because it’s the only Northlake song in which Manning uses a guitar capo, a clamp that is placed on the neck of the guitar.
“When I write songs, I never really know what I’m writing about when I write them, but when it’s done, I can kind of see what I’m talking about,” Deloach says. “I look at these grudges that I hold onto, and sort of overcome them and deal with them in a healthy way. This one talks a lot about me living in this car, smoking two packs of cigarettes and panicking about not knowing where to eat. It’s definitely about my inner demons and fighting against myself.
The group describes the new video for the song as very “fuzzy area-y “with its hidden messages and double meanings that complement Deloach’s words about facing himself as his own worst enemy.
From the ashes of the old something new is born. For Manning and Ackelbein, it was a new group emerging from a group that had crashed and burned. For Deloach, it was the new life he had struggled to find.
“It’s definitely like season two of my life,” Deloach says. “I was waiting to be able to express myself. I feel like I’m not really focused on becoming something anymore. It’s more just finding myself through the music, being able to focus on all the music knowing that I’m really going somewhere, and I don’t have to force it on people. People sort of go there. It’s honestly relaxing and terrifying.
Watch the premiere of “Capo” below: