Noctorum is a collaboration between guitarist/singer-songwriter Marty Willson-Piper and producer Dare Mason.
Dare and Marty grew up together on the Wirral, near Liverpool, listening to classic sixties Pop singles, Singer-Songwriters, Krautrock, Spacerock, Prog, Art Rock, New Wave, Punk, Funk, Glam Rock, Heavy Rock, Reggae and Soul – probably the reason for their diverse and eclectic sound. Moving to Australia in the early eighties, Marty joined The Church and then in the early nineties All About Eve, while Dare concentrated on becoming an engineer and producer, working at the renowned Townhouse Studios in London, before founding the VIP Lounge studio in Penzance, Cornwall. In the early noughties Dare and Marty formed Noctorum and in 2003 they released their first album on Heyday Records, Sparks Lane. Before their second album, Marty joined The Saints and in 2006 Heyday released Offer The Light. The album was re-released as a digipak in 2010 on Second Motion Records. Their third album Honey Mink Forever was released on Heyday Records in 2011. In 2015 Marty joined Anekdoten. About a year later Dare and Marty began writing for their fourth album The Afterlife which was released on Schoolkids Records in the USA in February 2019 on CD and gatefold vinyl.
As a House Engineer at the world famous Townhouse Studios in London, Dare worked with the likes of Prince, Paul McCartney, Boy George, Tina Turner, Ravi Shankar, Soul II Soul and many others. Becoming a freelance producer/engineer in 1991, he produced albums for The Grid, The Church, Placebo and AC Acoustics, working in London, New York, Sydney and Stockholm, before finally settling in Cornwall and setting up the VIP Lounge in 2001. Nowadays, Dare is mainly known as a mixing engineer, having mixed recordings by Tommy Tokyo (Warners, Norway), Brix Smith (ex The Fall), Cinerama (Cooking Vinyl) as well as many local acts. An accomplished guitarist, singer and dabbler in keyboards, he usually ends up contributing musically to the artists he produces.
Marty Willson-Piper is an English guitarist & singer-songwriter who has been writing and performing with many bands and artists all over the world for the past 40 years. He is best known as a long-time member of the Australian psychedelic rock band The Church. Willson-Piper contributed to all of the Church’s studio releases until 2013 and was a touring member from 1980 to 2013. He joined All About Eve in the ’90s, releasing two studio albums and several live albums and is currently working with Swedish Prog legends Anekdoten. Willson-Piper has maintained a steady solo output since the late-1980s, releasing six solo studio albums and three live solo albums to date and has song co-writes with many artists, including Grace Slick, Aimee Mann, Susannah Hoffs, Linda Perry and many more.
What does Noctorum mean?
Noctorum is the name of a village near to where we grew up.
“The name Noctorum is of Old Irish origin, originally Cnocc Tirim, meaning ‘Dry Hill’. This may be in reference to Bidston Hill, of which Noctorum is situated on its western slope. The name may long pre-date the Norse-Irish settlement in the early 10th century and go back to a Hibernian settlement of the west coast in the Sub-Roman period (early 5th century).”
What is the image on the front cover of The Afterlife?
Marty: I took the photo at NASA in Houston, it’s a strange immortal being hidden behind the visor. One that has lived and died and lives on.
William Buras (NASA): Technically it’s an actual spacesuit from the Mercury/Gemini spaceflight programs (pre Apollo missions) with the gold layered shield down on the helmet for extravehicular activity.