Chicago-based gents Janus are looking to build on the momentum of their last album, ‘Red Right Return,’ with another set of atmospheric hard rock in ‘Nox Aeris,’ due out March 27.

The album’s lead single, ‘Stains,’ is already heating up the Active Rock radio chart, carrying a haunting message of what can happen when one neglects to follow his or her heart and keep a steady moral compass.

While on tour with Chevelle and Middle Class Rutt, Janus main man David Scotney was kind enough to check in with Loudwire to talk about the complex concept behind 'Nox Aeris,' the story of 'Stains' and why he feels the musical chemistry between Janus’ players is just right.

You’re on tour with Chevelle and Middle Class Rut right now. How’s it going?

It’s been great! The crowds are great; a lot of the shows have sold old out. We‘ve been playing a lot of the new stuff off the record, and so far, it’s getting good crowd reaction.

You also toured with Chevelle extensively during your last album cycle. What makes Chevelle good tour mates for Janus?

We’ve known those guys for years, and we’re friends with them. We also both share a similar heavy sound, and that seems to be a good overlap there, as far as the whole show as a package. We had known their bass player from other bands he was in around Chicago, so our paths crossed, and when we started climbing up the charts with 'Red Right Returns,' we started talking again, and it seemed to make sense to tour together.

Let’s talk about your new album, ‘Nox Aeris,’ which is out March 27. How would you say this album differs from 'Red Right Return'?

I think it’s a much darker, heavier record. I think it’s got a lot of good positive messages in it, but the perspective, I think, is from a very, very different place from ‘Red Right Return.’ It’s funny, I think on first listen, the core of the new record feels darker and not necessarily more positive, but I think it’s just positive from a darker perspective. The darkness came from experimenting with sounds and being on the road and getting back into the writing process. It was a challenge and different this time around, because we had a deadline of sorts and pressure on us to write, and having that extra pressure was a challenge, and it definitely came out in the writing.

The concept behind ‘Nox Aeris’ comes from a time in the 14th Century when the plague was killing off the European population. That’s pretty heavy! Will you please explain?

Sure! It all started with photo Mike [Tyranski, guitarist] had around of plague doctor’s mask, and outside of it being a cool graphic, we stumbled upon this man-made myth around that time of that period where people believed that the air at night in certain parts of the city would give you the plague. They would wear these masks at night, thinking it would protect them. It seemed like cool metaphor to fit the darker undertones in record.

Let’s talk about the new single, ‘Stains.’ What’s the story behind the song?

We’ve written a handful of tunes on this theme, and it’s really just about being mindful about the choices you make and staying true to yourself so you can stay on the right path. We all make mistakes, but if you keep that moral compass, you will always stay on the right track.

What’s your favorite thing about being in Janus and, in particular, making music with everyone in the band?

I think every band has their chemistry and way of working, and our career hadn’t really come together until this current lineup got together and we made ‘Red Right Return.’ We have come a long way, and we know where our boundaries are and when and when not to push buttons. I think everyone brings something unique to the table.

What’s next for Janus?

We have some regional dates in the Midwest around the CD release, and we also have a three-week run with Cavo after that and some festival dates. Rocklahoma is a big one we’re excited about. Also, I'd like to remind fans to keep in touch on Facebook, because we’re going to be releasing come clips of our new songs on the new record prior to the release, so fans can get taste of what’s to come.

Listen to the New Janus Single 'Stains'