Sunday, February 22, 2015
Fresh off of a 5-week run with PERIPHERY, San Diego’s own WOVENWAR start a new trek with IN FLAMES and ALL THAT REMAINS in Agoura Hills, CA. Bassist JOSH GILBERT was kind enough to take a few minutes before set time for this conversation.
Q: So, day one of the tour. What’s your set time tonight?
Q: Just you three or is there a local opener?
A: No, just us 3.
Q: Where are you off to tonight after the show?
A: We head to Tucson, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, then to San Diego.
Q: Do you have a day off at home?
A: We do, we get to hang out for a bit, but we have a long drive the next day so we can’t stay super long. It will be nice just to be there.
Q: When’s the last time you were home?
A: 5 weeks ago. Actually, we played there on the last tour. We had a day and a half home. I went home, basically slept, took a shower, then went right back to the bus and came up here to start this tour.
Q: So basically 6 months since the album came out, great album by the way, and obviously different than other things you guys have done in the past and more dynamic musically.
A: Cool! That’s what we went for! We actually didn’t set out to write something as different as we possibly could. But I think we wanted to distance ourselves in any way we could at that point in time and the music that was coming out was just a lot different but retained some of the elements. We wanted to do something that spoke for itself, was separate, but had elements that fans of our old band would like. It’s not like we were writing stuff in the past that we didn’t want to write; we love that music too. I think all of us have always gravitated towards Metal, Rock, or Hard Rock as that’s stuff we grew up loving and play.
Q: But now you have a lot of singing going on and melody.
A: Yeah! That was something we were expanding as much as we would in our prior band. But with a singer that wasn’t able to sing melodically, it limited how we could write songs. It’s not like we could have a song with all singing because it was like, ‘what’s our lead singer gonna do?’ With this band, it’s really liberating to be able to write a song that spoke for itself as a piece of music and was exactly what we wanted and explored everything the song deserves.
Q: How did the writing process work?
A: It was a band effort. We started a couple months after Tim was already on house arrest and got out on bail. It was like, the allegations are true and we’re not going to want to do anything with this band in the future so what will we do with our time? All of us had been musicians and been on the road since we were out of high school. I was in this band a year after I was out of high school. So we just started writing as catharsis because we had nothing else to do but think about this insane situation. So we started on our own and we finally met at Phil’s house (PHIL SGROSSO, guitars), played each other’s demos, started jamming, making refined demos. It was around that time we thought, let’s get someone to sing these songs and we had no idea when we started writing because the songs were all over the map. Some were heavy similar to our old band and stuff that was poppier and stuff and doing whatever we were inspired to do. Once we narrowed it down to Shane (SHANE BLAY from OH, SLEEPER), because Nick (NICK HIPA, guitars) and Shane were friends for like 13/14 years. We knew Shane from his old band and met him through Nick so when Nick suggested it, we thought it would be awesome. We sent him a couple of the demos. We heard some of the ideas, but nothing concrete. So he flew out and we went up to my studio in Burbank, (Echelon Studio) and he stayed with me for a week. I barely knew the guy as we had only met a couple of times and we wrote the first few songs that ended up on the record like All Rise and The Mason. It happened all so quick. The label loved what we were coming up with and it felt right so we kept going with it. He went home then came back a month later and in another month the whole record was done. Everybody had that creative renaissance, the rebirth and we didn’t have to be defined by what we wrote in our pasts. There’s probably three times as many songs written than what made it on the record.
Q: That’s a quick process.
A: Once we showed them to the label and our management, we had to figure out a plan as we wanted to start playing live by Summer 2014. So we had to work quick and find time to set it up, mix, and master it. That’s when we got in touch with Bill (BILL STEVENSON, BLACK FLAG, THE DESCENDENTS) and he loved it. Within a text message conversation he was in. Then we had Colin (COLIN RICHARDSON, SLIPKNOT, MACHINE HEAD) mix it. Then we sat on it for like 3 or 4 months while we tried to figure out the best way to announce it because of the delicate situation. Ultimately that was kind of ruined by Tim. He found out through the grapevine, announced it before we could just out of spite. We had a really cool 2-3 week rollout plan and within the first week he blew it for us.
Q: Is that a strained relationship these days?
A: At this point there really isn’t one. The relationship was defined pretty much right after everything happened. It was pretty much, ‘you’re with me or against me’ kind of thing and there was no middle ground. So we kind of obviously had more perspective on it than what he said in his interviews at the time. When somebody does something that doesn’t only affect you, but more importantly his own family and friends it’s a big grey area, it’s not a black and white matter. Without going into too much detail, we don’t really communicate right now.
Q: You and I can differ on opinion and still get along in life. It doesn’t have to be a certain way or we can’t exist together.
A: That’s the point. At the very bottom of my heart, I hope he finds the rehabilitation that he needs for being in solitude for so many years. He’s going to have to make that decision for himself. So all we can really do is be hopeful!
by THE HARDROCKCORE