Thursday, April 10, 2014
WHITECHAPEL is a band whose climb to their level of success was legitimate. Hard-working, solid songs with excellent musicianship and a lyrical message that the masses can understand has built them a solid career. With their newest offering (OUR ENDLESS WAR) dropping on April 29th, guitarist ALEX WADE took a few moments to chat….here we go.
Q: How are you?
A: Hey man, doin good! How are you?
Q: Good! Jon Freeman set up this interview today, do you have some time to talk?
A: Yeah, I’m ready to go!
Q: You’re a busy man today I take it?
A: Yeah! We got a full day of press set up!
Q: How is life in Tennessee?
A: Good! We’ve had a quite a bit of time off right now. The last tour we did was with GWAR last November. It’ll be about five months between shows so I’m ready to get out there and play some.
Q: What do you do in your down time?
A: Just hang around the house! We’re always writing and stuff like that. I’ve got this little studio set up in here so I’m always out here recording ideas. Whenever it warms up I like to fish a lot.
Q: What do you fish for?
A: Bass and Catfish mostly, that’s pretty much all that’s around here.
Q: Are you the Chef that cooks it as well?
A: (laughs) No No! I tried cooking it one time. But the lake the we fish out of is pretty dirty so it didn’t turn out tasting too well. (laughs)
Q: So, in the down time you do a lot of the writing, is that the story for the whole writing process within the band?
A: Pretty much! Me, Ben [Savage - guitars] and Zach [Householder - guitars] all have little recording setups so we can all track things individually. Usually we will convene at one place, normally my place, and we’ll all put together the ideas we came up with individually. Sometimes a person will write a whole song and we’ll use it and sometimes we’ll take riffs from each person and create the song.
Q: Once you’ve done that do you then bring in everybody else or do you present it to them on tape? How does that work?
A: Usually with the ideas we use programmed drums just to write to show everybody rough structures. Then we’ll share the idea to our drummer [Ben Harclerode] and he’ll usually change up the programmed drums just to put down his ideas before we actually record the real thing. Sometimes Phil [Bozeman - vocals] will listen to the song and if he needs a bridge or something somewhere to put some lyrics, he’ll have some constructive criticisms for the song structures too.
Q: Is it a smooth process, is there a dictator in the writing process, or is it pretty open forum?
A: It’s pretty open forum. Everybody has their own input on it; it’s a democracy I guess as everybody has their vote and opinion on it. It’s not like one or two people doing everything. I think that’s what gives our albums the variety that they have.
Q: The band is not like America as Whitechapel is actually a democracy?
A: Yeah! (laughs) Definitely!
Q: Sonically, Our Endless War sounds more organic to me, more natural.
A: I feel as we get older, we mature all around musically, lyrically, and even sonically like you said. I still like the mixes that we have now, but we don’t sound like an older band, but more mature that knows what they’re doing whereas with The Somatic Defilement that’s just real punchy and a bunch of low end with just chuggy riffs with no song structure. You can definitely tell now, with Our Endless War, that we’ve learned a thing or two along the way and applied it.
Q: When you guys first came about, there were a lot of bands in that genre, to what do you attribute your success and sustain at that level?
A: A lot of bands have a lot of inner turmoil and stuff like that and the don’t get along or there’s one member that thinks they’re better than everyone else then everyone else gets mad at that member. Thankfully we’ve never had that and we’re not just band members and business partners. We’re also friends at the end of the day so I attribute our keeping it together and we all have the same vision and same drive of what we want for the band and I feel that it helps keeping the machine moving. Apart from our influences, we just want to make music that’s not only heavy, but interesting. We like writing music that evokes emotion.
Q: As a guitar player, where’s your key influences come from?
A: All over really! One of my favorite guitarists is Stephen Carpenter (DEFTONES). They’re a band that has a heavy use of layering and that’s a big factor in why we use a lot of layering. MESHUGGAH! They’re a very progressive band, definitely not Death Metal by any means. They use a lot of layering as well.
Q: If you could be in any other band today, who would it be?
Q: When do you get back on the road?
A: April 16 is our first show back! We’re doing a 10-date run with CARNIFEX, WITHIN THE RUINS, and CRUEL HANDS. We’ve had some time off so I’m ready to get back out there and play some shows. Then we have a Co-Headliner with DEVILDRIVER that will go all over the US.
Q: I appreciate the time today and playing 20 questions today!
A: Awesome man!