In a few days, thrashers Warbringer will release their newest album called Woe To The Vanquished. DutchMetalManiac’s Don Anelli already reviewed it here and below you can read his interview with vocalist John Kevill.
Well, first off, let’s talk about the new album. Are you pleased with the reactions so far?
It isn’t out yet but so far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive! We have also had a chance to release three singles and play the whole side A live and it’s gone over great. We’re really excited to see responses to the whole record from the general public.
Do you have a favorite track off the album? What makes it special for you?
The last song, the epic When the Guns Fell Silent definitely. It is an 11-minute song and represents the most ambitious piece we’ve written so far. It’s heavy, but somber and sad too. A real milestone for the band, I feel. I got very into the sadness and time period around the First World War as an area of study and the song incorporates some literature from that time period directly. I’m very proud of this one.
This was recorded at West Valley Studios. Why did you decide it was right to record there?
It is located near us, we learned of it and met with producer Mike Plotnikoff, who was really nice and easy to work with from the get-go, and the location was excellent and very local to us. Slam-dunk.
Why did you decide to work with producer Mike Plottnikoff? Did he bring out anything special to the material while you were recording?
From first meeting onward Mike has been just a great guy. Apart from his skilled ear and talent for producing, he sees music in a very “visual” way much like myself. We loved working with Mike, and am very pleased with the sound.
Since the last album, the band basically folded only to get revived a few years later. Is this a much more stable version of the band than before?
Yes, I think so. I hope we find the success and support from the metal community needed to do this at a higher and more stable level, but we certainly have a dedicated band. We have a full year of gigs and are ready to work hard to crush it everywhere worldwide.
This is your first album on Napalm Records. How did you finally settle on the label to distribute your work?
Napalm Records supported and believed in us after the band practically exploded, strictly on how they felt it is a quality act. So far they’ve done a great job supporting the band and we are looking forward the rest of the campaign here on Woe to the Vanquished with Napalm Records!
Being one of the original acts of the revival thrash scene, are you proud of your impact on the scene as a whole?
Yes, I think so. I believe our work, along with certain others, has raised the bar for the new era of thrash metal. It is not a revival but rather a continuation of what thrash metal originally represented. In our case, we do this by being pretty goddamn extreme.
The album continues your recent trend of exploring more progressive elements in traditional thrash. Has this been a conscious effort from the band the last few albums?
Yes, we think thrash is not a narrow genre but rather a wide one. We aim to show this on our own records by presenting music that goes from extremely brutal and fast to dark and melodic and back again. I think that having both sides makes us a more interesting and unique band ultimately.
This displays a lot of dedication to ancient Roman history. Was there any significance to choosing that as a lyrical topic? Are there any special reference points found that were relatable to your writing?
There’s some of that in the title track and the cover, and 2 songs are about the First World War. But honestly these “settings” are more backdrops to universal human themes, the way I am trying to approach it. I have studied a lot towards being a professor lately and I find so many things in the cycle of human tragedy great subject material for metal and try to bring them to life as much as I can.
Do you have any plans to promote the album as far as tours or videos?
Yes, we have released two videos for Silhouettes and Remain Violent, and will be on tour all 2017. In Europe in April and July, keep an eye out!
So, we’ll end this on a fun note. What’s your all-time favorite city to play live and why?
That’s a tough one! I would say my 2 days in Athens has been perhaps my favorite ever day and show. But it depends, each concert is different and it is really the fans each night which make it.
Is there anything you want to say to DutchMetalManiac’s readers?
Thanks for reading so much and I hope to see you guys at a concert! Check out the new Warbringer record Woe to the Vanquished and annihilate your immediate surroundings. Keep it metal.