Warbringer - 11/10/2011

WARBRINGER is an American thrash metal band. The band was formed in 2004 and signed with Century Media Records after the record label saw them perform at a local show in LA. WARBRINGER did not invent their own vein of metal. They were preceded by great acts such as Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Anthrax and Metallica – but over the course of their previous two albums, they have managed to construct songs that are equal in terms of ferocity and finesse, and in doing so, they have created a sound that is distinctly their own. With the release of ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’, WARBRINGER are poised to take their rightful place at the table alongside the big boys.

 

The music on ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’ was created in the studio but was born from years of relentless touring. True road warriors, the members of WARBRINGER have lived their lives in a van together for months on end, playing an average of 300 shows a year since the release of their debut album, ‘War Without End’, in 2008. In the process they have built an organic, diehard fanbase, sharing the stage with such metal stalwarts as Exodus, Nile, Suicide Silence, Megadeth, Napalm Death, Suffocation, All Shall Perish, Hatebreed, Testament, Obituary, Overkill, Halford, Kreator and Nevermore.

 

Once ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’ hits the streets, the band will be back doing what they do best – playing live. Their blistering attack is a sight to behold, and with three albums’ worth of material to choose from, the band is prepared to take the step from being a support band to becoming a headliner in their own right. Peers take note, heroes check your rear-views, because that van you see coming up behind you just might be the future of metal.

 

 

So, in order to find out all there is to know about Warbringer’s latest album we tracked down John Laux (guitars) to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

 

First of all, how are you doing? Congratulations on your new album ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’ which will be released soon, of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it.
 

John: Thanks Eugene! This is John Laux, axe slinger from Warbringer. Great questions, it was a pleasure to work on them!

 

A couple of years ago we talked about your previous album ‘Waking Into Nightmares’, can you give us a little update of what’s been happening since that release?

 

We toured the living hell out of that record and our bodies. Nearly 300 gigs a year for 2 years! We played with some great bands, including Kreator, Exodus, Skeletonwitch, Nevermore, Obituary, Megadeth, and Evile.  By the end of the touring cycle we were beat. We took a big break from the road to recharge our batteries and to spend half a year working on the new record. This was the most time we have ever had to work on a record. We could finally do some pre-production and give the songs time to grow and develop naturally. Now the record is ready to be released and we are very excited to hit the road this fall and on to 2012!

 

Which approach did you choose to create ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’, did you go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something altogether different?

 

John: We are constantly trying to refine our approach. Aggression and energy has always been a dominate characteristic of our music. For us, it is very important to give every song a different character – lyrics, riffs, themes, and dynamics. We are all influenced by talented NWOBHM, Death, Black, Grind, and Hardcore Punk bands as much as our favorite Thrash bands. The influences may be subtle, but I think those differences keep our music engaging and interesting, especially when we are performing for a live audience. If we don’t feel satisfied creatively by our music, how would we expect anyone else to enjoy it.

 

What was the songwriting process like for ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’? For instance, does someone come in with just a riff, or with complete songs?

 

John: Ultimately we all work together. Since ‘Waking’ Adam and I have split the riff writing process. Usually we work out a few riffs in our own time. Once we have a skeleton song structure, we start fleshing out the song with the rest of the band. We argue frequently, however in the end everyone’s voice is heard and this music belongs to everyone in the band. I think that is very important. If it’s a good idea, it’s worth fighting for. If you can’t really defend its purpose, why use it? We all have the same goals. Personally I find writing music with the band to be the most satisfying aspect of playing together in the first place.

 

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

John: We wanted to step up to the plate and blow our last record out of the water. We understand the biggest criticism of the New Wave of Thrash movement is that nothing original is being done. We believe that in a live atmosphere, thrash is the purest and most aggressive form of music created by man. There is plenty of life and room for experimentation. ‘Waking into Nightmares’ was a very important release for us. We showed many heavy-handed critics that we could write about more interesting subjects than just the horrors of war and that musically we had a wide sonic range of influences to exploit and develop in our own personal way. With ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’ you have more of the same creative development mixed in with the raw sound people expect from us. For example, when I started writing “Demonic Ecstasy” my goal was create a menacing wall of sludge riff style that Isis and Cult of Luna are known for. I doubt very many people will catch it, it’s not very technical, but It feels different and adds a lot of depth and character to the new record.  

 

After the release of your previous album ‘Waking into Nightmares’, a number of line-up changes took place. Did this have an influence on the new songs? 

 

John: Totally, touring is hard, physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. We had parted ways with drummer Nic Ritter and bassist Ben Bennett due to circumstantial disagreements. We are all still friends and the separations were mutual.  My brother Andy Laux was asked to rejoin on bass and we asked Carlos Cruz from Hexen to drum on our new record. Originally we only planned on using Carlos as a studio musician, however after a few rehearsals it was obvious we had a great chemistry with the new line-up. We were all focused on the same goals and got along very well. Carlos is also a very talented musician. I would like to point out that he wrote “Echoes From The Void”. We were really excited to find out he could play guitar so well! Like any good drummer, he had a lot to say from the get-go and Carlos and Andy’s presence influenced the new record as heavily as anyone else in the band.

 

Could you describe the implications of the title ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

John: The concept behind the lyrics and themes for 'Worlds Torn Asunder' is the decline of our existing world at the hands of the human race. The imagery is of our world literally being torn apart. The astral Atlas-like presence is not supporting the world, instead he is depicted draining the earth of life and essence. This was a tricky concept because we wanted the cover to look unique, tasteful, and original.

Generally speaking our philosophical and personal outlooks on mankind are bleak. I think anyone’s opinions could be after the never-ending list of atrocities ‘civilized’ men continue to inflict on each other.

 

Can you tell me a little more about the lyrics, did anything in particular inspire you? Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

John: At this point it is very important to the band and to Kevill, the author of the lyrics, to find new topics for every track. We quickly realized after ‘War Without End’ that it was a bad idea to continue writing songs with similar motifs and imagery.  It was just another step in the band’s evolution.  Now we draw our lyrics from a number of personal experiences, science and literature. We push the subject matter over the top so the themes fit the feel of the nature of the music.

 

 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?

 

John: On the record they are very important. A band’s message means everything. Most non-musicians always focus heavily on the vocals. I am proud to work with Kevill because for a ‘scream and shouter’ his vocals are very clear and easy to understand. He enunciates well and has a venomous and commanding voice. Live, it’s not so important to me. I think metal for many people is a form of escapism from their ordinary and possibly stressful lives. We are not singing about heart break; people come to our shows to get parted with reality, get lost in the music, and let loose in a mosh pit. While it’s true we do not attempt to pinpoint major social or political events, there is a very serious, relevant, and honest nature to our lyrics. 


Can you give us a little background information on the songs, is there a story behind them?

 

John: I had the idea for ‘Shattered Like Glass’ after I experienced a repetitive strain injury. The extreme themes echo how fragile the human body is and our own fears of death.  “Future Ages Gone” came from an article Kevill read on the human singularity theory. It’s a very real and well-discussed topic on evidence that the exponential growth of technology is poised to surpass mankind.  If you purchase the record you’ll notice in the booklet that every song has a caption written by Kevill describing the concepts behind the lyrics.

 

How did the recording process proceed, did you work differently this time than you did with your previous works? How much time did you spend in the studio?

 

John: I want to point out that we wrote ‘Waking’ in 2 months and recorded it rushed in a studio in less than 12 days! This was very stressful and it was hard to prepare and execute because we were sandwiched between tours! I mentioned earlier that this time through we took a breather from each other. Refocused, we jump started the process with a clear head at the beginning of 2011. We spent 6 months working on the songs. We recorded the sessions and would play them back a few times. We made suggestions, alterations, and repeated the process until we were all satisfied with the final result. We spent an entire month in the studio. I thought we were spending too much money and time, but we wanted a bigger, professional record and ended up feeling just as stressed and strapped for time as before. Attempting to perfect anything is very difficult if you plan on finishing in your lifetime.

 

The album was produced by Steve Evetts, can you tell us about working with him?

 

John: Yes, we made a conscious decision to think outside of the box and look for someone with real experience producing organic modern records that don’t feel overproduced and unnatural. We really aren’t happy with many modern metal records because every drum hit is triggered, sampled, and adjusted. Every guitar is reamped and even second tweaked to mechanical perfection. Steve Evetts (Sepultura, The Dillinger Escape Plan) has had decades of experience with anything from traditional metal bands to hardcore and pop punk bands.  After we talked to him a few times, we knew we had the same attitudes and that he would be perfect for the job. I think it was a wise choice to work with someone many people would never expect us to work with. We are very proud of the results.

 

In which elements/songs on the new album can one clearly hear Steve’s vision and ideas?

 

John: Well, the structures were all in place when we started. Steve’s influence, however , can be heard every second of the entire record. Steve believed in getting the magic all on the original take. What you hear on the record is exactly what we heard tracking and nothing is copy pasted. The drums are completely real and the sound is easily the biggest and best we’ve achieved. He pushed our performances to our breaking points time and time again. There were times he had us playing riffs for hours, once we finished, he would have us double track them. We also had some very unique approaches to vocal effects. Many of the delays and reverbs you hear on the vocals came from Steve running Kevill’s signal into guitar pedals, at times, even through my guitar amp!

 

 

What do you think are the main differences between your debut album ‘War Without End’ and the new one?

 

John: After 4 years of heavy and consistent touring we have all aged and developed as musicians. After working with so many great touring bands we have also developed a deeper understanding of our craft and consciousness of our goals. Every time we hit the studio, we took a different approach to avoid necessary mistakes that had to be made in the first place. We wrote many of the songs from ‘War Without End’ when we were in high school! I am not crazy about the production of that record and even our performances. However I wouldn’t change a thing. It was a huge stepping stone for the band.

 

With several albums under your belt, how far has Warbringer surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?

 

John: The experiences and connections made on the road. The honor to have opened for so many great bands we grew up with in our stereos, and the satisfaction of recording and releasing our music and our vision for our fans to enjoy!

 

Which song is your favorite one to play live? And which song do you find the most challenging one to play live?

 

John: “Living in a Whirlwind” is my favorite. Strangely enough it was the only true collaboration between Kevill and myself from the second record. We were very stressed out with each other from the road, and I think many of the tensions played out positively whilst writing the song. Live, it’s got truck loads of energy and it’s loaded with hooks and interesting transitions. It always gets a crowd moshing and I think it’s an ultimate example of a high adrenaline Warbringer song.

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?

 

John: Touring in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore was unreal. I couldn’t believe I got to travel so far from the western world and find die-hard fans ready to have a great time at a metal concert! There have been a few low points. At this point there are 4 original members in the band. We had to learn how to chill-out and give each other personal space on the road. When you’re trapped in a van for 3 months, it can be difficult. The lowest point was watching my extended family get into a fight and screw up an important tour. We got over it. It happens, and I have seen much worse. We were professional enough never to carry any of it onto the stage.

 

Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:

 

Thrash: Pure Heavy Fucking Metal

Underground : Dostoevsky (Notes from the underground)

Internet : The end and future of mankind

Religion : No Thanks.

Politics: See Psychopathy: A mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness.

The Netherlands : The Redlight District :- The only place in the world where Illegal drugs and whores are easier to find than a cold beer. Honorable mention: Martin Van Drunen

United States : Stolen land
 

 

What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? What do you think of the overload of bands at the moment and is there anything missing in the scene?

 

John: I think the internet is an interesting phenomenon. On the one hand, It has connected the youth around the world . People from any neck of the globe have access to the same information and I feel like cultural divides have been torn apart. People are connected to the same source of information now. On the other hand, internet piracy has cheapened the value of just about every art form. The transition has been long and painful for the artist and the industry. It’s great that talented bands with “out-of-pocket” budgets can generate grass-roots momentum. There are also less inspired bands that have watered down just about every style possible. It’s important that the NWOTM musicians continue to inspire and competitively push each other forward so that we can leave behind the best records possible -- records than will stand the test of time.

 

Which goals did you have when the band started out and how do those goals stand now?

 

John: The goals are the same. We wanted to push the band as far as it would go. We never expected to create a full-time every day job out of the band. At this point I believe anything is possible. We are still moving up the ranks. We will continue touring, developing the band, and writing Heavy Fucking Metal for our fans to enjoy.

 

What does the future hold for Warbringer?

 

John: Plenty of tours! We are days away from our first North American tour. It feels like ages since we’ve toured the US as our last was supporting Nevermore in Nov. 2010. This time we go out on our first headlining tour, with Lazarus AD, Landmine Marathon and Diamond Plate opening. A week later we head back to Europe doing some of our own shows until we support Arch Enemy; so we’ll see you in Amsterdam. We are still booking and it’s a possibility we may play another gig in Holland. Our Facebook is a great place to connect personally with the band and keep track of any future tours and breaking news!

 

Anything left to say to our readers, here is your chance?

 

John: Thank you to all of our fans for their support! You guys rule, STAY HEAVY!


www.facebook.com/warbringermusic

www.warbringermusic.com

  

 

Current members :

John Kevill - Vocals (2004–present)

Adam Carroll - Guitar (2004–present)

John Laux - Guitar (2004–present)

Carlos Cruz - Drums (2011–present)

Andy Laux - Bass (2004–2008, 2009–present)

 

Former members :

Nic Ritter - drums (2008–2011)[7]

Ryan Bates - drums (2004–2008)

Ben Bennet - Bass (2008–2009)

 

Studio albums :

2008 - War Without End

2009 - Waking into Nightmares

2011 -  Worlds Torn Asunder

 

EP’s :

2006 - One By One, the Wicked Fall