Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Woe Interview

1. Can you update us with what is going on with Woe these days>

A lot. With the new album coming out, a ton of time is being spent preparing for live shows and doing general promotion stuff. We took the summer off so it's good to get back into the swing of things.

2. How would you describe the musical sound and lyrical content of the new album?

The new album is somewhat difficult to describe. Serious, melodic black metal. Heavy Finnish influence. Mid-paced. Lyrically it's dark, introspective, hopeless.

3. What is the meaning behind the band's name?

Well... I mean... The band is called Woe. It kind of speaks for itself to me.

4. I have read that you have written songs on the earlier albums under the influence of absinte, did you use that drink to write any of the songs on the new aldum?

I really only did that for the very first demo. The only chemical that really came into play with this album was alcohol and even that didn't really contribute much. It has a lot more to do with our live shows. :-)

5. The new album is coming out on Candlelight Records, what are you hoping for from the promotion of that label and what is your opinion on the elitist black metallers that will probably complain that you singed to a weel known label that probably wont give the new album a chance even though it is still very dark and depressive?

I'm hoping that Candlelight gets it to people who will appreciate it. Their name and their reach doesn't guarantee that anyone will like it or listen to it but at least I know that there are people and processes working to make it available. As for the crowd of nay-sayers... fuck 'em! Without Candlelight's help, there would not have been a second Woe album cause I didn't have the means to fund more recording. Candlelight encourages me to do what I want... For an artist, it's great. Anyone who dismisses something because of the label that released it can go elsewhere.

6. Have you ever thought of hiring other musicians to do live shows or do you plan on keeping Woe as a studio project?

Woe has been playing live for nearly two years now. This album was recorded by a full band.

7. How has your music been recieved worldwide by black metal fans?

The response has been strong, even in most of the black metal underground. I've been surprised by it. It's too melodic for some people, too extreme for others. I think that the new one will be even more polarizing because of how much the melodic elements were accented... But then, it's also a lot more intense. I don't think anyone who liked the first one will dislike this one.

8. Are there any current side projects if so, who are they and what kind of music do they play?

The full Woe lineup is in another band called The Green Evening Requiem. Our style is hard to describe but it's a blackened almost-folkish metal. I play guitar, Woe's bassist also plays guitar and sings, and Woe's other guitarist plays bass. Evan, our drummer, still does drums. I also drum and do vocals for a grindcore band called Unrest that sounds a lot like a more death metal Nasum and I drum for American black metal sweethearts Krieg.

9. How would you describe your musical progress over the years and what direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?

Musical progress over the years has followed my mood. I'm a bit less angry at the world now, more frustrated with it, so the music reflects a lot of inner turmoil instead of outward aggression. Because Woe has more of a musical identity now, I'm trying to develop my own writing style instead of borrowing so heavily from the black metal classics. They still have a place but I want to express myself, not rewrite old albums forever. In the future... darker. Heavier. Faster. More intense.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your musical style and do you have any influences outside of black metal, also what are you listening to nowadays?

I go through phases where I'm very into black metal and phases where I'm not. Right now is one where I'm not. My playlist right now is Klimt 1918, Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, Bolt Thrower, Woods of Ypres, a lot of bands who I'm recording or working with, Deftones... Nothing really "grim" or underground. I'll be back to black metal soon, I can feel it coming on...

11. What role did Satanism or Occultism play on the earlier material, and what made you decide not to use this element on the newer music?

Satanism played a primary role in the early stuff when I didn't have much to say or, better yet, didn't know how to express myself. As I got more comfortable opening up on paper, the focus changed a bit. It's still a heavy influence on my world view and that comes out through Woe's lyrics if you look for it but it's quiet, subtle... Below the surface. I've chilled out a lot. I'm much more interested in myself than other people and what they believe so it makes sense that the music follows this.

12. What are some of your interests outside of music?

I'm a busy guy. I have all the bands, I run a small studio and do work with bands, plus web development (I built phillymetal.com, among others), I work full-time doing server/network shit, and I have a girlfriend and an apartment and cats!

13. Any final words or thoughts that you want to say before we close this interview?


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