Whitechapel: At The Very Peak

We Will Be Filming At Soundwave.... So Get Ready

“It’s about 4.30am here” What kind of person roped you into doing an interview at this time of morning? An obliging Alex Wade charms us with his modesty on being in one of the fastest growing bands in the US. Although he won’t admit it… Whitechapel; in just seven short years have proven themselves to be the all defining spice in the deathcore movement, with a style uniquely their own and has in turn engulfed fans from all walks. Metal As Fuck caught up with Alex at the stunning time of 4.30am to chat about misconceptions, reticence and gearing up feral moshpits at Soundwave, because frankly, what else do you talk about at 4.30 in the morning?

Whitechapel have been lapping up the success of the last album (self titled Whitechapel, 2012) and a whirlwind of amazing tours which followed in 2012/2013; so what has been keeping the band busy for the kick off of 2014? “Right now we are planning on the release of the new album and then planning on coming over for Soundwave plus trying to line up some tours in the US for spring and summer – so we can be on tour when the new album drops. We’re working on putting together a DVD right now, running a campaign right now on Indie GoGo and we actually just hit our goal TODAY of $35,000US, so we’re pretty excited about that, now that we have hit the goal we can definitely put out the DVD and release it and stuff”. You guys are no longer the newbies, approaching 10 years in the game very soon, so it’s probably a great time to release a Whitechapel DVD “Yeah, we’ve been doing it for seven years now and I feel like now is the time to do a DVD. We have a lot of footage from the past that we want to include and we have a lot of tours that we want to film this year, we will be filming at Soundwave also, so we need some crazy pits Australians! So our entire career will basically be on this DVD, we’re pretty excited to record it all”.

Being that you are coming up on ten years what sort of misconceptions of the industry have been ousted for you in this time? “I guess what people might think about our lives but don’t actually really know. I hear people think that we make a lot of money…. That is so not the case. In my eyes we only really make enough to keep the band running as a business. We aren’t asking for all the riches in the world, as long as we can live comfortably, be able to eat, pay our bills – that’s all we really ask for. Because at the end of the day being able to do this is why we do it, being able to go on tour, play to our fans rather than being in an office from 9 – 5 is definitely a kick back”.

You guys are noted as the front runners of contemporary music – how do you feel about this statement? “Well, definitely very grateful for it, I don’t know if I could actually say that I agree. We work really hard, we’re all from Tennessee, we are humble guys and love that we are able to write music and be career musicians and play to our fans – that’s all that matters to us”.  

There would no doubt be some pressures and challenges that arise in your work “Yeah especially in the music industry there is too many opinions; they are like assholes, everyone has got one, whether that’s opinions from people talking crap about the band or when you’re trying to make a decision within the band and there are so many opinions floating about but then again it is all part of it as you expand your career in a band you learn how to handle those situations”.

The beauty of Whitechapel that I find is that is has joined fans from both sides of the fence; both heavy metal and hardcore – your formula is working “Yeah, we don’t necessarily set out to right say; a death metal song with tinges of hardcore in it, we don’t plan for our sound to come out like that but I guess just after all the influences we’ve had over the years and having members with such a diverse range of influences themselves you know like Tim Savage likes a lot of progressive metal like Opeth or Dream Theater. Zack likes a lot of European metal like At The Gates, Soilwork, more of just that darker tone. I am more mainstream; Messhugah, Slipknot, Deftones. Each guitarist has a lot of influences and each member has planted a sound within the music of the band”.

So what is it that you think about the music of Whitechapel that fans latch on to the most? “I would say, really just the darkness of the music. I’ve always kind of thought it has been the driving key to our music. Phil, weirdly has never been one to write about happy things [Laughs] everything he likes is very dark and angry, and there is definitely a certain market for that style of music – a lot of people they don’t want to listen to stuff that sounds happy, they want to release an aggression and that’s where our market is”. A lot of emphasis goes into the arrangement of the lyrics (among other complex elements I’m sure) how important is this to the overall sound of Whitechapel? “I think it is really important. Phil has a certain way he likes to write lyrics – a lot of vocalists will just be inspired by something and sit and write lyrics and have them all in a book to incorporate into a song down the road but Phil doesn’t really like doing that because a lot of parts change when we’re writing so it’s a bit messy, so we generally like to finish a song completely before we hand it over rather than pre-writing the lyrics, his lyrics are like another instrument – when he’s writing, he is listening to the music and its rather a complex process”.

Taking time off from writing; Australia is extremely excited for Soundwave, excited to see Whitechapel! “Yeah well we haven’t been to Australia since we put the self titled out so there will definitely be some new songs for the Aussies!”. Every Australian is very much looking forward to hearing tracks from the self titled album *rubs hands together* “We remember the last time we were in Australia, 2010 I think, it was amazing, we love the beaches, hung out with some Kangaroos. Plus it’s really cold here so we’re excited to see some better weather, we’re definitely ready”.