Nine Shrines are the star studed metalcore band featuring veterans from across the genre, and despite taking five years to release their debut album are more excited than ever to spread their message. Russell Hughes spoke to Andrew Wetzel about their release.

Rushonrock: Ringworm is a song about abuse of power in religious institutions, how did your upbringing equip you to question power in this way?

Andrew Wetzel: I spent my entire childhood and teenage years in church. I think that Chris and I feel particularly strongly about this subject, even though we grew up in very different denominations of the church. He was Catholic and I was part of a non-denominational church.

The thing that I think we really saw and agreed on, was how a lot of people sought to be given meaning by the organization and not the power behind it. That’s really what this song is about. It’s not that we have a problem with religion, faith, or the belief in a higher power.

Rather, what bothers us is when people miss the entire meaning and/or use these institutions for personal gain. Personal gain that often comes at the detriment of others.

R: It was one of the singles from Retribution Therapy, what made you choose that song?

AW: We felt that Ringworm was a good track to lead with because it’s heavy, it sets a good pace, and we really loved how the chorus turned out.

R: The whole of Nine Shrines have been in successful bands before, what about that experience have you brought to this new group

AW: I think the biggest thing we have all been able to bring to this group is a unique appreciation for each other and the opportunities that we have together. Our old bands had their own respective challenges, but there is a very significant level of cohesion between our group that we all agree is unusual. We all really love what we do and we know how to have a good time doing it together.

R: Attack Attack! members have gone on to have great careers with other bands, what do you think it was about Attack Attack! that provided such a steady launching pad for those other projects?

AW: Attack Attack! was a highly polarizing band and because of that, gained a level of notoriety that other bands of that era just couldn’t get. We received a withering amount of criticism, but we also were given exposure in extremely large publications, like the Guardian.

If nothing else, Attack Attack! is a name people know and it doesn’t hurt when fighting for the interest or curiosity of new listeners.

R: Nine Shrines formed in 2014 but only just released your debut album, is it a relief to get your first album out there after nearly five years?

AW: It’s a huge relief. When I met Baylis and Devon back in 2014 to start working on this new project, one of the things we talked about was that we wanted everything to be exactly the way we wanted it before we started pushing out past the point of no return.

I think a lot of artists rush to get out there and they cut corners on their music, personnel, affiliates, and so on. That stuff can really come back to get you in the end and we’re not 19 anymore. That whole trial and error way of doing things is something we wanted to move away from.

Nine Shrines US Tour

R: What’s the next steps for the band and will there be a UK tour coming soon?

AW: The next step for the band is to tour, tour, and tour even more. We are entirely focused on making sure we stay on the road as much as possible. We do not have formal plans for a UK tour yet, but it is certainly a priority for us to make it there as soon as we can.