Metal band Wars recently released two new tracks from their upcoming album A Hundred Shivers and gave some time to Rushonrock to talk about it.
Rushonrock: You said that releasing A Hundred Shivers in chapters is the perfect compliment to how you write and create. Can you expand on that?
Rob Vickers: Between our debut record, the last EP, and this new ‘era’, I feel like we’ve had a surge of ideas, of different ways to say the things we want to say, different ways to be creative under the banner of the band. The idea of an album ‘campaign’ locks you into one setting for such a long time, and in that time a lot of your ideas for new ways to express what you’re trying to say come and go. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’m not saying that’s wrong – but this slightly different way of releasing music will just hopefully allow us to tap into and unearth those new ideas more frequently, and it means we can just keep putting things out into the world. Which is great for us as creative people and hopefully great for people who like the band as well.
Rushonrock: Are the rest of the chapters finalised or do they keep forming and reforming in your mind?
RV: We have an idea of how this will all play out, a sketch of how we’d like all these songs to go out and then come together; but this approach will give us more freedom and fluidity with making and putting out music. So who knows.
Rushonrock: Are the other chapters going to follow the same musical and thematic lines?
RV: There’s a definite thematic parenthesis around the whole of A Hundred Shivers – but each Chapter will be unique; it will have its own feel, look, and sound to a degree – variations or closer examinations of specific parts of that overall idea. That said, there won’t be a big departure from our musical roots just yet – not to rule that out soon, but for the moment I don’t think we’re done here.
Rushonrock: Only Monsters is a song about our climate of division. Has the political and social landscape reached a point where you felt you couldn’t ignore it and had to write something about it?
RV: Yeah absolutely. Maybe it’s that changing climate, or maybe it’s my mindset, but I feel like these issues are so widespread, so inescapable, they now overlap with a lot of what we were talking about already. Because we are living through a regression in politics, we’re voting against moving forward, and in favour of closing ourselves off, in favour of fear, in some cases in favour of outright hate. And it’s hard to block that out on a day to day basis; it’s difficult to not let that helplessness, when you feel like the difference between right and wrong is right there in front of you and it’s somehow going the other way, rebound inside your head.
Rushonrock: You’ve previously spoken about people seeing the rest of the world through their own personal lense. How do you see the world through yours?
RV: So that was the sort of philosophical idea behind the We Are Islands record. That all our experiences create this lens or viewfinder that we see the world through, that skew one situation or another for us. I’m quite an anxious person in general, I spend a lot of time second guessing my every thought – and I feel like maybe my lens paints the world as a worse or more hostile place than it might be in reality sometimes. It also occasionally reminds me that on the whole people are pretty good, we’re mostly all in this together, and ultimately everything will eventually get better. Hopefully. Ha.
Rushonrock: We Are Islands, After All was released through Spinefarm while A Hundred Shivers is out via A Wolf At Your Door. Can you talk us through the reasons behind that change?
RV: I think there’s a strong case for, as much as possible, having the right people around you – people who are passionate and close to you and the project. And that is totally where we were with Spinefarm when we brought them We Are Islands and did that campaign together. Things just evolve and change, this industry is very fluid sometimes, and you find new people to work with. In A Wolf At Your Door now, we have a really amazing partner – they’re super close to us and the music, passionate and energised about our ideas, keen enough to let us run with our bullshit and release all our music in Chapters etc. It’s great having similarly creative people involved, because then everybody’s working together to bounce ideas around, to help really bring something like this to life.
Rushonrock: A Hundred Shivers is being produced by Matt O’Grady – what’s his process like and what makes him a good fit for Wars?
RV: Matt’s an amazing producer and friend of ours. We took a bit of a different approach in the studio this time with the tracks we’ve already done, where a lot of the songs weren’t quite fully formed before we got there, and we continued writing throughout. His ability to just allow us to do that and to fit into that process, and actually bring out the best in each of us regardless is awesome. The recording process can be pretty painstaking at the best of times, so it takes a guy of many talents to make that something we actively look forward to.
Rushonrock: Are you concerned, at all, about the impact coronavirus might have on your upcoming shows?
RV: It’s definitely a bit of a concern, another headline that’s pretty difficult to escape right now. There’s a fine line to tow between treating the outbreak with the severity it deserves and doing your bit to stop it spreading, while also not just letting your entire life grind to a halt. Hopefully they’ll get some sort of control over it in the next few weeks and we can all go back to worrying about the evil clown in No. 10, or whether the lady in the queue at Tesco took my polite comment to be sarcastic.