How is War From A Harlots Mouth doing these days?
We are doing great, despite the fact that our guitarist Daniel has some serious issues with his back. We just had to play the last two shows of the Thrash & Burn Tour without him, since he had get to the hospital twice. But he is getting better now. Also, the T&B Tour has been awesome. We really enjoyed it and had a great time with all the bands. They all have been amazing people, no assholes, no rock stars, just laid back and down to earth dudes all over and good live bands. I really enjoyed watching them and we all hung out a lot.
Okay, let's start from the very beginning, can you briefly tell me the story of the band? Who are you, and what brought you together?
By the end of 2005 we were all playing in different local bands. I wanted to start a side-project, because I wasn't really happy with the direction my band was going. Since I was a fan of more chaotic and techy music, I started this thing with two friends, who where into the idea. After a while our drummer Paule joined and we recorded some tracks in March 2006. Daniel and Filip joined shortly after, the songs got released on a Split CD with Molotov Solution and Lifeforce picked us up. That's how it all started.
And of course; how did you end up choosing such a ridiculously long and confusing band name?!
Haha, as mentioned, we were meant to be a side-project at this time, so we weren't dead serious about the name. I was looking for the most complicated way to describe a lying person. So basically the war from the mouth is a lie and the harlot stands for a random person. Not a female person, I have to say – just any person.
You have a new guy on vocals now with Nico Webers, right? I know he was supposed to be just a substitute for the The Ocean tour, because I was there at the time (@ W2 Den Bosch) so can you tell me what happened to the old singer and him that you have taken him up as a full-time vocalist?
At this point it was clear that our old singer would leave the band, he had to take care about his studies. Nico wasn't really supposed just to fill in for him. We wanted him to be the fulltime singer of WFAHM and he was into the idea. The only problem was, that we weren't able to rehearse before the tour, so he taught himself all the songs by practicing with the CD's. We burned him a CD with our live-set and we weren't on the package for the first two weeks of the tour. So he practiced and when we joined the package, it was the very first time we ever played together, which was really exciting. But it worked out in the end and after the tour we started rehearsing to make it all a little more smooth.
Okay, let's go on to the new album; congratulations with the 'In Shoals' album! Can you share any reactions yet? Did you perhaps have an official release party yet?
Unfortunately we had no release party, since we were on the Thrash & Burn Tour at the time of the release. We played our hometown on this tour, so that show kind of has been our release show. We sold a good amount of records on this tour and the feedback is really good so far. Of course we get various reactions from awesome to terrible, as always, but the press feedback has been really cool so far and people seem to get into it. I guess we have to give it a couple of more weeks to see where it's going, but I'm positive about that. The feedback on the Thrash & Burn Tour has been awesome for all the new songs we played, and that is pretty much the only thing I can relate to at the moment.
How new are the tracks on 'In Shoals'? have you been playing them live often yet or were they freshly created in the studio?
The only “older” song on 'In Shoals' is 'No High Five For C. Oward'. We've been playing that song for a while now, but everything else has been written between the tours and shows we played and finished in the month before the studio. We didn't play them live before, so it's all really new material.
What I feel is a striking difference between the new album and the previous is that the whole album sounds much more coherent and in “one-style” as opposed to 'Transmetropolitan', which seemed to be a competition to cram as much styles into one album as possible, would you agree?
I know exactly what you mean, but at the time we've been writing 'Transmetropolitan', we've been together for a minute. We recorded it seven months after we had the band together in it's entirety, so there was barely time to grow together musically and maybe even personally. The songwriting process has been really spontaneous and chaotic, which resulted in how 'Transmetropolitan' came out in the end. It worked and still words for us and it's still fun to play those songs live. Anyways, we played a lot of tours together in the meantime, we spent a lot of time in the van, on stages, in the rehearsal room, played a lot of music, listened to a lot of different music, and now we're grown together as a band. We are a real band, we had our time to think about what we wanted for the new record. And we've been able to cram even more of our influences into our music, but in a more homogeneous way. We tried to write real songs, without being less extreme. And we tried to connect the songs to each other, since an overall spirit was important to us.
What was the main inspiration for the lyrical concept on 'In Shoals'? Is it another nautical theme (hello The Ocean) or is it perhaps a hidden diss against the endless stream of hipster bands flooding the scene like a shoal of rotten herrings?
It's not a nautical theme at all, haha. And there's just a little bit of critic against the hipsters. And I think really think it's all said and done about that now. Of course it is annoying that even extreme and experimental music is becoming more of a mass movement, since people don't really take their time to grow into records anymore, at least the hipsters…I guess. But 'In Shoals' is about a stream of people indeed, a stream of people with a lot of power, people with a lot of control, but people we don't know and have no idea about. We've been writing lyrics about things we care about, we're interested in and things that moved us. Through the last couple of months I spent a lot of time with watching loads of documentaries about things like the income tax in the USA, 9/11, the world wide “war on terror”, global and private banks, or even about Wall Mart. You learn a lot of new things, you start to ask yourself more and more questions, and sometimes you're just really pissed off about things that happen in today's world. Nico has been influenced by similar stuff and for 'In Shoals' we collaborated to write those lyrics together. It's been really cool, because we were able to get the best of our parts together and work it all out. In the end we chose to write them as direct and to the point as possible, it simply works better with the topics we sing about. But to set this straight...we don't want to tell people what they have to think. We just try to share our thoughts with them, to possibly make them think about topics they've maybe never thought about before. But we're not on a mission! ;) In the end it's all about the stuff we personally care or think about.
Being a band with such a long name and popularity on MySpace somehow made me think we were going to experience the next brutal deathcore hipster band… yet that isn't the case at all! I believe you are more “old school” inspired, listening to your records to me brings bands in mind like Botch, The Red Chord, and even the more heavier moments of The Ocean. Still, do you get lumped into the deathcore-crowd by press and audience a lot, and do you mind that?
Yes, sometimes people label us with the Deathcore-term and I'm not really happy about it, since this “genre” has never influenced us in any way. And it's true that we're more “oldschool” inspired. Bands like Coalesce, Botch, The Dillinger Escape Plan and even Meshuggah have a heavy influence on us and they've been around for lots of years now. One of the more modern bands that still kind of influences us are Ion Dissonance for example, but I don't see any connection to Deathcore at all. But in the end it doesn't really matter, I guess. To me all we do is the definition of Hardcore and Punk, just with another musical approach. We don't set any rules for our music, we don't try to fit in a special genre, we just do whatever we want to do. We will never try to write songs to please the people, we just want to please ourselves. If that's attractive to others I'm happy about it, but it doesn't affect me when it comes to write songs. We started as a side-project, so our approach was to play stuff we really love and the only thing that changed is, that we're not a project anymore. But we still have the same approach as in the early days.
If you with WFAHM had to agree on one single band to be your main inspiration, which would it be?
Mine is most probably Ion Dissonance. 'Solace' is one of the most amazing albums of all time, I can't get over it, haha! Meshuggah and the Deftones have a really strong influence on me, but I guess Ion Dissonance really nails it for WFAHM.
Do you still have strong ties with Robin and The Ocean? Can you tell me something about the German “scene” you are in? Which German bands do you feel connected with?
Robin always comes to our shows in Berlin and we always go to the shows of The Ocean and hang out. I wouldn't describe our ties with Robin as real strong, but we just all like each other and it's cool to see each other, where- and whenever. There are a couple of German bands we have stronger ties with, Time has come and Dead Flesh Fashion for example and some local bands like Final Prayer and Make it Count. Last December we toured with those two bands, the tour was called “Berlin Angst”. It's crazy, all shows have been sold out. It's great to see that a package with bands from Berlin only can draw bigger crowds, too. I think the scene in Berlin got a lot stronger through the last five years. All in all it's a little difficult with the scene in Germany, since a lot of young bands seem to be really hype-orientated and just a few find their very own niche. On the other hand we play a lot of awesome shows over here and I really enjoy playing here, it's going really good for us and it makes me happy.
Ok, the tour with The Ocean and Intronaut was of course a killer package, how will you top this tour in the future? Any major plans for touring the world yet? (and Holland in particular?)
We just played Amsterdam with the Thrash & Burn Tour, which was another killer package (Darkest Hour, Bleeding Through, Beneath the Massacre, Carnifex, Arsonists get all the Girls and Success will write Apocalypse across the Sky). And we will get back for a few shows later this year. At the moment we are planning another EU Tour for 2009, but nothing is fixed at the moment. As soon as we got some news, you will find them on our MySpace most probably.
What are your plans for the direct future, and where do you see the band in five years?
We will write new songs pretty soon, we will try something new and different again with the upcoming material. But our main goal at the moment is to tour on 'In Shoals' as much as possible. That is pretty much all we want to do, writing songs, recording, touring. And this is where I see the band in five years: Writing songs, recording and releasing records, touring a lot. ;) It would be awesome to get the band to a level where it's possible to pay the bills, but it's hard today and I guess it's not getting easier in the next five years. But as long as we enjoy ourselves I'm comfortable with the situation of WFAHM and myself.
Thanks for your time dudes!
Thanks for the interesting interview and sorry for the delay. Hope to meet you somewhere in Holland on our upcoming shows. Peace.