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War From A Harlots Mouth

Wars van trends of stijlbeperkingen spuit het Duitse War From A Harlots Mouth al enige tijd vakkundig de oren uit van menig eclectisch muziekliefhebber. Met een ingewikkelde sound die het midden houdt tussen de mathcore van idolen Ion Dissonance en de machinale dreunen van Meshuggah is het misschien wel een super prestatie dat de band maar lijkt te blijven groeien. Toch is dat het geval en gitarist Simon Haweman legt uit hoe dat kan.

Door: Jasper | Archiveer onder different metal

Hi Simon, it's been a while! How are you doing?
We're very excited for the release of 'Voyeur', first and foremost. It's always exciting to put out a new record and prepare for the shows and tours to promote it. So that is what we're up to right now. Other than that the year was really dominated by the production of the record and less touring, so we can't wait to get back on the road.

Congratulations on 'Voyeur', how have the responses been so far?
Thanks! The feedback on the two songs we have posted has been great. You could never please everybody and that clearly isn't our intention – if it was, we'd play different music altogether, haha. However, the overall feedback is great as of yet. We have played 'To The Villains' on our headliner tour in March already and the response was great as well. We're excited to get the whole album out already, so people can take a look at the big picture of 'Voyeur'.

The production is massive! Last time I believe it was a lot grimier, was that intentional?
I guess you mean the production of 'In Soals', because our last album MMX was produced even cleaner, than 'Voyeur', but we wanted a good balance between raw and massive. However, I appreciate your comment on the production, because a lot of it has been done in the good old DIY way. I have recorded the guitars and bass at my Moulder Masters studio and also took over the mastering this time. The drums and vocals have been recorded at Dailyhero Recordings in Berlin, where we recorded all our previous albums as well. They're also responsible for the mix.

It's your first release on Season Of Mist, how did you end up there?
The contract with our old label was running out and we were looking for a music that would fit our music better. Season Of Mist was actually our most wanted option and we were stoked that they were into working with us. We have changed as a band and the scene we used to be a part of has changed even more, almost into the opposite direction. Season Of Mist have a great roster with a lot of bands we're fans of, like Deathspell Omega, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cynic or Sólstafir and they put out extreme and high quality stuff, so we really couldn't ask for more. I'm sure that we will reach some people that wouldn't give us the time of the day, if we were still on Lifeforce Records.

You've abandoned the jazz interludes for classical music, why?
It's really not like one has taken the place of the other, at least not intentionally. It's more like I felt like those elements wouldn't work with the direction of our newer material anymore – even on our previous record, although the Jazzy part in 'To Age and Obsolete' was a great fit. Generally, I feel like those loungy elements often took away from the vibe of our later material, rather than adding to it. You could also say that the chaotic nature of our older material was influenced by Free Jazz quite a bit, but our songwriting approach has changed in general. The guitar work is much more layered and less spazzy these days, and that is where the Classical influences come into play. Contemporary Classic has influenced me a lot lately, because you can learn a lot about layering and especially atonality in it, which works so well for my style of writing. The fact that we got to work with an actual composer for some pieces is even better, because it's great to bring those two worlds together and show this influence in its purest form. John Strieder has done an outstanding job with his contributions.

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What are your personal experiences with “voyeurism”?
None. I'm just really fascinated by the darker sides of human psychology, so that is where I draw my inspiration from when writing lyrics and music. I have watched a ton of documentaries and read a lot about the topic to get an idea of the feelings of victims and also look at the motivations of voyeurs or stalkers. The anxiety and paranoia the victims of stalking are living with are something that works so well with the vibe of our music, so it seemed to be a perfect and intriguing thing to write about.

You've been at it for quite a while now, steadily releasing records and touring; is the band growing fast, and do you see things getting easier for WFAHM?
I don't see it getting easier, because we're not exactly easily accessible, even for a extreme Metal band. We have a reputation of being a good live band, which I'm really proud of. And of course we have a reputation for being extreme, so it's not like people expect us to be easy to digest, although you guys seemed to beg for some more accessibility in your review for 'Voyeur', haha. I honestly feel like our new songs are a more accessible than ever, though... especially in terms of structure and flow. You find less shifts in tempo, less randomness, but actual verses and even choruses on 'Voyeur',. It's the atonality and discordance that puts your ears to the test, but there is a certain beauty in it... you just have to unwrap it. It takes time and effort, I guess.

At this point in your career, what does the band's name still mean to you guys?
The war from the mouth stands for telling lies, which we're experiencing every day - from mass media to private life. People rarely try to look behind the name and figure out its possible meaning, but that's just them being lazy.

What is the best thing that happened so far, and what is a goal you still wish to achieve some day?
All in all, being able to tour the world and go to places like Russia, Australia and the USA were some of the best things that ever happened to us. It's great that you get to see so much of the world and experience different cultures and their music scenes, although they become more and more uniform all across the globe, thanks to the internet. One of the places we really want to go to would be Japan, so that is something we really hope to achieve one day.

What would your ideal tour look like, where would you go, and who would be on it?
That's hard to say, but there definitely are a few bands we would love to tour with, such as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah, Gojira, Triptykon and Ion Dissonance. That would make a great tour, haha. I'd personally love to play with the Deftones, even though it wouldn't fit really. I'm just a fanboy.

What about your immediate touring plans? Any Dutch gigs, and who will you take on?
We are gonna play the Euroblast Festival on Oct 19th, which is also the release date of 'Voyeur'. Later November/early December we are going to play some more release shows with Uneven Structure and Bitterness Exhumed. We're working on extensive tours for 2013, so stay tuned for updates through www.facebook.com/wfahm.

Thanks a lot for your time!
Answer: Thank you for the interview!

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