Congratulations with the release of your self-titled debut which just saw the light of day. How is the reception of press and fans so far?
The initial reception to the album surpassed anything we could have imagined. As a new band we had no idea what to expect, so the insane amount of support we received was mind blowing. A lot of the fans have been with us for a decade or more, and given the events of the past year it was extremely relieving to know that they are still with us, through thick and thin.
Except Blay the whole band has been involved with As I Lay Dying and I understand if they have been through some difficult times. How did this band contribute with the dealing of that process?
Soon after Tim’s initial arrest, we met and agreed that at some point, the remaining four of us would like to create music together in the future despite the uncertain future of AILD. About a month later we finally got in a room to jam again and the process, with no limitations or expectations, was very cathartic to us. It gave us an outlet for some of the mixed emotions we were feeling at the time.
Where did you guys know Blay from and has there been a musical collaboration before?
I personally have known Shane for about five years or so. He and Nick have been friends since high school, and were in a metal band together before As I Lay Dying or Oh, Sleeper. We would always end up hanging out here or there while we were on tour, so we all knew him and his personality long before Wovenwar came about.
What influences did he bring to the band?
Shane has a very powerful voice, and knack for writing amazing melodies and lyrics. Before we heard Shane’s demo vocals on ‘All Rise’, we were kind of writing music that hit all over the spectrum. Once we heard the depth of what he could do with our sound, our writing process definitely began to cater to those strengths. In that sense, I think the end result was a perfect blend of our musical strengths and Shane’s vocal abilities.
What goal was set when you started the collaboration?
At that point, Shane’s band was taking some time off from touring, and we obviously had some time on our hands after cancelling our upcoming tours. Our goal at first was to be creative and explore musical territory we hadn’t before. Once Metal Blade heard the material and were excited about it, we decided to explore our options for producers and contact those we were interested in. After getting in touch with Bill Stevenson we were informed that he only had a month of open producing time within the timeframe we were thinking of to allow us to release the record for summer 2014 touring. That ultimately gave us a lot less time than we originally intended to finish writing the album, but the creative spree we were on with the new band was on our side and we finished with time to spare.
How did the fans of your previous/other bands react on Wovenwar?
Many were at first concerned with the lack of screaming in favor of more melody. Melody is something we’ve always been fans of whether it comes from guitars or vocals, but in our last band it was often compromised due to the vocal stylings of our lead singer. The overwhelming majority has been supportive and we are very thankful for that. Wovenwar is a chance for us to get the best of both worlds: pummeling guitar, bass, and drums; but with the added facet of catchy vocal melodies. We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel; the greatest metal bands in history have exclusively utilized melodic vocals.
I saw you are going on tour through Europe, starting with some festivals and later this year a tour with In Flames. Some of those festivals have a more mainstream audience and because of the accessible and great vocals on the album do you think you might reach a larger audience? And what are your thoughts on the relationship of metal and mainstream music which you find on larger radio stations?
Though it’s no secret that screaming vocals are typically excluded on mainstream festivals and radio in favor of melodic vocals, which was not our reasoning for pursuing this sound. I think the fact that bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest,Thin Lizzy, and even newer bands like Avenged Sevenfold get played on major mainstream radio is testament to the possibility of metal to appeal to the typical mainstream listener while still remaining heavy.
What does Wovenwar want to achieve in the future and what do you have planned for the future?
I think we’d like to continue to play music worldwide and write the best music we can. We have several tours in the works that I can’t currently comment on, but let’s just say we’re going to be staying pretty busy into 2015!
Thank you for this interview and I wish you allot of success in the future and I am really looking forward to the show with In Flames
Thanks so much! See you there!