MWWB Bassist Stuart Sinclair Discuss Name Change, New Album And Health Scares
Band Photo: MWWB (?)
Though it may not be immediately obvious, Wales has always been there presenting great rock and metal music for as long as the genres have been around. Whether it be the proto metal of Budgie, the NWOBHM excitement of Persian Risk, the bombastic beats of Skindred or the extremity of Hecate Enthroned, Welsh musicians have always been proudly flying Y Ddraig Goch in heavy music. Indeed, one of the most exciting bands to emerge from Britain in recent years hails from the town of Wrexham, in the form of MWWB.
Formerly known as Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, the band now going just by those initials recently released, "The Harvest," an amazing blend of doom metal, space rock and psychedelia, which is already a contender for album of the year among those who've heard it. To find out more about this record, along with the name change, the health scares which delayed the album and more, Metal Underground was fortunate enough to put some questions to bass player Stuart Sinclair.
Diamond Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. Congratulations on your new album, "The Harvest." I suppose the first thing to ask is about your name change. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard was a very memorable name, so did you have any apprehension about shortening it?
Stuart Sinclair: First off, Thank you for the kind words. No, there's no apprehension over the name, people called us by both before and still by both after, people are definitely putting way to much stock in it, again before and after. I know for a fact that some people who listen to doom metal and like adjacent sub genres of metal avoided us because of the name, which is stupid in my opinion. But also sometimes when we trying to promote ourselves in Internet world we couldn't easily because of the words WEED and BASTARD, so now maybe it's just less fuss in some respect but everyone knows what it is still. People used to ask us about the name all the time and it got really old and now we change it and they still ask us. *laughs*
Oz: I think it's very important to ask at the beginning of this interview how Dave is doing. It's been wonderful reading that he's on the road to recovery after being so unwell.
Stuart: Yeah thank you, it is wonderful. Its gonna be a long hard road for sure but it's not one he is gonna have to do alone thankfully. The support and messages we've received have been beautiful.
Oz: On to the album itself, it's notable for being the first MWWB full length where the title isn't in Welsh. Why was the decision made to give it an English title this time and what is the significance behind "The Harvest"?
Stuart: The vibe or theme running through the record is like its a movie and a story and "The Harvest" just seemed to work and fit. It's a sci-fi space opera about an alien invasion, sometimes you don't need to over think these things.
Oz: How was the recording process itself?
Stuart: It was amazing, it was my first time at Foel, and I loved every second, you're totally away from the world there, which worked in our favour with COVID19 too, we were in our own little bubble away from everything with nothing but a record to make. Chris at the desk, he knows exactly what we looking for, I feel like everyone just knew what the vibe was and we trusted each other to do our thing and we knew it would be great, a lot of things didn't need to be discussed or said out loud I guess is what I'm trying to say. It's probably the the clearest head space and least stressed I've been recording. I personally did a few things differently that I think set it apart from previous records, and I know Dave and Jess did too.
Oz: This is your first album with drummer Dominic McCready. What changes would you say his drumming style has brought to the band?
Stuart: One of the reasons I asked Dom to do it was because he had, in my opinion, a very similar style and understanding as Carrat does, Dom grew up in Wrexham watching Carrat play at various gigs/bands etc... So he was the only choice. He obviously brings his own sound and vibe and makes it his own but still fits into that part of the MWWB sound perfectly. He's a sick drummer and a top professional and was very understanding and respectful to our situation at the time.
Oz: The album is perhaps your most eclectic yet, which is really saying something. The pairing of doom metal and John Carpenter/Vangelis style electronic passages makes for a fascinating sonic journey. How challenging was it to mesh these styles together without them clashing too hard?
Stuart: It's something that Dave had been thinking about more than the rest of us for a while so by the time it came to him shows us the bones of his new ideas it was already working so it wasn't a challenge at all really, like I said before we were all in a good creative space I feel, and we are fans of movie soundtracks and lots of different electronic music so we know what was gonna work. A lot of praise has to go to Chris as well, he did an absolutely amazing job helping it all fit seamlessly. I think we were all just on the absolute top of our game.
Oz: The artwork for the album is also a wonderful blend of sci-fi and metal music. Was it important to create a cover that looked different from "Yn Ol I Annwn"?
Stuart: The inside sleeve art is so fucking metal I love it *laughs*. Yeah, the previous records were part of a trilogy so they are all different but with a running design/layout aesthetic, that evolves. But The Harvest is something new so yeah it had to break away from what was before but we still went to Andy Garside as before who after only a brief back and forth in emails smashes it and just gets it and gets us.
Oz: Looking at your BigCartel store, most of your merch is either sold out or close to being so. Will you be releasing any new merch soon to promote the album?
Stuart: Yeah, there should be some new items on there now in fact with a couple more to follow, there was simply some delays in design stages since I think every band is finally gearing up to get going again after the pandemic, the people we use were busy.
Oz: What does the future hold for MWWB now that "The Harvest" is out? Do you have many live dates planned for the year?
Stuart: No, no live dates planned currently. Right now our focus is Dave's recovery. Jess and I have our own other respective projects to keep us busy with at the moment.
Oz: Thank you very much for talking with me today. I'm really enjoying the album and I hope you're very proud of this superb work!
Stuart: No, thank you for listening and your kind words.
"The Harvest" is available to buy now from the band's BandCamp page.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.
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