Whitechapel Guitarist Alex Wade Dissects The Band's New Self-Titled Album
Knoxville's deathcore champions Whitechapel are only days away now from the June 19th release via Metal Blade Records of an upcoming fourth full-length album. Feeling the new material is a pinnacle in their career, the six-piece decided to go with a self-titled release for this latest milestone in the continuing Whitechapel crusade.
The band is gearing up for a busy couple of months leading up to the end of the year, which will see Whitechapel hitting the road for the Rockstar Mayhem festival, a string of dates supporting Hatebreed, and a European tour with August Burns Red. While Whitechapel prepares for the grueling schedule, I got in touch with guitarist Alex Wade to chat about the new album and upcoming live assaults. Check out our full interview below, which covers working with Mark Lewis for the recording of the album, the band's recently completed music video for "I, Dementia," and the Tennessee metal scene.
xFiruath: For the new album, what made you go with a self-titled release this far into you discography?
Alex: We felt like a lot of bands further into their career tend to decide to do self-titled albums we feel like we’re at that point in our career where we can do something like that. This is some of the strongest material we’ve ever written, and in my opinion, you can’t just name any old album a self-titled. It definitely has to be some special and something that could be considered a pinnacle in a band’s career, and this is some of the best music we’ve written to date. The music is worth being self-titled.
xFiruath: Tell me about Whitechapel’s method of writing and when these particular songs were created.
Alex: It’s usually a constant, on-going thing. As a musician you’re always picking your guitar up and jamming and coming up with new ideas. We purposefully took off January and February from touring and used all of January to piece together all the things we’d written, and then used February to record the album.
xFiruath: Can you give me an overview of what’s going on thematically with the lyrics on this album?
Alex: Lyrically I don’t know too much about it because I don’t write the lyrics, but I can say that this CD doesn’t really have a specific theme or concept to it. On the previous one, all the songs were kind of tied together by a constant theme. With this one Phil kind of winged it and wrote about different topics for each song. With it being self-titled there’s really not a theme throughout the CD. With every song he tackles different subject matter. The song “Faces” could be deemed political and there’s stuff like that.
xFiruath: Where did you record and what’s a typical day look like in the studio for you?
Alex: This time it was done a little different, which was cool. We tracked the drums in Florida with Mark Lewis in his studio Audiohammer. We were there for a week and then we flew back and he drove up here and we did guitars, bass, and vocals at a house. So it’s pretty cool to actually be tracking a CD but be able to sleep in our own beds and go home to our family and girlfriends. We’re always gone on the road, so it sucks to finally have, not really time off to do a record, but it sucks to have spend a month in another state to do a CD. It was definitely a much more relaxing environment to do it at home.
xFiruath: Is there a music video coming out off this album?
Alex: We just completed a music video for “I, Dementia” with David Brodsky and that should be out in late June or early July. I’m sure we’ll probably do one or two more music videos aside form that.
xFiruath: Is the “I, Dementia” one a performance clip or a story-based video?
Alex: It’s kind of a combination of the two. There’s definitely a performance. He filmed us all playing and stuff like that, but we did it in front of a green screen so there will be a lot of cool animations. All of our videos are straight performance usually, without a lot of crazy effects, so this should be pretty cool.
xFiruath: Where are you headed out to promote the album? I see you’re headed out with August Burns Red for a European trek.
Alex: We’re going out on the Rockstar Mayhem festival tour this summer, and we’re pretty stoked about that. That’s going to be a real crazy tour, and then we are directly supporting Hatebreed on their 10th anniversary of “Perserverence” tour. All Shall Perish is also on that. And then we go to Europe with August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada, which will be a really good tour. I’m pretty sure that will close out the year for us.
xFiruath: How often do you guys play hometown shows and what’s going on in your local scene?
Alex: Usually whenever we do a headliner we do a hometown show in there. We do pretty well here. There’s a big thing here called the Valarium where all the big shows go and we usually sell it out or get close to selling it out. The scene here is pretty good, it’s kind of ever-changing and evolving. We play shows and the people who were coming five or six years ago don’t come to the shows anymore, so it’s completely new faces. I’m just glad that with people stopping going to shows there’s still more people starting to show up.
xFiruath: What albums are you listening to right now?
Alex: The new Architects CD that just came out, “Daybreaker,” those dudes are our friends and I’ve always loved that band so I’m really liking that. I’ve been jamming the new Meshuggah CD “Koloss” too.
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