WOE (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with WOE?

Hello, Sergio! Currently, I am in my bedroom, listening to Nine Inch Nails, exhausted from a long day. Everything with Woe right now is quite good. We are days away from a quick weekend trip to Syracuse, NY and Montréal. In Montréal, we will be playing with Nargaroth and Mgla, something we have been looking forward to for a while now, so it goes without saying we are very excited.

– First off; why did you pick «Woe» as the band’s name? Does it reflect the mood in your music?

It fit. I like names that are simple and direct. «Woe» makes a statement about what to expect.

 

– You will son release your new album, entitled «Withdrawal». What are your expectations on it?

I try not to have much in the way of expectations, it makes it too easy to be disappointed. I think people who liked the first two albums will like it, people who hated the first two albums will hate it. Some people will make intense statements about how it has all this meaning to them, others will say that I am an emo sellout who makes fake black metal for children. The only thing I expect for sure is that WOE as a band will play some intense shows and thrash into oblivion. That’s the most I think any band can hope for.

 

– All your albums have got overwhelming reviews and a really good feedback; does this make you feel more pressure in order to keep your standards?

It does add some pressure, but my standards are very high to begin with. WOE was never about reviews or getting feedback, so those things are nice but not really the focus. Of course, nobody wants bad reviews, but all that matters is that the band is proud of it. If it lives up to our standards, I think it will be OK everywhere else.

 

– Digging a bit into this new opus; what’s the main concept behind it?

Withdrawal focuses on «being without.» Depending on the song, that might mean reacting to the loss of something, it might mean knowing that you need to change but being unable, it might mean pushing forward into the unknown. I try to leave things open enough to form personal meaning but not so abstract that it feels like free association poetry.

 

– After giving the album some spins I could say this is your most solid effort to date, also really well balanced. Is this just the experience your previous efforts and bands have given you? Do you think you have reached your ultimate level of maturity or is there always room for evolution and progression?

Thank you! I like to think that this is the most solid effort to date, too. Experience has everything to do with it. It is the result of careful analysis and reflection, a refocusing of what WOE was supposed to sound like. We will definitely continue growing and changing. As soon as I feel like there is no more room for growth, WOE will be done.

 

– Moreover I personally think this album contains the best of your two previous studios albums so, could you say this is your most complete release? Is what we find on «Withdrawal» the actual WOE’s personality?

Thank you again! I think that this is the most complete release, but I’m sure I must have said the same thing about the last one. The project’s «actual» personality changes. It’s just like growing up. When I started Woe, I think I was 22 or 23 and I was absolutely positive that I was an adult. I was grown up, I knew so much. When I was 25, I thought that me at age 22 was an idiot. Now at 28, I think I was an idiot at 25 and I think that Quietly, Undramatically got a little carried away and unfocused. At 30, I will probably have harsh words for the 2013 model of both Chris Grigg and Woe.

 

– You are the main thinking head of the band so, where do you draw inspiration from to create such compositions?

Every song is different. Some songs start with a single riff, some start with a thematic concept, some start with lyrics and I write riffs to capture an image. There are often songs written to open or close an album and they have specific goals to achieve.

 

– And talking about such, has the songwriting process been different this time around?

Mostly, no. Some exceptions: Ruston, who left the band shortly after recording, wrote the music for «Ceaseless Jaws» and I wrote the lyrics; Ben wrote the first draft of what became «Exhausted,» we worked on it a lot with Shawn Riley, our bassist before Grzesiek, and then I continued to shape it in the studio. Ben and I wrote the outro leads for the album’s title track in the studio, similar to the way Matt Moore and I worked on some of the leads on Quietly, Undramatically. Grzesiek and I

worked on some basslines together, similar to what Shane and I did, but Shane probably wrote more of his own bass. Otherwise, I wrote songs, recorded demos, passed them to the band…

 

– I’ve read for this album you spent a lot of time with the production so, would you mind to shed some light on this?

There’s so much to say, it’s hard to condense it! The last album’s production hurt it a lot. This time, we benefited from my experience recording dozens of bands over the past few years. I have a better idea of what I’m doing now, how to accomplish what we set out to do. We spent more time on the setup, paid more attention to sounds we captured, used better equipment every step of the way, employed the help of assistant engineers to help get certain things done faster. We knew how we wanted it to sound before we went in and we worked towards that goal.

 

– The cover artwork is simply superb but what did you want to reflect on it? On your previous covers black and white and then red were predominant colors, and on this one you have mixed those three colors. Does this hold any meaning?

I asked Justin to capture the tone of the album. We wanted an urban bleakness, something to represent a personal collapse, the removal of the self from the rest of the world. He delivered. We see Withdrawal as feeling like a hybrid of the past two albums: aggressive filth of the first with the smarter dynamics of the second, so it is fitting for the artwork to combine aspects of the past two. Justin has created all of our album artwork so far and I think that is is his best work. He is a fantastic artist and mostly does screen printed posters these days. I urge everyone to check out http://www.hauntlove.com/ to see his work.

 

– All this about «Withdrawal» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Circling the drain.

 

– All your three full-length albums feature 7 songs; is this something planned?

The number of tracks isn’t significant but I have deliberately pushed our albums to be 43-45 minutes in length because it is a classic album length. You can fit about 43 minutes of music on a record at 33 RPM, so this was the standard for a very long time. It’s also right around the length where I start to get bored. Nobody complains when it’s that length but less than that is too short and more than that can be a chore. We actually recorded 8 songs and were going to go well over 43 but ended up cutting one right before mastering. In this case, the extra track did not fit with the album. It disrupted the flow, it didn’t add anything, and it made the whole thing drag. Who knows, maybe we will find a use for it sometime.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans?

We are actively looking to book internationally, so anyone who can help us travel to Spain should contact booking@subvertallmedia.com. We very much want to bring our live show to you!

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful questions! Hope to see you soon!!!

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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