I asked a bunch of questions about the band and their upcoming full length opus “I: Voice”. I find out I have a lot of similar with these guys musically and have similar viewpoints artistically as well. I love this band even more! You can check out the interview with vocalist/piano player Adrian! We hope you enjoy the piece!
TMR: Explain to our followers how “I: Voice” is different than your EP “The Essence Of The Land”. We understand it took quite some time to finish your full length. Did a lot of the songs change during that time or was it set in stone, and you guys were just trying to perfect the tracks?
Hello Dave, this is Adrian. “I: Voice” is an elaboration on some of the musical & conceptual ideas from “Essence Of The Land.” I think of it like the EP is a pilot episode to a TV show or the opening scene in a movie – a couple flavors, but not the whole kitchen. It took 3 years to write, a year and a half to record and gather guest contributions, and the remainder has been devoted towards release preparations. The songs were written (almost) in chronological order and once the foundation was made, any time spent on a song was just polishing. Each song had little changes all the way up through recording & mixing.
TMR: How did Warforged form? What specific factors influenced the decision?
Jason Nitts & I have been jamming together since around 2010. I joined Enfold Darkness for a couple of tours from late 2011 to mid 2012 and, shortly after, Jason & I launched Warforged. We’re still developing our sound, but consistently since the early days we’ve been working towards a dirtier & darker style.
TMR: You guys will be a part of the tour supporting Inanimate Existence in the next month or two. Tell us how that came to be, and any other plans you have for 2019 going into next year as well.
Jason & Ron Casey from Inanimate have been buddies for a while and they were generous enough to offer us a support slot. At the time of writing, we have a good string of unannounced dates with some homies as well as day 2 of Topeka Metalfest on September 21st. Hoping to land some east coast dates this year as well!
TMR: What motivated you guys to write something totally different for “I:Voice”? I love how experimental and genre-pushing it is!
Thank you! Listening from Two Demons through EOTL and all the way through the record – to me, it doesn’t feel that different than what I intended the Warforged style to be like. But that might be just because I know my own writing better than anyone else does. It feels like we’re always uncovering parts of our style that were always there – like pieces to a big puzzle. One purpose of “I: Voice” in the broader sense was to challenge myself to put together a record that wavers between highbrow and lowbrow music, but in a way that it doesn’t feel like the genres are mocking each other (like one might find often in prog music). I want my more “core” chuggy-slammy parts to coexist and thrive with my atmospheric black metal parts – the old school death metal parts with the prog rock parts, etc. – but in a natural way that just feels like they’re all there together for the benefit of the story & drama of the song We invested a lot of time into ensuring there was good organic flow between all of these changes.
TMR: Explain the bands and musicians that influenced Warforged the most.
This will always be an incomplete list because it’s always growing and I’m always forgetting but, Nine Inch Nails, Opeth, Storm Corrosion, Abhorrent, Steven Wilson, BTBAM, Jonny Greenwood, Abigor, Big Big Train, Ulcerate, Portal, Ulver, Baring Teeth, Exivious, King Crimson, Gorguts, Captain Beefheart, Darkest Hour, Fleshwrought, Sumac, The Mars Volta, Deathspell Omega, Swans, Thantifaxath, Altar Of Plagues, Radiohead, Dawn Of Midi… Dirt + weird rhythm + atmosphere + emotion. You can find playlists full of picks from these folks on our Spotify.
TMR: Where and how did you guys develop your love for extreme metal?
Jace: For me it started when I was around 13 years old. I remember watching Metallica MTV Icon because I knew all the artists doing covers from the radio/MTV. I was just kind of into whatever was popular at the time. Then, I listened to the original versions of the songs and I was blown away. That got me started on the path to extreme metal, moving along to Slayer and Death, and anything heavy I could find, the heavier the better. What sold me was the musicianship and virtuosity of it all, and being a teenager, the counterculture aspect of it definitely drew me in.
Max: Alex and I got into Metallica and Megadeth through our cousin. It was different than anything we had heard at that point, we were both drawn to the speed and intensity of it and not long after that we picked up our first instruments. Like Jace, we were both drawn to the counterculture aspect of it, and when you’re a kid you try to find something to make you different. Metal was that thing for us. Our tastes in music have grown to be different as adults, but there’s still a lot of similarities Alex and I developed early on such as In Flames, Death, Meshuggah, Opeth, and God Forbid. I think my favorite thing about the genre and why I’ve enjoyed it for so long and will continue to do so is that there’s no limits to what you can do. You can write a 3 minute verse/chorus song that’s still interesting and fun to listen to, or you can write a 15 minute song that takes you on a journey and doesn’t repeat a single riff.
Adrian: I started with all the more modern metalcore / deathcore / nu metal stuff in like, 2005: Darkest Hour, Dead To Fall, Job For A Cowboy, Protest The Hero, lots of System Of A Down… In high school when I started trying to do the band thing I was introduced to more proggy / “tech-y” stuff: BTBAM, Opeth, The Faceless, Veil Of Maya, Enfold Darkness, The Black Dahlia Murder, Beneath The Massacre, The Contortionist, Spawn Of Possesion, Obscura, Necrophagist… Then later on the dudes in Enfold, along with Jason and our old guitarist Rich, started showing me the darker / heavier shit along with more emotional / proggy shit: Abigor, Deathspell Omega, Portal, Leviathan, Altar Of Plagues, Immolation, Deafheaven, Blut Aus Nord, Enslaved, Lantlos… Now I’m just on the hunt for weirder / darker / free form shit: Swans, Baring Teeth, Sumac, Coma Cluster Void, Inter Arma, Kevin Hufnagal, Pyrrhon, Thantifaxath…
TMR: What releases have impacted you guys the most as musicians?
Jason: Rush – 2112, Nile – Annihilation of the Wicked, Panopticon – Kentucky, The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
Alex: Dream theater- Images and words, Disperse – Foreword, Lantlos – Melting Sun, Death – Symbolic
Jace: Slayer – Reign in Blood, Nevermore – Dead Heart in a Dead World, Death – The Sound of Perseverance, The Faceless – Akeldama, Opeth – Damnation
Max: Metallica – And Justice For All, Martyr – Feeding The Abscess, Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair, Periphery – Periphery
Adrian: Opeth – Watershed, Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion, Swans – The Seer, Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth, Fleshwrought – Mental Illness, System Of A Down – Toxicity, Big Big Train – The Underfall Yard
TMR: If you could go on the road with one band of any style, who would it be and why?
Naturally, I want to answer Nechrophagist because that would mean they would be touring again. I went to the last Summer Slaughter they played and, not knowing who they were, left before their set. Idiot! If not them, probably Swans just to be around that energy every day and to be up close to really study their live performance & figure out how to apply that to death metal.
TMR: What show or tour is your personal favorite you have played as a band?
We played at Brick + Mortar last summer in San Francisco and got our van broken into while we were playing, but the whole day was awesome. Earlier in the day we went to Tartine Manufactory (a great bakery / cafeteria) and got some awesome food. Later in the evening Jace & I explored the Tenderloin and went to Mission Chinese and got some more great grub. The venue was really cool, the sound guy had a great rapport with everyone in the bands and did a phenomenal job, the bartender was friendly, and overall I think that might’ve been the tightest we’ve ever played. The van break in sucked but honestly, things were going so well and we were all having such a great time on the road overall that it just kind of evened everything out. The only thing taken was Max’s backpack: “The main thing is that they stole XXL shirts and prescription sunglasses that they can’t wear… And my copy of Doom 2 for the Gameboy advance which is hard to come by and one of my favorite games.” We had a good time.
TMR: Define your biggest moment as Warforged. There could be a couple, but find a special moment that defines who you are as a band. Whether it’s a special accomplishment or feat you achieved together as a band.
I mean, now that the album is coming out and the wheels are in motion it feels like every passing day is our biggest moment. The feedback we’ve gotten back so far has been incredible especially since it’s our debut album. There’s been a lot of nervousness (mainly on my end) going into this, so to see the music being received positively is a great validation of years of work & dollars borrowed & spent, as well as being just beyond relieving. If not this period of time, I’d say the biggest moment was writing the song “Voice.” It pretty much set the stage for the record and defined what I consider to be our sound. When people ask what genre we are (or argue about it on the internet), I usually think to “Voice,” “Nightfall Came,” or “We’ve Been Here Before” as home base and from which all of the other songs stem from for this record. The next releases will be a little different.