Warbringer: Thrash unlimited

California based thrashers, Warbringer, are in London today as one of the support battalion for Arch Enemy. Lead singer and charismatic frontman John Kevill shares his thoughts about the band’s latest album, Worlds Torn Asunder (which has been circulating the open world since mid-September,) the importance of feeding the hungry collectors’ addictions to vinyls and finally, the latest addition to their crazy team: drummer Carlos Cruz

Words Torn Asunder is your third album which has been out for two months now. How has the reception been so far?

Overall, we are really happy with how people have perceived it.  For me, it’s the best album we have ever made; I am very happy with my vocals. You know, for lots of musicians the ego takes over and they always go back to their final recording and wish they had done this or that to change it. With Worlds Torn Asunder, I feel very proud with what we have done. All the songs are very strong with a solidly produced sound that does not feel artificial. We wrote them to be great, raw, live songs and the response so far has been incredibly good. I have always felt that this is how every metal record should be done.

Your first album, War Without End sounded very raw. Your second one, Waking Into Nightmares, sounds a bit more polished.  Worlds Torn Asunder is definitely your landmark so far. Would you agree that it has cemented your identity outside of the standard “thrash revival band” category?

I absolutely agree with that; thrash is a style of music that gives you certain feelings. People use the word revival because they have been listening to this type of music for a long time and they are returning to it; however, we are trying to create our own brand. If you look to find similarities to the classic thrash bands you will certainly find them, but if you look at the differences you will find them as well. I think that with our three albums and with the million shows we have done so far, we are becoming better at being a band.

It’s remarkable for all the true collectors out there that you still have your albums also as vinyls!

Yeah! I think that vinyls holds a place in the future more than cds do because there are so many collectors out there that just want to listen to an album. They have their sound system that has a more organic, warm sound; this is the classic way to listen to music. And also, there is still a strong demand for vinyls, so as long as the fans ask for it, we will make sure to put them out; people that collect vinyls are very serious about it.

The beginning of your new album with Living Weapon is simply majestic, pure evil thrash. Tell me about this song.

This is one of my favourite songs from Worlds Torn Asunder and one of the best we have done so far. I think that for a thrash album, the first song is very important; it should always start that brutally! In this record we have tried lots of experimentation, but not on this track. It’s more in the style of the first album, but with a more advanced songwriting.

Worlds Torn Asunder sees the debut of your new drummer, Carlos Cruz. How did he become part of Warbringer? Has his contribution been influential to the recording process?

We have known Carlos for years. He has been hanging out with us at our shows even before we got signed; he has always been one of the kids from around Los Angeles, just like us.  Over time, he became a very strong drummer; he is maybe less technical than Nick (Ritter, the original drummer) was, who was maybe more a prog-metal guy than a thrash one. Carlos is definitely more about the energy because he comes from a straight heavy metal background. You will see him live soon; he stands up doing his solos. Crazy!

How do you manage to keep on getting along with each other with such an intense touring life?

The hardest part of touring for me is being on the van for such a long time; I really hate that.  Anything else, I like; however, I remember on the first tour we were way too volatile, myself included. We used to argue all the time; we were so used to getting upset. Right now, we do not think too much about matters; we all know each other too well and we all know what we are doing.

How do you feel sharing the stage with your label mates, Arch Enemy, tonight here at the Empire in London?

I am really excited; I am sure it will be a great show. They have always represented a very high standard for us. We have been touring for two weeks in preparation for this tour with them; we just cannot wait as we knew from the beginning this was going to be the best part. We are looking forward to impress all the Arch Enemy fans. We will deliver the best show we can, I am very happy to be here!

 Fabiola Santini