Tribute to David Gold
This is one of the toughest piece I’ve written as yet, been working on it for over 2 weeks and yet I am not sure of the right words to express myself.
Last week I lost a friend, David Gold. David was the front man of the Canadian black and doom metal band Woods of Ypres. I first heard Woods of Ypres when I was a radio jockey back in 2005 at a internet radio station (Fusion Radio) at University of Toronto. I got in contact with David to do an interview for the magazine that the station published. We staying in contact after the interview as I started buying Woods of Ypres cds and merchandise from him.
The only time I met David was at a Katatonia concert in Toronto in 2006. He was really appreciative of me covering Woods of Ypres on the radio as well as the zine and bought me a beer to say thank you. I’ve always enjoyed interviewing David upon the release of a new Woods of Ypres album as he never held back and always spoke his mind (something i really admired about him).
The future of the band is uncertain. I will try to get in contact with Joel Violette for an interview about the new WOY release, Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light, until tell here are all the interviews I had done with David Gold since 2005.
The first interview I did with David Gold in March 2005. It appeared in The Frequency, a publication of Fusion Radio. Read it here
My second interview with David was for the planned Trendcrusher Zine # 3. Read it here.
The most recent interview I did with David earlier this year in April 2011 for theunderground.in.
Hi David, congrats on the signing with Earache Records and also the re release of “The Green Album”. How do you feel about both?
We’re excited about it and we’re working harder than ever. W4: The Green Album gets released on CD and double vinyl via Earache Records on March 22nd and we’ve put together a Green Album tour that will have us on the road in Canada and the USA throughout the month of March. The timing is rather perfect, actually. The Green Album was always intended to be a “spring” themed album, though originally released in November 2009, and here we are preparing to have it re-released in March 2011, spring, coinciding with the release of our video for “I Was Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery” and a tour of the East Coast of Canada and the USA. We’ll finally get to do the photo shoot where we’re having pints of beer on a patio somewhere, in March, with a total brick wall downpour of rain coming down on us. That’s WOODS OF YPRES. Lastly, of course, we’re excited to finally see how a wider audience will respond to the band with the help of the Earache Records promotion. Even though we’ve been around since 2002, we’re well aware that most of the metal listening world doesn’t even know we’ve existed. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to us.
In an interview a couple of years ago you have described this album as “one of new growth and renewal.” Is that how you would describe the album now??
Yeah, somewhat at least. It was at least the beginning of new growth and renewal. True recovery can be a long and slow process. It’s still a work in progress. It was certainly the only album I knew how to make at the time and the album that I needed to make. I needed to get The Green Album out of my system before writing anything else. I didn’t really feel that I had any choice. It was either make that album as it came to mind or spend the rest of my days in denial and avoidance of it. Nearly two years later, I’m proud of what we made The Green Album to be, we’ve started to regain some new perspective and we’ve moved on to new ideas. It worked. We’ve survived.
The album features more doom elements, is this new direction for Woods of Ypres? Will future albums feature more of it?
Yeah, I can’t imagine that we’ll ever go backwards and start writing black metal again. WOODS OF YPRES have always had doom elements in our music since the first album but the first three albums were still primarily based in black metal sounds. W4 was certainly a shift to more of a pure doom sound but we also wanted to flex muscle in other genres in order to tell the different moods of The Green Album story. Some journalists have suggested that W4 is a story told in 3-4 “acts” or that the album is 8 “pairs” of songs that covers doom, ballads, rock, sludge, prog and other. In the long run, it pays off for having been honest, artistically.
We’ll always write albums that sound like the way we feel and at the time, we felt mostly like doom. Historically, what’s bad for our personal lives is usually good for the songs and vice versa. I can imagine what kind of music we might make if our outlook eventually became sunnier for some reason but until then, we’re a quite the authentic true doom band.
“The Green album” is the best produced Woods of Ypres album even though it was recorded faster pace when compared to previous albums. What was the difference in the recording process this time around?
The recording processes of the previous three albums were unavoidably longer because I used to have a day job back then and therefore we could only record on the weekends. W4 was recorded in about four weeks in the summer of 2009. We would record during the working hours of the weekdays and relax and prepare for the next day in the evenings and on weekends. It really is a better and easier process to record an album in a more focused, shorter period of time, like we did with W4, but in the early days we always felt that we simply had to make it work with the situation we had, which would consist of working all week, recording all weekend and repeat until the album was finished. Looking back, I’m impressed with how much we were willing to tolerate in order to make this music. I am hopeful that things will never be as bad as they once were because I certainly don’t have that kind of patience anymore.
You recently released the video for “I was buried in Mouth Pleasant Cemetery”. Will there be a video for another track off this album?
There might be. We’d like there to be. I can say that it’s in discussion right now. We’re hopeful, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. A video for “Wet Leather” would be fun to shoot as that song is all about binge living and self abuse therapy. Of course with a great “Wet Leather” video there’s the risk that we’d become the “Pain and Piss” band which I think would misrepresent what WOODS OF YPRES is all about to a wider audience. That song is catchy and uncharacteristically more sarcastically depressing than our usual more genuine tone. That’s also the reason why we chose “Buried” to be the first video which I think shows our sincerity and our serious side a little better, which is closer to who we really are. If “Wet Leather” is us selling out, I hope we make some money from it.
Woods of Ypres now has a stable line up after many changes in the past couple of years. Tell us a bit about the new band members.
Evan Madden, drums, has been with us since the fall of 2008, his brother Shane Madden, bass, has been with us since summer 2009 and Joel Violette, lead guitar, joined us for touring in summer 2010. These guys are part of the first real touring lineup for the band. In the last two years, we’ve toured Eastern Canada twice, Western Canada twice, all of the USA once, various one-off shows and we’ve done two recordings. The current band is the best band we’ve ever had. I’m hopeful that we’ll become better and more focused with time in order to deliver the best albums as well as the best live shows yet. When you finally have the right people, you can prioritize the music itself again.
Prior to leaving for Kuwait you recorded an EP “You were the Light”, will that be released any time soon?
We did record an e.p. in August before I moved to Kuwait which was also before we signed to Earache Records. Those songs will be released eventually in some way I’m sure, though I’m not sure how yet. We’ve been discussing different ways we could repackage and release them but we haven’t come to a decision yet. In the meantime, we’re working on a completely separate full length WOODS OF YPRES album for Earache Records.
Has writing for Woods V begun? Will it feature any Kuwaiti/Arab music influences?
I’ve only just begun writing music for the “Earache Woods 5”, but there won’t be any room for middle-eastern influences on this one. At least one of the songs we recorded last August actually did have a few Arabic scale guitar riffs that I wrote as I was preparing to move to Kuwait, but the new album is intended to be completely separate from those influences. However, maybe some darkness from the middle-east will somehow find its way into the new songs after all. I didn’t do any writing when I was in Kuwait, as I was rather preoccupied with my job and didn’t have much brainpower leftover for anything else. I just worked, ate, slept and soaked up the sun and the brutal experience that it was. It was a life changing trip, but I‘m not exactly sure how yet. I don’t quite understand how to articulate how I feel about it all yet. It’s still happening to me now, though the whole thing already feels like a dream, as if it might not have even happened at all.
“The Green Album” is the first Woods of Ypres album to be released on vinyl. Will the past releases also be available on Vinyl in the future?
I hope! Yeah, W4: The Green Album is getting a pretty cool vinyl treatment, being released on double-gatefold vinyl in four colours. My next vinyl goal would be to release Woods I: “Against the Seasons” on vinyl, maybe for the 10th anniversary of that album and the band itself in 2012. In time, I hope that all WOODS OF YPRES albums will get released on vinyl. I look to the listeners to make demands for such things online so Earache Records and other investors can see the potential.
Now that you are signed to Earache records will there be Woods of Ypres tours in other parts of the world like Europe, Asia, and maybe India?
We hope! Europe is certainly a possibility as Earache has their head office in London, England and they’re well connected over there. Having dome some traveling on my own, I’d love to bring WOODS OF YPRES to Asia and India. A dream of mine is to have WOODS OF YPRES play a show in Seoul, South Korea, specifically at the venue called “Sapien’s”, where I played many shows drumming for the Korean metal band NECRAMYTH in 2007-2008 when living and working in Seoul. Interestingly, we’ve recently been approached by two promoters in India who’re wanting to do some business with us, so of course we’re investigating to see where it might go. We’d love to play India of course! We keep hearing good things about the exploding metal scene out there.
After being an independent band for 8 years you signed to Earache Records, do you an advice for Indian bands that are looking to get signed?
My overall advice is to do whatever makes you happy creatively, first and foremost. Even if you don’t get signed, at least you can be proud of the music you made and for knowing that you made it for the right reasons instead of trying to follow trends, writing to please an audience or a record label. This business of art is certainly tricky because what might make you happy artistically might not sell records and vice versa. Also, each band’s path is different and shaped by literally thousands of factors. The bands who are dedicated enough to learn to tolerate the bad sides of the business are the ones who’ve earned the chance to enjoy the good sides of it. Basically, giving and receiving advice is also tricky in this business. Any band who wants to make it work has to get out there, get in there, dig, give it all they have and try to find a way to survive and sustain themselves. It’s a constant struggle with endless challenges. If you can handle that and are willing to accept the way the music business is run, you might have a fighting chance.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
We’ll be touring Canada and the USA in March, writing and rehearsing in April, back on the road in Canada and the USA in May and June, recording in July, then back on the road for the rest of the year. Wish us luck!
Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any Final words?
Visit http://www.earache.com and order a copy of W4: The Green Album on CD and/or double vinyl, available in four colours! See our new video at http://www.youtube.com/DavidYpres, follow us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/DavidYpres and “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/woodsofypres
Lastly, help spread the word out there and help bring us to India! Indian food is my favourite, having acquired a taste for it while living in Toronto and also while living in Seoul, Korea, so now I want to influence India with the Canadian blackened doom of a WOODS OF YPRES show! E-mail me:firstname.lastname@example.org
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