Posts Tagged ‘Earache Records


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Singapore grindcore trio Wormrot are back this year! Their debut album ‘Abuse’ sent ripples through the underground in 2009. The album reached the ears of Digby Pearson who signed them to his legendary label Earache records. The band released their third album ‘Voices’ yesterday, five years after their previous release ‘Dirge’. ‘Voice’ is 20 tracks of ball-crushing grindcore.

Read my interview with frontman Arif.


Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): How does it feel days away from the release of your third and highly awaited album, ‘Voices’? How has the response been to the album thus far?

Wormrot (Arif): It’s more agonizing than I thought it would be as the album will be released tomorrow after 4 to 5 years of nothingness. We just couldn’t wait to get it out to our friends locally and globally. It’s been way overdue. Counting down the hours as we speak. Quite a handful of reviews has already been published and we can’t thank them enough for the amazing write ups for ‘Voices’. Great responses so far. Extremely thankful.

TO: From the songs released so far, the album sounds crushing. Tell us a bit more about the album and what it signifies.

Wormrot: Personally, every album is like a diary to me. Whatever happened on that particular time period, I’ll chuck it in. There’s quite a few ‘happy unity’ songs off ‘Abuse’ and ‘Dirge’. Writing about the good times on tours, hilarious social issues and whatnots. The only thing I could say about ‘Voices’ is that, ‘happiness’ is being brutally murdered with a butter knife. The hiatus affected how I wrote the lyrics. It’s purely hateful words of regrets, revenge, utmost negative ‘Could have’ fantasies. Hence, I would advise everyone who got the album in hand to read the lyrics.

TO: How did you drummer Vijesh become a part of the band? His drumming is insane. How much of an influence was he on the band?

Wormrot: Vijesh dropped from the grindcore heavens and gave us a new breath of fresh air to start getting back on our feet. For him “getting use” to grindcore takes a while as well. Rasyid and myself worked hard to get this dude on the same page as us. As hardworking and as passionate Vijesh was and still is, we bond rather, rather quickly. He contributed his style in the mix and it just flows smoothly with whatever me and Rasyid already had in mind.

TO: You released a smashing video for the track Fallen into Disuse. How important do you feel are music videos are in the age of Youtube and streams?

Wormrot: Music videos are important to lay across what is the song really about. Even if it’s narrative or a live music video, it does the job conveying the intended emotions visually. It pretty much brings the track to a whole new level.

TO: You (Arif) is a well-known artist. How does he balance his artistic inclination with his time in the band? What projects is he currently working on?

Wormrot: You are talking to him right now. Ha! Man, it has been a long time since I drew something new. My priorities changed drastically ever since my son was conceived. Hoping that 2017 will be a good start for me to get back on track with Rotworks. As for now, just family time, day job and Wormrot.

TO: Being from India, your performance in Bangalore, India in 2012 at the Undergrind festival was unforgettable. What are your memories from the show and the trip?

Wormrot: Undergrind Fest was amazing. The show was great and we couldn’t ask for a better hospitality from our dear friends. We tried a few new dishes and they tasted great. No idea what it’s called but damn they are good. Visit a couple of places and whatnots. It’s more like a holiday then performing in the festival. We had great time in Bangalore definitely.

TO: How does it feel to be an actively touring band from Asia? What are the challenges you have faced? Which has been your best tour/show so far in the band’s career?

Wormrot: We are not really that active on touring for now due to our personal commitments etc. As for now, we can’t afford long tours like we used to back in the day. Like I have mentioned before, our priorities changed recently. It’s tough getting time off from work and of course the Army. Which we had to cancel our Europe tour which is happening now as we speak. Man, every tour we did over the years has been amazing. It’s not perfect but the experiences and learning stuff along the way made us somewhat well prepared for the next time around. Be it in the US, UK, Europe or Asia.

TO: What can you tell us about your legendary label Earache Records? How instrumental do you think they were in propelling your band to worldwide recognition at least within the style?

Wormrot: Earache Records has been cool with us since day 1. Well, there were some miscommunications but that is the least of our worries. Having them to wait for 5 years to release an album is a very long time. And we are rather very fortunate to have them being as understanding with our situations back home. They helped us with tons of promotions and as well as a few bookings too. So we can’t really complain much. If it’s not for Earache Records, we will not work as hard as we were and still pumped for datelines to this date. Let’s just say we are honored the push start they have given us in 2009.

TO: Can you explain the progression from when the band first started?

Wormrot: This might take another 5 years just to answer this question. Haha. Well we started of just being friends jamming along cover songs for fun. I was in a band already before Wormrot. Shit happens, left my band and decided to form a new one. Met Rasyid and our ex drummer and start to just write basic grind stuff to kickstart finding our own sound. And it just bloomed from there onwards.

TO: What is it about grindcore that appeals to you? Do you think the genre has limited accessibility and thereby limits your scope as a metal band?

Wormrot: It’s the raw, pure aggression which I love most about grindcore. Although I am not really a fan of the politics side of it. If it sounds angry and pissed off, I’m in. Grindcore is not really a famous sub genre. Maybe due to its content. But the satisfaction of mixing it up with hardcore, punk and metal makes everything kind of fun to vent your frustrations. I listen to other metal genres as well but grindcore just sticks to my heart since God knows when.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Wormrot: I’ve been listening to a lot of rap lately with the likes of Bone Thugs and Harmony, NAS, Tupac etc. But 2016 has been amazing with all the new albums that surfaced like Trap Them, Oathbreaker, Gadget, Ulcerate and many more. The angrier the content is, the more inspired I will be. And these guys definitely helped me through.

TO: What do you think sustains the ‘underground’ so to speak?

Wormrot: Well if they are happy with playing shows and recording EPs, demos and albums for the underground then so be it. It is all about having a blast no matter if you are an underground band or not. And I believe up to this day and age, it’s best to be passionate about something and making things work for yourself. The underground scene will always be there. And I truly respect that. Just don’t be a jackass and you are good in my book. At least.

TO: Are there any influences on the band besides music? How about movies? Culture?

Wormrot: 24/7 grindcore is just plain dumb. We enjoyed numerous genres and sub genres since day 1. Personally I am not really into movies but Rasyid does so I can’t answer what kind of movies he is into. Basically we just listened to whatever that sounds great for us individually. The three of us are quite differ from one another in terms of taste in music, movies etc. But we are fortunate enough to have our own common ground.

TO: The Singaporean scene is rising with stalwarts like Rudra and Impiety becoming better known for their craft. Wormrot is another addition albeit a new one to that list. How does it feel to be regarded as one of the best in the style despite coming from a small country like Singapore?

Wormrot: It’s nerve wrecking yet a beautiful feeling. We are not used to be in the lime light all the time. And believe me ten years later, we are still nervous before every single show despite the number of tours we did. We are most definitely grateful of how we are right now and we can’t thank enough to those who supported us for years and years. Blessed is an understatement.

TO: You are launching ‘Voices’ at a show on the 15th of October at The Substation in Singapore. Can you tell us about other shows planned for the rest of the year?

Wormrot: The launch will be our very last show in 2016. We are pretty much going to rehearse our ass off for the US and Europe tour next year which we can’t hardly wait to be on the road again. It’s about damn time.

TO: Thanks a ton for this interview. It means a lot to us as we’re big fans. Do you have anything else to add?

Wormrot: Voices is out NOW on Earache Records. Do not forget to crank the volume and we’ll be back on the road again early next year.

Written by trendcrusher

October 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Interview with Woods of Ypres (2008)

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Last week, Earache Records announced that they would be re-issuing ‘Against the Seasons: III – The Deepest Roots & Darkest Blues’ the 3rd release by Canadian Black/Doom metal band Woods of Ypres.

They describe the album as “ the band at their most aggressive, with the harsh black metal sound reflecting the predominant personal lyrical approach. The doomier style that the band subsequently adopted is also hinted at here, particularly on the haunting “Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground”.

I had spoken to the Woods of Ypres frontman, David Gold after the release of the album in 2008. He answered my questions with a lot of detail. Below is the transcript of my interview with David.

WOY 2008-1

(Left to Right) Jessica Rose, Dan Husle and David Gold

Hails David!! How are you? It has been 3 years in the making, how does it feel now that your 3rd album “Woods 3: Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues” is finally released?

David: Relieved! I had already been working on “Woods 3” ideas since the writing of “Woods 2: Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth” and there are even a few riff arrangements that I’ve had since shortly after the recording of “Woods 1: Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs from the Dead Summer Heat” so I’ve been carrying the weight of some of these ideas for a very long time. It took me about a year to compose all the songs and write and rehearse my drum parts. We recorded the drums in February 2006, the finished all the guitars in May, it’s just everything else that took so long to do and delayed the release. The main problem was time. Through the three years of “Woods 3”, like most metal bands we’ve all worked full time day jobs that could often be very demanding. We would work all week while making time to write and rehearse at night but recording would be restricted to the weekends. That might not seem too bad to some people reading this but the cycle is horrendous because in order to fulfil all your obligations, you work your heart out and never get a break. It’s all work, studio, binge drink, repeat.Then of course there are always logistical hassles and scheduling conflicts and the unfortunate and unexpected massive, tragic drama that always somehow shatters our progress while trying to finish recording a Woods album (another vulnerability of a long process is the length of your vulnerability). We have been plagued by the kind of life changing event stuff that you hope never happens, that you wouldn’t even wish on your enemies (well maybe your worst enemy) and that happens at the worst possible time to derail our focus and hands us a serious setback, at least for a while. It happened during Woods 1, Woods 2 and now especially Woods 3. I won’t go into details, but it sure set my soul on fire this time around and made anything I’ve ever gone through before seem so minor. Peace. I’ve now come to expect it, but have also decided to become a superstitious person about these kind of things, fingers crossed. Let’s hope that Woods 4 goes smoothly enough and without incident. We sure have some new things to write about.

Tell us a bit about the recording process.

David: To get in shape to write and rehearse the drums, I lived in the rodent infested jamspace known as the “Rehearsal Factory” on Front St. in Toronto for about a year. It was expensive as fuck and I had to deal with all kinds of disrespectful asshole, bullshit hip hop producer neighbours who insisted on making beats at club volumes at all hours of the night (not cool when you have to wake at 6 am for work). I would basically come home after work, play our click track pre-production CD through our PA and play along, trying out different ideas. My place was basically a one room jamspace with a bed so that year wasn’t too comfortable. I resorted to living like this after our last jamspace in Scarborough was condemned for whatever reason. We had just moved in, paid and out of nowhere they just told us to move out our shit because the building was being torn down. They answered our requests for our deposit back with “We are so far in debt, good luck getting your $300 deposit back. In fact, we dare you to sue us for $300” etc… What a nightmare. That building was full of scumbag assholes and it was a pain in the ass to drive out there all the time anyway so we were happy to leave but frustrated not to have a jamspace again. Making music has never been a problem for WoY, but I could give you details of about a dozen jamspaces that the band has occupied in the last five years, in four cities. In my opinion, they were all shitholes and wickedly overpriced for what we paid, but it seems that’s what you always have to suffer in order to ‘keep the ball rolling’ as we used to say.

After Dan and I had recorded a couple full album drum demos in the Front St. jampspace, we bought two days at Chemical Sound in Toronto (do you know that “Death From Above 1979” band/album? That was recorded there.). We set up on Saturday morning, tuned and miced the drums and were tracking by mid afternoon. I managed to get half the album done by the end of Saturday. A couple oven pizzas and a shitty sleep later, we finished the second half on the drums on Sunday and gorged ourselves with Indian Roti while the dude mixed down the tracks. I did at least three useable takes of each song, except for “Distractions of Living Alone” which was the last track I did, 9 times! I was exhausted and I just couldn’t find the right feel that I wanted right away, so it took some practise. Overall, it was a lot of drums to record in just a little over 24 hours (73 useable minutes). I was wrecked for a few days. I actually went to see Devin Townsend live on the Monday night and I remember drinking beers while leaning up against the wall because I could barely stand from so much blasting, over and over again. We did what we had to do, but I would love the luxury of having a few more days to track drums on any future WoY albums, or better yet, have someone else perform them and leave me to focus on guitar and vocals.

Next, we recorded the guitars at Dan’s cottage studio near Bobcaygeon. I used my brown Gibson SG and my Marshall Mode 4 on the left side guitars (the main riffs) and my B.C. Rich Warlock with Hetfield EMGs through a borrowed Marshall JCM 800 on the right (the thrash and power chord rhythm parts). Again, I remember Dan and I finishing up our work weeks on Friday, getting some ‘recording groceries’ (beer and spicy food) driving up to the cottage listening to Behemoth or whatever it was at the time, enthusiastically talking about metal and W3. We’d load in Friday night, crash, make breakfast, track guitars all day over multiple pots of coffee until we were shitting out pants and then eat BBQ, watch hockey on illegal satellite and get trashed at night. Sunday would be similar but with a hangover. Then Sunday night we’d tear down, load out and drive home, usually in complete silence (haha!). I think it took about 4 weekends to record all the electric guitar parts and then one more weekend to do the acoustic parts. By then it was nearing summer time and getting pretty warm. On the acoustic tracking weekend I remember sitting on a chair with my guitar in hand in front of a couple microphones, facing the window of the sliding door to the outside, looking at the trees, hungover, sweating my balls off thinking “ah, it’s almost done, only a few more songs”…fingers shaking.

That summer was full of work and personal life conflicts (as is the deal with summer in our case it seems) and we didn’t get much done. Plus, I hate summer. Once everything had cooled down, we resumed tracking at the cottage in the fall, doing the first of the keys, vocals and bass. When winter had finally set in and it became too cold to record at the cottage ( we all have limits, even black metallers, Abbath would have backed us up on this one) we moved our process to our (then) new jamspace in Oshawa. Tracking here came with a catch. The building had a noise curfew from 12 noon to 12 midnight which meant you could play at full volume during those times but the place was to be quiet otherwise. So, tracking sometimes began in the frosty ‘see your breathe’ dark of winter mornings as early as 7 am so we could record in a quiet environment before other scumbag bands woke up and started jamming at noon. There would of course be pressure of the looming deadline each day before other bands in the building started making noise as we would be wanting to get as much accomplished as possible in our dirty window of opportunity. Again, not a comfortable thing at the end of a work week, but it’s what we had to do. Vocals, keys and bass all wrapped up in late spring / early summer and it had been mix, mix, mix ever since, rediscovering layers we had recorded and nearly forgot about. By the fall, W3 was being sent to be mastered and pressed. This album would have exhausted a full band that actually had time and resources, so for ‘half’ a band such as ours with so, so very much less, I’ll admit it nearly killed us, but we finished it and it’s now out. Please enjoy our painful labour, and if you do enjoy it, please buy a copy.

How different was it recording this album as compared to your last album “Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth” especially since you had a couple more members in the band?

David: Well Jessica has been with me since 2004, so she is now the only other member other than me to have recorded on at least two consecutive Woods albums. Having Dan Hulse join the band as bass player and recording engineer came at a great time. Though convenient, we did have our challenges as it was a huge commitment and simply just a lot for one person to take on as bass player and engineer, especially for a guy who worked as much as he did and also had a life , etc… We would always talk about the ‘wearing of too many hats’, and having too much to do, which was the predominant theme of the W3 process, with Dan being the recording engineer and me doing all the writing and managing all aspects of the band, operating our mailorder, etc… In the future, I would much rather have 1) a drummer other than myself, 2) a producer 3) a label to handle some of our administration. These three things would allow Dan and I to free up a little more time and brainpower to work on the songs themselves and ultimately make better music. I always dream of the albums we will make with more time and some peace of mind. I basically wrote the arrangements, the drum parts and then the guitar riffs. Dan and Jessica both wrote their complimenting bass and keyboard parts, I sang over top of all of it and then Dan mixed it and had it mastered.

Having lived in Ontario, Canada for a few years I can understand the sentiment behind “Your Ontario Town is a Burial Ground”. How much of that song was about Woods of Ypres?

David: Really? I’d be curious to hear your take on it as well. I won’t deny that the main inspiration for this song was from my time growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, in Northern Ontario. I lived there all my life and had never seen much else so by 18 I was dying to get the fuck out of there. Of course the list of pros and cons are endless when comparing big city life to small city life, but I was frustrated having spent so much time there and felt pressured to make up for lost time, to catch up on the world. Once I got out there, I felt so underexposed to life. I mean, I could write a book about the stupid shit we would do to pass time, growing up, up north (playing in a band being the most exciting in a list of going coffee, drinking beers, driving around, throwing shit at other shit, taking shits where you’re not supposed to take shits, breaking things, being hillbillies etc…). It’s now been 8 years since I left and it’s sometimes hard for me to believe that I ever used to live there, it sometimes seems like a lifetime ago. Maybe I’m out of touch and just don’t realize that it’s the same life for kids growing up anywhere, but maybe not. It’s funny for me to think that I didn’t see my first concert until I was 19 and in University when I went to see Megadeth and Static-X at the State Theatre in Detroit (haha! Btw – I’m not at all a Megadeth fan really but somehow I’ve seen then live 4-5 times since then. I am however still a huge Static-X fan! Seriously!). Since leaving the north, I grew to resent it even more as I lost touch with friends, either intentionally or inadvertently, from either side. In retrospect, I ask myself, “who the fuck am I to judge anyone else’s life” but I guess I felt that there was too big of a world out there for good friends of mine to spend it doing the same shit in the same shitty city every year of their lives, driving around, doing nothing. I wanted more for myself and them, but it was because it ended up being me alone on my own so much that led to some pretty lonely, isolated periods of identity crisis and questioning of my choices, searching for purpose (enter WoY). I guess I also felt that many people who I knew ‘gave up’ or who didn’t take those important chances in order to do what they wanted to do with their lives but instead chose to stay put where things were dark, boring but yet familiar and comfortable. SSM can be comfy, but not exciting or rewarding. But anyways, again, who the fuck am I to judge? I wrote that song a few years ago when I still really felt passionately resentful towards that scene but have since ‘relaxed’ and changed my focus. I do believe that people will relate to that song, get their own angst out and appreciate the fact that I wrote it, but really I realise that it’s no business of mine to try to tell people what they should do with their lives. I may visit, very rarely, but I just know I don’t want to live my life there. What anyone else does is up there is up to them. “Brutal north, bring me down!”.

Jessica Rose makes another appearance and plays a “key” part of it. How did she become part of the band?

David: The story: While still I Windsor, fall 2003, I submitted the Woods 1 song “Shams of Optimism” to a guy named Kyle from Toronto who was releasing an indy metal compilation on his label. Fast forward to living in Toronto January 2004, I had posted an announcement on the braveboard ( entertaining the idea of possibly adding a keyboard player to the band. Jessica was the only reply and the only keyboardist we’ve heard from since. We met for coffee and Kyle (then boyfriend, now husband) came with her. Jessica has stuck with me and the WoY even since, through hell and success. Her role in the band increases with every album so please enjoy and appreciate the greatness she gave to Woods 3 and look forward what she contributes on Woods 4.

What are your thoughts on those who feel that there is no place for keyboards in black metal?

David: Well, people on the Internet sure seem to feel a lot of things about what there’s place for in black metal now don’t they? There’s probably more discussion about these things in black metal than any other genre ever. Btw – have you ever had a conversation about black metal with someone in person, or do these things only ever happen online? Joking of course (poorly). I think it’s obvious that we are simply doing our thing with (laughs out loud as I type this) very little regard to what else is happening out there or what people think about what’s allowed in BM. You’ll poison your brain getting caught up in the rules or listening to anonymous opinions. We are obviously not a pure black metal band for many, many reasons and I think it’s clear to people that we’re not aspiring to be a part of all that. Even though we can enjoy that stuff, be fans and appreciate it ourselves at the same time, it’s just not us. Our style is black and doom, which means riff, blast, blast, blast, blast, fill, fill, fill, fill, DOOOOOOOOM! Hell-fast to slow as hell, sometimes hot, sometimes ice cold. That is the WoY sound. We like atmosphere and keyboards only contribute to that atmosphere, so they are cool with us. One of our goals in making music is to evoke emotions just as much as we want to blast your head off, and piano and strings are great tools to grab someone by the heart, via the ears and mind. Not all bands need a keyboardist, but Woods is a band that is better with one. + Jessica is a character and as much part of WoY as anything or anyone. She has also recently started a gothic clothing business:

Dan Hulse (Ex-Blood of Christ) is responsible for the production on the album and also handles the bass duties. How did he become a part of the band?

David: Dan and I met on a very unfortunate mini tour with BoC and an early version of WoY in early 2004, which ironically included a show in Sault Ste. Marie and the old WoY stomping grounds on Windsor, Ontario. We seemed to have hit it off and kept in touch, talking about metal and future band aspirations. A time came when he left BoC and decided to join WoY fulltime. We’ve been working on W3 and trying to find a way for everything else to work out ever since. We’ve definitely paid our dues and put our time in on this album. Having this awful and disgusting process behind us, I feel as if the possibilities are endless going forward into the next era.

A week or so before the album release you put it online for free. What was the motive behind that?

David: Very simply, a few people in the press had already been sent a copy and as soon as one person has a copy you might as well just put it up for download. The link I posted was limited to 100 downloads and that got eaten up within about a day. Since then I’ve seen it pop up at all the major torrent sites. We of course would appreciate for people to still purchase a copy of a CD (the “physical representation” as I call it now) in exchange for making the music. It seems that’s what CD sale means these days, when people enjoy the music they’ve downloaded enough to send a band money in exchange for a booklet and a plastic disc, to say “Thanks!”. That’s cool with with us. I have an i-pod, I understand. Whatever works and keeps us going.

Is this album the last in the “Against the Seasons” series? What is the next album gonna be like?

David: Yes, Woods 3 is the third of three in the “Against the Seasons” trillogy series.
The next album (Woods 4) will be one of new growth and renewal. Expect the warm, green, organic sound of progressive black metal in major chords as well as some heavy ballads. I already have new riffs written for half an album. It will be ‘spring’ a la WoY!

Since you also run Krankenhaus Records, any new releases this coming year other than the Woods of Ypres album?

David: I don’t have any plans to work with any other bands other than ones that I am in. My focus is and always will be Woods of Ypres, so I am going to continue to focus on that and make plans for our next move (Woods 4, + maybe a few surprises). We are also planning to finally re-release Woods 2: “Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth” sometime in 2008, hopefully before the summer. We’ve also been talking to some artists about doing new and extensive artwork for “Woods 2” which may include a new graphic image for each song from that album, sure to make a good booklet and some killer t-shirts! Can you imagine a visual for “Allure of the Earth” or “Dragged Across a Forest Floor”? I sure as fuck can.

I can hear a variety of influences in your music. What is the main influence to your music?

David: The WoY sound of the full “Against the Seasons” ara (Woods 1,2,3) was influenced by a lot of that early 2000’s euro black metal such as Borkngar, Vintersorg, Arcturus, Solefald, that whole scene, as well as doomier bands such as Katatonia (and my personal favourites) Agalloch and Amorphis. Add to that the lyrical styles and riffs of Crowbar, Sentenced, and the darkness of Type O Negative and Danzig. Lately, I (half) jokingly compare the WoY sound to HIM meeting Darkthrone halfway, but with heavy drums. Basically, WoY mixes black and doom, the two styles of metal I enjoyed the most that were kept separate amongst the bands I listened to. We have both of those extreme moods, plus the ballads, so there’s really three sides to WoY.

Growing up what were the Canadian bands you looked up to?

David: FaceDown (SSM). They were a thrash/Pantera influenced “crash metal” (buzz word expression at the time) four piece, pusing their early 20’s. They released one 8 song tape called “Self Muder”. I bought it for $5 off the guitarist in my high school intro to business class. Other than that, pre-Internet, I didn’t even know of any Canadian metal bands that existed. The world was just Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Megadeth…oh and Type O and Crowbar!

One of the things I really like about the music is the honesty in it. How much of your personal experiences go into the music?

David: Lots. Every WoY song is at least originally inspired from something that happened in real life, and then I build around it to complete the idea of what the theme is about. I guess if you live a Dungeons and Dragons kind of life, that’s what you might think to write your metal about, but we sure as fuck didn’t and so we don’t. I believe that ‘life’ is the reason I found metal and why I’ve been inspired to make some of my own. With each new song I feel I make something good out of something terrible and it allows me to smile and move on. For example, “A Meeting Place and Time” is about terrible stuff that once thought would haunt me forever but now that’s so far from the truth. Now, I often think about that song without even remembering what actually inspired it. I’m always fascinated with the idea that you could be so intimately close with someone for years, only to eventually hate that person more than you thought you could ever hate a person. I wish it didn’t happen like that, but love and life is always like playing with fire. What’s funny to me is that I know my tendencies socially and the connections to my writing. Now sometimes I laugh when I meet someone know and think “this person will be a song” haha! I know I say this every album, and I probably always will, but Woods 4 will be the best WoY album yet. Hahaha! With each album Woods is older, wiser, tougher and better at expressing ourselves. In the wake of some fresh life changing personal experiences in my life, expect a new level of depth and intensity from DG and the crew on the next album.

Woods of Ypres has a strong following online. What are your thoughts on the internet and also networking sites like and others and its effects on the music industry? Has the Internet been beneficial to your band?

David: Absolutely! Woods of Ypres has been built on the Internet. In this day and age, if we’ve ever had a choice, we’ve always focused on recordings rather than playing live (again, if we had to choose one). A live show can only be shared with a few hundred people at our level (if we’re lucky, in Toronto!) but because of the Internet, our recordings can resonate thousands of times throughout the world to be enjoyed (and loathed) by so many. Fuck man, we have a .ca, a myspace, a facebook profile, a facebook group, a forum, a guestbook, a garageband, a lastfm profile, etc… People are tuned in and listening to the Internet and I don’t think there’s a better medium right now. The Internet also allows a band such as ours to get out there and get on with achieving our goals without waiting for our music to be legitimised by a label. WoY has been 100% indie since the founding in 2002 and with the help of paypal and supporters sending us well hidden cash in the mail, we’ve run a successful mailorder distro ever since. I did a lot of networking through all areas of the band and have nurtured the interest of our listener base and rewarded them whenever we could. We now see that work paying off. Because of downloading and torrents, we have no idea how wide-spread our albums have gone but I’m willing to bet it would be a seriously impressive number to know how many people have those first two (soon to be three) WoY albums on their computer. We’re definitely out there.

Now that you have a full-band together, any plans for touring yet?

David:Some serious touring is definitely a dream and an interest of ours, but I’ll admit that the future of WoY is very much undefined at this time. A lot depends on time, money, scheduling, and demand based on how well “Woods 3” is received. Basically, we would love to. We’ll see what happens.

What are your plans for 2008?

David:For me, promoting “Woods 3” and finally visiting long lost family in Finland for the first time next summer.

Thank you for taking time out to answer my questions. Do you have any final words or comments?

David:Yeah, here are the two best ways to order a copy of “Woods 3”:

Direct from the band (preferred):

From The End Records:

+ Please check out the W3 e-card, in two versions:

Thanks for the interview Peter! Be well out there!

David Gold & the Wood… \w/

Check out the video for ‘Norther Cold’ from the album

Written by trendcrusher

January 29, 2014 at 12:38 am

Interview with Woods of Ypres (2012)

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As I mentioned in my Tribute to David Gold, I would try and get in contact with Joel Violette for an interview regarding the latest Woods of Ypres album, “Grey Skies and Electric Light”.  Well I did manage to and he was gracious to reply to all my questions.
Find out more about his thoughts on the final album by Woods of Ypres in my interview below.

Your first album as a “signed band” has just released under some of the toughest circumstances. Your thoughts on the same?

It is indeed a tough time, for everyone David knew. But, you’re right, doubly so for his family and me because of the impending release of Woods 5. But Earache has been very understanding and respectful. David’s family is going through a very tough time, but they are nevertheless committed to making sure Woods 5 receives the press, attention, and reception it deserves. We are all working together with Earache to ensure this!

“Grey Skies and Electric Light” was your second release as full time member of the band. What was the song writing process like? Did being a signed band have any effect on it?

The song writing process for Woods 5 was a blast. For Woods 4.5: Home, David wrote all the songs, and I contributed solos and lead guitar on three of five songs we recorded. That was a good experience, and started off my writing relationship with David. Woods 5 was different in that I ended up writing half the songs the album, musically at least. David still wrote all the lyrics. But I sent him a few demos that he really liked, and told me to keep pounding them out, and that we would use the best 10-12 songs we came up with between the two of us. It happened to be six and six. There will only be 11 tracks on the final album because “Kiss My Ashes (Goodbye)” is one spliced into one massive song rather than two regular-length ones.
The “signed band” aspect of it did two things. First, it provided us with some money up front to cover recording costs, which takes a big stress off. And second, it provided a sort of “legitimacy” behind the decision to quit work and dedicate two months of one’s life to writing and recording an album. We treated it like a job. We got up each day to a pot of coffee, then worked away all day.

The album was recorded with producer Siegfried Meier at Beach Road Studios. How different was the recording process this time around?

We had excellent  chemistry with Sig, and David, Sig and I were all on fire. Sig really knows his stuff, and can make magic happen. The biggest difference between Woods 5 and the other albums is something that David kept mentioning: we finished everything we wanted to finish, and did so with an entire day to spare. The other four (and a half) Woods albums were a case of recording to the last minute, and seeing how long the recording engineer would let them go! With Woods 5 we finished the bulk of it after 10-11 days, and the last few days were only spent touching things up. This was partly because we had 85-90% of the album written before the studio, were very well-rehearsed, and partly thanks to Siegfried’s skill and expertise.

(Left to Right) Joel Violette, Siegfried Meier, David Gold

It was produced by John Fryer (Depeche Mode, NIN, White Zombie, HIM). What was it like working with him?

We were in awe of John and his discography, and were honoured to work with him. But we never actually worked with him face-to-face. It was all after the recording process, and we only communicated with him via email, commenting on his mixes, which we really liked. He was impressed with Woods 5, and wanted to work with us on our next record, which would have been amazing. It’s sad it will never happen.

David did not chronicle the recording process through either blogs or photos as he did with the previously released albums. Was there any reason behind it?

It’s true that not much footage was released, but we did actually chronicle the recording process. We took loads of videos in studio, loads of videos during the writing process. The plan was for us to create a video chronicling each song on the album, from the beginning riffs in Sault Ste Marie to the finished product at Beach Road Studios. And we each wrote a studio diary, to be released as a sort of hype-up to the release of Woods 5, but we actually don’t have David’s diary. He never submitted it.

Woods of Ypres has recently transformed from an Ontario black metal band to a North American Black and Doom metal band. What were the reasons behind the change?

I think David was always pushing Woods of Ypres forward, and always changing the sound to suit. He reached many goals with his Ontario ‘trilogy’ of Woods 1-3, and from there the only logical way forward was beyond Ontario. Woods 4, the album that would break these boundaries, happened to be a doom album, and really cemented that tag for David and Woods. Woods 5, in turn, definitely pushes this boundary of “North American Black and Doom”. It certainly includes some black metal, and some doom, but its songs are by no means confined to these genres.

Where does the future lie for Woods of Ypres?

Sadly, David was Woods of Ypres. His voice and his lyrics are irreplaceable, as was his vision of what Woods was, and what Woods would become. Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Lights will indeed be released as planned, on February 27th, but after that, I’m afraid there won’t be any Woods 6.

You have another band, Thrawsunblat which featured David on Drums. What are you plans for the band?

I actually have all of “Thrawsunblat II” written and demoed. I’d sent it all to David, and he was rehearsing it on the drums. Plans were to record in 2012. David was an incredible drummer, both in skill and creativity, and is a massive loss to Thrawsunblat. He will be difficult to replace. Nevertheless, I’ll soldier on, and try to find someone suitable. The next album is raw folk and black metal, like the first, but it’s much more focused, more complex, and more coherent thematically. It deals much more with Atlantic Canada and North America, yet still in a very folk-ish way. And though I don’t have the personnel selected yet, the next Thrawsunblat album will still be recorded in 2012.

Thanks a lot Joel for answering all my questions during this tough time. Do you have any final words?

Thank you, Peter! It’s been a pleasure. Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light is available from Earache Records February 27th, 2012!

I have the promo copy of the album and I feel its best album by Woods of Ypres. Pick up a copy of “Grey Skies and Electric Light” from the Earache Web store.

Update: Woods of Ypres won the Juno award for best Metal/Hard Music album of the year. Joel Violette and Esther Gold (David’s mother) accepted the award, check out the video below

Written by trendcrusher

February 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm