Mayhem 2012: Interview with Alex Wade of Whitechapel

Posted on November 11, 2013

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Mayhem 2012: Interview with Alex Wade of Whitechapel

Whitechapel

Whitechapel

 


Question: You are now toward the middle of the tour, you played a show each day this weekend, how have you kept up the intensity so that each set of fans gets the best experience?

Answer: Luckily we are only playing for 30 minutes on this tour, it’s a lot easier playing like an hour or something like that if you are headlining. Slipknot, they play for two hours every night. We have never done anything like that before. Since we are only playing 30 minutes a day it’s not very strenuous. We have techs that help us out on stage.

Q: How was it been touring with some of these big name bands? Slayer, Motorhead, Anthrax? Do you have any bonding stories so far from the tour?

A: Not yet, I really hope we get the chance to hang out with some of those other bands. Apparently, Corey Taylor from Slipknot went to our merchandise table yesterday and asked for one of our shirts so, that is definitely humbling for me because Slipknot has been one of my favorite bands for about ten years now. I first heard them when I was 16. It is really cool to be on tour with a band like that and they actually like your band.”

Q: What is a typical day for you and Whitechapel on the Mayhem tour?

A:“Usually we wake up, eat lunch or whatever. I usually set aside a good 45 minutes before the set to chill out, not do anything, get dressed and really focus on the set and stuff like that. Then we play the set, starts at 2:45 ends at 3:15. Then we have a signing every day that starts at 4 and goes to 5 and we rotate people on press. After the signing, we come down toward the press tent, while I’m down here I usually shower, eat, stuff like that.”

Q:How has the crowd responded to the new album? What is something that stuck out in your mind from the fan reactions when you met some of them?

A: It has been going really well, that is why tours like this are awesome because you are playing to a massive amount of people. Somebody that may have never even heard of your band could be walking by and it catches their ear and they turn around and watch your set and then go and buy your CD at the tent. I definitely had a couple of people come up to me at the signing and say ‘man I’ve never heard you guys before today, I think you’re awesome, I’m a fan now I bought your CD.’ We are actually doing something
productive.

Q:Why did you self-title this album?

A:I definitely feel that when a band self-titles an album, it needs to be something special, it can’t be any old record. It needs to be a real defining point in their career. I, and everyone else in the band, feels like this new CD is exactly that for us. It is going to help us make that next step that we need to make.

Q:What is your favorite song to play live?

A:Use to be ‘Possession’ and I still like playing that song a lot, but recently we started playing new songs, ‘I, Dementia’ and ‘Possibilities of Impossible Existence’ they are a lot of fun to play.

Q:Tell me more about ‘I, Dementia.’ The video just came out and is really visually catchy.

A:Yeah, David Brodsky at MyGoodEye Productions did the visuals, or whatever you want to call it. He is a great guy, we’ve done many music videos with him. We love his attitude and bond with him. He makes the shoots really easy. The video for ‘I, Dementia’ was all done in front of a green screen and he just went in and did all the animations that went along with the video.

Q:What is ‘I, Dementia’ about?

A: I think for Phil lyrically, this song is about someone with dementia. The song has a back and forth vibe. I don’t think a lot of people can really notice that until they watch the video. On the video, he made it a point to really show what the song is about and he has two versions of himself-one version his shirt is off and he looks all crazy and the other version he looks normal. The video is like him going back and forth with each other, kind of in this demented state of mind.

Musically we wanted to make it a juggernaut of a song. All of our songs are heavy, but we wanted to make this song HEAVY to show people we are not messing around. It is definitely much slower tempo, we have never really done something that slow in the past, but it was cool to really sit back and focus on the groove of the song then how fast and brutal it could be.

Q: Do you prefer an outdoor venue like Mayhem or an indoor venue better?

A: It is about 50/50 because they both have their pros and cons. When you are playing in a venue obviously it is air conditioned, it’s nice and cozy inside, it is a much more personal experience with the fans because they are a lot closer to you. Sometimes they are right up by the stage sometimes there is a barricade, even then, the barricade is much smaller than the ones they use here.

Then the festival setting, it is a little less personal with the fans but if you are playing to 6-8,000 people a day instead of a 1,000 or 2,000 inside a venue. It is really cool to get to do both things, but then you can come out here and just play to a load of people.

Q:After Mayhem, you have another big tour lined up about a month later, how will that tour be different for Whitechapel from Mayhem?

A:The biggest difference will be what we were just talking about, it will be all indoors, we will be directly supporting Hatebreed with help from All Shall Perish and another hardcore Australian band called Deez Nuts, funny enough name. I think it will be cool, make new fans and have those fans come see us in a more intimate setting.

Q:Whitechapel has been doing back-to-back tours, you just released this sick new album,

A: Yeah this is our career, we don’t hold any other jobs back home or anything like that. We have to take it seriously or we don’t have any money.

Q: What other opportunities have come up for the band after the upcoming tour we just spoke about?

A: We have the Hatebreed tour and after that we will be going to Europe with August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada. That should be fun, we are good friends with Devil wears Prada, we have a blast with those guys. It’s cool to go to Europe with friends in bands, it makes being outside the U.S. a bit easier.

Q: Ten years ago, would you have thought you would have been doing something like this?

A: No way, if you told me ten years ago that I would be touring with Slipknot after I just heard them, I would tell you to shut up, I would never believe you. Me and my band are a prime example of not having the slightest idea about what can happen in life, it can take a turn in the blink of an eye.

Mattice is a producer and music journalist for the Journal & Courier. She can be reached on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

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Posted in: 2012