Warbringer interview (10/2011)

With: John Kevill
Conducted by: wormdrink414 (e-mail)
Published: 20.10.2011

Band profile:


WD: Hey, thanks a lot for taking the time to do this. To start, for the two or three douchebags who haven't listened to you guys yet, how would you describe Warbringer's sound?

John: Machine-gun thrash, with some touches of death metal and a few black metal influences here and there. We also try to be song-focused, energetic, and catchy.

WD: You're currently headlining a tour in North America. How's that going? Any crazy stories to share with us yet?

John: Nothing too crazy yet. The turnouts are a little lower than we were hoping for, but hey, no one said playing metal was easy. Mostly just some epic parties with the other bands, and a general positive spirit with the fans on the whole thing.

WD: You've toured with a lot of big and respected bands (Exodus, Overkill, Napalm Death, Suffocation,Kreator, Finntroll, etc.) Are there any bands that you really want to tour with in the future?

John: Of course! Slayer is a big and obvious choice, but really there's too many to name. Anything that we are fans of or seems like would be good for the band we will do when the opportunity comes.

WD: Were any of those bands a bunch of dicks?

John: By and large everyone has been very nice. I think metal dudes on the road seem to have mutual respect for each other, and generally get along.

WD: What have you guys been listening to on the road so far?

John: A bunch of stuff, there's a lot of van hours. Bathory is always a staple. Today I listened to Enforcer, Cauldron, Ghost, and the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack.

WD: If you could only take a handful of albums with you, which ones would you pick?

John: Bathory's Twilight of the Gods, Manilla Road's Crystal Logic, Virgin Steele's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Part 1, and Judas Priest's PainFuckingKiller!

WD: On to your new album, Worlds Torn Asunder just came out (been really enjoying it). How'd the recording process go this time around?

John: It was awesome. We had plenty of time to write the album this time as we came off the road, took a short break for the holidays and then wrote for almost six months and spent about a month in the studio with producer Steve Evetts. It was really constructive overall. We had time to demo out some songs and work out the details of them. We really wanted each track to have its own flavor and feel, musically and lyrically. The time in the studio went smoothly as well. Steve really worked us hard and we did multiple takes to get the best performances but we're proud as there are no fixes in editing, copy and paste, triggered crap.

WD: Worlds... sounds slightly tighter and more polished than your previous albums, what would you say to someone who thinks that some of the attitude from your earlier full-lengths has been injured?

John: I dunno, I think the production is loud, clear, and polished, but it also doesn't sound fake or inhuman at all. I think there's a lot of straight aggressive emotion in the sound, the loss of which is usually why people complain about more polished records.

WD: Was Steve Evetts acting weird after working with Suicide Silence earlier this year? If so, how did you help him cope?

John: It was our first time working with the guy, so if he was acting different from usual, I wouldn't know. Steve has his quirks, but we all got along really well, and I had a lotta fun working with him. He's a true professional and very knowledgeable and has worked with a variety of musical styles and we really liked his extensive experience and his ambition to get the best tones and performances for each artist he works with.

WD: So you guys have been one of the big dogs in this thrash revival for some time now, what do you think about how the movement has been shaping up over the past few years?

John: It's still pretty small to be honest. I think there's some really good bands out there and it feels good to be a part of a movement that stands for playing real heavy metal instead of bullshit. I think some of the criticism of the movement is valid, but in some cases ignores how good some of the songs some of the newer bands come up with are. I think some of the newer thrash is better than a lot of the B-tier of '80s thrash that is still held on a pedestal for, well, being '80s thrash. You can hear our influences but we always strive to do something a bit different than just paying tribute.

WD: Do you care for the term "thrash revival"? I know there are other names for the movement you're in.

John: No, it sucks ass for people to review you based on the genre you are a part of and barely talk about the actual music. Yes, it's a thrash record, but are the songs good or bad, performances, production, etc? How do they differ? What end of the spectrum is it on? More melodic parts or machinegun parts, and where? A lot of what we get is "LOL it's thrash, Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, Testament!", which sucks to hear after working hard on writing good songs and making a strong record. I'm passionate about playing thrash metal, not just any, but the best thrash metal I can possibly be a part of and I think you can hear that on the album and especially when you come see us live.

WD: Any new thrash bands that you think us MetalStormers should check out?

John: I like Toxic Holocaust, Evile, Enforcer (not really thrash, but awesome metal), Vektor, Witchaven.

WD: Alright, on to the good stuff. Quick questions round:

Bay Area or Teutonic?

John: German thrash is more evil knives and daggers. Gotta go with that, by a margin.

WD: Bonded By Blood or Fabulous Disaster?

John: I call it a tie. Bonded by Blood for overall consistency, Fabulous... has a killer guitar tone and some total standouts.

WD: Hell Awaits or Reign In Blood?

John: Reign in Blood.

WD: 90s Megadeth or 90s Metallica?

John: Rust in Peace is 1990, automatic win.

WD: Cheap beers or micro-brews?

John: Micro brews when you can get them, Coors light the rest of the time. A good beer for chuggin'.

WD: Death Magnetic or St. Anger?

John: Death Magnetic is less bad. St Anger sets the bar pretty high for badness.

WD: And finally, Waking Into Nightmares or Worlds Torn Asunder?

John: For me, Worlds Torn Asunder is our strongest record. I think a large part of that is how I feel it is my personal best performance vocally.

WD: Alright, thanks again for your time. Any urgent parting words for us metal web warriors?

John: Thanks for the interview and thanks to all the fans for the support. See you in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 23rd.


Posted on 20.10.2011 by Wormdrink's real name is George and he's an American.


Comments: 6   Visited by: 219 users
20.10.2011 - 09:31
LeChron James
Fantastic interview. John kept it real about the kinda music he and Warbringer plays. I also agree that Worlds Torn Asunder is his strongest vocal performance to date. He sounds straight VICIOUS on a good majority of the album's tracks.
Kick Ass, Die Young

Less is More
Stay Pure
Stay Poor

Music was my life, music brought me to life and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz in my head that only I can hear.
20.10.2011 - 14:10
John Kevill is my fucking idol, keep kicking ass man!
21.10.2011 - 02:19
"Cheap beers or micro brews?" ... "Micro brews when you can get 'em."

lol, one of the Laux brothers got a Fat Tire on me after a gig in Tucson with Vader a couple years ago. would have picked up another round or two, but bought a disk of theirs instead.
get the fuck off my lawn.
21.10.2011 - 03:32
Great interview! Loving the new album, Warbinger is fucking awesome, and man for how much respect I have for these guys I hope I can see them live.
22.10.2011 - 04:57
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Warbringer is amazing <3 wish theyd come to thunder bay
Checkout my band here!
29.10.2011 - 14:44
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
"WD: Death Magnetic or St. Anger?

John: Death Magnetic is less bad. St Anger sets the bar pretty high for badness."

And extension of St Anger's "pretty high for badness" is respectably Lolu now.

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