Edge Of Attack interview (02/2013)
|With:||Doug Jurekk Whipple, Denver Whipple|
|Conducted by:||Susan (skype)|
Edge Of Attack
A few days ago I had a Skype interview with Jurekk Whipple (lead guitar/backing vocals) and Denver Whipple (bass), the brother/sister duo from Canadian classic power metal 5-piece Edge Of Attack. The band comes from northwest Alberta, which I found pretty fascinating.
Susan: It's cool when these awesome bands come out of the middle of nowhere. I'm wondering how did you guys form?
Jurekk: Well, we formed a couple years ago with a different line up. It just wasn't working; we were playing slightly different music. Then basically what happened was we hired Roxanne (Roxanne Gordey, lead vocals). I used to sing and initially I invited her over to do some guest vocals. She came over and started singing and that's how Roxanne joined the band. Then the bass player we had at the time just quit so I just walked upstairs over there and asked Denver if she wanted to be the bass player so that's how she's in the band. And Trevor's (Trevor Swain, drums) been in since the beginning and so has Dallas (Dallas Dyck, rhythm guitar). We've only been around for a couple years.
Susan: What kind of style were you playing before? You said it was pretty different?
Jurekk: It was a lot thrashier.... it was just kinda thrash metal.
Susan: Do you have a good local scene up there or are you guys just a bunch of true believers who happen to live in the same city?
Jurekk: There is a scene but we're not really part of it. The scene we have is for the newer age, super heavy stuff.
Denver: Lots of metalcore.
Susan: Yeah, got it, got it. So I've been noticing a lot over the past few years, a lot of great bands across the genre spectrum but also lots of classic heavy metal bands coming out of Canada and I'm just wondering if you guys have any theories about the Canadian metal takeover.
Jurekk: It's kind of like when, who was it before that took over with all the power metal? Norway?
Denver: I think the scene in Canada has always been really good but now that society is so modern it can go everywhere. So, people are aware of it now. There are so many good Canadian bands from the 80s it's ridiculous.
Jurekk: And plus we really got nothing else to do! Outside it's terrible, it's just covered in snow.
Susan: Is it very cold most of the year?
Jurekk: No, we have like 3 months where it's about plus 30 degrees Celsius, which, I don't know, is probably the coldest it ever gets around LA.
Susan: (I burst out laughing) Yeah, probably!
Jurekk: You know those videos, like on youtube, where you see people in the States when there is a light little breeze of snow then all hell breaks loose and their cars are flying all over the place?
Jurekk: Yeah, that's nothing.
Denver: We get snow piles bigger than me.
Susan: Then does the snow just stay all spring, like, not wanting to melt?
Jurekk: Yeah just slushy and we get big puddles. New lakes form every year. (laughs)
Susan: Well, that sounds pretty metal. At least you have so inspiration. So, what are your live shows like? What can someone expect if they go?
Jurekk: Well, I've heard from other people that we've played shows with that we're quite tight live which I guess is something that is rare nowadays, apparently? I didn't think this was. I thought everyone wanted to be…
Denver: …good, live.
Susan: Yeah, you'd think.
Jurekk: And we're always running around and doing crazy things and we're hitting each other with our instruments by accident.
Denver: Well, it's mostly me and you hitting other people.
Jurekk: Yeah, mostly her and me hitting other people. It sounds pretty good live and I think we get it to sound so tight because I'm an audio engineer and producer and I know that when we set up our amps, how to set them up to sound good. So I guess what you can expect is a lot of energy, for it to sound like the record, we're very anal about that.
Susan: Good, good.
Jurekk: We do certain little things that are different but they're all in context.
Susan: Do you guys have any songs that are your favorite to play live?
Denver: I'm excited to play the new stuff actually.
Jurekk: Yeah, "In Hell" is really fun to play but at the same time it also isn't really fun to play.
Denver: We like "In The Night"
Jurekk: "In The Night" is good. It's got a good groove. I like any of those songs you can headbang really well to. Not awkward where it's too fast or too slow.
Denver: "Take Me Alive"
Jurekk: "Take Me Alive" that's a great one to play and to get into the groove of live. And "Demon." My favorite one is "Demon." It's got little funky, tricky bits you have to do on the guitar. I like that.
Susan: Nice. A lot of your songs are pretty high energy. Do you have to put any strategic set lists together so you can have breaks and so you can keep a high energy the whole time for a show?
Jurekk: No, not really. The way we usually organize our setlist is by guitar tunings. Because we've already gone a little overboard. Most bands usually use just one tuning so it's sufficient you plug in one guitar and you can use that guitar the whole show. But we got some 7 strings right before the album, like I think the album was going to be done the next day, we were supposed to have the whole album finally sent off to be mixed and mastered and I was just noodling on this 7 string and that's how - then I started writing "In Hell" and were like, "OK! This is really good."
Denver: It took like 3 hours
Jurekk: Yeah it took us like 3 hours to write "In Hell." I was working on the instrumentation and I sent Roxanne home and was like "go write some words, I don't really care what they are" (they both laugh).
Susan: Does she write most of the lyrics or do you guys share that?
Jurekk: We all kind of contribute. It's always like that. Like one of us will put up the foundation. On this album it was mostly like I set up the sound of the song in general and everybody would throw in their ideas. On the new stuff we're working on it's been more collaborative; I've always had someone with me when we were recording and writing.
Susan: What are each of your individual backgrounds with music? How long have you been playing and what other instruments do you play?
Denver: I've been playing bass for 2 or 3 years at most. Before then I just played piano. I started playing bass because I was bored one day.
Denver: Then it just took off from there. I've always been a fan of music, though.
Susan: Did you have a teacher or did you teach yourself?
Denver: I had a piano teacher but I taught myself bass.
Jurekk: I've been playing guitar for 11 or 12 years now. After 10 you just kind of stop counting. (we laugh) I actually started on the cello but that only lasted about a year. But I can play everything. I play piano, I play drums, I play bass.
Denver: I can play 2 songs on drums.
Susan: Nice. You guys should do a live set where everyone plays someone else's instrument.
Jurekk: We actually did that once a couple years ago but we weren't planning on it. Cuz, we used to cover "Hanger 18" by Megadeth and I was like "Trevor, let me play the drums!" and before you know everyone's playing the wrong instrument.
(we all laugh)
Susan: I would have liked to see that! That's pretty awesome. Do you have any fun tours coming up?
Jurekk: Yeah we're going across Canada in about…
Denver: April or May.
Susan: That's exciting. Are you guys headlining any shows?
Jurekk: I'm not sure actually. It's still in the planning stages. I know we're going on tour with many different bands; there's no set line-up throughout the whole tour, each province will be a new line-up. And when we go through Toronto we'll be playing with Hallow Die and Ryan (Ryan Bovaird) is the guy who did the screams on the song "The Damned" so we'll actually be able to play that song properly live.
Susan: So do you have any fun stories or memorable moments from touring or from any live shows?
Denver: Yes… we just always forget what happened. (laughing)
Susan: Or were you too drunk to remember? (laughs)
Jurekk: Nah, we don't really drink much on the road. Cuz then you always have to drive like a 10 hour drive the next day. One time I did get drunk on our last tour and we literally had to do a 10 hour drive first thing in the morning. But it's the usual stuff like I had this pair of pants I took on tour and they would always rip right in the crotch, every time. And, us hitting each other with our instruments. But I think most of the fun happens off the stage, in the hotel rooms, just doing random things.
Susan: So what's it like being in a band with a sibling? Is it harder or easier - do you grow to like each other more or hate each other?
Jurekk: Well, it's easier for us. We've always been real close cuz I was a loser in school, I had no friends. (to Denver) You can speak for yourself; I'm not going to call you a loser.
Denver: I was the best.
Jurekk: You were the best?
Jurekk: We've always gotten along. And if we do get angry at each other it takes about 15 seconds for us to work it out.
Susan: That's the best.
Jurekk: It's just, I've lived with her for well, a long, long, long time.
Denver: I'd say we get along the best on tour.
Jurekk: Yeah, we're always doing our own thing, sitting up at the front of the vehicle just jamming along to stupid songs. What's that LMFAO song?
Jurekk: "Shots," yeah. That's our theme song.
Susan: That's awesome. Well, how would you describe your music to someone who hadn't heard it before?
(we all laugh)
Susan: Good! So would I.
Denver: I would just say modern power metal.
Jurekk: Yeah, lots of people they're saying like power thrash but all this but I don't see it.
Denver: I don't see any thrashy elements really. I mean we have "fast" but that's just speed metal. People get those… they're so close.
Jurekk: I like to just say heavy metal. I don't get hung up on genres. If you want to get technical it's just power metal done more modern. Like the drums are more modern, the guitar tones are more modern. But not everything is super dragon fighty.
Susan: So how would you describe, if someone heard you had a female vocalist and wanted to lump you in with the "opera metal" bands, how would you describe Roxanne's vocals as different than that?
Susan: "Ballsy?" Yeah.
Jurekk: Well, I technically have a way higher range; I can sing way higher than she can. So, yeah. She's got a very... it's not manly it's just different.
Denver: Let's just put it this way: when they sing "Phantom Of The Opera" the parts are reversed.
Jurekk: Yeah. When we sing harmonies I do the high parts. But yeah, "powerful."
Susan: Do you know if she's had any training or if she just woke up one day and started singing in this ballsy metal voice?
Jurekk: She actually never really sang metal before.
Denver: She was in a cover band that played grunge, radio hits stuff.
Jurekk: In terms of formal training I think the only training she's really done since is how not to wreck her voice. I told her my fears because I wrecked my voice. It's never gone back to what it was. So, that's the only real training.
Susan: Well is there anything else you'd like to tell us about Edge Of Attack?
Jurekk: Um… be sure to pick up our album? (laughs)
Denver: The album comes out February 19th.
Susan: Thank you for taking some time guys! I appreciate it. Hope to see you on tour sometime!
Edge Of Attack's self-titled debut album can be pre-ordered at their Bandcamp page and their official website.
Album cover art
Posted on 11.02.2013 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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