Latest release: Deadweight (Fearless)Website: www.wagewarband.com
Floridian metalcore newcomers Wage War have been on a fast track since their first single dropped in 2015. With their second, Jeremy McKinnon (A Day to Remember)-produced album due in August, the band are currently on their first US tour as headliners and have be named to appear in Australia in September with Make Them Suffer. We took time out of vocalist Briton Bond’s day for a bit of a chat.
Congratulations on your first headlining tour. How different is it for you than being an opening band?
We’ve been a support band on so many tours now, for our first run as a headliner it’s a little bit nerve-wracking. Because it’s our first one we want each night to be good but it’s all about kids remembering your show and having a good time
What was it like working with Jeremy McKinnon on Deadweight?
He actually produced our first album Blueprints so we went back to him and Andrew Wade. He’s such a good producer. He really brings out the best in your songs and brings them to life.
What sort of things does he bring to table when you’re in the studio together?
Well, at least for me doing vocals he helps me go that extra step. If I’m frustrated with a part he’ll be another set of ears and be saying Keep going, keep going, keep going! I think having a guy on your team in the studio, when things get a little tough, really helps. Sometimes you might not have a good day writing or recording, but having someone who can bring the best out in you really helps.
I’ve heard that you have plans for a tour to Australia this year. Are you excited for that?
I’m pretty excited because there’s so any great bands to come from Australia: Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, some of the really heavy ones like Thy Art is Murder… every show I watch of them playing their hometown shows in Australia it seems like the fans go nuts and are really enjoying it. We get a lot of feedback from kids in Australia saying “Come over here”, so we’ll definitely be there this year and I’m excited to see how it’s gonna turn out.
Wage War played a tour with Parkway Drive just recently, am I right?
We did a week run about ten days ago, and that was super cool! Every show on that tour was sold out. It was just insane – insane fans every night. That was probably my favourite tour. I wish it was longer!
Is there much mainstream support or airplay for Wage War in the US?
Yeah we get played on some metal radio. It would be awesome to get pushed into the mainstream but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. Actually there’s a song or two on the new album that would be good for it. We’re pushing for it but it’s cool to hear… my buddy told me the other day, “Hey I heard your band on the radio”, and I’m like, “That’s cool!”
How effective has the internet been?
I think that in this day and age you need the internet to build your fanbase. When we put our first single from Blueprints online, that was the first time many people had even heard of Wage War, so that put us on the map, to be honest.
We had been sitting on Blueprints for about a year when that first single came out, so we were dying to have it come out and go on tour. But I think it came out at the right time. The album came out in November and it landed us some good tours and helped out grow a lot, and we slingshotted past a lot of trials and tribulations that other bands have when they first get signed. We’ve been on a pretty fast track, which is a big surprise.
Do you ever get worried that things might be happening too fast and it will all suddenly come to a jarring halt?
At the end of the day, that happens to every band. Not every album is your best album, or whatever. I think at the moment we’re just enjoying it while we can. We went back to the same people who did Blueprints, so we’re not trying to fix what’s not broken.
Obviously bands change between albums, so listening to Deadweight and then Blueprints now, how much can you see Wage War has evolved?
I think, personally, that Blueprints was an album that we had songs and lots of things that we wanted to say for a long time. When you’re on your debut album you’ve got a lot of fun things that you want to cover, but as we transferred into Deadweight we figured out that life kicks you in the butt sometimes. Being away from your family gets to you. Being in the band is awesome. We’ve been to really cool places and played some awesome shows but it plays hell with relationships and there’s some personal battles so I think this is a little more of a personal album.
So what type of subjects are you covering this time?
Songs about self-doubt, about not knowing where you stand or what you believe sometimes. There’s a couple of songs about how we’ve dealt with tragedies, so it’s really pouring out heart out about a lot of personal things.
What is your favourite listening when you’re in the van on tour?
As a band, I think we are always listening to bands like Architects, August Burns Red, a couple of the guys are into heavier stuff like Thy Art is Murder and stuff like that. It even goes from those heavy bands to even listening to Justin Bieber sometimes in the van! We try to incorporate a little of the pop stuff but overall we love the riffs!