Wovenwar’s second album Honor Is Dead is a surprisingly catchy and memorable example of just how electrifying modern metal can be if it develops its own personality and niche. In a scene that’s usually bogged down in a severe lack of creativity, that’s an impressive result for Wovenwar.
The band’s guitarist Nick Hipa discusses Wovenwar and their latest creation…
What are your influences?
As a guitarist, my early childhood heroes were Randy Rhoads, Dimebag Darrell, Eddie Van Halen, and pretty much all the other usual suspects. These days I’m really fond of anyone who lives a multi-disciplined creative life. Someone like John Carpenter, who’s directed sick movies and dropped rad instrumental albums is a great example.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend.
I love and highly recommend the following records: Gojira – Magma, Ghost – Popestar EP, Thrice – To Be Everywhere Is to Be Nowhere, Scour – Scour, John Carpenter – Lost Themes II.
Tell us about Honor Is Dead
Honor is Dead is the second record from our band Wovenwar. It is a heavy, riff-based metal record that we feel is a nice balance of aggressive intensity and melody.
What’s the process you use for writing songs?
We’re more of a “music before lyrics” band as it relates to writing. Individually, everything starts with a focal riff, which serves as the foundation for the rest of the song. Most of us are very comfortable with engineering complete song ideas so we write on our own complete compositions then send demos to one another for consideration. Those demos are the ones that we end up jamming together, re-arranging, and tweaking as a band. Once the music has been squared away, Josh and Shane add melodies and vocals to everything. This process may vary from time to time but this is usually the way it goes.
How do you feel your music has progressed since your first album?
Overall I would say it’s wider with regards to how much different sonic territory we cover. Though we were tremendously stoked at how our self-titled debut came out, spending some time with those songs live on tour drew our attention to areas we wanted to focus on this go around. The result is 11 diverse tracks that are all pretty aggressive and/or heavy in their own emotional sort of way.
How do you think your music will progress in the future?
I foresee us landing somewhere between Honor Is Dead and our debut. The two compliment one another because they are pretty different sonically and conceptually, though now that we’ve gotten both types of records out of our system we can focus more on a balance between the two.
What’s your favourite song on Honor Is Dead and why?
The title song is probably my favourite simply because it’s an interesting tune. It exercises technical restraint while also incorporating enough time signature variations to make it musically interesting. Beyond that I just love that it is a groove based heavy song seeped in emotional, vibey undertones.
Tell us about the cover artwork.
Our good friend Ryan Clark created all the art for this Honor Is Dead. We’ve been friends for a while so it was a great experiencing talking to him loosely about some of the themes on the record. The idea he came up with based on those concepts was a severed chain, with his thought behind it being that the missing link symbolises a broken piece of something that once was; a deficit. It’s an analogy for life itself. No matter how firm or strong, there will always be hardships or issues that take a link out of our chain – making us sometimes feel incomplete. For me it just represents the fragility of all things. All things physical and conceptual can be challenged and altered…even a virtue can be compromised or broken.
How important is good album art to you?
All facets of a band’s presentation are extremely important…at least to me. It’s another outlet to express conceptual creativity and tie it into what a band is trying to say or trying to get across. It’s an extension of the artistic world you have the capacity to build and share with your supporters.
What’s your take on the current state of the music industry?
It’s more unpredictable and saturated than it has ever been. It will require a tremendous amount of skill, creativity, and determination for any new band to find true lasting success.
How do you feel Wovenwar fits into the global metal scene in 2016?
It seems we’ve kind of ended up in a weird little corner of our own, where we’re not quite accessible enough for radio and not quite heavy enough for trve metal. We’ve always wanted to exist in this atmosphere of complete creative freedom so are totally cool with where we are now.
Do you have any upcoming live shows you want to talk about?
We’re currently on the Fury Tour in North America with Soilwork, Unearth, Battlecross, and Darkness Divided. Beyond that we’re still working on the new year!
What are the next steps for Wovenwar?
Hopefully some more touring and a lot more music outside of the normal scheduling of an album or album cycle.
Any final words?
A sincere thank you to everyone who supports our band in any way. Whether it’s buying our records or going to shows or simply liking/following our social accounts, we really appreciate your attention.