Pick Your Rock and Metal

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

INTERVIEW: Wovenwar's Josh Gilbert and the band put the past to bed and All Rise to hit the boards

FROM the ashes of As I Lay Dying has risen a strong, almost Phoenix-like potent force in the shape of Wovenwar.

As most readers will know singer Tim Lambesis is currently in prison, after being convicted of plotting to kill his wife. For many bands this would be enough to sicken them of the business, especially for a band with a self-confessed strong Christian ethos.

But, Nick Hipa, Phil Sgrosso, Jordan Mancino, and Josh Gilbert dusted themselves down, recruited their friend Shane Blay and got in with their music and in the process recorded a quite stunning slab of melodic metal, in the shape of their self-titled release.

We caught up with Josh, during Wovenwar's current tour, and first we wanted to know just exactly difference it was having Shane Blay on singing duties.

“With Shane as a vocalist, we were able to expand our boundaries in ways we most likely wouldn't have been able to in our previous band,” said Gilbert. “He just has this massive soulful voice and that addition enabled us to experiment with dynamics on a level we hadn't before.”

Certainly on tracks like the d├ębut single All Rise and Tempest there seems to be more of a solid sound and vibe. To produce the album Wovenwar turned to familiar face behind the production console in the shape of Bill Stevenson.

“Although Bill came in after we had written all the songs on the record, his contributions were invaluable,” explained Gilbert. “He sees the songs as more than a collection of riffs.

He would rather question structure and flow than the intricacy of a guitar solo or drum fill. The final product is a result of that process.”

With songs filled with lyrics referring to such a wide range of topics on the release, it may be tempting to try and analyse them to find if there are any references to Lambesis' conviction, but whether it be The Mason or Ruined Ends it seems a futile exercise that would diminish the songs in themselves, and one senses the former members of As I Lay Dying seem still to be coming to terms with the whole thing.

“I think his mindset had been in limbo for awhile, so it wasn't necessarily a big surprise to those of us close to him,” said Gilbert. “The news of his arrest of course shocked us all.

Wovenwar - photo credit: Ty Watkins
We had just gotten home from an amazing tour in Asia and to know what he was up to behind the scenes as we played those incredible shows was pretty bizarre.
With a plethora of strong songs on the 15-track album, and a European tour coming soon, what can fans expect when Wovenwar hit the stage.

“We're currently out with Black Label Society and Kyng here in the States.” said the bassist.

We're super excited to be back on European soil in a few weeks. I think the fans can expect for our performances to be as heartfelt as they ever were.

We've worked our asses off to be able to perform these new songs live at the best of our ability, and hopefully that comes across in the show.”

With Metal Blade behind the Wovenwar release it seems that they can begin to build an individual fanbase. And Gilbert is keen to thank the label and explain what Wovenwar plan for the future.

“Metal Blade has been there since the beginning, and has been super supportive over the past year.” he said. “Knowing they were behind us, the writing and recording process was very stress-free. For the immediate future, our game plan is to tour, tour, and tour some more.

"We're so thankful to have the chance to be back out doing what we love, and we wanna play everywhere!”

Having interviewed Josh, there seems to be a sense that Wovenwar, with a frankly superb album release of contemporary metal, have given up the time of battening down the hatches and emerged ready to launch a career that may surprise many.
Single release - All Rise

Interview by Jonny

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