Whitechapel: Our music is a new era of corruption

Unlike most of their peers, Tennessee hard-hitters Whitechapel have consistently managed to deliver heavier than heavy tunes. Despite being lumped in, perhaps unfairly, with the deathcore movement, they are one of the few bands from that original group that have not strayed an iota from their crushing sound. We caught up with guitarist Alex Wade for a quick chat before the sextet decimated London for a second night running, in support of Trivium.

AA: Let’s get this out of the way right at the start: Should we call you a deathcore band?

Alex: Deathcore, death metal, metal we don’t really care. We just like to play metal!

AA: So the new album is called ‘A New Era Of Corruption’. What was the thinking behind that?

Alex: Yeah, the title is ‘A New Era Of Corruption’ which is a line from the song ‘Possession’, off the ‘This Is Exile’ album, and it will be out in June. We thought it’d be cool to being in a flavour from ‘This Is Exile’ for the old fans. I feel like the title reflects the state of music we’re in today with so many up and coming extreme metal acts – I feel like our music is a new era of corruption.

AA: Jason Suecof is producing this one, and he’s got quite a stellar catalogue under his belt already. What makes him so good?

Alex: He’s definitely a nutcase but in a very good way and we’re very happy with the way the album came out. I feel his production input really helped a lot with the way our music is made and the way the songs came out. He’s a very serious producer and musician, especially a very killer guitar player, and has lots of ideas for riffs and leads. He actually did a few leads for us and I find that with every band he records he puts his little twist on it, one way or another. When it’s time to get down and do the work he’s definitely ready. So I’m really happy with ‘A New Era of Corruption’, it’s my favourite album thus far and it is better than ‘This Is Exile’. It’ll please ‘Exile’ fans, but it’ll gain us new fans as well.

AA: You’ve also been doing webisodes on the band’s youtube channel. Was it weird for the band to have a camera in their face the whole time they were working on the new record?

Alex: I’m the one who does all the webisode stuff, so if they have a problem with me getting a camera in their face, screw them! (laughs) It’s something I like doing and it’s fun to do. I’m no Spielberg but I like messing around and I know fans like watching the webisodes because when my favourite bands post webisodes I’m very intrigued and I really like to watch them.

AA: Do you think that people will hear the new album and finally stop straitjacketing you as a deathcore band?

Alex: We just do what we do man. We come from a young generation and we grew up listening to old-school bands like Suffocation but also Killswitch Engage and Unearth who have the more breakdown style riffing. I mean, take the whole headbanging thing we do for instance. We didn’t sit down and think we should synchronise our headbanging and stuff, it’s just the natural flow of the music and how the music makes you feel, you know? A lot of people say we coined the term ‘bodybang’ because we’re not just headbanging with our heads, we’re headbanging with our whole body. It’s kind of like our bodies are on the same metronome and we feel it at the same time so we naturally know when to headbang or bodybang or whatever the hell you want to call it.

AA: Right now you’re a bit in limbo – album recorded and ready but not out for a while yet, and you’re out on the road. What’s going through your mind? Are you nervous about how the new record will received?

Alex: I’m not really nervous, I’m confident. I think it’s the best material and best production we’ve had till date, so I’m just really excited to get it out there and get people’s perspective on it. We’ve been playing the first single ‘The Darkest Day Of Man’ for a while now and we’ve been getting a really good reception on that from the crowd – people are really enjoying it and saying it’s super heavy. That’s what we were going for: we weren’t trying to stray from our sound or anything like that. We were on the Mayhem tour with Cannibal Corpse and Slayer and these are bands that have been doing it for 20 years. They’re still around because they stuck to their sound. Bands that sell out and change their sound are gone in like 5 years, you know?

So we started this brutal, crushing sound on ‘This Is Exile’ and that’s something we need to stick to for future albums because it’ll let us build our fanbase and let our fans appreciate what we do because we keep putting our records that sound consistent for them, instead of trying to sell out and be a one hit wonder or something like that.


About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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