The War Inside My Head: An Interview with Wake
Aight, I'd say another busy week, but I guess a child being born isn't just one other thing. So, yeah, that happened. And to those interested in the most important piece of info: the baby's first sight of me was wearing an Ustalost shirt, the second day was a Tchornobog one, and the third and hospital release day was, appropriately, a Rebirth of Nefest. So he's doing well. Other than that still stressed out, but that's for another time. Which is also why there probably won't be a Nine Songs post this week, or at least a very belated one. Apologies to all, and, as usual, to the Patreon people the spoils.
What does matter, however, is this brand new interview with Wake guitarist Rob LaChance about the music that has been driving and inspiring him. Wake, if anyone needs a short bio, is one of the most exciting, and honestly important bands working in extreme music today. I guess technically they are or were a grindcore-first band, but that was never really all they were, and with every release they seemed more and more invested in both keeping that nasty basic undertone as well as spreading and enhancing their sound. At this point on their path to metal transcendence they've basically reached that very rare plateau of bands (Converge and Cloud Rat come to mind) that managed that elusive feat of staying grounded while introducing tons (technical term alert) of atmosphere and exploration. 2020's Devouring Ruin was one of my favorite albums from that year and judging from the tracks already released from their upcoming full-length Thought Form Descent I will probably say the same thing at the end of 2022 (I mean, in my defense I also said it about Misery Rites in 2018, so I'm a consistent fellow).
So, check them out, read this new conversation with Rob, and may your days be filled with grinding, atmospheric misery.
As always, check out our various interview projects and other cool shit. And if you'd like to keep abreast of the latest, most pressing developments follow us wherever we may roam (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and now also a tape-per-day series on TIK TOK!), and listen to our shitty podcast (YouTube, Spotify, Apple), and to check out our amazing compilation albums. You can support our unholy work here (Patreon), if you feel like it. Early access to our bigger projects, weekly exclusive recommendations and playlists, and that wonderful feeling that you're encouraging a life-consuming habit. On to Wake.
What was the first album you bought with your own money, and where did you buy it?
The first album I bought with my own money was Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son purchased from Music World at Westbrook Mall. This wasn't my first choice in the maiden catalog but the store was sold out of the more popular Maiden albums of the time (Killers, Number of the Beast etc.) I was looking for “Run to the Hills” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” because I'd heard them on skateboard videos. Instead I ended up with Iron Maiden's most perfect and proggiest album, by accident. It remains my favorite and preferred Maiden album.
What 2-3 albums did you hear the most growing up?
Tough question. It's hard to narrow it down to 2-3 albums. I was a record store rat from the ages of 9 to 16 so new music was never ending. There were a few older folks at the local record store that had great eclectic taste and would turn me onto albums that I normally would've had no idea about if they hadn't been there. I listened to a lot of music growing up but I'd say the bands that got the most repeats were Dinosaur Jr, Archers of Loaf, Rollins Band and The Doughboys and around the age of 14-15 started moving towards more punk and metal.
What two albums taught you the most about making music (mixing, production, performance)?
I'd say the base of everything I know is from years of doing things ourselves and working with a lot of incredible engineers. Our first proper full-length False and the first few 7"s were tracked DIY by members of the band and from there we were fortunate to have people like Scott Hull, Colin Marston and Dave Otero take us under their wings and tell us to do things again ( and again, and again).
What is the last album that absolutely shocked you?
Nick Cave – Ghosteen. Shocked by how incredibly great and incredibly sad this album is.
What album relaxes you or centers you the most?
When I'm looking for an escape or a complete drop out of life I tend to be drawn to ambient music. Tim Hecker, Brian Eno, Jesu, Lustmord. Personally, I find that this style of music just drowns out the stress, anxiety and pressure of the “real” world.
What are the 2-3 albums you’ve listened to the most recently?
I'm finally finding the time to really dig into Anatomy of Habit – Even if it Takes a Lifetime, Justin Broadrick's Final – It Comes To Us All and also a bunch of older stuff from Tangerine Dream.
What album is grossly underrated?
Another tough question and hard to narrow down to one or two but Catharsis’ – Passion or Twilight's Monument To Time End are two albums that come to mind this very second.
What album would you recommend from your local scene?
Beyond Possession’s Is Beyond Possession or The Weir – Detatched