Yours truly was pretty impressed with the new The Wretched End album, entitled “Inroads”. On behalf of the band Cosmo (guitars/bass/vocals) was more than happy to answer my questions about the new album, guilty pleasures on the road, the importance of meaningful lyrics and the different aspects of being in a band.
Congratulations on releasing such a convincing and accomplished album as “Inroads”. Are you happy how it turned out?
Very much so, thanks a lot! We worked in well explored environment from the “Ominous” sessions, and I would say the whole production went down real smooth. Nils did an awesome job on the drums and Samoth deliver quality guitar work as always. Also Marius Strand of Strand Studio had a serious impact on the production, giving us the organic clarity we were looking for. Not overproduced, but still tight and clear. It was topped it off with great artwork from Trine+Kim, they nailed on the first attempt, very satisfying.
Compared to your previous album, “Inroads” is more cohesive in terms of songwriting and overall quality. How do you see things?
Thanks, I will agree on that. I think “Ominous” was kind of weakened, at least compared to “Inroads”, by the fact that it featured a couple of tracks too many. This was something we were considering back and forth at that time, and made sure we didn’t have to take in to consideration for this production, thus focusing more and forcing every last drop of quality out of the creative work behind each track.
What were you aiming for when you wrote and recorded the new album?
We of course had more of a recipe for the process this time, but the album becomes what it becomes within the frames that we work in. I’m sure we somewhat subconsciously used the parts that inspired us the most from the last album and refined them on this one. But we do not start off with a “master plan”, except for working on extreme metal with a somewhat apocalyptic feel to it.
How important are lyrics to you in terms of substance and the way they complement the songs?
The lyrics are definitely important to The Wretched End. I feel the overall theme of the lyrics are eerie and dark perceptions, many on behalf of the human kind and our surroundings, which is somewhat two sides of the same story really, some have a more epic, blackened feel to them. This is also important whilst tracking the vocals; it gives inspirations and hopefully more of the right gut and feeling to them. Anyway, if there is concept there, it is an apocalyptic one, that is the icing on the cake, he he, tuning the listener in on the expression and experience we hope to achieve with the final product.
Being in a band has many different facets, including dealing with management issues, getting along with your band mates and their characters, writing and recording music and whatnot. Which aspects do you enjoy the most and which aspects can you perfectly do without?
I like most of it; we have chilled out vibe between us in the band, and are happy people find it interesting enough to spend time checking it out. We really enjoy the writing process, but all parts of the production can be hard work from time to time. It’s very satisfying when a stage is done, for instance recording the basic guitars or drums, and see the puzzle come together. What I do not like is the amount of promotion one has to do on social media these days just to stay “in” whether one likes it or not. I’m not talking about interviews or promos like this we are doing now, but the fact that the public seem to expect bands to be in touch with them almost on a daily basis on facebook, twitter etc. To be honest I would rather spend that time working on the actual music. That being said I for sure see it as a benefit for those who find it naturally inspiring to use it and take advantage of it, all in all it might just be a good thing that I can’t seem get used to.
The Wretched End consists of three veteran musicians with lots of touring experience under your belt. What are your best tips in order to combat the rigours of touring?
There are some hours of touring experience among us, me being the one with the least hours, but I guess one has to try to stay focused and keep of the booze once in a while, hehe. A three week party on a bus can be fun, but one is out there to do a job as well. Make sure you get some “you time” and bring a vast catalogue of MP3s and a book maybe? The whole touring experience tends to get you in a “tour mode”, survival instincts kick in, haha!
If you had the chance to do a project totally outside your (musical) comfort zone, what would it be like?
Well, would be something “not metal, heavy or hard rock” then I guess? Conducting a symphony orchestra would be totally awesome – think “Holst, Mars, the bringer of War” and be in charge of that! Conductor of Total Annihilation, haha!
The festival season is coming near. Are there any festival/touring dates confirmed?
No, no live dates confirmed and at the time there are no such plans.
2012 is shaping up to be a good year in terms of solid metal releases. Which albums are you particularly looking forward to hearing and why?
Hmm, not all that well updated, but looking forward to new Asphyx album, brutal Dutch death metal of my liking, new Cannibal Corpse will release “Torture” upon us, which is the kind of torture we should embrace enthusiastically, haha! Will check out new Terrorizer and Kreator too. Oh, and new Fear Factory! Last one was rather good. I’m sure there are loads more to check out, but usually I tend to check out back catalogues and play good old familiar stuff.
Time for the final question. What other possible projects/releases can we expect from all the different members in The Wretched End in the near future?
Nothing coming up for Samoth at the moment I think, but I expect Dark Funeral has something cooking. For me a new MindGrinder album is in the making, we hope to have it ready in not too long, so stay tuned for a thrash, death metal attack!