AxeWound; the supergroup of the moment. Prior to the release of their debut album ‘Vultures’, TINAS operative Mark Wrigley was fortunate enough to spend some time with the band’s driving force and sticksman, Jason Bowld.
Hey Jason, how’s it going mate? You getting sick of interviews yet?
(laughing) Not too bad mate, not too bad, and nah, not sick of them yet, I quite enjoy them actually.
Well let’s get straight in then, in terms of AxeWound,it seems to be noted that you and Matt started this, is that right?
Yeah, I guess it is really, yeah. I mean it all came about from me playing with Bullet, filling in for Moose a couple of years ago and then yeah. Matt and I sharing a common interest in really heavy music, and Matt wanted to do a kind of side project that was brutal, and it sort of stemmed from there really.
Do you think it’s almost like trying out a new wife rather than trying the stuff with Bullet?
(cracks up) I wouldn’t go that far.
(laughing)But how did you go about getting the rest of the guys in, you know putting the team together? Is it like Fantasy Football where you just pick from a list of musicians?
Well, the most important thing to us was picking people that are nice. Obviously, there’s got to be some sort of ability there, and consequently it was people we had bumped into on the road. You know, Liam, Cancer Bats, Joe, Rise To Remain and Mike was recommended to us by Ginge, who recorded the album. It was all really simple you know, and with that criteria that really sort of formed a solid band foundation if you like. Having toured already over the summer, with the festivals and stuff, we’ve all got on like a house on fire… Like an AxeWound on fire.
Yeah, right, so the name, I mean, who came up with that?
Oh, that was Matt‘s girlfriend.
Really? Was it?
You’re surprised aren’t you
Yeah, I’m very surprised. I mean when it first came out, you had to think, “is this a pisstake or is this going to be something serious”? How did you expect the fans to take it?
I don’t know. I mean we knew obviously there’s going to be a bit of shock at the band name, but all were were interested in was having a name that best described the sound. Yeah, you know there’s several different meanings for an axewound (laughing), but we didn’t really think too deeply about it. But, you know, it sticks in the mind doesn’t it. (laughing)
Definitely, definitely. In terms of writing the music as well though, how much input do the other guys have? Or has it just been pretty much you and Matt? I think I have read somewhere that it was done in two weeks?
Initially yeah, it was Matt and I that wrote the music, then Liam came out and did the vocals and Mike and Joe joined us after. But you know, next time round when we do more writing we want to hopefully do it as a band as well. You know we are not kind of adverse to any process, it’s whatever makes the right sound at the end of the day.
OK, that makes sense… you’re saying about next time round. Often with these “side projects”, as everyone is saying, it’s Matt’s side project, that often means short term thing…
It does, you’re right, you’re dead right, and it annoys me as some side projects just end up being a release and nothing else. But obviously, we’ve done festivals in the summer, we’ve got an album coming out and a tour in October, and then an American tour. So we’re cramming in as much as we can, as much as other people’s schedules allow. So we are going to be doing more touring next year, but obviously Bullet are on their next album cycle. But there is a will there to do more stuff. We don’t want to just do this and then go “oh that was good wasn’t it” and that be it.
Yeah, it would be a shame. I heard the album for the first time today, and it is better than I thought it would be.
Oh that’s good, it’s always nice to hear.
I mean, when you hear of the band, you do expect it to just be Bullet to a certain extent, but it is more brutal. I mean you’ve been allowed to be let loose by the sound of things.
(laughing) Yeah, yeah, I mean I enjoyed it so much, because to write with someone who continually says “faster, more fills” is like a drummers wet dream.
Oh, I can imagine, but does it make you sad with the fact that Matt and Liam are the ones who are at the front, but actually you’re still a real powerhouse behind this…
Yeah, I know what you mean, I know what you are saying, but to be honest with you, I’m used to that. It’s part of being a drummer. People never really thank you when you do a good job, but if you make a mistake, I guess everyone lets you know. But, I’m used to that, I quite like being the guy at the back to be honest with you. That’s how I am, I just play drums and I drive the band… but the nice thing about driving the band is that I can crash it at any time (laughing).
(laughing) Well yeah, very very true
So I’m in ultimate control of the procedings live (laughing).
Great, a control freak with sticks! Frightning! You mentioned earlier about Download Festival, were you apprehensive beforehand? I mean there was all the hype.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean inevitably there’s going to be a lot of expectations because of who is in the band, and we were on a pretty high spot as well, so we had to deliver. I cant remember whether that was our third or fourth gig. But it was great, and you know we didn’t know what to expect. We certainly didn’t expect to just walk in and everybody love us. It doesn’t work like that no matter who you are. Plus the fact that we are playing small clubs as well shows we are not afraid to get down and dirty and play smaller gigs and stuff, it doesn’t matter, as long as the vibe is there, that’s all that matters. For me, my wish is for people to sing along to the songs live and just go nuts and create as many circle pits as possible. That’s what I want to see. That’s what I am really excited about.
Do you think the fact that you have been tagged a Supergroup is a help or hindrance?
It’s probably a hindrance you know. I mean initially I guess people will stop and look, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. You’ve still got to deliver, because there have been plenty of supergroups in the past that have been rubbish. But yeah, it’s just how it’s been tagged and people like to put things in boxes, and that’s the box we’re in.
But do you pull in from the different fanbases though?
Well it can do, but it can have the adverse effect, because you then get very picky fans that want to hear all Matt, and then the other side that want to hear all Liam, and there will be people that will love Bullet and nothing else you know (laughing). At the end of the day we’re not doing it to keep anyone happy really, we’re just doing it because we enjoy it. Otherwise we wouldn’t go out of our way and squeeze touring in with everyone’s schedules, because it takes a lot of effort to do that.
Saying that, the tour schedule is pretty solid, and starts the same day the album is released, are you trying to do everything in one hit?
We’re trying to do it when there’s gaps basically. But yeah, it’s cool to keep up momentum. You have to do it, and we have a great will to want it as a band, and it’s great. It’s new and fresh and I think it’s why the other guys love it as well as their own bands, you know they’ve got something else to get their teeth stuck into.
So what can we expect from the tour then? Is it going to be all AxeWound, or are we going to take anything else from any of the other bands?
Well obviously the only material we’ve got is the album (laughing) so people are going to hear the entire album, hopefully played with brutal precision and a lot of energy. It’s a high energy gig, and we’re going to sling a cover in there as well which some people will have already heard. ‘Fucking Hostile’ by Pantera. But yeah we’d like to squeeze a bit more material in, and you never know what we may feel like in rehersals. We may have a flash of inspiration and throw in another crazy cover… Or write another AxeWound album in two days (laughing).
It’d be interesting if everyone had the input on that! But anyway, a couple of final questions. What would you said is the best and worst thing abot being in AxeWound?
(laughing) Well, the best thing about being in AxeWound is playing drums so aggressively and as fast as possible. The worst thing is describing to my mother what and axe wound is (laughing).
Fantastic, thats the best one! And finally for us and our readers, why should we go out and buy the album Vultures?
Because it’s and honest, aggressive and hardworking album that will open eyes as to what a varied metal album can be like.
That’s great, thanks Jason. Thanks for talking to us, and we’ll see you in October.
Thanks mate, it’s been a pleasure, see you in October.