Whitechapel has released four albums since their formation in 2006, and we’re currently about two weeks away from the April 29th release of the death metal outfit’s fifth studio effort, Our Endless War. The album might be a slight diversion from the band’s roots, but don’t worry, it’s every bit as brutal and pummeling as you’d want from a Whitechapel album. And it’s not without its hard, often pessimistic lyrics.
Enjoy our Phil Bozeman interview!
Can you tell us about the album’s title and what it means to you?
It pertains to war and life in general being a war and going through a bunch of hardships in life and stuff of that nature. I feel like it’s a representation of us as humans and just trying to get through life and living the best life we can.
There’s a lot of diversity on the new album, would you say that’s the representation of how you guys have matured as a band?
Yeah, I feel like our music writing ability and chemistry as a band has grown over the years and it’s kind of become second nature to us. We’re all fine-tuned with each other and our chemistry is so good that we just kind of do this, not effortlessly, but with a competent mindset.
You guys did more work with the three guitars on this album, how has that changed the dynamic versus the old-school way of approaching metal?
It allows us to play live what we do on the CD; we have two guitars harmonizing with a lead over it you know it’s something we can actually do. If there’s three guitar tracks going over a part in a song, we actually pull that off live. It just gives more diversity to the band and a lot more elements we can put into it.
“Mono” has some touchy lyrics: “Stop whining for a better life, just kill yourself… No one cares, kill yourself.” Can you explain the song’s meaning and if you had any concerns about including those lyrics?
That song is kind of like you’ve just had enough. You’re just tired of everything in life. You’re tired of people talking about you, people never accepting you for who you are, and constantly criticizing you and never giving you credit for the things that you really do. It has a lot to do with the emotions about not fitting in… basically it’s a big Fuck You to the world, honestly. It’s almost like when you feel alone, by yourself, you don’t really have anyone to depend on and you go into a dark state of mind.
Is there a connection to Internet trolls on “Mono,” given your attack on technology in “Worship the Digital Age”? Is there a connection between the songs?
Yeah, there’s always some sort of connection. The Internet is full of people, keyboard warriors that just say anything that’s on their mind because there’s no consequences to it, there’s no face-to-face confrontation, and you can speak anonymously. You don’t have to let anyone know who you are, but you can put in your two cents and not have to face any repercussions from it. It’s just stupid that people waste their time to say this music sucks and that sucks, and it’s like if you’re so concerned about what a band is doing or if you don’t care about a certain band, then why are you talking about it? If I don’t care about something, I just don’t pay attention to it. I think it’s just a natural instinct in people to have a hatred toward something.
Do you have a hatred toward technology because of the topics covered in “Worship the Digital Age”?
No. I don’t hate technology by any means. The thing with technology is that it’s kind of embellishing a curse. There’s different aspects of it; people see people on TV screens, idols, famous people, they like what they do, and even on our level people are kind of crazy and overcome with it. It’s one of those things where you need to realize that we’re all human beings, nobody’s better than the other person, it’s just they do something you enjoy, and if you take it to the level of worshiping it and living your life by it, what are you living in your body for? Why are you living your life? There’s a difference between a fan and somebody who’s just completely obsessed and living their life by it. You should never devote your life to an artist or anything like that because at the end of the day what are they doing for you except giving you good music to listen to? That’s no reason to give your life to them. People treat certain celebrities like gods and it’s unbelievable that people can be that obsessed with someone. That’s where you just draw the line and ask are you even happy with your life? If you’re not, then you need to fix that.
At the same time, a lot of fans, especially metal finds, find refuge in the music and hope and inspiration from the lyrics, would you agree with that?
Yeah, I mean we’re not necessarily the most positive bands in the world, but I feel like this album is definitely one of those negatively positive, you know vice versa, kind of albums. It’s kind of like the realness of it, and just the emotions behind it.
What else inspires you outside of music?
Inspiration just really comes from the drive and passion to be a musician and to express feelings and emotions. Just growing up listening to metal, just loving what I heard and wanting to be a part of that and use that inspiration to create my own music. It’s nice to have the chance to do that, and not that many people get the chance to do that in their lifetime.
Phil Bozeman gets personal and discusses Justin Timberlake after the jump…