Saturday 28 October 2017

INTERVIEW: Woe at Shadow Woods Metal Fest, September 14 – 17 2017

By: Mark Ambrose

From September 14-17, hundreds of metal fans descended on White Hall, Maryland for a weekend of camping, music, and generic mayhem at the third annual Shadow Woods Metal Fest.  THE SLUDGELORD was on the scene and managed to snag a few interviews with performers, artists, and the people behind this unique, amazing musical event.  As part of our coverage, we sat down with Chris Grigg (guitar and lead vocals) and Grzekiek Czapla (bass) of Brooklyn black metal powerhouse Woe before their set on Saturday, September 16.  Chris and Grzekiek took a few minutes to discuss their new album, “Hope Attrition”, their new label Vendetta Records, and the future of Woe after a lengthy hiatus and lineup changes.

What are your thoughts on Shadow Woods so far?

Grzekiek: Really cool fest, cool people, organized as FUCK.  The bands are sick.  I’m really happy to be here.

You recently put out “Hope Attrition”, your first release with Matt Mewton (guitars) and Lev Weinstein (drums).  What’s the difference with their presence in the band as opposed to your prior releases?

Chris: They were super on top of shit.  This was the smoothest recording.

G: The most prepared that we’ve ever been for an album.

C: Not to say that people in the past were unprepared but this was just very low stress.  It was also the first album since the very first one that I didn’t record on my own.  So that was very helpful that I didn’t record shit.

G: Oh yeah!  Chris didn’t record this one!

C: Thank fucking god.

Who were you working with in the studio?

C: Stephen DeAcutis in Edison, NJ – he recorded Evoken [2007 “Caress of the Void”], Disma.

G: Legend!

C: Amazing studio, amazing engineer.  Sick dude.  But Matt and Lev rule! Grzekiek rules!

G: Probably, hopefully this is the band.

C: It fucking better be.

So it feels nice and secure for now?

G: It feels forever.

There was a pause between 2013’s “Withdrawal” and this.  What were you working on in the meantime?

C:  Mostly I wasn’t playing music.  I took a lot of time off for life things.  G was doing life things.

G:  We were completely in communication.  Best friends, hang out.  We just weren’t playing. 

C:  He was doing other band stuff.  I switched careers and really just needed a bit of a break.  I was pretty burnt out.  And a nice thing about not having to depend on it to make money we have the flexibility of saying, “Yeah, we’re not gonna do it.”  I got healthier – I’m not like a totally depressed, anxious person, the way I used to be.  I just took some time to be a better person and hit restart on the whole project.

This is your first album with Vendetta Records.  How has that relationship been so far?

C: Amazing.  AMAZING.  Stefan [Klose] is the coolest fucking dude.

G:  The first label we worked with where it felt like they are on our side.

C:  Totally, all the time.

G:  They are an awesome label and are successful because of it.

Who are you looking forward to seeing today?

G:  Motherfucking VASTUM.  And yesterday, Human Bodies blew me away.

C:  We kind of want them to just play our set for us.

What do you do in your non-Woe time?

C:  I’m a developer – code.

G:  I’m a geologist.
2 parts Woe, 1 part SLUDGELORD

Are you guys multitasking with any other projects?

C:  Matt and I have a new band called Death Icon – just raging, thrashy black metal.  I’m drumming for that.  Back on the kit.  I did the first Woe album and had a grindcore album with my friends Unrest a few years ago with the guys from Crypt Sermon.  NAME DROP! 

G:  Alright with the name drops.

C: Ok I can keep going.

G: Sonja – we’re a three piece.  We fucking rule – fucking absurdly rule.  With Melissa Moore and Ben Brand.  Sisters of Mercy meets Type O Negative meets Manowar and Judas Priest.  Classic rock, just heavy metal.

C:  Heavy metal with like a goth, dark, deathrock vibe.  I would quit my job and move back to Philly to play bass – no, second guitar.  Everyone who hears it wants to be in this band.

And are there any events you want to promote?

C:  We’re playing with Nails and Couch Slut in Brooklyn on November 18

G: Much respect to THE SLUDGELORD!

The End

Band info: facebook || bandcamp