Thursday 20 September 2018

INTERVIEW: Wolvhammer @ Psycho Las Vegas 2018

The third edition of Psycho Las Vegas hit the jackpot with those that attended the 4-day bacchanal recently.  Dozens of bands from both the United States and abroad descended on Sin City, more specifically, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to perform, party and partake in other sinful delights.  One of those bands, Wolvhammer, sat down with THE SLUDGELORD to discuss Psycho Las Vegas, what they’re up to and what’s next for them.   

SLUDGELORD:                       I'm here with Wolvhammer and they're playing Psycho Las Vegas tonight at...

Adam:                                   8:30 on the Vinyl Stage.

SLUDGELORD:                       So, what do you guys think of Psycho Las Vegas so far?

Adam:                                   Amazing. I've always heard really good things about the festival, so it was really, really awesome for us to get asked to do it, and a lot of friends here and shit, so I'm looking forward to it.

Gary:                                     We've been running into people left, right and center, hanging out, having a great time so far. Bunch of great bands we get to go watch, you know. It'll be fun.

SLUDGELORD:                       Cool, and how long are you guys sticking around in Vegas and what do you plan to do while you're here?

Adam:                                   I actually fly out tomorrow. It's my birthday tomorrow, so I'm going home to hang out with my girlfriend. But, yeah, these guys will be here all weekend.

Adam:                                   Yeah, John, Garrett are all going to be here watching bands, hanging out, and then we're leaving Sunday night to go head back to Chicago.

SLUDGELORD:                       And you're going to Chicago and you're going to?

Adam:                                   Minnesota.

SLUDGELORD:                       You're in Minneapolis?

Adam:                                   Yeah, right outside Minneapolis.  

SLUDGELORD:                       So, does anybody in the band gamble?

Gary:                                     I won a hundred and eighteen bucks playing the Sharknado slots earlier this morning.

SLUDGELORD:                       Yeah? Is that what you play? You play the slots?

Gary:                                     I mean, I play anything that strikes me, I like black jack. Video blackjack's good, but we're just sitting there, sat down, threw some money into it and couple spins in and it was just a hundred and eighteen bucks. It's like, "Time to leave!"

SLUDGELORD:                       How about you Adam?

Adam:                                   I'm too frugal with my money.

SLUDGELORD:                       Ah, okay.

Adam:                                   I spend money like stupidly enough as is I don't want to start gambling on top of it.

SLUDGELORD:                       Anybody else in the band play tables or anything like that?

Gary:                                     I don't think so. I don't think anybody else really gambles. I like drinking and bad decision making.

SLUDGELORD:                       You're in the right place.

Gary:                                     Put me in Vegas.

SLUDGELORD:                       Yeah. Have you been to Vegas before?

Gary:                                     Oh, many times. I tour for a living outside of the band. Driving, doing merch, touring around, stuff like that with bands so I'm here fairly regularly. But this time we're here and I'm not having to actually like, you know, go do a different show and be there for eight, nine hours. So, having free time means that I spend a little bit sitting at the tables and the machines, you know?

SLUDGELORD:                       Cool, now what bands do you guys plan on checking out or have you checked out since you've been here?

Adam:                                   I really want to see Homewrecker, Survive ...

Gary:                                     Yeah. Eyehategod, High on Fire, definitely going to see them.

Adam:                                   Of course, I want to see Danzig tomorrow but I'm flying home. I would love to see Godflesh.

Gary:                                     Yeah, Godflesh is gonna to be great. I’ll make sure to take pictures for you.

Adam:                                   Oh Yeah? Thank you!  There's so many good bands on this so, I'm just again so excited they asked us to be a part of it.

SLUDGELORD:                       So I'm assuming it's your first time?

Gary:                                     Yeah, it's our first time here.

SLUDGELORD:                       Didn't you guys roll through Phoenix a few weeks ago?

Gary:                                     On our last tour yeah with Uada we did. We did that and it was like right towards the end, 'cause it ended in Texas.

SLUDGELORD:                       Now, you know what The Metal Archives are?

Adam:                                   Yeah.

SLUDGELORD:                       So, they label you guys as blackened sludge metal. Do you think that's accurate?

Adam:                                   The sludge thing has always been interesting to me, 'cause like, when the band first started, before I was in it, I feel like it had a lot more of that sound going on, but like ever since I've been in the band, I don't really think we do anything that I would personally put in like the sludge genre. I think it's just because we play kinda slowly, sometimes? It's like a lazy label to just throw at it because we play somewhat slower tempos. I don't really think it's sludge influenced at all, personally, but I mean, if that's what people hear, you know. I get it.

Gary:                                     On the new record, there's more crust stuff than there is sludge stuff, so by that it's black and crust, black and whatever, but I mean there's just some slow parts but I wouldn't necessarily call that sludgy either. Not in the sense of New Orleans sludge or anything like that so ...

Adam:                                   That's a tag that's followed the band for ages.

SLUDGELORD:                       Yeah, if it's on that, that's almost the bible of heavy bands for the most part, people know what they're doing, they're usually hitting that site first.  It personally gives me a baseline, who's in the band? How many albums do they have out, and what the general description is. 

Adam:                                   Yeah, I definitely go to that website quite a bit.

Gary:                                     Same.

SLUDGELORD:                       For me, when I research bands, I always hit that site. But, like I said, I've listened to you guys before and I was like...sludge?  Really???

Adam:                                   Like I never got an Eyehategod vibe from our music.

Nikos Mixas (c)

SLUDGELORD:                       So yeah, that's interesting, since you mentioned the new album, how's the latest album "The Monuments of Ash and Bone" been received, so far to your knowledge?

Adam:                                   I mean, the press for it has been great so far. I wish with my scheduling right now, with two bands dropping records pretty close, it's been hard for me to balance schedules. This is the first time I've played shows on the record cycle so far with these guys. I'm really stoked about the record though. I think it's, I know it's stereotypical to say but, It's the best thing we've done, and I'm just excited that it's finally out and the press has been awesome so far.

SLUDGELORD:                       You guys toured with Taake in 2015? Right? So what is your take or opinion of them having to cancel their U.S. tour, earlier this year.

Adam:                                   See, I don't really know what happened with that, the only thing that was interesting to me was Metal Sucks, kinda like the charge on doing what they do or whatever on the internet, and talking about all this shit that the singer had done in the past. But what was really hypocritical to me is when we did that tour, Metal Sucks was actually like the head sponsor on that tour. It was Metal Sucks presents Taake & Wolvhammer.

Gary:                                     And for those events they're trying to get 'em shut down for too, like years before that, and they said "Oh that we talked to 'em, we knew they're not these kind of people, and there's posts of it, people have screenshots of it and everything where they're defending them, and then they get a tour shutdown and it's like, well, there wasn't a time machine, the events took place before that tour, it was fine to analyze it then, not fine now.

Adam:                                   Yeah and it's not like I can get behind what he did or anything but like I got to spend a month with those guys and I never got any vibe like that from them at all.

Adam:                                   So it was disheartening to see the fact that they had like a really nice tour, really cool package just getting shut down over some bullshit.

SLUDGELORD:                       And the dates fell too, cities like New York, Chicago, and then the rest of them?

Adam:                                   They just went and, it's unfortunate but it's the climate we live in and, I understand but, It's just unfortunate. 'Cause they're good people. Like, I know them pretty well. It's just a bunch of bullshit to me.

SLUDGELORD:                       And what do you think about the overall state of heavy music?

Adam:                                   I mean, there's a lot of good bands out, good records coming out, for sure. I've been a nerd about metal and punk music since I was a little kid so.

SLUDGELORD:                       So you remember when the bottom dropped out?

Adam:                                   Oh yeah.

SLUDGELORD:                       When it came back, and how it came back?

Adam:                                   For sure. Yeah, it's huge right now which is great, and when I was in Europe you know, you see there's so much more respect I feel like over there for heavy music, and you know, you can get festivals everywhere and then the states, this is pretty much besides Maryland Deathfest, the big one. So, it's nice to see it on the rise.
Gary:                                     Good to see U.S. festivals if you can go to with great lineups and then you'll actually have people come out and you know the festivals will do well, and you don't have to worry about it. In Europe it does seem there's more of a respect for it, cause you end up with these festivals that are just 60, 70, 80 thousand people going to see a bunch of heavy metal bands and, turns out well it's always the holy grail of festivals in Europe. You wanna go over there and play, cause you get to see it and it's just this whole massive undertaking for the course of three days, just so you can have a bunch of kids come together and you know, adults too but like, watch heavy bands and that's it. Nothing else, just get together and have a good time. 

SLUDGELORD:                       You guys are currently on tour right now?

Adam:                                   Technically yeah, but this is our last day. We played at three shows just to get down here so that we could do this.

SLUDGELORD:                       Alright, so it's a kind of like mini tour.

Adam:                                   Yeah, yeah.

SLUDGELORD:                       How was it so far?

Adam:                                   It was great man, our new fill in guitar player Jarrett Pritchard has been absolutely killing it, so, I have no complaints at all. I think we sound great.

SLIUDGELORD:                      Are you the writer for the guitars?

Adam:                                   No. Oh that was Jeff Wilson.

SLUDGELORD:                       Okay, did he do the album? Did he do a little of the tracks?

Adam:                                   Yup.

SLUDGELORD:                       Is he an old school metal head?

Adam:                                   Yeah.

SLUDGELORD:                       Does he like Possessed?

Adam:                                   Oh yeah, for sure.

SLUDGELORD:                       I know. You know how I know? 'Cause he's using the same effects like Larry LaLonde, that echo sound on, I forgot what song, it's like the third song on the album that you guys did. There's a solo in there, and I'm like, that dude, that sounds like Possessed. That effect that he used is on there.

Adam:                                   Is that "Call Me Dead"?

SLUDGELORD:                       I think it is.

Adam:                                   So that would actually be the guy who's filling in for us right now, Jarrett, He's the guy that did the solo on that song.

SLUDGELORD:                       Did he?

Adam:                                   Yeah.

SLUDGELORD:                       'Cause, that echo that he uses, sounds just like the Larry LaLonde echo, like when he played for Possessed. Possessed is one of my favorite bands so that's why I caught it right away, I was like "wow, like no one's doing that right now".

Adam:                                   Yeah, Jarrett an old school Florida death metal dude so he played in the band "Eulogy".

Gary:                                     That was all Jarrett's bag. He wrote all the stuff Eulogy and had him out on with us great so that just can see, engineered, and you know, played on the record, did solos, all that, helped record the record, so, having he already knows the material intimately, and now he's out here playing shows with us so, awesome.

SLUDGELORD:                       Now, are there any more festival dates on the horizon for you guys?

Adam:                                   Not at the moment but I hope so. 'Cause I love playing festivals. And I just want to get Wolvhammer in front of bigger crowds. So I really am open to it of course, I would love to do Maryland Deathfest.

SLUDGELORD:                       If you had to pick one in Europe, which one would it be?

Gary:                                     Ooh, I mean, I don't know if we would fit but, I'd love ... Oh, that is hard. We would do Brutal Assault.

Adam:                                   Yeah, Party San is cool.

Gary:                                     The obligatory Hellfest is one.
Adam:                                   Summer Breeze.

Gary:                                     Wacken, man there's....

Adam:                                   Any of 'em!

Gary:                                     Yeah!

SLUDGELORD:                       Well, if you had to pick one...

Gary:                                     Personally, I would love to do Obscene Extreme but that's just because I wanna see all the bands that are at Obscene Extreme every year

Adam:                                   Yeah, Czech republic.

Gary:                                     Oh I love it there, it's wonderful.

Adam:                                   Dude, I love that place.

Gary:                                     Yeah, but.

Gary:                                     I dunno how well we'd go over there but, hell I'll do it.

SLUDGELORD:                       And then, what's next on the horizon for Wolvhammer after this little segment is over?

Adam:                                   I think we're gonna start working on new material for a new record, I'm pretty booked up 'til the end of the year with the Skeleton Witch. So, any touring will probably have to happen like early 2019, but.

Gary:                                     He's got Skeleton Witch, I know I've got tours booked after the end of the year so anything we do is gonna have to be at the earliest, early next year.

Adam:                                   I think the main goal is to hunker down and start working on new material so, just take it from there and see what happens. If anything comes up offer wise, yeah, we'll jump on it.

Gary:                                     Of course there's always bands that you can get an offer from. You figure out how to make that shit work.

Adam:                                   Oh yeah, absolutely!


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