The devastatingly heavy Whitechapel recently announced that their new album, “Our Endless War,” will be unleashed on April 29th in North America via Metal Blade Records. Along with that news, they’ve revealed three new songs that prove they are not slowing down at all. While this is definitely their most diverse record to date, it still has plenty of the classic Whitechapel sound that their dedicated fan base has come to love. Fronting the outfit as always is the great Phil Bozeman, and I recently got to speak with him on the upcoming record, their fan base, future plans and much more! Enjoy the chat below, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy of “Our Endless War” here!
Metal Mark: First off, congratulations on the new record. In my honest opinion, this is your more diverse release yet. Was that the plan going into writing this record?
Phil Bozeman: Well thanks man, I agree with that. I think we just wanted to take a step into a little different direction and keep it fresh. We definitely don’t want to be that band that writes the same record over and over again, so it was definitely important for us to change it up a bit. There’s still a ton of heaviness on there, but other parts are present that we haven’t really touched on before. Being in this band as long as we have been, our chemistry has grown to a great level and it definitely came out on this album.
MM: You mentioned before that on the last record, you really had to put it out quick. So the writing and recording process was a little rushed, and still the album came out great. How much time did you take to get this record together?
PB: With the previous release, we had a good amount of time, but we were all just so busy during that time. We knew we needed that album out, and writing on the road is possible, but it’s just so damn hectic that it may have seem rushed. Obviously we are happy with it, or else we wouldn’t have put it out, but we definitely took our time on this record. We’ve gotten to the point in our career where once we focus in on writing and recording a new record that it’s almost second nature to us. We know how we want it to sound, what to do when, and all that, so the end result is always going to be Whitechapel, whether we have a ton of time to do it or not. It’s fun for us either way. Creating new music is what we love.
MM: As is the times in the scene today, you’ve already released three songs to the fans to preview the upcoming record. Was there any reasoning behind the songs you chose?
PB: Yea we just felt that they showcase the different styles that fans will hear on the record. We wanted to see the fan’s response, and get it out there so people can start getting excited like we are for the release. We definitely feel like they are some of the best tracks on the record, so it’s cool to get such a positive response on them from our fans.
MM: Whitechapel has one of the most loyal fan bases in the scene, so trying something new may either bring more fans in or scare the old fans away. You mention wanting to hear their response, but how much does that matter to you at this point in your career? Is it more about writing for yourselves or the fans?
PB: We’ve always made the music for us ya know. We do try and give back to the fans as much as we can, especially with what we play live. We know what the fans want to hear, so that will be delivered live all the time. When it comes to writing new stuff, we write based on what we love and enjoy playing. That’s how it’s always been and will always be. If you’re not happy with it, why put it out ya know.
MM: I wanted to talk about a few of tracks on the record that really stand out to me. The first is “Worship the Digital Age,” which I think has such a strong message with thunderous riffs behind it. Obviously social media plays a huge part in the music scene today, but how do you feel about it personally? Is it a love/hate relationship?
PB: Totally. It’s a great tool for bands to use of course, but just like everything else in the world, people will learn to abuse it and use it for the wrong reasons. We try to use it as much as possible to interact with fans, because without social media, we know we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today. That’s just a fact.
MM: So it’s basically a necessary evil?
PB: Yep. That about sums it up (laughs).
MM: If you had the choice to get rid of Facebook or Twitter right now, which would it be?
PB: Probably Twitter. Our fan demographic is more Facebook based I think, and seriously, how much can you say in 140 characters and get your point across? It’s definitely important, and people love it, but Facebook is still more important for us as a band for sure. I don’t see either going away anytime soon though, so we’ll just keep using them as best as possible.
MM: Very cool. Another song that really blew me away is “Diggs Road,” which is the most personal song, lyrically, that I’ve ever heard you done before. Is that something that you’ve had built up for a while, and now just seemed like the right time to release it?
PB: Yea it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I can write the most disgusting and dark lyrics imaginable, but I really wanted to write something meaningful on this album for the fans, and basically explain where I came from and how it was for me growing up. It was definitely emotional to write and record, but I’m extremely happy with how it came out. Hopefully the fans really connect with it as well, because that’s what it’s all about.
MM: Not just lyrically, but even performance wise, you do several vocal techniques that you haven’t really touched on before. How difficult would you say it was recording some of those parts, if at all?
PB: It was challenging, but I wouldn’t say difficult. Just like how we expanded our musical sound, I wanted to expand what I did vocally on some of the tracks. Whether it was my range or pitch or whatever, I really tried to do what fit that song correctly, and keep it as honest as possible.
MM: Well I think that’s one main reason behind your dedicated fans around the world is your band’s honesty. Not only do you have this new record coming out for the fans, but also a DVD which was funded by them as well. You see bands try these campaigns a lot now, but your goal was hit rather quickly and pretty much doubled by the end of it. Were you blown away at the response to it?
PB: Definitely man. It still blows my mind. We appreciate the support so much, and we are definitely going to make the DVD something special for them. We wanted them to be a part of it, as we will be, and all that bonus money will go to making it that much more awesome. We don’t like to half ass anything, so thanks to the fans, the DVD is going to be huge.
MM: Something else that is going to be huge is the upcoming tour with DevilDriver here in the States. You’ll be out promoting the new record, so how much of the new stuff can we expect to hear?
PB: I’m pretty sure you’ll hear a lot of it. As I said before, we know the songs fans want to hear, so those will be played of course, but we are really proud of this album, so expect to hear a lot of it. We are excited to play them live as well, because I can only imagine how huge they will sound. So be prepared (laughs).
MM: Sounds good Phil! Thanks for taking out the time. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans out there?
PB: Just thank you, thank you, thank you. Whether you’re a new fan or an old fan, we appreciate your support so much. It’s cliche to say, but we wouldn’t be here without you, so never forget that. Pick up the new record when it hits stores and catch us on the road, because we are more ready than ever to get back out there and make it memorable! Cheers!