WAKE‘s latest offering of grindcore brutality, Misery Rites, was released this past Friday and I’m hoping you picked up a copy. If not, and grindcore or anything extreme pleases you, get on that asap. Vincent heaped praise on it in his feature review and really, any praise this thing receives is warranted. The band has been “grinding” it out since 2009 and have matured like a fine bourbon ever since; aggressive yet infinitely more complex and well-rounded with each outing. Ragers such as “Embers and “Rumination” pretty much set WAKE as the current reigning champs of grind but then…death metal on “Paradigm Lost” and a dusting of hardcore on “Bitter Winter” and you’ve got, quite possibly, the band’s finest moment. Anyway, I could go on and on about this thing but you’re here to see what drummer Josh Brueckert had to say to our Profile questions. But, before you get started scroll about halfway down and hit the play button, then read through. And by all means, get yourself a copy of Misery Rites.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
My parents are musicians so I was in it from day one. I haven’t achieved the level of success yet that I’d hope for, and likely never will, but that’s totally fine if I can continue to write music I am completely invested in and am proud of.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
We’ve never done anything goofy to promote the band, and short of Jon Nodtveit reincarnating and wanting us to open for Dissection I don’t think we ever would. Aside from the usual drunken shenanigans I can’t say anything too specific…almost getting denied entry to the US from Mexico after a night of boozing after a show would be one thing I suppose…
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
Metal is currently in a spot where there are great bands pushing all types of boundaries and being hyper creative, and then there’s also the regressing into 80’s and 90’s vibes which is very cool. The internet allows us to find all of the best bands doing all the coolest shit and it pushes things quicker than ever before in a genre that’s always expanding. Trends and anyone playing music for the wrong reasons are always what’s wrong with music, but that will never go away. It’s easy to see who’s in it for the shitty reasons and stay away.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
We aren’t really a political band at all and the lyrics are rooted in personal struggles, less so politics or social issues. We all care about these things and have somewhat similar worldviews but these things affect our daily lives and less the music or lyrics in WAKE.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
My parents were into heavier rock and 80’s metal so that was my childhood. They kinda shot themselves in the foot by bringing me up in that environment but I don’t think they mind too much that I got into metal instead of chamber music or something. I was around 9 or 10 when I got into Sabbath and Metallica and all the classics, and in junior high and high school I discovered stuff like Darkthrone and Cryptopsy and most of the bands that shaped my current tastes.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Respect the band by doing some homework on their music and they will theoretically value the interview a little more and keep the ball rolling.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
I’d love to invade a continent and start a cult but I don’t see that on my horizon sadly. We all have mundane jobs and are normal dudes who collect records, watch hockey, and drink beer. I enjoy wandering the forests and petting animals and BATHORY.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
I certainly don’t listen to my own band any more than I absolutely need to haha…Current newish bands I dig would be Whoredome Rife, Knelt Rote, Revenge, Adversarial, Degial and tons more of that vein. Always listening to Dissection, Bathory, At the Gates and all the obvious classics…very into Beastmilk again lately and have recently been obsessed with Linea Aspera and Endlichkeit. Too many good bands out there, my head will explode if I think too hard about this.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
Our record comes out at the end of February and we are doing a three week Canadian/American tour with Withered in March and April.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Josh and WAKE for their time!