Whitechapel\'s Alex Wade On Busting Eardrums At Warped Tour

Whitechapel's Alex Wade On Busting Eardrums At Warped Tour

Arguably the heaviest band on this year's Warped Tour, Whitechapel are in the midst of a robust touring cycle for their latest album, "A New Era of Corruption," guitarist Alex Wade spoke with us at the Warped Tour's Camden stop.

- Joe Smith
Photo by Adam Elmakias

posted July 29, 2010

Arguably the heaviest band on this year's Warped Tour, Whitechapel are wielding their brand of brutal death metal to great effect, busting eardrums and winning converts amongst the alternative-leaning tour's impressionably youthful attendees. In the midst of a robust touring cycle for their latest album, "A New Era of Corruption," guitarist Alex Wade spoke with us at the Warped Tour's Camden stop.

How are you doing?

Pretty good, no complaints.

Whitechapel gets hit with the deathcore tag a lot, but that doesn't really do the band justice. What sets you apart from the "deathcore" bands out there?

I think we just try to do it a little more tastefully, I guess. We try to put a little bit more flair into it, we go about making our music a little bit more interesting. It's not just all blast beats and breakdowns, we try to add a lot of atmosphere to the music and stuff like that; we try to make it sound really dark and aggressive.

Yeah, there are a lot of different elements to your music. There's the hardcore and death metal, but there's more traditional metal and thrash elements in there. Is it tough to tie all that together and make something cohesive?

Well every guitarist in the band, we have three guitarists, we come from different backgrounds. I listen to a lot of more "mainstream" stuff like Slipknot and Deftones and stuff like that, Ben (Savage) listens to a lot more straightforward death metal like Bloodbath and Opeth and stuff like that, and he also listens to a lot of progressive stuff too. Zach
(Householder) listens to a lot of dark-type, epic metal like Amon Amarth and Dimmu Borgir. So as you can see we have all different kinds of influences from the metal background, so we just kind of fuse all that and tie it together to create our sound.

Since there're three guitarists, is it tough to work out who contributes what, not only influence-wise, but technically and recording-wise as well?

Not really. We all kind of write our own thing and we bring the riffs together, and whoever writes the best riffs or has the riffs that people like the most, we'll throw those together and make those into songs.

Let's talk about "A New Era of Corruption," which just came out and debuted at #42 on Billboard, which is pretty impressive. That's got to be very gratifying.

Oh yeah, we're really stoked. The first week we sold 10,600 copies, which for an extreme metal band is a crazy feat, but for an extreme metal band that's only been a band for four years it's even crazier. When we saw those number and we saw that we charted at #42, in the top 50, we were really happy. We put a lot of hard work and effort into this band and it's really good to see it pay off.

Well this is your second record for Metal Blade and you had charted with your previous album, "This is Exile," so was there any pressure when you were making this record, knowing you had started to build a momentum and a fan base?

Yeah, definitely. After "This is Exile" came out, we progressively got on bigger and bigger tours, like Summer Slaughter and the Mayhem Tour, and we toured with Trivium. So the band was getting bigger and we definitely wanted to release a CD that reflected that. I feel like "A New Era of Corruption" definitely reflects the band, and where it is at this point in time.

And one of the reasons you've been so successful is that you tap into younger fans. What is it do you think that draws kids not just to your music, but death metal in general?

I don't know, there's definitely been a resurgence in metal. And you can see that, there are 14 and 15 year old girls coming out to our shows screaming lyrics about vaginas and killing sluts and stuff like that. It's pretty crazy to see that happen. But I don't know, there's definitely something going on, I don't what it is. Maybe the planets are aligning or something and metal's coming back.

Speaking of young fans: Warped Tour. This has to be kind of a weird experience for you.

Yeah it is, but it's good at the same time, because I feel like we don't need to just keep playing to the same crowd over and over again. We have our metal fans, I feel like we've conquered that, and now it's time to move on to something else and I feel like Warped Tour is that perfect outlet. We can play to a different crowd, play to a younger crowd and get a whole new set of fans that hopefully will grow up and still be listening to us when they're 24 or 25.

How's Warped going so far, then? Going well?

Yeah, it's really awesome. The shows have been killer, we've played some of the biggest shows we've ever played on this tour, so it's definitely the biggest tour that we've ever done.

What are the plans for Whitechapel when Warped wraps up?

When we get done with the Warped Tour, we have two headlining shows in Alaska, which is cool because we've never been there before. And after that we're doing a US headlining tour in October, which hasn't been announced yet so I can't really talk about it. And then in November we go back to Europe with Job for a Cowboy and Annotations of an Autopsy. So we've definitely got a really full 2010, but once we finish up that European tour we'll be able to take some time off and spend the holidays with our families.

Alright, is there anything else you'd like to add for our readers?

Our new CD's out, "A New Era of Corruption," if you haven't picked it up yet, pick it up because I don't think people really realize how much it helps artists these days to actually buy CDs. The economy is rough, which makes the music business even rougher.

Thanks a lot.

You got it.