Power of Metal.dk Interview

Interview with John Kevill (vocals) - Warbringer, January 2014

Congratulations with your fourth album IV: Empires Collapse. But before asking a bit more about that, could you please tell our readers what did you decide to start a band and why metal and not a style that brings in some more money?

That's what I like, that's what I wanted to play! If you are trying to make money, music is the wrong career. You have to do music for the passion, or go fuck yourself.

Since your debut album ‘War Without End’ the music of the band has been compared with the big 80’s Bay Area and German thrash bands. Which is very logical because of the big influences of them in your music, but I can imagine that it might irritate you also after a while. What is your opinion about that?

Well, thrash metal and all the great bands that have played in that style is clearly the basis for our band. On one hand it is great to be compared to bands whom we are fans of, and are influenced by. The first album is very rooted in this, as the band progressed though, it becomes something more our own that you can't compare as much.
It does get irritating to always hear the same comparisons, like people are writing you off without ever giving the songs you wrote a chance. I think people who are really into music can tell the differences as well as the similarities and influences.

On your new album I hear more variety in the songs. One song is old school German thrash, another one has more punk influences and yet another more Bay Area. Did you do that on purpose, or was it just the way it turned out.

It's always "just the way it turned out". And we can't make German thrash, cause we are not German! haha. But we did want to have a diverse and interesting record, that did a lot of things musically while still being an intense metal record.

John Laux is the main songwriter in the band, does that mean that the other musicians just have to do what he tells them, or do they also have a big influence on how the songs turn out in the end?

Everyone has an influence. Laux isn't the kind of person who will boss people around and tell them what to do, but when he has an idea he is passionate about it and really wants to get it across. A lot of stuff we've written together. The guy is a riff machine indeed. Very creative dude who's been great to write music with.

Please tell our readers a bit more about the title of your new album. Is there a kind of message behind it and behind the lyrics on the album?

A lot of it speaks of problems with society at large, as well a the modern age. "Hunter-Seeker" is about a fear of surveillance. "The Turning of the Gears" is about the daily grind that everyone must partake in to be a part of society. "Towers of the Serpent" is a statement of hatred towards the multibillionaires who run this place.
There's no single concept though, for example, "Iron City" is about what we do out on the highway, playing loud raising hell and getting drunk.

If you ask a thrash fan which vocalists he likes you hear Araya, Schmier, Mille, Souza, Baloff and Billy. You  have been born 25 years too late, otherwise you would be in that list also because you sound like a mix of them. How did you develop this sound, just by listening and imitating them or is it just your natural voice?

Well, some of those are influences more than others! When starting there's certain songs I would sing in my car. But really it's just how my voice comes out.

After the Summer there are a lot of thrash bands that released or will release a new album. Evile, Death Angel, Sepultura, Evile, Generation Kill, Toxic Holocaust, Onslaught, Artillery, Havok and many more… It looks like thrash is more popular than ever, is that indeed still the case?

Hard for me to say! I think there's a lot of interest in this kind of music because it is good. Fast riffs and aggression is always going to be one of the things that draws people to metal in the first place.

At the moment you are touring with Kreator and Overkill, how popular are those bands in the US and how is it going so far?

The tour is just over and it went well! The line-up of Kreator, Overkill, and us is one hell of a thrash lineup, the turnouts were strong and the shows were great!

In 2014 you will be touring with Iced Earth in Europe. Can we expect you in Denmark and the Netherlands (my country)?

Yes, both! This tour is very extensive and goes all over Europe.

It is obvious that Warbringer are plain thrash fans that don’t want to invent a new style, but what is your challenge for the next albums?

That's not even true! We love thrash, death, speed, power, heavy, doom, etc metal. As well as just straight rock, prog, and all kinds of other stuff. I don't think "Invent a new style" is what most bands do, even very unique ones often. I think we have our own style of playing thrash metal that is different from everyone else.
The challenge for the next albums will be the same as always- to continue our style, and to write cool and interesting songs.

A lot of bands have an album that is so popular, that no matter what they release it will never be topped. (for example Slayer – Reign in Blood). Did Warbringer already release its ultimate album, or does it still have to come?

No, we have a lot more ideas left in us I think.

What are the 5 thrash albums (besides your four of course) that every thrash lover should own?

Lets say:

Slayer-Reign In Blood
Kreator- Extreme Aggression/Coma of Souls (take your pick)
Artillery- By Inheritance
Demolition Hammer- Epidemic of Violence
Sepultura- Beneath The Remains

Those are some of my favorites!

Anything else you want to say to our readers?

Thanks for the support, keep it heavy dudes!

P.s. If you want to see them live: 16.02.2014 - Copenhagen (Vega) 

Warbringer - IV: Empires Collapse

Label: Century Media

Link: www.warbringermusic.com.


John Kevill - Vocals
John Laux - Guitars
Jeff Potts - Guitars
Ben Mottsman - Bass
Carlos Cruz - Drums

IV: Empires Collapse (2013)
Worlds Torn Asunder (2011)
Waking Into Nightmares (2009)
War Without End (2008)


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries