Wisdom In Chains, the Hardcore heads from Pennsylvania are coming to the fore again with their brand new album “The God Rhythm”. After the successful release the band broke its chains and took off! Richie, the guitarist of the band talked with Metal Invader about the new album, about Hardcore and Straight Edge and also about the band’s special bond with Europe and Greece. These guys are not only great musicians but also likeable, polite and modest people. They serve with loyalty the Hardcore Movement, they are just true! Enjoy them!
Hi guys! Well, first of all, congratulations for your new album! It’s really great! How do your fans in your latest live shows respond to it? Have you got positive feedback by the crowd? What’s the best comment you’ve heard about it?
Hello, thank you very much, we are glad you like it. So far, the reaction to the new songs have been very good. We are surprised to see the song alongs and excitement for the new songs this early. We’ve heard a lot of great comments, I remember one person saying that her favorite metal song, her favorite Hardcore song, and her favorite punk song are all on this new album. That was very nice to hear.
Although I loved all of your previous albums, I have to admit that this one is, by far, the best! What, do you think, makes “The God Rhythm” so special?
Thank you very much, I do know that we trimmed the fat off this release. If something seemed a little off or just not right, we didn’t use it. We really put a lot of thought into the order of the songs, and the vibe that would come from the perfect track list. We got very detailed with art and lyrics. It was a lot of fun to make, and song writing is really important to us, hopefully people like it.
In your new album you sound less angry than in the past. It seems you have found your ”emotional balance”. There is anger and aggression, but love and affection as well, which is not something common in the hardcore scene. Did it come naturally or did you do it on purpose in order for you to sound different than the other hardcore bands? Is your new album the result of redefining your view/perception of hardcore?
Well, in life (and in music) we felt that a complete album should have balance. Highs and lows, dark and light, good and evil. These things make the best stories, having both sides make things more relatable. Like the pitchforks in the artwork, the prongs can represent birth, life, death or past, present, future. One dimensional songs are fine, but an album should be a trip, and on a trip there should be a variety of landscapes to see and feel.
Whose idea was the instrumental track? How did the title “The God Rhythm” occur?
That Idea was mine (Richie guitarist), I was always a huge fan of instrumentals. I think they have a place on albums as long as they can hold their own and provide a vibe on their own. I had written this instrumental on an acoustic guitar and I demoed two riffs together, when I showed the guys, they backed and and we put it together. It’s not common to throw an instrumental on a Hardcore album, but we put one on our last album as well, and it seemed to work. As for the title The God Rhythm, well, it’s like a tribute to the importance of music. It’s an old theory that seems to have been lost, something we have been studying for awhile. We also wanted a unique title, a title people would say, rather than just saying “Wisdom in Chains new album”. It’s good to hear people say “do you have a copy of The God Rhythm?” When they come to the merch table, it’s good to hear.
Which of the tracks, do you think, is going to become the greatest hit and why?
Well, that’s hard to say. My personal favorite is Songs to my Killer. Musically, and lyrically I like it a lot. It’s nice to though hear people telling us which songs are their favorite, and seeing that their choices are very diverse.
Besides the finest work at music and lyrics, the album has an incredible artwork! Could you tell us what it symbolizes?
Well, it’s nice to have art that coincides with the songs, and this does. There are obvious things you can pinpointing the art, and there are hidden secrets and messages as well. The direction of the wings and eyes, the pyramid, the Roman numerals, the moon. I love the art on this album. We have the idea to a great artist named Chris Jones, he did the freehand stuff. After that was complete, a great designer named Jonathan Buske put it all together. Great photos from Aga, and Rachel, it all worked out.
Now, let’s go on with some more general info about Wisdom In Chains. Sick of it All inspired you to make “Chasing the Dragon”, one of your best songs ever. Which other bands have influenced your music?
Yes, Chasing the Dragon is about Sick of it All, the dragon representing the SOIA logo. As far as Hardcore, Agnostic Front and Madball are big influences for us, then bands like Pink Floyd, Type O Negative, Metallica, Cock Sparrer, Warzone, The Crack, Muse, Guns n Roses, so many!
What does Hardcore mean to you? Is it just a music genre or is it a philosophy, a life choice?
It’s a lifestyle to us, a Hardcore band should be respectful, but never take shit. We will always appreciate and say thank you everyone we are helped or given something, but at the same time if you take advantage of us or disrespect us, it will get ugly. That’s what Hardcore is about to us. That attitude is Hardcore, you never prey on the weak, you never bully, you don’t compete with other bands, you help out and you appreciate help.
“Back to the Ocean” from the “Everything you know” album is a song about a friend, who passed away due to drug overdose. Taking that as motive, I would like to know your opinion about the straight edge movement.
Three of us in the band are SXE, one guy basically has a few beers a year, and our drummer Luke is an animal party guy. We respect the movement and we feel part of the movement. We don’t like when SXE turns into making someone feel targeted or bullied, so we will never act like that. SXE is very much important to some of the members of this band though, that’s for sure.
Wisdom in Chains started as an international collaboration between a member of Daredevil in the Netherlands and members of Krutch in the United States. That shows you have had a bond with Europe ever since. Do you know other european hardcore bands? And as far as the crowd is concerned, have you ever noticed any differences between the american and the european fans during your tours? Where are the toughest guys, in America or in Europe? (lauphing)
Yes, we have a very strong link with a lot of European bands, Knuckledust is one of our favorite bands of all time. No Turning Back is a great HC band, Risk It, For The Glory, Redemption Denied, Nasty, Crippler, Born From Pain, Backfire, we have been going to Europe for years, well before Wisdom was even a band, so we made great friends and heard great bands from there. As far as differences, Europe is much more organized as far as touring and shows, and is more violent and political at the moment. As far as asking who has the toughest guys?? Haha, I don’t know, but there are some sick maniacs walking around at shows in America, that’s for sure.
At the end, I would like to ask something about Mav. I noticed at a recent video-interview of yours (where Richie’s and Mav’s student cards were displayed) that Mav’s name is Christofer Mavromatis. Is he a Greek? By the way, are you planning to visit Greece for the new album promotion? Would you like to send a message to your Greek fans?
Chris is Greek, his Mother is Italian and Father is Greek. Chris is also a Doctor of Archeology and his expertise is in Greek study’s. He is a very proud Greek and I think he would surprise a lot of people on his knowledge of Greece. He spent a lot of time there and in Cypress as well doing digs and learning. We have played Athens twice in the past and had a great time, hopefully we get back there soon. To anyone who supports us in Greece, we really appreciate it and our thoughts are with you in the current situation you guts are in, we wish the best to you. Thank you very much for the interview!