Interview With Lycanthro (James Delbridge)

Q: Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith the editorial head, how are you guys doing?

A: Hi Keith! We are doing alright all things considered. Here in Ontario, we are still in lockdown which sucks but we’ve been doing everything we can to stay productive. 

Q: On June 4th, you have decided to release your first full-length album “Mark Of The Wolf” can you tell a bit about the album in terms of songwriting and production behind it?

A: Well, this album really encapsulates the sound and feel of the band from the early days when we 1st started up to now. In terms of songwriting, a lot of these songs were written as far back as when the band 1st started. Songs like the lead single “Crucible”, “Into Oblivion”, and “Ride the Dragon” were tracks that were on our original demo when we 1st started but we felt as though that these songs deserved a recording with much higher production value than they originally had. Production value is something we made a point to focus on with this release. One of the main criticisms we got on our previous releases is that the songwriting was good but the production value was lacking, so we really wanted to emphasize the improved production on this release by hiring some amazing names to mix and master this album (Jason Jaknunas & Jack Kosto) and we think they did this album a great justice. Overall, the main thing we want listeners to take away from this album is that it’s very diverse. There are elements from this album that metalheads from all walks of life can enjoy and that’s our main goal. 

Q: Can you tell me a bit about the cover art for Mark Of The Wolf, what was the concept set behind it?

A: The art was done by a very talented Italian artist by the name of Velio Josto. I came across his work originally because he had done some really impressive art for some big underground metal bands like Riot V, Enforcer, and Iron Angel. I really loved his really “80s movie poster” style of art along with his extreme attention to detail. Usually when we come up with album art, ill do a rough sketch of what we want and give it to our chosen artist and tell him to make it look better and add their own flair to it and he did that in spades. He added so many details to the art that I never would’ve thought up myself like for example, the mountain path and waterfall on each side of the werewolf, as well as the marl of the wolf appearing in the sky behind the werewolf. Those little touches really made the cover for us and overall we would say he’s a top-tier artist and would recommend him to anyone! 

Q: The album’s entirety is done amazingly well, Thrash metal with some elements of Power Metal and lots of melody added to it, makes it sound amazing with a signature sound of Lycanthro, how as a band do you feel about the outcome of the album?

A: It came out a lot better than we initially expected. The process of creating this album was definitely an effort that took lots of blood, sweat, and tears and had many obstacles. We had to cut 2 songs and there was lots of time invested into each remaining song to make them the best they could be, in some cases at the expense of our sanity. But with the end product, it ended up sounding a lot better than we could’ve ever anticipated and we are very humbled and grateful for the response it has garnered so far. 

Q: Bringing the old school metal back on scene, how is the reception from the fans?

A: So far it was a lot better than we were expecting! We were kind of nervous because we haven’t put out anything in 3 years but overall the response has been a very humbling experience. From what we’ve seen the fans have only great things to say about the album and it has been very reaffirming knowing how much work went into this release. Adding to that we have seen all varieties of metalheads liking the material, which was our goal from the start to create a very diverse-sounding album.  

Q: Can you tell me how it all started for Lycanthro?

A: Lycanthro started from the ashes of my old high school band that was called Death Wish. When that band broke up and I formed the band that would eventually become Lycanthro, we kept the name Death Wish for the first few months of the band’s existence. I was in college at the time and there was a record store that I used to frequent that was near my bus stop when I was going to college. One day I was flipping through the metal section and I found an album that was called “At the Edge of Damnation” and it was by a British band also called Death Wish. So, I called up the guys saying we had to change the name due to me finding that record in a local record store (even though that band hasn’t been active since the early 90s). When coming up with a new name, I wanted something that had to do with Wolves or Werewolves and at the same time have a name that no other band in the world has. I stumbled upon the name Lycanthrope (which is the “scientific” term for a werewolf), but I found that there were a bunch of bands called that. So, I took the “PE” off and thought it had a nice ring to it, as well as looking into it and finding no band in the world called Lycanthro. So that is how Lycanthro came to be. 

Q: What would be the next plans for the band?

A: Once we are able to, touring is a big priority for us. Before the pandemic, we were supposed to go on our very 1st tour across Canada to Vancouver to play the Hyperspace Metal Festival. As far as we know we are still booked on that festival so we plan on picking up where we left off. In terms of new music, we are currently demoing a new EP that we wrote during the lockdown and we plan on going into the studio for that before the end of the year. The new material is way different than what you will hear on “Mark of the Wolf” but it still sounds like Lycanthro. We are really excited to get these projects going once we are able to without any restrictions from covid. 

Q: You have shared stage with some of the iconic bands around the world, can you share a few of those experiences with me?

A: It has been absolutely surreal to be able to share the stage with such legendary names in our genre. Hammerfall, Battle Beast, Unleash the Archers, and Diamond Head are just some of the names we have had the privilege to play with. Some of the most memorable experiences from those shows aside from playing were meeting those bands and getting to know them and pick their brains. The memorable one I can think of is when we opened with Battle Beast, I had gotten to the venue to help them load their gear in. when that was done next thing I knew I was in the green room talking to Noora from Battle Beast! We talked vocals for 2 hours and it was such a memorable experience to be able to get to know a musician you look up to on such a formal level. 

Q: What would be some of the greatest moments for the band?

A: I would have to say one of our greatest moments would be when we opened for Unleash the Archers in Ottawa. They came and played our local metal venue which was a 300-person venue, not only did they sell it out, but it was the only time I had ever seen people lining up around the block to see them. When we actually played, it was so surreal to play to a venue at full capacity and with such a top-tier band in our genre. Adding to that it was easily the best crowd we’ve ever had, everyone loved the set and it was a really humbling and reaffirming experience. Another moment I can say is when we played the November Mayhem fest in St. Johns Newfoundland. It’s the only show where we actually got flown in to play which was really cool. Also, as with the Unleash the Archers show, we got to play to a 400-person full house and the crowd once again was incredible! Overall, those 2 are the great moments that come to mind due to the overall importance of those shows and how they shaped as a band going forward from them.  

Q: Music is ever evolving, has taken diverse when it comes to the genre of metal, everyday a new genre is coming out, but some fans still love the old school way, how as a band do you cater the needs for all the fans?

A: Well, we as a band firmly believe that you have to be diverse not only to stand out but also to keep your music from becoming stale. The band that we always look at as the perfect example of this was Queen. Queen never wrote the same song twice, but they always sounded like Queen. We in Lycanthro try to follow that same formula with our music. We never want to write the same song twice and even on our upcoming album, all the songs are completely different while still fitting under the power/melodic metal umbrella. We think that more bands should strive to achieve that as well. Overall, musical diversity is the key to cater to the needs of all of the fans, while at the same time staying true to yourself. 

Q: Finally what is the message for the fans?

A: Thank you all so much for the support we have gotten for this album, all of your kind words mean more than you can ever know! If you haven’t always please follow us on Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc and please DM us on any of our social media and let us know what you think of the album! Thanks for having us and stay metal my friends!