THE WORSHYP INTERVIEW
Thank you and congratulations on MHM, I visit your website often and am really liking what I am seeing! Well, I’ll be as succinct as possible. For the most part, I’ve been writing our third album which will be entitled “Dead Set on Destruction”.
Tell us about your musical upbringing.
Both of my parents were musicians and played in a country band, so my earliest memories of music were primarily watching my father’s band practice in our living room. This certainly had a profound impact on me and by the age of eight I was already learning the guitar. Not long after that I discovered radio, which was excellent at the time, and I started hearing bands like Rush and Kiss. This really set my off on the “I have to do this for a living” track.
How was the band formed and how did you recruit your line up?
So, the original line up on our debut album “Kingdom Earth” was put together via ads on Craig’s list. I had uploaded several demo songs online and had already built a decent following, so the ad attracted some great musicians. About a month before I was to depart for Montreal to record our follow-up album “Evil Abounds” our drummer broke the news to us that he was moving back to his home country Peru. I immediately called Glen Robinson (The producer of Evil Abounds) whom I knew had worked with some really big names in the industry and he sent me a list of A list drummers that he knew. Being a big Megadeth fan, when I saw Jimmy DeGrasso’s name I knew he would be the guy. I sent him demos and he loved the stuff.
What were your primary influences?
My personal primary influences were mostly 70s bands such as Rush, Kiss, Zeppelin, Priest, Maiden, and Sabbath, of course there were many others but those bands were by and large the impetus.
Where do you tend to find the inspiration to make music from?
In terms of songwriting, I think a great deal of my inspiration comes from books and movies. A great book or movie can really set my imagination on fire. I read a lot of fantasy and that influence certainly makes a profound impact my lyrical direction, I do however try to maintain a strong sense of verisimilitude. Now, thinking of music, and more specifically of playing guitar, I think the aforementioned bands have inspired me enough for a lifetime but I certainly listen to new music and find great inspiration in that as well.
What’s the band’s current status?
Like many bands we have experienced lineup changes between albums and this album will be no different. At the least, there will be a new bassist. It’s unfortunate that these things happen.
Looks like you guys are in a hiatus as it’s been a long time since you recorded your last album, if that’s true, would you mind explaining what happened?
You’ve probably seen the Metallica documentary film “Some Kind of Monster”. Well that film really depicts how quickly a band can fall into the realms of uncertainty. Now, the details in our case were different but the result was similar; we lost nigh on five critical years. In a nutshell, after we released “Evil Abounds” in 2012 we flew Jimmy DeGrasso up from California for a live video recording the entire Evil Abounds album with the addition of a track from Kingdom Earth. Shortly after that recording our then manager, who I will not name, and I had a falling out. Unfortunately, it resulted in that video not being released and the departure of both Mig our bassist and that manager. Mig is an excellent bassist and I wish him well.
After all of this transpired it really felt as if we had had the rug pulled from beneath us and it lead to a lot of soul searching and contemplation, very similar to the Metallica film. We had all of this momentum and then hit a brick wall, it was a very precarious and despondent time for me. I gotta tell you, for about twenty months or so I did not know what to do or if we even should continue. By 2015, I had reenergized my vigor and found a new drive to push onward, I soon decided that because so much time had passed we would need a new album to elevate the band once again, and ever since I have been writing that album. It has certainly been the most difficult album to write thus far because it must make a profound statement, it has to be better and it has to be energized. I am also very fastidious and I have a motto when it comes to albums: “All killer and no filler”. So here we are in August 2017 and I am very pleased to say that the writing is coming along very well.
What do you do outside of the band? Do you have any side projects as well?
During this hiatus, I have written a lot of rock songs in which I would one day like to release as a solo project but currently The Worshyp’s third album is first and foremost.
This far the music is certainly more modern sounding but it’s still The Worshyp. It’s still progressive thrash metal. I don’t think we’ll ever have an “Experimental” album as I am always experimenting. I think if you listen to both of our albums you can really hear a lot of versatility from song to song.
Views on the current heavy metal scene? Tell us about your local scene!
I honestly am not overly crazy about the state or direction of the current metal scene as a whole but there are some very awesome things happening here and there. Generally, it seems as if the metal scene has become far too divided into so many subgenres that it is nearly impossible to keep track of them all. I also see a lot of infighting amongst the fans between genres and I really don’t think this serves metal music well. I hope this will change.
The local scene here for metal and hard rock is dismal in my opinion. Sure, there are a few bands with gigs but the lion’s share of bars and clubs play mostly dance and hip-hop. It is seemingly harder and harder to go out and see a good metal band playing to a crowd of more than 50 people unless you go to an arena and see an already established act; I think this is tragic.
What’s your favourite song to play live and what’s your favourite gear? Any experiences with the crowd you’d like to share with us?
I don’t know if I have a favourite song to play live but Ganglords and Villains seem to stick out in my mind as being more fun than usual. So, for gear, I seem to be gravitating more and more towards the big classic names like Gibson and Fender, especially when I am playing rock and progressive rock but with The Worshyp stuff I still love my Jacksons and it’s not really that I am a purist or anything, I just simply love playing those guitars. For amps, the same thing has been happening; I really like Marshall and Orange amps.
The funniest thing that has happened to me live with The Worshyp is when we first started gigging after our debut album was released. We were about to go on for the final set of the night and the first song was Spirit Keys. For some reason my mind went blank and I could not recall the first line of the song and I had no time to go listen to it, so I noticed a couple very loyal fans sitting in the front row so ran down to them and asked them what the first line was. Of course, they knew and once I heard the first two words I was good to go. The set went on without a hitch!
Thanks a lot for talking to us, very much appreciated and good luck with all future endeavors.
Shibalika Tamuli/MHF Magazine