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Ben Savage (Whitechapel)

Interview with Ben Savage from Whitechapel
by Laura Cosheril at 22 June 2016, 9:20 PM

WHITECHAPEL, arguably the world's leading Deathcore band, are set to release their new studio album, "Mark Of The Blade", in 4 days. according to guitarist Ben Savage, the album has been met with a "mixed bag" of reception from critics, in the interview below conducted by Laura, whom also asked him about reuniting with former producer Mark Lewis, and the origins of their logo.

Hi, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. How are you doing?

Doing well, just at my house waiting to leave for tour in a few weeks.

You just finished a decade of the blade tour, how did that tour go?

It went really smooth, we played some smaller cities around the midwest, northeast, and southeast US and visited some killer breweries along the way

Whitechapel are an active band that always seem to be on the road, is it hard to stay fit on tour?

No, but you just have to have the drive to exercise after sitting or laying down in a van for 8 hours, but as they say "if there is a will, there is a way"

Speaking of tours you did the Mayhem Festival last year, did you have a feeling while doing the tour that Mayhem was struggling and that this would be the last one?

Yes, just through all the negative press coming in about it I had a feeling something was going on, but we did very well on that tour we love all the people that are apart of that festival.

You’re releasing your sixth album Mark of the Blade in June, do you get nervous, curious or a mixture of both feelings when you release an album?

A mixture of both for sure, just the waiting to release it is so tedious. I'm just exciting for people to hear it. We've added some different elements to our sound so I guess I'm more curious as to how listeners will take it.

Are you happy with the response to the songs from the album that have been released so far?

Well its been a pretty mixed bag of opinions from what I can tell, which is interesting.

Why did you decide to reunite with producer Mark Lewis and what was it like working with him again?

Working with Mark just puts us in a better headspace being that he travels up to where we live in Knoxville, Tennessee and records us there. From being on the road a lot of the time we need our home time to let our creativity stew a little longer

What was the writing and recording process like?

It was quite different from the last records in that since we were trying some new approaches to songwriting and sounds in general there were more disagreements than we've ever had, but through that we all sort of met in the middle and I feel the songs came out better because of it.

Alex Wade said this is “the most dynamic record we've done, in the sense that one song can be very aggressive while the next one will be softer and sentimental”. What drove you in this direction?

We just wanted a more "balanced" record. Those kinds of albums we're always my favorite as a kid. Opeth "Ghost Reveries", Isis "Panopticon" come to mind. We're six records deep now, so any riffs that can peak our interests enough to complete a full song with will take priority over anything else.

As a band you’ve really shed your deathcore origins, would you say deathcore in a dead genre?

There seem to be only a handful of bands carrying that "deathcore" torche on their sleeve, and more power to them! What we try to do is incorporate as many styles of metal/hardcore/rock as we are capable of. We will always be considered a deathcore band, so we will always have that aura to our sound.

Whitechapel have been a band for 10 years now, did you ever imagine you’d last this long?

I always thought it would be great if we lasted this long, and so did everyone in the band so I guess that's why we lasted this long (lol).

What’s been a career highlight?

Probably playing Self Help Fest in California a couple years ago. There was just a sea of teenagers raging to our music and it felt fantastic.

What inspires the band to keep going?

We consider ourselves a brotherhood so at the core of the band we have that. Everything else that is attached to that - our love for music, our fans and friends on the road. All those factors keep us driven.

Do you have day jobs outside of Whitechapel?

No

You’re about to play Warped Tour starting in June, are you going to approach the Warped Tour shows differently to previous tours?

We're just going to do what we do. We have a short set so we'll only play 2 songs from our first records and then the rest of the time will be focused on the last 3 albums.

You’re also playing Ozzfest meets Knotfest later this year, what does the music of Slipknot and Black Sabbath mean to you?

They're such iconic bands that I can't really express the influence they have had over me in words. Legends

You’ve played the UK a lot over the years, what does the UK have that no other country has?

The UK has been home to the greatest bands that have ever been. Period.

Finally I’ve always wanted to know this, but what are the origins of your saw logo?

We were thinking of merchandise designs about 8 or 9 years ago and I think it was Gabe who thought the Tennessee star should be inside of a sawblade, to represent where we came from and the sound our music conveyed. Then our drummer at the time Kevin Lane designed it on Photoshop.



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Edited 18 December 2017
 

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