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The Death Wheelers

Interview with The Death Wheelers from The Death Wheelers
by Dani Bandolier at 11 September 2020, 7:05 AM

THE DEATH WHEELERS recently released their new album, titled "Divine Filth." Metal Temple writer Dani Bandolier recently had the chance to catch up and interview the band, and here's what they had to say.

THE DEATH WHEELERS are located in Québec City, Quebec in Canada. I have been to Montreal and find the city quite lovely and fun; in fact, I went to a Casino there and lost 100 loonies on the crap table. A lovely Canadian lass told me not to worry about it, that Canadian money was like Monopoly money – a philosophy I have broadened to include many things in life. How is the music and art scene in the Montreal gigging area? Is there an art music scene of rock that the band fits into, say instrumental, fashion, theatric rock scene that is vital? How is the general music scene in Canada?

Not that many bands want to associate themselves with us actually, so in terms of a scene we’re marginal on many levels. To answer your other question, Canada has always been an amazing breeding ground for nasty music, we have a long-running dynasty of great riff-based music: Razor, The Gruesomes, Voivod, Gorguts, and Dopethrone just to name a few. These days are no different, other bands such as Tomb Mold, Freeways, Droid, Palmistry, Badass Commander Outre-Tombe, Occult Burial and Lochness are keeping the flame alive.

I see that the movie Psychomania has influenced the band. Is the band influenced by any other particular anime, graphic novels or other movies in the way that Japan bands derive their artistic vision?

We are influenced by a plethora of things but the movie Psychomania is indeed what started it all. The campiness of it mixed with the occult references, the motorcycle club suicide pact, these are the foundations of the original concept for the band.  Other influences include: Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk death matches, Entombed’s Left Hand Path, Japanese band G.A.T.E.S. and homemade liquor.

I am not familiar with STRANGE BROUE. Is the band instrumental as well? How different can the music be with all the same members writing and performing the music?

While Strange Broue is composed of the same members as The Death Wheelers its intent/mindset is far removed from The Death Wheelers realm. While both bands are highly conceptual at the core, they are two completely different beasts. To put it simply, one is fueled by downers and the other uppers, we’ll let you guess which one is which.

How do you feel about releasing your music on digital streaming platforms? Have you been able to reach new listeners and make more physical sales of your art? Has this helped exposing the band to an international audience?

We’re all about exposing ourselves, we’re exhibitionists, the internet has allowed us to spread our filth around the world. Also, there are lots of freaks on the web, so I’d say we feel right at home.

THE DEATH WHEELERS play fast and play very well at speed. Is this a conscious decision to compose the music to be played at such a fast tempo? Do you play with additional musicians or samples live?

We like the compose in the most depraved state so nothing is premeditated or calculated. In the past, we have tried recruiting additional musicians for live performances in the local paper but our ad was too risqué and got pulled out for nudity before getting printed.

What is your favourite venue and location for the band to play live? What is your favourite recording studio? Why?

We’ll play anywhere but we have an affinity for moldy basement shows. There is a beauty about playing to a crowd of broken-down degenerates at 4 in the morning.

How did you record “Divine Filth”? For example, was everyone in the studio at the same time? Was it a long process? Did you have everything written before you started tracking?

The album came together fairly quickly and all tracks were ready before we hit the studio. We recorded the whole thing in 48 hours all together in one room at break neck speed with honorary club member Gueze behind the console. We like to impose restrictions and limitations. We believe struggle brings out the worst of people which is exactly what we want to capture on tape.

Who did the album artwork for “Divine Filth”?

The creation of the album artwork was a two-step process. First, Courtney Brooke, a good friend of ours and great photographer, came up with the concept and laid out the scene to create a reference picture. From there, visual FX/horror illustrator extraordinaire Marc Schoenbach (Sadist Art Designs) worked his magic and painted the whole scene over top of the picture. The post-apocalyptic landscape these two artists created is grimy and campy which is exactly what we had in mind when we came up with the album concept.

Does Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prefer THE DEATH WHEELERS or  STRANGE BROUE? Has Geddy Lee ever come to watch the band?

We don’t believe these two personalities would approve of anything we do musically nor politically. Filth is our politics.

I dig the Dick Dale song you included on “Divine Filth”, it is a furious cover of ‘Nitrus’. Do you play any other cover songs?

It’s no secret, we like the dead and we like to pay homage to them.  Our debut included a Moby Dick cover as a tribute to John Bonham, this time around, we decided to commemorate the recently deceased rock and roller Dick Dale. If you want us to cover your music, please mail us your death certificate.

Would THE DEATH WHEELERS ever ride electric motorcycles or does the addictive use of dino-fossil fuel help slather on the hopeless dope and death vibe of your music?

\[Gas pumping intensifies]

I know the pandemic has impacted this whole year for THE DEATH WHEELERS. The summer touring and concert cycle is usually booked months in advance. Has the current COVID19 pandemic impacted your band plans for next year? What do you have going on for 2021?

The pandemic has made us stronger as death and desolation are the fuel to our creation. This means, we are gearing up to write more tunes and maybe enter the studio by the end of 2020 to have some new material ready for 2021. As far as touring is concern, bookers beware we are quite the nightmare.

Finally, can people fall in love with each other or the band while watching you play live?

It’s not uncommon to see people lower their standards at our shows, which means your chances of getting laid after our set are even higher.


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