Bassist Gabe Crisp of Knoxville, Tennessee death metallers WHITECHAPEL recently spoke with DJ Chewy of WSOU 89.5 FM — the South Orange, New Jersey-based college radio station of Seton Hall University — about the band’s forthcoming new studio album, “The Valley”. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how “The Valley” differs and is similar to the band’s previous studio output:
Gabe: “The only way I describe stuff like that to me is we’re maturing, so I think the sound is maturing. I don’t know if it’s a great representation of it. For us, we’re diving into some clean-singing stuff, a little more atmospheric, a lot more melody. For us, it’s impossible to write the same thing, and we always try to bring something new to the table. The last couple of records have been teasing this and we’ve kind of went for it this time.”
On using clean vocals for the new song “Third Depth”:
Gabe: “We’ve always thought about it. It was track-specific. We knew Phil [Bozeman, vocals] could sing — we didn’t know how good, but we knew he could sing. We just knew if we started writing stuff that called for singing, we would just let it happen. He was down and it was one those things where it came out way better than we ever imagined. We wrote stuff that sounded like it should have it and we didn’t hold back. We went for it.”
On whether there were any “roadblocks” for WHITECHAPEL during the writing of “The Valley”:
Gabe: “Honestly, man, there’s always time restraints and you always need more time no matter how much time you set aside for it, but it was a pretty good experience overall. We kind of stick to the same plan and we build off of it every record. We keep the good stuff and whatever works. We were able to get together a lot more this time since we were home. We were in a room together as a band a lot more for this record and it made things a lot easier. A lot more fun.”
On the reasoning behind naming the album “The Valley”:
Gabe: “‘The Valley’ is in reference to where Phil grew up, which is in Hardin Valley [Tennessee]. He still lives there, actually, but instead of calling it that, the idea was ‘The Valley’ is more universal. Where we live in Tennessee is kind of a valley outside of the [Great] Smoky Mountains, so it’s specific to him, specific to us. It’s kind of cool. Deeper than just saying ‘The Valley’. It’s cool to us.”
On the “Based on true events” text that appears on the album’s cover:
Gabe: “It’s all Phil. He grew up in a rough household and I don’t think the lyrics are literal — it’s not meant to be like that, but it’s inspired by true events, I guess you could say.”
On why WHITECHAPEL has experienced a revolving door of drummers:
Gabe: “For us, since we’ve been doing this as a career or even full-time, whatever you want to call it, for the last ten years, we only had what we call two drummers actually be in the band. Ben Harclerode left and since then, we’ve had touring musicians. At the same time, it’s not a tryout, but at the same time, if someone wants to be in the band, we’re not going to let them be in the band overnight. If they want to be in the band, they want to play some shows and see if it works out — we want a sixth member. We’re looking for a new drummer all the time, right now we’re just waiting for the guy that’s the one.”
“The Valley” will be released on March 29 via Metal Blade Records.
This spring, WHITECHAPEL will co-headline the 2019 edition of the “Chaos & Carnage” U.S. tour with DYING FETUS. Support on the trek will come from REVOCATION, FALLUJAH, SPITE, UNCURED and BURIED ABOVE GROUND.