Interview with John Kevill of Warbringer
WARBRINGER is a take-no-prisoners live act having carved a reputation as your favourite new thrash metal titan onstage. Their pure thrash metal has transfixed anyone who’s crossed their spiritual path. There are thrash to every sense of the word, and their new output inspired a generation of headbanging flare-wearers. John Kevill talks to Metal-Rules.com about the new album, the musician he would like to play onstage with and many many more…
Metal-Rules.com: Hello, how are you?
I’m doing good man! We just made it into El Paso for our first show on the tour, just a hop over the border in Juarez, Mexico.
Metal-Rules.com: Which are the main influences on the ‘Warbringer’ sound?
There are many. I think the core of our sound is based on the heavier end of ‘80s thrash and early death metal. For me vocally Slayer, Kreator and Demolition Hammer are key.
Metal-Rules.com: You have only one word to describe the entire ‘Warbringer’ career? Which word would that be? And why?
Destructive. We drive around everywhere and ruin shit live. That is basically what we have always done.
Metal-Rules.com: What does the ‘Warbringer’ name mean for you?
Ha, it’s not exactly a hidden meaning kind of name, now is it! It means in your face violence and destruction.
Metal-Rules.com: How did you get into playing music?
From listening to music, I decided I wanted to start a band. I was originally trying to learn guitar (I wasn’t any good), until I met Viktor Mikhalsevich, who introduced me to John Laux. From there Laux and I started writing songs and practicing every week, and it’s been a linear progression from there. Warbringer is my first band.
Metal-Rules.com: What do you do when you are not playing with the band?
Eh, odd jobs, hanging out, roaming the hills sometimes. I took some college classes last spring. Most of the time I’m just playing with the band though.
Metal-Rules.com: What’s your opinion on other kinds of music?
Well that depends which other kinds of music we are talking about! Music in general is cool I think, so long as it does what it is trying to do with artistry and craft. Me, I mostly listen actively to old hard rock, metal, and prog. But a good song is a good song. There’s total crap out there, but I don’t listen to it. Problem solved.
Metal-Rules.com: Which are the plans of ‘Warbringer’ for the future?
Hard to say, we have to finish this record cycle and see where the band is at before we can do that. In the meantime, we’re currently on tour with Kreator and Overkill. We’ll spend the holidays at home and then we’ll be in Europe supporting Iced Earth in January and February. There’s a lot of places we want to go or get back to including Australia, Asia, S. America so we’ll see what we can work out.
Metal-Rules.com: You are about to come to Greece? Do you know any Greek metal bands that you really like or want to share the stage?
To be honest I don’t know a lot of Greek metal at all! Just a few. Suicidal Angels is cool, we have played with them before, and what I’ve heard of Rotting Christ’s music has been very cool. I’d also love to share the stage with Achilles, Herakles, and all the heroes of ancient lore.
Metal-Rules.com: Well, you released your last album named ‘IV: Empires Collapse’. Tell us some things about this release. I can see that this album is different to the other ones, but I don’t know why. Could you please give us some of those differences?
The songwriting is more progressive, the differences between songs are greater, and I think we have just taken the band to a new level with this record. That is why we chose a very different style cover and title, to draw attention to “something is different about this record”. We are very proud of how it came out.
Metal-Rules.com: And now I would like to discuss about some deplorable events. We are in the middle of 2013 and three big metal personas have passed away… Ronnie James Dio, Peter Steele and Paul Grey (SLIPKNOT) and finally Jeff Hanneman (SLAYER) . Are the last 4 years the most donsie years of heavy metal?
Well, unfortunately human life is brief and fleeting, and great and talented people too shall pass. “Nine for the mortal men doomed to die.” Doesn’t mean heavy metal is done though, heavy metal is an idea that lives beyond any one person.
Metal-Rules.com: I am gonna tell you a name and I would like to tell us what this name may mean for you. Gary Holt.
Gary’s a badass! Good guy, excellent musician. Was great working with him on “Waking into Nightmares”.
Metal-Rules.com: Five months have already passed after Jeff Hanneman (SLAYER) passing away. What would you like to say about that?
It’s a shame, I love Slayer so it’s quite tragic. I really have nothing to say on this except Rest In Peace.
Metal-Rules.com: What do you think of today’s music industry in general?
Difficult. Many, many bands, record sales are difficult to pull off, music is more accessible which diminishes the importance of individual records to people. That being said, people still love music and it’s still worth making and playing it to people.
Metal-Rules.com: Is technology part of your life or are you still a “romantic”?
Ha, I have somewhat old/romantic views of life, but I am answering this interview on a laptop right now. I am a child of the modern age, so technology is inevitably a part of my life.
Metal-Rules.com: I have beholden that heavy metal changes through the decades. Heavy and Thrash metal dominated over in 80’s, Death, Black and Power metal in 90’s and Metalcore and Nu Metal in the 00’s in general. 2010 was the beginning sign of the new decade. What do you see for the future?
It seems like there is a market and a fanbase for every form of heavy metal that has previously existed. I don’t think an entirely new genre of metal that is still 100 percent heavy metal will emerge again, the style has been around for 40 years now and has been brought in many, many directions already. I think there will be a continuance of the many traditions and craft of metal, with many talented people taking up the torch to play the music they love the way that they want to.
Metal-Rules.com: What’s your opinion on downloading?
Inevitable. That is how most people get music nowadays. As much as it sucks for the actual musicians (making a career in music is hard as fuck nowadays), few people are going to pay for something that they could easily get for free. It’s as simple as that.
Metal-Rules.com: If you could pick only one musician to work with, who would that be and why?
Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath was the first band I really, really got into, and he is still the Master of the Riff.
Metal-Rules.com: Thank you for this interview. I wish to ‘Warbringer’ all the best!!!