Wounded Giant first came to my attention back in 2013 when they released their excellent debut album – Lightning Medicine. Fast forward 4 years later and the guys have returned with their stunning new album – Vae Victus.
A different sounding album to their debut album but one that will still appeal to long-tme fans of the band. The sound maybe more experimental, doomier and progressive but it's good to see that Wounded Giant haven't lost the art of writing a PURE HEAVY FUCKING EVIL RIFF!!!
Wounded Giant have teamed up with STB Records to release the album and managed to drag legendary producer Billy Anderson along for the ride. It's time to find out more about Wounded Giant. Alex (Drums) and Mark (Bass) from the band have kindly agreed to this interview.
Can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.
Alex: Bobby James & I started Wounded Giant about 6 or so years ago. We both worked at the same bar in Seattle and liked each others other bands we had going on. When those bands started fizzing out we were like, " shit man lets jam." We always called having a safety meeting/ "shift drink" at work "Getting Wounded" so I brought forward the name Wounded Giant, based off the ol'groomer that came out of a tunnel cave in Colorado and spoke of such groom. But that's a whole other story and night of drinking.
I was jamming with Dylan in another band called O.S.S. (occult secret service), he loved heavy rock n roll, so it worked out perfect bringing him in on bass. We hit the road hard for 4 years or so, then some devastation occurred after recording Vae Victis so Bobby & I decided to go our separate ways from Dylan. Mark Haber had been a long time homie and fit the part perfectly so it was an easy addition bringing him into the band, and here we are today.
Mark: The band had been around for years before I joined. Alex and Bobby approached me in late 2016 about coming on board and playing bass with Wounded Giant, and I jumped at the chance. I've known these dudes for years, and it was a natural fit to play with them. They liked what I brought to the table, so when they offered me the job after the second practice I of course said yes. Easiest decision ever!
How would you describe your overall sound?
Alex: Heavy Rock n Roll, Groom from the womb to the tomb.
Mark: Heavy af.
So we are here to talk about your new album – Vae Victus. What can people expect from the album?
Mark: They can expect to learn it's the second album. Haha!
Alex: Definitely a change from Lightning Medicine. A bands first album your all about finding & exploring your groove and sound. With Vae Victis we found it.
What influenced you all when recording the album?
Alex: Devastation & being pissed, losing a massive amount of friends over the years, getting fired from jobs, being broke, and overcoming drug addictions.
Was it a fulfilling or frustrating experience recording the album?
Alex: It was amazing
What is the overall theme of the album?
Vae Victus has a different and progressive feel to your debut album – Lightning Medicine. Was that the plan to release something different.
I loved that album as it was one of my faves in 2013. Looking back would you change anything about that album or would you leave it the way it is?
Alex: The production could have been bigger, but honestly probably one of the funniest recordings I've ever done. Wouldn't change a thing. We camped out 4 days at our buddies recording studio, bbq'd it up, smoked ridiculous amounts of weed and drank a stupid amount of tequila.
You recorded with Billy Anderson for your new album. How was that experience like. What does Billy bring to the Wounded Giant sound.
Alex: It was great working with Billy. We have been friends for years so there was already that level of comfortable-ness. He really helps find a bands best and bring it out, nailed the drum sound I was looking for to a T!!
Did Billy give you any important tips when making the album.
Alex: He let us do our thing, but would chime in if something sounded off.
Will you be touring this record heavily in the United States.
Alex: Yes, and hopefully getting overseas as well.
The album is being released on STB Records How did that come about. One of the best DIY labels around.
Alex: Nothing but love for Steve and STB
Did you have any offers from other labels.
Alex: STB rules, Steve approached us awhile back with a split offer. That's when the Wounded/Goya split happened. We developed an awesome relationship with his since then. We had many other options and offers when Vae Victis came along but STB is just us!! our style D.I.Y. punk hardcore metal roots and the overall love for the bands and the quality of work put forth. Not these other labels that jump on a cool hot sound for the moment.
It's being released on the legendary vinyls that Steve STB produces. Did you have any input into the overall design of the final package. Or did you let Steve STB do his thing.
Alex: We're all about Steve doing his thing.
What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group participation or down to one individual.
Alex: Bobby writes the words, and presents a good amount of the riffs, then we as a whole structure and create the song.
Mark: As the new guy, I've only had the privilege of writing one song with WG, but I can tell you it's definitely a collaboration.
Are you all involved with different musical projects or is Wounded Giant your main band.
Alex: At the moment Mark plays bass and fronts 'Blame the Wizards' and I play drums in UN (Seattle's heaviest funeral doom)
Mark: My other project is called "Blame the Wizards". We're kinda stoner-rock GWAR. It's a newer project, but we have our self-titled EP out on Spotify.
Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.
Alex: Thank you for all your support and hope to see you out on the road soon
Mark: The ride so far has been amazing. So happy to be a part of the Wounded Giant family. Can't wait to get out on the road and support "Vae Victus"!!!
Well guys, thanks for doing this. All the best with the new album. Stunning record. Loud and noisy as hell.
Words by Steve Howe and Wounded Giant
Thanks to Jadd for arranging this interview and for Wounded Giant for doing the interview.
Vae Victis will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via STB Records from April 01st 2017.