by Ryan Meehan
Wolvhammer’s amalgamation of black metal and death rock surges with self-infliction, abuse, regret, and debauchery, and unites members of Shaidar Logoth, Abigail Williams, Chrome Waves, Doomsday and others. Recorded by Dan Jensen at Hideaway Studio in Minneapolis, the nearly fifty-minute Clawing Into Black Sun continues to reign in critical praise as it has since the weeks preceding its release in early July. Touring in support of their third LP, Clawing Into Black Sun — released through Profound Lore, with the vinyl pressing handled by guitarist Jeff Wilson’s Disorder Recordings — Wolvhammer’s Desanctifying North America 2014 Tour will overthrow the continent in three waves, the first of which runs from October 28th through November 13th as the band raids the East Coast US with Relapse Records-signed Mortals.. A subsequent West Coast run is in the planning stages, with the dates to be released in the coming days, with a third run in early 2015 to be announced at a later date. Drummer Heath Rave of Wolvhammer is our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: Although your last name suggests that you may have discovered house music before anything else, thankfully you found heavy metal…and we are all very grateful for that. What were some of the first metal records that really made you interested in the genre; and when did you actually get behind a drum set for the first time with the intention of creating original music?
HR: Wow. Great way to start. My last name is German, how long did you have that one in the chamber, joker? My older sister was super into thrash in the 80’s, the first music I heard around 7 or 8 years old was Metallica, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, even like Nuclear Assault and what have you. This was around 87 or 88, back when shit was still scary. I got behind a drum set the first time at 13 years old.
RM: Who lives in Minneapolis, and who lives in Chicago? Where do you usually rehearse for tours and when developing new material?
HR: Adam and Micah still live in Minneapolis, Joe live in Seattle, and Jeff and I reside in Chicago. We usually all get together about a week before tour and rehearse in Chicago. Although we recorded in Minneapolis for this one, Jeff and I developed some of the songs together in Chicago, although he did most of the work on it.
RM: What was the main difference in the approach you took in the studio when recording “Clawing into Black Sun” as opposed to on “The Obsidian Plains”?
HR: The Obsidian Plains was wrote entirely before hitting the studio. With Clawing, only two songs were completely fleshed out, 3 had been demoed a few months before. 2 songs I didn’t even hear till we reached the studio, and we fleshed them out there.
RM: Brian Krasman from Outburn Magazine gave the new record a 9 out of 10 and said “The more this band changes, the deadlier it gets…” Is the process of becoming more brutal through evolution something that you go out of your way to do as a band, or is it something that has just happened naturally while you’ve progressed as musicians and songwriters?
HR: You know I don’t think we’ve gotten more “brutal”. I think we’ve become a sleeker a killing machine, more calculated, more refined. To answer your question, I think it’s always been a natural thing.
RM: Is there any significance to the silhouette of the key printed on all of the tour promo posters? Who is behind some of the more geometrical designs that appear on your merch?
HR: Well, the first song on record is called The Silver Key. As far as the geometric designs are concerned, the entity responsible is called Math.
RM: Speaking of the tour, what about the upcoming tour with Mortals are you looking forward to the most? Have you guys ever done any live dates with them before?
HR: Well since I’m so late on this, we have now played 3 shows with them, and they are great people to be around and have an absolutely crushing live show. Definitely excited to watch them every night for a couple weeks.
RM: What do we need to know about the other members of the band? What does each individual member of Wolvhammer bring to the group that makes it so unique?
HR: We are all sensibly dressed and have high standards of class and taste in all things refined.
RM: So many different labels have been used to describe what you do. These labels include (but are not limited to) Punkdoomblackmetal, Black metal sludge punk, Black N’ Rock, Black and roll, Death rock, and Pagan Post Black Metal…Do you think the overclassification of heavy music has gotten a little out of hand as of late; and even if that’s the case…What four words do you think would most accurately describe your sound?
HR: Post-70’s Progressive Afro Beat. We like to party.
RM: What’s up next for Wolvhammer in the remainder of 2014 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
HR: December West Coast tour and the rest is a dirty, dirty secret.
Wolvhammer on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wolvhammer
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