Walls Of Jericho - Be brutal I guess
For every thing there’s a first time, also for a telephone interview. So on one of the first days of August I had the honour to do my first telephone interview with Candace Kucsulain from Walls Of Jericho. Currently Walls Of Jericho is part of the Ozzfest tour in the United States and during this tour I spoke with Candace Kucsulain
Hello Candace how are you doing today?
‘I’m fine thank you.‘
Well let’s start with the interview right away. First of all how is the Ozzfest tour going?
‘Ozzfest is amazing, we’re having a great time out here making a lot of new friends.'
Do you consider it to be a breakthrough for Walls Of Jericho that you were picked for Ozzfest?
‘Yeah of course and with this band it should help us with that extra push in the back. Because the problem is that a lot of people don’t know who we are at all, so it’s nice to have an opportunity to show yourself to all those people who never got the opportunity to see you.‘
Your new album will be out on the 22nd of August. Did you have any reactions yet?
‘We had reactions from people and everybody is really stoked about it. Most of the reactions are something like: ‘It’s the best record you’ve ever had’ or ‘This record is the best you’ve ever put out’. So we’re really excited about it.'
Did you set any goals for yourselves when you recorded this album?
‘No not really, we just wanted to write a record that we were all happy with when we were finished with it. One where we can look back upon without any regrets. Of course after a while you always want to change certain parts of the record but not as much as in the past.’
I noticed the new album has more melody in it than All Hail The Dead. Did it came from the band or was it an idea of the producer?
'No it was definitely not the producer, he didn’t like it at all. But this was also the first time we ever used a producer so he was like: do your own thing and if you have any questions I’ll be here. So we are responsible for the entire record. The producer did help us to make the metal parts super thrashing and our heavy parts are way heavier than we’ve ever done. I think the record has definitely more vibe to it, it’s not as chaotic.'
With ‘No Saving Me’ you’ve recorded a great ballad, why is that?
‘We wanted to do something extra. With The Bound Feed The Gagged we did an acoustic thing with me on guitar and we did an instrumental song on All Hail The Dead. The idea was to combine those things together and do something people wouldn’t expect. No one had any idea that I could sing that good and that we could write a song like that, and we also wanted to show the people what we have and what we’re capable of.’
How did you end up with Ben Schigel as producer?
‘Actually our manager Paul Bassman, who is also our new manager, works with Ben Schigel. So we immediately spoke to him and chatted a bit with him. We all liked his personality and listened to some stuff he did before. So it kind of happened like that.’
The lyrics on All Hail The Dead are very personal, is it the same with With The Devils Amongst Us All?
‘Yes all my lyrics are personal, I only write about personal things because with hardcore music you have to deal with raw emotion and energy. It are the things that come out of your life that drives you to continue. It’s personal but it’s not about relationships. It's very diverse, we have songs about abuse, rape, suicide, the whole idea of giving up on life and to get past it and overcome it. The lyrics are more positive in a way of turning around and fight back. We believe if you’re writing about something you don’t know you’re not being real.’
Can you tell us a bit about the recording process?
‘It was different than most of our records, we spend about a month on it. We stayed in Cleveland which is about a three and half our ride away from our house. And we were busy with the record day and night. I drove back and forth because I still had to work. But it was a great experience not doing it with Mike (Mike Hasty guitar player). We loved working with Mike but with Ben it was a great new experience.’
So you would do it again?
You’ve recorded this album with a new drummer, Dustin Schoenhofer, what happened to Alexi Rodriguez?
‘We had to part ways and that’s all I want to say about that.’
I believe Dustin also wrote the entire script for your video of “A Trigger Full Of Promises”
'Not exactly, he had the idea and everybody started to collaborate with that idea. I guess you could say he sort of started the process. After this he wrote a great part of the script with everybody looking over his shoulder. Yeah you could say he wrote the script but we agreed with it.'
I also saw the video and it’s a bit shocking with two teenagers locked up in a basement. Does it has a specific reason?
'Well this is our first real video not just a performance kind of video. So we just wanted something that would be noticed.'
Well at one point they pull out a gun so I guess the video will be noticed?
'Yeah they pull out a gun but then again they don’t fire it. Because you’re not allowed to shoot guns in a video. But we put a lot of time and money in this video so we hope it will be played a lot.'
Are there any plans of heading to Europe with this album?
'Yeah we will be there in November and for the exact dates you have to check our website every now and then.'
Something completely different; A female fronted hardcore band doesn’t come very often. Is it something Walls Of Jericho specifically choose for?
'No it’s not, they didn’t choose me as a gimmick. I definitely scream and perform better than most male vocalists. So to us it has nothing to do with the fact I have boobs or a vagina. It does have to do with the fact I am a great performer.'
What do you think of the fact that there aren’t many women in the hardcore and metal scene?
'I think it has to do that people put way too much thought in it that a chick is singing or not. In the past we almost didn’t get on a tour because there already was a female on that tour and they didn’t want another one. Those things made it very sad and it’s absolutely ridiculous to me. The only thing I want to say is the people who make it hard are the people who say shit like that.'
What are the future plans of walls of Jericho?
'Tour as much as possible! We definitely want to tour as much as is possible.'
And is it just the States and Europe?
'No this time we’re also heading to Japan and Australia. We never been there so we owe it to the fans. But we try to do as much as we can.'
Do you have anything to say to the readers of Metalrage.com?
'Euhm I should probably think of something. I’ve had this question before and I never have anything to say. I guess "be brutal!" or something like that.