Calgary, AB grindcore act Wake are set to release their new full-length, Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow, this week (February 26) in a variety of formats through several labels (Sentient Ruin, Everyday Hate, 7 Degrees and Nerve Altar). Produced by Joel Grind at Falcon Studios (Toxic Holocaust, Poison Idea, Lord Dying, Abyss) and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Nails, The Secret, Black Breath, Old Man Gloom), the record isn’t your average, straight-up grind release. Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow presents a diverse, modern take on the traditional sound, featuring elements of crushing sludge, dark black metal and experimental noise while maintaining Wake’s raw and chaotic aggression. In this recent interview with Svbterranean, guitarist Rob LaChance and vocalist Kyle Ball discuss the making of the album, their musical approach and the lyrical themes, as well as Canadian stereotypes and more.
How did Wake come to be?
Rob: Wake was formed in 2009 in Calgary, Alberta. It initially started as an idea between myself and our other guitar player at the time. We wanted to start a band that combined grind and metallic hardcore à la the early ’90s. Our sound has definitely changed since then, but I think it’s been a very cohesive progression to where we are now.
What are your thoughts on how the new album, Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow, turned out?
Rob: We were lucky enough to get Joel to take care of the production end of things and we couldn’t be happier with how it came out. The album, production wise, came out very clear and well-balanced while still retaining that raw vibe.
The record is being released through several different labels. How did that decision come about?
Rob: A coalition of friends came together to release it. All of the dudes involved have been friends of the band for a long time and was an obvious no-brainer.
Kyle: We had some awesome people offer to help us out. 7 Degrees and Nerve Altar handling the LP, Everyday Hate is handling the CD and Sentient Ruin is handling the cassette.
What was the writing and recording process like for Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow?
Rob: The music was written over a few months of last year. I would come with some riffs, the framework and skeleton of the song, show them to the guys at practice and then fine tune them. Recording was done in Portland over a period of six days.
Kyle: We recorded over six days, started with drums and ended with vocals. The whole process went smoothly, Joel was great to work with.
Did you have any specific ideas in terms of what you wanted this release to sound like?
Kyle: A little nastier, a little more bludgeoning and a little more focused than our past efforts.
Rob: We wanted to incorporate more elements of sludge and noise while not losing any overall speed. We definitely wanted to try and let the songs “breathe” a bit more than the ones on False.
How do you feel this record compares to your previous material? How has the band evolved over the years?
Kyle: I think it’s an all around darker album. Lyrically, I probably got a little more misanthropic than before; and as for the music, we emphasized a little more on the black metal and sludge influences while retaining the speed and heaviness of past albums.
While being labeled a grind band, your sound is actually quite diverse, featuring elements of crust, noise and sludge, among others. How do you describe your sound?
Rob: We like to combine elements of the different genres that we listen to or that we are influenced by. We don’t like to be pigeonholed to one specific genre. Variety is the spice of life, no?
Are there any challenges of playing such an intense style of music?
Kyle: For me, it’s making sure I still have a voice to scream with the next day.
The title, Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow, is rather bleak. What is the album about lyrically?
Kyle: Bleak title for bleak lyrics. There’s a bunch of different topics from our own enslavement through technology to horrible people and even personal demons. But the overlying theme to the album is that in the end, none of this matters and nobody will remember, we’ll all be gone and that will be that.
Do you ever face any stereotypes and/or challenges as a Canadian band?
Kyle: Nah, just a lot of questions about poutine and if it really exists. The biggest challenge is trying to not say “eh” outside of Canada, eh?
Rob: I don’t know the dudes from Revenge, I don’t watch Trailer Park Boys and yes we have the Internet.
What’s coming up next for Wake?
Rob: 2016 will see us all over North America, some recording between now and the end of the year and a few random festivals.
Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow is out February 26 via the following: Sentient Ruin (digital and cassette), Everyday Hate (CD), 7 Degrees (LP) and Nerve Altar (LP). Check out the video for album track “Burn Well” below and catch Wake on their upcoming tour:
2/26/2016 Local Omnivore – Edmonton, AB
2/27/2016 Vangelis Tavern – Saskatoon, SK
2/28/2016 Handsome Daughter – Winnipeg, MB
2/29/2016 Black Pirates Pub – Thunder Bay, ON
3/02/2016 Coalition – Toronto, ON
3/03/2016 Casa Del Popolo – Montreal, QC
3/04/2016 Scanner Bistro – Quebec City, QC
3/05/2016 Non Factory – Boston, MA
3/06/2016 Half Moon Café – Philadelphia, PA
3/07/2016 The Acheron – Brooklyn, NY
3/08/2016 Livewire – Chicago, IL
3/09/2016 Quarters Rock and Roll Palace – Milwaukee, WI
3/10/2016 Hexagon Bar – Minneapolis, MN
3/11/2016 Mercury Café – Regina, SK