Thank you Lads for taking some time out to let Air Guitar Blog get some insight into the band! Let me start with the name “Wargrave”. Firstly, is the band aware of a New York hard rock outfit under the same alias? Secondly, where did the name originate from?
Hi and thanks for the interview. We were unaware of the Wargrave from New York. As for the origin of our name, in contrast to the average band with some form of deeper meaning, we took it from a street around the corner from one of our houses. It just sounded too good not to be used.
For those readers, who don’t know who Wargrave is, please tell us a bit about the band. How did the band form? Why the need to create metal and where does the influences come from?
Band members are: Justin Ross, Brendan Stubbs, Lourens Meyer and Eugene Havenga. We’ve very recently parted ways with our original vocalist and are in the process of auditioning a replacement. The band started out as the creative outlet of guitarist Justin Ross but has, since the inclusion of a talented full lineup, become much more of a group effort. While our style is definitely routed in thrash metal, we all have a different set of influences- some of which are disliked by other band members. These include bands such as Death, Testament, Suffocation, Miss May I and Mastodon.
A lovely review from Metal4Africa has surfaced – how was it playing at a rather well celebrated festival?
We were honoured to be included on the bill for Metal4Africa. It was an awesome show and we played to a very diverse crowd. It’s great to see metal festivals that are well organised and attended.
A note about the drummer being endorsed by Sonor Drum and Meinl Cymbals is mentioned in the Metal4Africa review as well as his own drum school called Mayhem Drumming. Could Lourens Meyer elaborate on his drum school and on how his musical craft began?
I started playing drums at the age of six years old so drumming has always been a part of who I am. My dad has been such an inspiration and drive behind playing as he was also a drummer. I started off by playing a lot of rock stuff, but ventured to metal. I was attracted by the physicality, speed and emotion of metal. I have always believed that you can express so much with drums, and combining it with a physical aspect; I fell in love with metal drumming.
The big change came in 2011 when I joined the family of Meinl Cymbal, which was and still is such an honour to be part of such an incredible company. I also joined forces with Sonor Drums and Pro Mark Drumsticks. Being a part of such great companies influences everything about your drumming greatly, and makes you set the standard for yourself so much higher.
Mayhem Drumming is a drumming school that I founded in 2009. I predominantly focused on the heavier genres of music, be it speed, technique, endurance and very importantly performance, and having confidence in yourself whilst doing so. I believe that putting on a show, and having fun is just as important as playing your instrument to the best of your ability. Be it drumming, playing guitar or signing.
Let’s talk about the demo track “From the Shadows”. There is definitely a clean singing element involved – how important are the lyrics to Wargrave? Who writes them and what inspires it?
We do feel the lyrics contribute to the song, and the dynamics and melody added by clean (or semi-clean) vocals is also very important to us. That being said, we like to keep it varied, which I’m sure will become clear in future recordings. That particular demo was recorded before we’d played any shows, or even had a full lineup. The lyrics were written by our previous vocalist who we’ve since parted ways with. We have since taken over lyric writing duties with the additional input of our friend Michael Gill.
Wargrave has a demo recording but are there plans for a possible release?
We have more than enough material for a full length album, and we are currently planning it’s recording in the near future. It’s too early to release any additional info on it though.
Like most South African metal bands, playing at gigs and festivals is one way to get noticed. Could Wargrave discuss their experiences of having to play in and around the Cape Town scene? What are the chances of the band ‘touring’ further north in South Africa?
We’ve had some great experiences gigs and festivals around Cape Town, most notably the Metal4Africa and Rock the River festivals. At both shows the energy was intense and we got great crowd responses. Touring further is definitely something we plan to look into quite soon.
What are the future plans for Wargrave especially in 2012?
Once we’ve found a new vocalist we plan to get started on our first album and play as many shows as humanly possible.
Heavy Metal music is still developing in South Africa and in the past five years there has been a grand surge in alternative bands from all parts of the country. What is Wargrave’s perspective of the current scene? How does the band rate it against an international metal scene?
The South African metal scene is definitely growing at an exponential rate. The last couple of years have seen a vast improvement in the quality of recorded material put out, organisation & attendance of music festivals and followings of metal bands. It isn’t quite on par with international scenes, but it definitely has the potential to get there.
And finally, does Wargrave have any last words?
Rock the fuck on!
Follow the band on Facebook!
Thanks for the interview, and thanks to Meinl Cymbals, Sonor Drums, Pro Mark Drumsticks and Metal Machine tattoos for the sponsorships.
A massive thank you to Wargrave for agreeing to do this interview! Go check them out NOW!