Published Jan 23, 2017New Jersey metalcore band Old Wounds are planning to release a new record this summer, which might come as a surprise to some, as their charismatic goth frontman Kevin Iavaroni left last month to pursue a career as a barber.
New vocalist (and former drummer) Brandon Gallagher and guitarist Zak Kessler tell Exclaim! TV's Aggressive Tendencies that it was just after his departure that they really started focusing on writing the follow-up to 2015's The Suffering Spirit. Gallagher thinks the new stuff is some of their "coolest and most interesting music," so he's letting the songs shape up before adding his vocals.
"It's still melodic in some sense, but more on like an earlier Converge melodic tip," says Gallagher before Kessler cuts him off — "way less Eighteen Visions." Finishing his thought, the vocalist reveals it's "maybe a little rougher, a little bit sketchier."
Gallagher's switch to vocals shouldn't be that surprising for longtime fans, as he also utilized his throaty yell on their earlier material. The band were more comfortable having him step out from behind the kit rather than replace Iavaroni.
"At least for me, I know the one thing I really wanted to avoid was just trying to find like another Kevin, essentially, because that's just lame," explains Kessler. "Kevin's honestly one of the most talented people I've ever played music with, so it'd be really hard to find a new entity to replace him."
In the interview, they also talk about their experience breaking out from hardcore to score slots on Warped Tour and opening for bands from that scene, such as Beartooth. They explain that they think the success is a product working hard and touring by themselves for six years.
As Gallagher notes, though they have the drive of a hardcore band, their ethics came from a different place.
"I grew up listening to Ferret and Trustkill Records, like that was kind of what always moulded at least how I did stuff with my band, so it wasn't like we need to be this cool elitist hardcore band. When we got the Warped Tour opportunity, I was like, 'That's awesome!' That's kind of what I just figured would — or I shouldn't say figured, but would hope would happen with our band."
The pair remind everyone that bands such as Every Time I Die, the Dillinger Escape Plan and even Integrity and Snapcase have taken part in "punk rock summer camp."
"If you're just playing for hardcore kids all the time, it's like preaching to the choir. Everyone is typically on the same page about certain issues, but I feel it's so much cooler to be able to break out of that world and put what you're doing on display for people who have no fucking clue what's going on. And it's cool to see how they react; it's honestly hilarious sometimes."
They tell a couple of those stories, including sleeping during their sets and "whacky inflatable arm guy mashing," but they maintain a great attitude about negative reactions.
"That stuff's cool sometimes because it's just like, wow there's like 800 people who don't want to sit through this, but they just have to anyway," says Gallagher.
Kessler weighs in, "It's kind of funny too because all those people are obviously there to see Beartooth, so it's like, oh you want to watch Beartooth? Well you've got to sit through this shit! Enjoy."
Ultimately, Gallagher hopes their branching out will have positive effects.
"Hopefully that kid drops his Attila shirt, maybe watches a Hellfest DVD, learns how to mosh and then gets into bands that have something to say and actually stand for something."
You can watch the entire interview with Old Wounds on Aggressive Tendencies in the players below.