Interview || The One With Ben & Matt from No Warning

No Warning made the comeback of the year releasing "Torture Culture" in October, the first full length album since reforming in 2013. After playing an incendiary set at The Sound Of Revolution, vocalist Ben Cook and guitarist Matt Delong aka. the coolest dudes I've ever met defied the Dutch cold and talked me through the reunion process, trying out new creative approaches on "Torture Culture" and lessons they were taught the hard way throughout No Warning's history.

U: No Warning is back, stronger than ever, so let's take it from the top. What happened after you disbanded? We know that most of you remained active in different bands and projects but how did you decide to get back together?
Ben Cook: I appreciate you saying we are stronger than ever, that's a very nice thing to hear. We do feel strong, we do feel healthy... But what was the question?

U: (laughs) how did you decide to reform No Warning.
B.C.: We felt enough time had passed where we would kind of be able to enjoy ourselves and maybe all the ghosts from the past were gone -not completely gone, nothing is gone forever- but we're older, we have a little bit more experience and we know what it takes to be a band and to make records. Jordan and I have been lucky enough to be in Terror and Fucked Up, kind of just knowing what we should do and how to do it where we don't have to necessarily rely on anybody but ourselves. That's a very valuable lesson we learned the hard way, in some ways, but it's an obvious way of doing things now.
We got an offer to play Ieperfest the last time we were in Europe three years ago. We always said that we wouldn't but No Warning was always a very instinctual band where we don't really have a super strategic plan, we just go with the flow. We were asked, it was summer time, we all still play music together in a lot of different formats, so it wasn't a hard thing for us to get together and do stuff. We played that show, it felt good, it felt natural and we went with that vibe. We decided that, if we're gonna play more shows, we didn't wanna be some reunion band; we still have these creative tendencies and we felt that the world right now could use some No Warning vibes.

U: And then, “Resurrection Of The Wolf” came.
Matt Delong: Yeah. I had a dream about it. I dreamt that we recorded a new song and that was the title of it, “Resurrection Of The Wolf”, and then we decided we were gonna record it.
B.C.: Our old bass player was in a hard place, like legally he's going through some tough times. Our band went through a lot of shit back when we were younger and it definitely had an effect on us... He got into some shit and he needed some help so we actually did it as a benefit record to help him with some legal problems that he had -and he's a family man, he has a kid, he doesn't belong in jail. We knew we wanted to help him and hardcore came to the rescue. The thing sold out in half an hour and we were able to pay for his lawyer which he would never had been able to afford, and that was the lawyer who actually helped him change his life around. That was a positive thing that happened to him, which propelled us to do more. But he dreamt about it.
M.D.: Even months before that I had the dream with that title.
B.C.: He has a very cosmic energy and I was like “why the fuck don't we do it for real?”.
M.D.: We didn't even know that Zach was in jail for a while. That's the thing, I had that dream and Zach was in jail for a long time before we even realized it.
B.C.: He sat me down when we [found out] and he was like “dude, I had a dream that this already happened!”. Some divine intervention happened there. I'm not trying to get religious or new-age here but...
M.D.: You gotta be in touch with your dreams, that's the most important time, not when you're awake.

U: Alright. But recording a 7” out of a necessity is one thing, creating a full-length is another. How was the dynamic when you got back to the studio?
M.D.: The same as always. [Ben bursts out laughing] Nothing changed at all, but in a good way! We have a certain way of working in No Warning that works and we know how to work with each other, be creative and put songs together.
B.C.: It's easy but the actual task of making a record, being OCD hardcore-minded types... It's a lot of fucking work.
M.D.: We put our whole heart into making the record.

U: It's pretty evident, if you ask me. If you pay attention to the album, you can tell that it's soulful.
B.C.: Thank you. We have a certain perfectionism when we do stuff. On “Suffer, Survive” there were a lot of people involved that weren't us... When “Torture Culture” came out, Jordan made a post -I never talked to him about it- that he feels at peace inside, kind of a door left open; we didn't have the impact we wanted, we didn't do what we wanted to do, shit just got confused and we didn't care anymore so with this album, we wanted to come hard.
M.D.: We didn't want to make anything we would look back on ten years later and wish that wasn't on Youtube.
B.C.: And it's a cool time to release music. There's no rules, there's so many kinds of music that are available to us now. Back then we listened to cassettes, we listened to demos, trying to track that shit down online, but now everything's available; we used a lot of different kinds of influences, from all types of heavy music from our whole lives, not just hardcore but heavy metal, rock shit, some grunge elements...

U: Dude. You did a power-ballad -and I loved it. If Testament did it, if Pantera did it, even Vektor did it, why wouldn't you?
M.D.: (laughs) That was the idea!
B.C.: We did a fucking power-ballad. People say that there are bands who sound like No Warning, after we released “Ill Blood”, and it's amazing, this is how music works, right? But we were like “what can we do that is still our style, but [said influenced bands] maybe would never do that”.
M.D.: It's not hardcore to do a power-ballad!

U: Does this mean we're gonna hear some more clean(er) singing in the future?
B.C.: If we do a next record, it's gonna be really out there (laughs) We might do another EP, but if we were to do another LP -I'm not saying it's gonna be all power-ballad shit- it's gonna be no fucking rules whatsoever. It's gonna be butt rock.
M.D.: It's always been about butt rock in No Warning, we're just starting to realize it more and more now.
B.C.: You know, the corniest production but you can make it sound really good, good songs... If we ever do more shit, we're gonna continue challenging ourselves. “Torture Culture” to us is a good combination of everything we should have ever made.

U: Alright. If you could cast each member of the band as a superhero, who would each member be?
B.C.: Matt's obviously Wolverine, post a picture of him after the interview. [ed -Your wish is my command]
M.D.: People always tell me I'm Wolverine. And you know what's funny? I loved Wolverine growing up; when I was a young kid I loved the comic books and the cartoon so it's not an insult, it's actually like a childhood dream come true. Ben kinda looks like the Green Lantern, if he had a mask on... I would be The Flash.
B.C.: Ryan could be like Clark Kent, maybe Superman.
M.D.: Clean-cut, honourable, he could be a good superhero.
B.C.: Jesse would be Beast. Jordan…
M.D.: Professor X. (laughs)

U: What superpower does your music have ?
B.C.: The power to make people fly. Super strength. We’ve gotten a lot of comments that the new album is good for the gym. Going to the gym is apparently very popular in the world, so we’re happy to help.

U: Your house is on fire and you only have time to grab 3 items before you run away. Family and pets are safe. What do you take?
B.C.: I don’t care about anything that I own, I don’t care about possessions… [Matt casually comments “I do” in the back] I don’t give a shit, it can all burn.

U: Would you take socks?
B.C.: No, I’d rather be naked. I’d probably take a pair of comfortable shoes, maybe some jerk chicken from the fridge or some shit…
M.D.: My couch is gorgeous so I’d take my couch. I have this gigantic painting that’s done by this famous painter from Transylvania from the 1400’s.
B.C.: Matt’s a weird art collector, but not of stuff that will eventually be really expensive but are super expensive now.
M.D.: I grew up curating art with my aunt, so I know a lot about art. I would take my paintings –every single one of them, which is a lot- and then I’d take my dog’s clothes. We dress him up, he’s a service dog.
Torture Culture” to us is a good combination of everything we should have ever made. -Ben Cook 
U: What’s the worst trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
[both look away]
B.C.: I don’t think we can say the biggest trouble… Most of the big trouble that we ever got ourselves into collectively, as a band, is when young, little boys are together, they tend to go insane.
M.D.: We signed our lives away when we were 19.
B.C.: Yeah, we were 19-20 years old, we toured America, we terrorized the country every single day. We did all the crazy things; we pissed in things, we did things with our bodily fluids when people made us angry or pissed us off…
M.D.: We grew up, we have kids…
B.C.: We don’t have kids, we’re not that responsible yet.

U: Say that you have kids and one day they walk up to you like “dad, I wanna be in a band!”. How do you reply?
B.C.: Let me manage that shit.
M.D.: Let me write your songs and sign your rights over.
B.C.: Here’s what we’re gonna do: me, Matt and Jordan are gonna write all your songs -you’re not gonna do that bullshit like techno and we’re gonna put you on the road for 350 days a year. Don’t worry, everything’s gonna be fine and you won’t need extensive therapy as an older person.

U: Okay… If you woke up one day in the opposite gender’s body, what would be your first reaction?
[Both:] Fuck yeah, finally!!!
B.C.: I would be like “wow, this is what it’s like to be a woman” –and I’d start shooting men.
M.D.: I would start singing ‘cause I love womens’ voices so I’d become a singer right away.

U: What if you had the worst voice imaginable?
M.D.: [nonchalantly] I would auto-tune it.

U: If you could have a one-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you call and what would you tell yourself?
B.C.: I would call 19-year-old me and just be like “don’t take life so goddamn seriously”. I was a really serious, dedicated person because that was my escape; I would escape into music and disappear from everything else. I was really serious about that path and nothing could ever take me off of it but [I realized] you can still have that attitude, you can still use it as a nice escape from reality, but have a bit more fun.
M.D.: I’d call myself at age 10 and I’d tell myself “get a job, you dumb idiot, you suck at life, quit being such a dumb-ass, you’re gonna ruin it for the both of us!” (laughs) That’s what I would tell myself! The root of all problems, right there!

U: What is one song that needs to be played REALLY loud?
M.D.: “Hell Realm” by No Warning! [ed –no arguing here] Anything rock n’ roll needs to be loud, heavy metal needs to be loud.
B.C.: Don’t play that shit on your computer speakers. Invest in speakers. If you’re lucky enough to drive a car, blast that shit super loud, try to drown out some of the EDM.

U: Final question. What do you want the band’s legacy to be?
M.D.: I don’t really have any aspirations.
B.C.: Playing by our own rules -typical answer I guess- but never answering to anyone but our own creative brains.
Share on Google Plus

0 σχόλια :

Post a Comment