A talk with
WOUTER LANGHENDRIES (Vocals/Lead & Rhythm Guitars)
(Questionnaire by Stefan)
Warckon just released their second full length album “High Treason” through Emanes Metal Records, a label from France which also brought out the re-release of the band’s self financed effort “The Madman’s Lullaby” (2011). Consisting of four young chaps, I have to admit that their debut was a valuable thrashing output but Warckon’s newest album exceeds all my predetermined expectations. I hear a strong musical progress from each member in the band, especially the vocals and guitar lines easily exceed mediocrity to find its way to a high level. Best Thrash Metal effort at the moment for me, it's time to let the band do the talking… I'm curious about the story of this young passionate Metal band called Warckon !
Q: As Belgians amongst each other, I’d like to welcome you here at Metal To Infinity webzine. Before talking about your great new album “High Treason”, I’d like to take you to the beginning of Warckon. Who can appoint himself as founder of the band, how did everything started?
A: It was Wouter who started up the band back in 2007. Back then they weren't called Warckon but it didn't work out with the line-up and the project was put on hold.
Q: Who were the other members who came to join the ranks those days?
A: It was Wouter's brother Marijn who asked to play some of the songs Wouter wrote back in 2007. He had gotten quite good at drumming along the year and after recruiting Jonas and Marijn in 2009 the band Warckon was founded.
Q: What were the ambitions during the early days of existence?
A: We had our first show planned before we actually started rehearsing our songs. The positive response we received after that show got us thinking maybe we could go further in this. We always had fun playing our shows and kept going at it ever since.
Q: You guys are definitely inspired by one of my favourite types of music called Bay Area Thrash Metal. How to become a young band fascinated by a type of Metal originate back in the 80s? Which bands inspired you?
A: I think music was always something important to the four of us, through friends or parents we got drawn into the metal genre. When we got older we all hung out at the same metal pub where we discussed a lot of metal bands. Our biggest influences are Megadeth, Testament, Annihilator, ...
Q: What significance is behind a band name like Warckon?
A: We didn’t really intend it to have a specific meaning but if we had to explain it I suppose it would be the combination of war and convict.
Q: First recording was supposed to be a demo but became an EP that eventually tuned out as a full-length album called “The Madman’s Lullaby”. Quite a story, tell me about please.
A: It had a lot to do with the fact that new songs just kept coming along. Because we didn't have the time to just take a period off and record everything in one run, we spent a long time recording the album. It didn't take that long to record everything but sometimes we could only record for max two hours a week. Because it took so long to record, new songs were written during the process and we just recorded all of them.
Q: First released as a self financed product, later on French label Emanes Metal Records was willing to spread its wings over a re-release. In what way differs the original from the re-release?
A: We didn’t make any changes on the album expect for the artwork. The label thought that our first cover represented more of a black metal look than a thrash look.
Q: By the way, how did you get in touch with Emanes Metal Records?
A: After we released our first album, we wanted to find a record label. We looked around for one on the internet and Emanes drew our attention so we contacted them.
Q: We received a promo from CEO Laurent, MTI co-editor Officer Nice penned down his thoughts and gave the album a fair rating at the end of the discussion. What about the rest of the media sources those who spread the word of Warckon’s debut as well?
A: There is mostly a positive trend in our reviews. They all seem to agree on the fact that we have evolved as musicians and as a band, which is really nice to hear.
Q: Can I ask for your opinion concerning the contemporary Metal scene in Belgium. Which bands you really adore at the moment?
A: There are a lot of great thrash bands right now. There’s obviously Evil Invaders, Bloodrocuted, After All,… More on our side of the country we have guys like Malison and Sanity’s Rage whom we share the stage with frequently.
Q: The fanbase of Warckon grew (and still grows) on and on and plans were made to record a second album. Meanwhile, these plans have become reality with the release of “High Treason”. Brought out by Emanes Metal Records once again, first I’d like to know if you guys are satisfied with this way end result?
A: It took a long time to get to the final product. To us it really looks and sounds like an improvement both bandwise and productionwise.
Q: Who is responsible for writing the lyrics - what about the topics?
A: Wouter is responsible for all the lyrics. The topics vary from personal themes to mythical topics. It all really depends on the mood of the moment.
Q: I’m not sure who’s the man behind the production, mastering process… help me out of this uncertainty.
A: Recording and mixing was done at Silky Studios by Jonathan de Cooman. Mastering was done at Stage One Studios in Germany by Andy Classen who also did bands like Destruction, Sodom, Legion of the Damned,… Both great guys.
Q: Are there certain songs that get your absolute priority to the rest? If so, what makes them so special?
A: That’s like having to choose between your children. We love them all else we wouldn’t put them on the record.
Q: I wrote the review for “High Treason” recently and like to know if you guys dig my opinion or not? Answer frankly please.
A: We dig it, thanks a lot for your honesty and support.
Q: I read some other reviews on the Internet and noticeable fact is they all were very positive. This must give the band an extra boots to go on, right?
A: It's always nice to see people appreciate the music we make. We have had mostly positive reviews up till now so it's quite motivating to read them.
Q: How are you going to promote this new album abroad?
A: We are working together with Hard Life promotion for the Benelux. Emanes records takes care of the rest.
Q: Due to the hooded axeman, the cover artwork of “High Treason” displays forms of equation with the legendary cover design of US Bay Area thrashers Hallows Eve’s debut album “Tales Of Terror”. Pure coincidence or not?
A: Our axeman is way fatter. Not a bad association.
Q: What are the plans for the near future guys, any chance to see you on stage of one or another upcoming festival?
A: For now we haven't got any plans to play festivals but we are still looking into it. We have a number of future gigs planned though.
Q: I’d like to ask for your long term future perspectives as well?
A: We’re growing through the years and the bigger it gets the more fun it is. So we hope we can continue down that road, playing more shows, recording more albums, meeting new people. We just want to get our music out there. The most important thing is that we enjoy what we do.
Q: What about upcoming live shows? Feel free to give up a few confirmed dates.
A: Dates are coming along, we are already comfirmed for Wizzfest in autumn. Just keep an eye on the website.
Q: Once again, I’d like to show my deepest respect and dignity to your new album “High Treason”, a fantastic Belgian made product delivered by the almighty grace of Bay Area Thrash Metal. Keep up the good works as we keep on spreading the word Warckon, you deserve it! Maybe some final words to our readers?
A: Thrash on dudes, thanks for the support, see you all on the road!