Saturday, December 21, 2019

interview: Overwrought

Here is the first of an interview with the Washington State black metal band OVERWROUGHT. They have a show tonight, Saturday night in Bellingham!
Hello! What is up with Overwrought heading into the new year of 2020?! For people who do not know much about your part of the country, is Overwrought based in the city of Bellingham (a few hours north of Seattle)?
Greetings MBPZ, thanks for the interview! Overwrought has a CD release show for our "Volatility" EP on December 21st in Bellingham, then we'll be gearing up to enter the studio to record our first full-length album in early 2020. Other than that, we'll be playing Idaho Deathfest in April and I'm sure a slew of other shows to help promote said album whenever it comes out.
Overwrought is fully based in the beautiful city of Bellingham, WA. This city always used to be one of Washington's best kept secrets, but with time, both the city and naturally, our metal scene, has grown exponentially; I'd liken it very much to Olympia (shoutout to Grim Earth). There are plenty of places to play here for a metal band, such as The Shakedown, The Firefly, Make.Shift Art Space, and some buddies of ours are even trying to book shows at the local veterans’ hall.
Is Overwrought the only metal band in Bellingham or is there a metal scene? If there are other bands, what metal bands do you like in Bellingham? Do Bellingham metal bands share anything in common, such as a sound?
As I touched on before, Bellingham has a very healthy scene right now, though we have taken a few casualties in the metal department as of recent, but there are plenty of new projects in the wings that we know of that are close to being gig ready. That being said, our brothers in Gallows Hymn are also from Bellingham and are absolutely killing it. Aside from them, Bellingham has plenty of other great metal bands: Melancholia, Serpent Sun, Cavurn, Necrotic Divine, Noceur, Mount Saturn, Dryland, Thoughts for the Builders, Tetrachromat, Purulent Conception, and our drummer is in a new death/doom band called Inexorable. Otherwise, there's plenty of other awesome punk and oddball bands such as Done to Death, Monstress, Gallowmaker, Proud Failures, Earth Years, Boxcutter, Slothmonger, The Sheen, and I'm sure plenty of others I'm forgetting. We are especially excited to see what our friends in Ex Nihilo are brewing up in 2020.
As for a Bellingham "sound", there was definitely quite a large amount of black metal bands running in Bellingham as of last year, but since some bands called it quits and new projects have gotten off the ground, there's been a healthy leveling out of different sounds within the metal scene as of recent.
Did you grow up going to metal shows in Bellingham? Are there older bands from the 1980s and 1990s from Bellingham? Or, are you a pioneering metal band in Bellingham?
We all grew up playing and going to different local metal and punk shows in Bellingham (outside of Andrew, who spent more of his teenage years in Lake Stevens). Full Frontal Assault was a huge band for Bellingham back in the day and any project that has been touched by a member of that band since has turned to absolute gold. Black Breath is without a doubt the biggest metal band to originate from Bellingham, but I have no clue as to their current status. We did also have another local progressive metal band called Wild Throne that ended up getting signed with Roadrunner records, but unfortunately split up after one album.
There were bands here back in the 80's, though that's a little before our time; the only one I know of for sure is Catastrophic Disaster. Then through the 90's and early 00's there was more of an influx of metal with bands such as Immoral Intent (which eventually sort of became Umbillical Parricide), Blood Shit, Piano Mover, and some others.
We are definitely not pioneers in this scene; it's only from all the massive groundwork that was laid out by other bands, artists, and scene supporting folk (like photographers, interviewers, promoters, etc.) before us that we have the opportunity and privilege of getting to play shows and have people attend them.
Your first recording is from 2018 and it was a demo, correct? Did you record that demo by yourselves at home? Overall, how was that experience?
Yes, our first recording was "Demo 2018". The demo was recorded entirely by our bassist, Andrew Shore, in our rehearsal space. Andrew had recorded for a few bands back in the day, such as Abject Offering, and even did some mixing and mastering on an EP by Gallows Hymn's proto-band, Empyrean.
Overall, we don't have many fond memories of the recording experience for the demo. We were working with pretty subpar recording equipment that failed numerous times within the process. Laptops crashing, headphones cutting out, mics clipping, overall, not the best time (and the demo took entirely too long to get released). But looking back on it all, we’re immensely proud we stuck it out and got those songs recorded with some level of quality.
Before the demo, how did Overwrought form and how long were you all active in the Bellingham area before recording some music?
Overwrought was originally formed as a side project by our guitarists, Trevor and Nate, and our drummer, Drake. Andrew and Keanen joined shortly afterwards on bass and vocals respectively. Trevor was playing in a tech-death band called Defenestrator at the time and Drake and Andrew were playing together in a doom project called None. Both of those projects ended around the same time at which point Overwrought became all members’ main musical focus. Trevor, Nate, and Keanen had also previously played together in a band called Bastard Son, so the formation and quick transition came very natural.
Trevor and Keanen have been playing longest in the Bellingham scene, with their first serious band being a black metal band by the name of Harlot. Overwrought has deep roots in everybody knowing each other, as Keanen and Drake were childhood neighbors, and Keanen, Trevor, Drake, and Nate all grew up in a small outskirt of southern Bellingham called Sudden Valley. It's very forested and isolated, so naturally we developed a pretty deep connection to nature and music there.

1 comment:

  1. The 12/21/19 EP release show was quite a scene. Bellingham's Muppet Fetish and Seattle's Crüd Güns killed it in the early hours, and Overwrought brought the house down with their massive, melodic sound. The Firefly is a rad venue, too... This was my first time hanging out there. Thanks!