Wail had us spiralling into their sonic rabbit hole when we listened to their latest album Civilization Maximus. The journey through tribalism with a slice of salvation was epic, but what went into creating this expressive sonic experience? We sat down with the Norwegian heavy metal quartet to talk about the album, the focus of their music, favourite tracks and much more!
OSR: How did the band get together?
Wail: Erm, good story really. A few of us have been playing together since we were quite young forming kind of a foundation for the instrumental section. But this one day, we went for a photoshoot deep into the forest in the Norwegian inlands, and I shit you not, some kind of strange humanoid told us he was “The Singer” now, and that our singer at the time had to find something else to do. That’s how we ended up with the current lineup and when we were told to take on the name Wail as well.
OSR: Is there a backstory or theme to your album Civilization Maximus?
Wail: Indeed there is. Just as our first record had a focus on tribalism and the rise of a cult, this new record has a bit of a manipulation/brainwashing theme. All the 9 tracks represent a different angle to just that. We have the opening track ‘Down the Mountain’ which is about encouraging a worldwide “ættestup” (look it up on Wikipedia!) to the one about semi-forced insemination in endless ‘Repetition’, claiming responsibility for global warming in ‘Presage’ to the straight forward bully approach in ‘You’ve Got Nothing’ and so on. Each track a unique approach.
OSR: When the band started, did you have an idea of the sound you wanted or has this evolved?
Wail: Yeah, I guess we did a while back, but things have indeed changed. We are still experimenting, finding our place in the world of metal. Although the production on our latest album kind of pulls the songs together in a way, they are actually vastly different and pull on references and inspiration from completely different places. We are constantly on the chase for the next out of this world melody, riff and composition.
OSR: What was your creative process for the album? Did you start with a concept or work around one song?
Wail: Our approach on this one was not based on one song, but for each track we wrote we always asked ourself, what is this album missing? Based on that, the next track was influenced in a way that it had to complement the album in a way the other tracks did not. It was conceptually the obvious next step thematically for us so the words kind of fell in place once the songs were scoped down properly.
OSR: Your music has always been focused on the apocalypse of the civilized world, what prompted this?
Wail: Indeed it has. Ever since The Singer stepped up to/stole the microphone that has been the agenda.
We don’t know an awful lot about him, but that is what he is preaching and greatly affects the lyrics. From what we understand from his wine-infused rambling, he is on a mission to return humanity to a primal state in order to save the planet or something along those lines.
OSR: Do you have a favourite and least favourite track?
Wail: Best track: Today I’ll say ‘No Hesitation’, tomorrow probably a different one.
Worst track: Such an awful question! But personally, I’d have to go with ‘Manherder’. It didn’t end up quite as we envisioned it.
OSR: What is the one thing you would like people to take away from the album after listening to it?
Wail: A lust for more! Mostly that to be honest, we hope that people that listen to us feel the extremist cultist vibe and every spin of the record gets a bit more insight into our secret universe.
OSR: How has the pandemic affected the music you make?
Wail: Not that much (yet). We have been busy preparing the launch of the album, as well as promotion which sure takes its sweet time. Besides that, we have been busy rehearsing the album trying to stay tight as a band. Since there is no live play in sight because of the pandemic we are slowly starting to outline our next release.
OSR: What else can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Wail: First off it is the physical release of the Civilization Maximus album on 20th November. There is likely to be at least announcements for the next release.