Werewolves: Lizard-brain Music

Finally some live shows after releasing a new single earlier this year, now the brand new album From the Cave to the Grave (Prosthetic Records) is out – what else is happening with the Australian Death Metal band Werewolves ? Sam Bean (Bass / vocals) fills us in…

How did Werewolves form in 2019? Please tell us the band’s story.
Guitarist Matt and Drummer Dave play in this legendary band together called Abramelin. One day they were grabbing a coffee and talking about how good ‘Panzer Division Marduk’ is and how easy it would be to do a band like that. And that’s really the story behind it there! Matt asked if I wanted to do bass and vocals and told me just to pretend I was Will Mortician. The first album was written in about four days, and it was recorded, mixed, all artwork done in under two months.

What was the first band that you were in, Sam?
A band at high school with some mates, we did Morbid Angel covers. It was hilarious cause it was a very exclusive school, and the first time we played live was at some school gala thing where we did “Visions From the Dark Side”. Everyone looked at us like we were taking a shit on the stage, except for some loose units headbanging up the back. That was it for me for about seven years. Next band was The Berzerker and straight onto Earache Records.

Please tell us about the new single, Harvest of the Skulls. What was it like recording the track?
Well, we originally recorded halfway through last year and released it on the DEATH METAL EP back in February. When I did the vocals for that track, it was the first time since I had vocal surgery that I recorded anything, I wasn’t sure if my voice would work at all anymore. I was at Erik Mieh’s (The Amenta) place just trying to break it back in. Normally it takes me a day to record an album, but this time it took me the entire day to knock off two songs. When it came time to record ‘Harvest of the Skulls’ for the album, the other guys were like just use your recording from the EP, don’t worry about changing anything or doing it again. But I had some spare time left over so was like, let’s have a crack at it. I did the vocals in two full takes, one high and one low, no punch-ins or dubs or anything. I can’t remember anything else about recording this song, the instrumental side or anything. I think I remember Matt writing it and giving it to me and telling me to listen to Marduk’s “Temple of Decay” if I couldn’t pick the vibe. That wasn’t a problem.

What are your live plans at the moment?
We were playing Sydney on the 25th of this month, and we have a few shows in Melbourne and Adelaide afterwards. We want to find out whether we suck live or not. The world doesn’t need another death metal band onstage looking like a million bands before them making a bunch of garbage noise, unless they’re awesome. If we play and we’re sick fucks and we fucking crush it and everyone loves us, then we’ll take things further. I know every time I suggest an announcement is coming everyone is like OMG IS IT A WORLD TOUR, and it’s like settle down assholes, let’s get one or two Australian shows done first.

What can we expect from a Werewolves live show?
Blast beats forever. People hurling themselves off things. Audience abuse. Probably a bunch of fuck-ups cause we’ve only rehearsed as a band once. Me puffing and out of breath between songs. Matt and Dave being flawless machines.

What are your future plans and projects?
Seeing how quickly we can release ten Werewolves albums.

Any noteworthy stories from being in Werewolves?
Not yet. It has been a lot of writing and recording so far, just work work work work work, and all the great stories usually appear when you start performing live I reckon. Even when we catch up, which is twice a year, we talk about band business for five minutes then go our separate ways. Ask us once the first show’s done, I’m sure something spectacular and fucked will have happened then!

Are there any Werewolves side projects that you could tell us about?
We’ve recorded something else, but can’t talk about it. Secret evil business. Matt and I have the third Antichrist Imperium album coming out, I think maybe in September? That’s a work of musical genius. Werewolves is some lizard-brain music made for thugs who want to fight and break stuff, but Antichrist Imperium is divine inspiration direct from the godhead…well perhaps diabolical inspiration is a better way of putting it. Dave has a release out this August with his secret little band Psycroptic. I think the world will like those boys. They’re an underground treasure.

What are your favorite death metal bands?
You know how the Finns have that word that translates as “one I hate less than all the others”? Really, that’s how I think of other death metal bands. I don’t have favourites. Well, I do love The Antichrist Imperium, The Amenta, Abramelin, The Berzerker, The Senseless, Psycroptic, you know….all our own bands. I like Bolt Thrower, I find them very pure. Refined. And I love Anaal Nathrakh. You want death metal bands to scare you a bit sometimes, they’re that band.

Is death metal still alive for you?
Hell no. It’s so much less than it was thirty years ago. I hate everyone who isn’t one of my bands. If I’m to be honest, I think metal is doing well, and extreme metal is fine but there’s not many bands out there who have me pulling an angry metal face when I listen to them. You know, when a song hits that moment of intensity that makes you want to bash everyone around you. I want that. I want to be obliterated. I want songs that atomise me and drive me homicidal. Barely anyone in death metal is doing that for me right now.

Reporter: John Wisniewski
Start photo credit: Rob Brens

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GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski