The secret is out! War of Ages will be releasing a new album and it’s estimated to be blasting through your speakers in the Summer of 2014! They are keeping release dates, titles and graphics hush-hush, but fans of the Christian Metal band can expect to be hearing more and more about this very soon!
Though they’ve been hinting at the new album for a while now, their official announcement seems to have been made via their Facebook and was accompanied by the following teaser video:
To those who haven’t heard already, War of Ages has consistently done a great job since they came together in 2002 of making a unique metal sound that blends the likes of As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, and Dragon Force; in addition, the Christian Metal vets are widely-known for their meaningful lyrics, incomparable, shredding guitar solos and putting on a fantastic live performance.
WOA is currently on the Facedown Records 2014 Spring Tour with Saving Grace, and Mouth of the South. The Anchor Music team was on-site during their performance at the Dirty Dog bar in Austin, TX with locals, Beard the Lion, UGLYTWIN and Echoes in Oblivion; we sat down with War of Ages to get some more information surrounding the new album, the tour and some WOA tid-bits:
AMN: “So your debut album was with Strike First Records/Facedown Records, how did that happen?”
Leroy Hamp: “We were just playing as a local band and one of the bands we played with in Erie, PA that was already on the label knew Jason really well and [he vouched for us]. We were already talking to Solid State but we were more interested in Facedown Records for the mere fact that we grew up listening to the bands on Facedown as opposed to Solid State which we didn’t know much about.”
AMN: “From where you started and where you are now, how has everything progressed?”
Alex Hamp: “There’s been a lot of changes. Between different member changes to the way that the band is together now. Now it’s a business. We’ve always held each other accountable but now the vision that each of the members has is the same. Collectively we are five guys going strong together, same vision, same outlook.
AMN: “What’s the goal for 2014?”
Alex Hamp: “Touring, lots of touring”
Leory Hamp: “Touring just like we’ve been doing in prior years with other records. We’re looking to be a lot more active as a unit.”
AMN: “So who’s been in War of Ages from the beginning?”
Leroy Hamp: “Steve and I have been here since the beginning, we started in the band as 2002. Obviously, as time goes on the band develops and new members come in. Alex came into the band as the drummer in 2005 when we signed to Facedown Records. We’ve had other guitarists and bass players throughout our tenure as a band. Now we have Jack and Ryan in the band and they’ve been with us for about a year.
AMN: “Why did Alex wait until 2005?”
Alex Hamp: “The story goes; when the band first started, it was me, Leroy and Steve just jamming. We wrote a couple songs and led worship at my school. I was dating a girl that told me we needed to leave right after worship; so we played one of the songs we wrote and I just walked off stage.
Leory Hamp: “Basically, Alex played in the band for a couple days and then that wasn’t a good sign. Steve and I wrote like two songs during one of the first practices we had and Alex was with us during that time. We thought, ‘Here we are, first time playing out and we’ve only been a band for a week. We thought we just needed to find someone who really wants to be in a band. And at that time Alex was still in high school and he didn’t know exactly what he wanted and he had to do his thing.
Alex Hamp: “After that, I graduated and moved to college. When I came back I joined the band again for about two months while they were forming another band/project. Leroy and Steve both told me that they liked the way that Rob [previous drummer] wrote music. Then the band changed to War of Ages [from Point Zero] , they wrote the first album and recorded it. About two months before the album was released was when I joined the band in 2005. God has a plan for everything, I just needed to get the stupidness out of me.”
AMN: “Is there a vision other than touring for 2014 that the band has?”
Leroy Hamp: “Our actual agenda as a unit is that we are here for the herding. We’re here to provide a alternative answer to somebody who is depressed or hurting inside. The War of Ages theme has always been providing strength and a reason of hope for a lost generation. That hasn’t changed from but it is stronger than it was before, because there’s more focus on the attitude of the heart with us individually and it will ultimately reflect on how we treat others, each other and our fans. The ultimate agenda is to reach out to those hurting people no matter who they are, Christian or non-Christian. What matters to us is, ‘are you hurting?’, ‘are you depressed?’ and providing that option of hope. We want to try and inspire them in a way that they’ve never been inspired before. That is the soul mission of this band, regardless of the business or the touring.”
AMN: “Is there something you’re pushing toward this year?”
Leory Hamp: “The goal we have set on getting from point A to point B in the industry is touring. We’re setting up a headliner in the summer booked around festivals, we’re setting up a support tour before that in America, a support tour at the end of the summer in Europe, another support tour and headliner in America and Canada. We’re going to Mexico in May, then we’re planning a headliner in February of next year, in April we’re going to Australia and New Zealand. We’re going to try hit the United States every three to four months with a tour and every six to seven months in Europe. That’s how we’re trying to further the band in general.”
AMN: “What’s the craziest thing that has happened on this tour so far?”
Leory Hamp: “We played our high school on this tour. When you’re in high school or middle school, we had that dream of ‘it’d be awesome to come back and play in front of our peers’… Not when you’re 32”
Jack Daniels: “It felt like we were in 11th grade playing a battle of the bands.”
Leroy Hamp: “When I was going to school there, they didn’t know what metal was; other than Alice in Chains, because it wasn’t as accessible as it is today. They didn’t have For Today or Acacia Strain. If I asked them if they ever heard of Disciple X or Burn it Down, they didn’t know what I was talking about. If asked them if they knew KORN, or Marilyn Manson they’d be like, “Oh, yeah like Slipknot?” No, not at all. Underground? What’s underground, is that a band? So coming back and playing that high school was very interesting and being 32 made it more interesting. We didn’t know how it was going to go. I figured we were going to show up and it was going to be awkward. We played in the auditorium and I was thinking they were going to all be sitting in chairs thinking, “When’s the assembly going to start?”. It turned out the be the sickest thing, they let them stage dive.
All the bands came out on stage with blow up guitars and started jumping up and down with us.”
Alex Hamp: “The worst thing happened the same day, we blew our ball bearing on the driver side tire. It could have taken 30 minutes to fix but it actually took an hour and a half because the bolt was stuck and they had to heat it up to get it out. [For all we knew] we could have been stuck there or even had to have dropped the tour because we didn’t know how much it was going to cost or how long it was going to take. I had a friend that was a mechanic that let us pay for just the parts.”
AMN: “So lets talk the new album, when is it going to be released?”
Leroy Hamp: “We don’t have a set date exactly, but early summer. We don’t have a name or title, but it will have one soon. The artwork is pretty much done.”
AMN: “What’s new on this album compared to your earlier releases?”
Leroy Hamp: “The best thing I could say is that it’s a War of Ages album with the element of Megadeth or Iron Maiden. We have a lot of guitar solo swapping. We have two guitarist who are very exceptional as far as being able to write and able to solo. So typically with WOA you have the lead and the rhythm but in this case we have people that are able to do both. So, our song writing in general has gotten way better because we have two well crafted guitar players that are two distinct styles. It meshed well with the band.
Another thing we did was take the already written WOA songs and added a month of production into it. We made these songs with way more elements than a producer would. We toyed around with many concepts and there’s a little bit of everything. There’s a lot of layers. It’s a new band that’s a better metal with the old style mixed in with it.
AMN: “Anything else you’d like to announce?”
Leroy Hamp: “We don’t have anything set in stone except Europe with Unearthed, Acacia Strain and Shadows Fall, in the Fall. Other than that we don’t have a lot set up. We are booking the headliner for the summer that will wrap around six different festivals. We’re playing Lifefest and Soulfest and a bunch of others.
AMN: “How does it work playing with Acacia Strain given their message is so different?”
Leroy Hamp: “We get asked that question all the time but I’ll be honest we, we hang out with all sorts of people all the time. Like tonight, we’re hanging out at the Dirty Dog where their mascot is a chick that’s half dressed. We don’t have a flow or course of action. We go, ‘Lord what do you want to do tonight? Who do you want us to tour with? If you want us to be in the deepest darkest corner, that’s where we’ll be. If you want us to be at a church, we’ll be at a church. Stick us who you want to stick us with.” We’re all grown men, we’re pretty strong in who we are and continually getting stronger. We hold each other accountable for our actions constantly. I feel like we’re strong enough collectively and as a unit to be able to tour with these bands and not lose who we are.
Jack Daniels: “You’d be surprised too. Everybody’s respectful of our beliefs. There’s never this weird tension.”
Leroy Hamp: “We’ve toured with Acacia Strain before, we did the Cool tour and their home dates tour with just them and us. We know these guys, we know the Unearthed guys and know a couple of the Shadows Fall guys. They do their thing and we do our thing. I don’t expect them to agree with our music and I don’t agree with their music. We’ll probably end up sharing a bus with them.
Two spirits can’t mix, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t love a fellow brother. I may not agree with them musically and I may not like what they say in their lyrics. There’s always tension, but I also believe that Christ didn’t hang out in the bars with the whores and sinners without expressing who he was and being who he was. They accepted him and loved him for who he was, I figure it’s the same thing with us.”