Sentinel Daily‘s Hideous Destructor talks to Matt Bachand, bassist of Massachusetts metallers Living Wreckage, about the band’s superb self-titled debut album that was released this year…

First of all, can I take this occasion to say congratulations on the album – it’s been a constant on my playlist since Sentinel Daily editor first sent me the album to review! Are you pleased with the overall reaction that you’ve met for the record? “Thanks! I would say we are pleased with ANY positive reactions we are getting from the album. We really had no expectations at all about how it would be received. One concern is that we didn’t want people to think it would sound like Shadows Fall and then be disappointed with what they hear, as it is quite different from that. And yes, there are a few of those people out there but that was to be expected. For the most part everything has been going very well and will hopefully keep getting better”.

We’ll look more at the individual tracks on the album later – but can you give those of our listeners without much grounding in the sound of the band a bit of a background to Living Wreckage? What were the motivations and musical influences behind the formation of the band? “Usually, if someone asks what we sound like we would say Pantera meets Skid Row. So many other elements come in there though, so it is very difficult to pick specific bands. The intention was to still be a metal band but with more of a rock and roll edge to it. I think we are influenced by a lot of bands that wouldn’t really be appropriate for this project so there needs to be some level of separation there. For example, I know LeBreton (Matt, guitars) is a huge Dream Theatre fan but I don’t see us writing a fifteen minute prog song. We love that stuff, but it doesn’t fit the formula we are working with for our material. We have been lucky enough to fit into a place where we feel comfortable playing live with many extremes of rock music. For example, we have opened for Overkill but also Buckcherry and both of those went really well for us. I like to think that the fans have much more of an open mind these days as there are so many sub-genres crossing over so many lines musically. As long as the songs make sense and we are happy playing them, that is the most important thing”.

Yes – you gotta be true to yourself! And can you tell us a little about the personnel of LW? “The band took quite some time to get to where it is today. It has been MANY years since the seeds for Living Wreckage were planted. Not Long after Shadows Fall went on hiatus and (guitarist) Jon Donais was playing with Anthrax full time, he and I had discussed writing new music and doing something else. He writes a lot of material and wanted to do something with it. It was intended to be more hard rock based than metal. When the first few riffs started being thrown around I was playing guitar, not bass. Jon Donais and myself were in a cover band called Kobra Kai at the time (which I played bass in), and as it turned out our guitar player from that band, Jon Morency, was quite a good drummer and we started jamming with him. Shortly after that, I was VERY busy working two jobs and attending school full time as well. Not wanting to lose momentum, Jon kept writing and trying to put a lineup together. Matt Lebreton came in during that time and was the perfect fit as part of the idea was to have two lead guitar players to trade off solos. I am strictly a rhythm player so this made a lot of sense and I moved over to bass. A few singers were auditioned before welcoming in Jeff Gard, whom we had known from (fellow Massachusets thrashers) Death Ray Vision, and the band continued to write. As soon as I had obtained my degree, I jumped right in and by that time the songs that became our debut album were pretty much finished and we headed to the studio to record a demo. Things went so well we decided to keep tracking and what was supposed to be a five song demo turned into the album we have now”.

Touring is now fully back on the agenda for most bands– will you be able to spend much time next year touring the album? And do you think the pandemic- enforced layoff seems to have made fans hungrier for live music or are people feeling their way back into things? “At this point I think everything is back to normal. At least in the USA it is. I saw Iron Maiden a few times this month and the shows were packed, no proof of vax, no social distancing, et cetera. It really just felt like old times. I have heard about difficulties in Europe and other places as far as rising costs and travel restrictions but even those should hopefully be back to normal soon. We are certainly looking forward to getting out there and playing live as much as possible”.

Amen to that! Hopefully you’ll make your way down to Texas and I can come and see you! Now, can you take the readers on a journey and give them an insight into each of the tracks on the album:
One Foot In The Grave: “’One Foot in the Grave is a song that would be the anthem for anyone who embraces the ups and downs that life throws at you, no matter how difficult.”
Blind Reality: “It’s about moving on from someone who is toxic to your life but it is not always that easy.”
Out of Time: “Venting the inner struggle of trying to find your purpose in life.”
The End of The Line: “This song is an indirect statement that if individual people or us a society want to move forward, we can’t be pointing the finger or bullshitting ourselves.”
Breaking Point: “It’s basically a middle finger to the powers that be and to the people that blindly follow them to whatever doom awaits. Whether it’s politics, the media, or people you know, there seems to be a recurring theme of fear and everything ‘hitting the fan.’ Breaking Point is about how it is going to happen one way or another so screw it.”
The Voices Lied: “Sometimes chasing your dream and achieving it doesn’t leave you with the feeling you would have hoped for.”
Sink Below: “Don’t succumb to the shitty influences that can drag you down. Stay the course and keep fighting the good fight.”
Mark The Days: “It’s about the karma of what happens when you push things too far.”
Endless War: “With Endless War we wanted to do a straight forward thrasher. This song shows the more aggressive side of what we do as opposed to the previous releases of One Foot In The Grave and Breaking Point, which showcase a more melodic side to the band.”

Thanks for that! It’s nice to know a little about the inner meanings of fave tracks! How do you think 2022 has been overall for our kind of music? Outside of Living Wreckage, who else have you been listening to this year? : “I am into many different things personally but if we want to keep this discussion to rock/metal, this year has had some great releases from Ghost, Immolation, Allegaeon, Behemoth, Goatwhore and Decapitated. As far as NEW bands out there, The Halo Effect is just crushing it right now. Possibly my favourite album of the year thus far.”

What is it about metal that enables it to mutate year-on-year yet still retain it’s freshness? LW as an album doesn’t deviate from the metal template over much, yet still sounds new and exciting – what’s the trick? “I think the trick is to write music that you would want to listen to yourself as a fan. Playing the same songs every night and writing from the same template over and over again not only gets boring for us, but I think the fans can sense that as well. If we can keep it exciting for us the same should translate to the masses”.

Anything else you’d like to tell the readers of Sentinel Daily about the album? Or the band in general? What are the band’s plans for 2023? “2023 will be filled with as many shows as we can and we will also be working on a follow up album and we already have several new songs ready to go. I just hope everyone enjoys the album, spreads the word, and hopefully we will see everyone out there on tour as soon as possible!”

Thanks for the chat!