It was a beautiful crisp (Northern) Autumn day when Sentinel Daily caught up with Aaron Weaver of Seattle based metallers Wolves In The Throne Room. And although in a recording studio, suffering a little from cabin fever – the forest, which is currently popping with mushrooms, has been working its magic for the band who describe the atmosphere as deep. The Hoh Rainforest is of course the central inspiration for the band. And, just like the forest floor with many beings exploring and forging new paths so, too, have Wolves in the Throne Room…
The last Australian tour for the band was a decade ago! This boggles my mind. We’re excited to welcome you back – do you guys have any bucket list items this time around? “Let’s see, well snuggle a Koala of course – I’d like to go for a swim in the ocean… what’s that kind of hippy town? Byron Bay – we can do yoga and drink cold pressed juices and what have you. When we’re in New Zealand I think we’re going to check out the dwellings of the Hobbits and the other magical creatures who live down there”. I do recommend climbing Mount Doom at the Tongariro Crossing – if you have the dexterity and energy for a seven hour incline? “You came back with all your toes?” I did, I also had a snazzy bright yellow jacket on just in case I died and they needed to find my body. “That’s wise – I’ll take that advice, though I don’t own too much bright yellow clothing…”
The band have forged this massive inspirational path – what continues to fuel this insight? Has it changed since inception or have you remained consistent with the bands traditional ideology? “Yeah, it feels like a journey. One thing leads to the next but at no point does it ever feel as though the music or the inspiration or the energy takes an unexpected turn – it’s almost like going deeper and deeper into a mine where, as our eyes adjust and we become more acclimated to the darkness, more reveals itself over time and we realised there was more there than we originally thought”. Digging for diamonds then? “Diamonds, crystals, coal…” [Laughs]
So where do you guys like to push the envelope with the material? “Let’s see, well, in the sonics I guess – in the studio we work with the pure sounds, so it’s us using sounds to conjure images. To me, the music is very visual, like when I write the music and play the music it conjures up a landscape in my mind that I can almost inhabit, I can move inside of it and it’s the sound that does this – this is where we really push ourselves. Create a soundscape that is immersive and magical and has a lot of depth to it – something we can get lost in. There are a lot of ways to do this, it just comes down to the magic of the studio – what guitars we use, synths we use – what mind state we’re in, when we’re doing the work”.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt to date; as a musician, within the music and also being in the industry “The biggest lesson – that’s a doozy. Mmmm, It’s been easy for us but maybe it’s something we’ve always known with a constant confirmation of this truth again and again and again but the greatest lesson is to never do anything that doesn’t come from the deepest places in our hearts. If we were to do anything that wasn’t coming from a true and honest place, it would just poison the music, it would poison ourselves, because the music is an expression of us. Keeping it pure and ‘ours’ is what it’s all about. Being in a band for such a long time there are many tracks you can fall into following – work with this label, tour with this band, release your music this way; we’ve never done this – we have a very DIY core, we don’t do this for anyone other than ourselves and our fans and I think we owe it to everyone to continue on this same path”. If there is one thing we like, it’s consistency. We are very averse to change, which is ironic – considering the tastes we have and the ways we like to push our own envelope. We do not like change “I think it’s a good thing – I think it just speaks to the tribe, the heavy metal tribe and the fact that this culture is important to us worldwide and needs to remain strong and we’re just doing our part”.
Again, the band not having been here in a decade – what are some differences within the band? What has changed, what has remained the same – what can fans expect from Wolves In The Throne Room with over ten years of experiences, discipline, the honing of the craft – will we see a more varnished version of the band? “I think the band is just way more powerful. It is a more finely tuned instrument. We have a lot more power at our disposal and a lot more control over the power that we’re about to wield. I Just know that ten years ago, I think we were just coming into our own and just starting to touch into the full potential of what we could do – I think that right now, the band are at the pinnacle of our achievement and power. I think you can hear this in Thrice Woven – I’m so proud of that record. It’s the most personal and raw record for me personally. It expresses everything that the band is about in a very pure way”. Thrice… is the opus for the band, there is no denying it was the band reaching full potential and full capacity and no doubt the album has been reverberating through fans over the last couple of years – what path would you like to take the band down next? And are you working on new material? “We are deep in the studio right now – we’ve been working every day for the past six to seven months. We’re going very deep with it. These dates in Australia are our first foray outside the studio in a long time so we’re excited to shift gears into the live ritual side of things. It’s good for the psyche, people tend to go a little crazy in the studio”. How are you feeling at the moment? Is there a good vibe? “Oh yeah, the new material is so good, I can’t wait to unleash it. We’re still working on the release date – that’s the nice thing about doing things the way we do it – we’re not beholden to anyone. As soon as we know the record is perfected – we’ll announce it. Hopefully 2020. We’ve got quite a bit planned for next year tour wise – we’ll be doing a tour with Amorphis in Europe during January and February, some summer festivals. We’re also in the early stages of planning a headlining tour through the US and Europe so stay tuned”.