WRONG’s new album Feel Great is out April 13th via Relapse Records.
Four years ago, Miami noise rock/alt-metal quartet WRONG formed from the ashes of punk/hardcore trio Capsule to issue their stonking debut EP Stop Giving via Robotic Empire. Featuring former members of Torche and Kylesa, the quartet quickly became known for their ferocious live show and a sound that continued what Unsane and Helmet began many years ago. Two years later in 2016, they dropped their intense and yet melodic self-titled debut. Full of mid tempo hulking grooves and riff focused tracks, the set was lauded as being an aggresive blunt force trauma.
Now, the group are back with their even more intense and yet melodic sophomore effort Feel Great. To celebrate, we asked the band to chat with us. They duly obliged and we got into Mad Max, playing live, and upping the ante.
Overblown: One of the new songs on the album is called ‘Errordome’. Is that a sequel to Mad Max: Thunderdome?
WRONG: It is actually more of a prequel. It’s about this guy who falls on hard times. Then he’s exiled from his hometown and wanders the desert where he meets this cult that- well, it is kind of like Thunderdome. The song is pretty much like Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
Overblown: You recently released a video for the track ‘Zero Cool’. Do you know where the director, Frank Huang, found the footage included in it?
WRONG: I actually just asked him about it and I was surprised by what he did making that video. The footage is from an educational video on anxiety with some drug-related videos mixed in. The cool part is that he bleached and painted some film leader, projected that with a 16mm reel then filmed that with another camera. Pretty impressive stuff. He’s a talented guy. He can just take a song and create this whole visual accompaniment to it from just what is in his head, which seems like a pretty scary place. Nice guy though.
Overblown: The title of the album is called Feel Great. But that seems to be at odds with the music on the album. Is it meant humorously/ironically?
WRONG: Yeah, pretty much. Contrasts are pretty much the theme of the record. Mostly the idea of what goes on on the surface as opposed to what’s happening underneath. It just came about in the writing process and kind of stuck. It felt simple enough. We didn’t have to think too much about it. Once you get it in your head things just start to happen naturally. You find out you can apply that notion to everything around you eventually, the whole duality thing. From your job to your family, your politics. Not that we’re any kind of political band or anything, it’s just part of life. A lot of the lyrics on this record formed somewhat subconsciously which is how I like it because then it becomes more revealing and more personal. You find things in there when you look back like, “Wow. I didn’t know I was feeling that way”. Haha.
Overblown: The style of the album cover is very 90s. It reminds me of album covers like Godflesh’s ‘Pure’ album. Is that what you were aiming for?
WRONG: Yeah all Godflesh covers are awesome haha. And they always a have bleak, arid vibe which is what we like too. We like it simple visually. We’ve spoken to artist friends of ours to come up with some stuff before and have some cool, detailed drawing but nothing really fit for the album. Also, I suppose that’s what lots of bands do nowadays, and it works for them but not for us. With the pictures and collage style look of the record, it feels more like a documentary. A catalogue of what’s going on around you ( took the pics on tour in the US 2017) without really having to say a lot about it. It also draws you more to the music I think, when the art is more direct.
Overblown: Did you have a goal when writing this record? Where you thinking, “We have to up the ante”?
WRONG: Well that’s always the goal when you think about the next record. We like to challenge ourselves and do things musically we wouldn’t normally do, even though we only have two records so ‘normal’ for us hasn’t been exactly defined. At least I don’t think so. For instance, on this record, we have some guitar solos with tapping on them haha. And a song with kind of a blast beat for a second, or what have you. We just incorporated more elements into the music to take it to other places. Extreme music is part of all of our backgrounds in this band and in a sense, we feel WRONG can go anywhere it wants. Fast, slow, musical, atonal, abrasive… and not so abrasive? Haha. It’s up to anyone’s opinion, it’s just how we see it.
Overblown: You’ve been compared to Unsane and Helmet a lot. Have you had any feedback from them about the band? Ever crossed paths with them?
WRONG: Actually, it’s funny because a friend of ours showed it to Pete Mengede, who played guitar on the early Helmet records, and he posted it on his Facebook page. So that was humbling haha. Aside from that nothing really. It’s not something we think about. Sure it would be cool to play with either of them, but the same goes with any band we are into.
There are more bands we like that don’t sound like that that we would be awesome to cross paths with. The thought of playing with bands that sound different always appeals to us. It may be better to play with similar bands to get the right crowd or whatever, but I personally like shows where the bands are all different. It makes you stick out more. We’ve done tours with Torche and Nothing and they don’t sound like us at all. We have similar values and ideas about music, and that’s why we like playing with those bands.
Overblown: You have a reputation for being a formidable live force. How do you get psyched up for a gig? Do you have any rituals?
WRONG: Oh cool, thanks haha. It’s always about the live experience and we like to highlight that, hence the simple imagery and everything. Our first video for this record is just us playing in our garage for that reason. We wanted to capture the essence of who we are and that’s just four guys playing one of the heaviest tunes we have. We ‘re actually playing in the video and synced it with a click. Just a fun fact.
But as far as rituals we just try to be relaxed and comfortable really. I guess that sounds a little anticlimactic? Haha. Really it’s just about being able to get to that place when you need to. The music we play can be pretty intense physically and mentally, but in the end, it’s all fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but the music we do take very seriously. As long as we can have a couple beers and do a little stretching before we start, we can turn it on and off like a switch. It’s something you learn to do when you’ve been gigging as long as any of us.
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