Attack Attack! Drummer Andrew Wetzel Talks New Album, Touring + More
Attack Attack! recently released their third album ‘This Means War’ via Rise Records and are currently on the road with the Ghost Inside, Sleeping With Sirens, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and Dream on Dreamer.
Loudwire recently had the chance to chat with Attack Attack! drummer Andrew Wetzel, who goes into deep details about ‘This Means War’ and why he thinks headlining a show is a lot like gambling.
Editors note: Shortly after our interview, Attack Attack! announced that they are also setting out on a co-headlining spring trek with Escape the Fate dubbed ‘The World is Ours’ trek. Ironically, Wetzel mentions Escape the Fate as an ideal tourmate when we asked him that question in the following Q&A:
Congrats on your new album ‘This Means War.’ This is the band’s third album — what direction did you guys take with this album that differs from the first two discs?
Our approach to this record was unique in a way that when we wrote it, we went into that whole process with the decision that we didn’t want anybody on the outside to touch anything on this record. We disappeared into the recording studio without talking to anybody for 35 days and came out with ‘This Means War.’
Can you talk a little bit musically and lyrically about your first single ‘The Wretched’?
The whole record and ‘The Wretched’ being a part of this record is about four soldiers that go off an fight a war and ‘The Wretched’ comes in when these guys come home to find out that everybody hates them because they’re part of the machine and while they were gone, the government’s full of s–t and now everyone hates the government. ‘The Wretched’ is really about the abandonment and dealing with number one, fighting a war and all the s–t that goes into that and number two, now nobody likes me anymore and nobody can support me and help me through this time in my life.
All of the tracks on the album almost sound like chapters of a book. ‘The Revolution,’ ‘The Motivation,’ The Wretched.’ What made you guys take the approach to name the tracks that way, with the word “The” as the first word in the title to all of the songs?
What we wanted to do was title it in a way that’s kind of like the acts of a play or the chapters of a book and the whole record is one coherent story so it made sense to go along with that.
The story behind the soldiers, where did that idea come from?
It just kind of popped off the top of our heads but ultimately it’s just a metaphor for kind of what it’s like to in a band and go on tour, the same thing happens to a lot of people. You go, you play in a local band and you’re hometown heroes and then one day you get noticed and you sign up with the industry and get a record contract and the next thing you know, you’re out on tour and then you come home and you realize all of your friends have moved on and everybody thinks that you’re a different person because they assume that you’re famous or that you don’t have time for them, s–t like that. It’s really difficult when you people that you thought were close to you, sell you out.
The album art is captivating. What does this image mean to you?
What it means to me is that is sort of where we’ve been for the last few years of our career. We came out and wrote ‘Someday Came Suddenly’ and it was kind of like a gimmicky record and self-titled sort of the same way and going into this record we really freaked out because we didn’t want to put anything out that was going to be like that. We didn’t want to put out something that was gonna be the same old same old. We wanted to put out something new and fresh, really aggressive so the album art work really symbolizes going into this record we really felt like our hands were tied behind our back and this record is really symbolic of us just saying f— that, hands behind our back or not we’re going to write it, whatever it takes we’re gonna get there.
What can fans expect on Attack Attack!’s current ‘This Means War’ tour with support from the Ghost Inside, Sleeping With Sirens, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and Dream On Dreamer?
I think they can expect one of the gnarliest tours of the year. We haven’t been out on the road at all this past year, we’ve been itching to get out so bad. We’ve got this new music that we wrote that we freakin’ love and we’re working on putting together our show, you can definitely expect to go into that show and leave deaf. It’s gonna be incredible.
How would you describe your relationship with the bands on this bill?
We’ve done a tour with Dream on Dreamer in Australia, never met the Chunk guys before but heard they were freakin’ sweet so we put them on the bill. The Sleeping guys have all been around our friend group for a long time because they’re from Michigan and Ghost Inside we’ve only met a couple of those guys a few times but we’ve heard that they’re f—in’ rad too.
What artists you would want to tour with that you haven’t gotten a chance to go on the road with yet?
That’s a ridiculous question just because we don’t even know, we just love touring with bands that want to be friends and want to hang out and do fun thing. A prime example of that is our relationship with Escape the Fate, those dudes freakin’ rule, just having that sort of comradery regardless of who the band is or what they play, we don’t care just having that kind of relationship with them is what we totally look for.
[Editor's note: As mentioned earlier, following this interview Attack Attack! announced a co-headlining spring 2012 tour with Escape the Fate.]
How would you describe the experience of a headlining tour versus being on a festival run like last year’s Warped Tour ?
It kind of depends, Warped Tour, being on a big tour like that is a lot of fun because there’s pretty much no pressure at all. If the show doesn’t do well it’s not your fault, you’re just there playing. I think headlining is a lot more fun because it’s kind of risky, having your own show and picking the right bands to come out with you that kids are gonna want to come see, playing the right songs and making sure the show is electrifying enough, the whole attention span of kids these days, just the production and lights and all that crazy stuff. All of that is just a huge rush and it’s so much fun and so risky, it’s kind of like gambling.
Watch the Attack Attack! Video for ‘The Wretched’