Wovenwar’s Nick Hipa Talks Debut Album, Differences From As I Lay Dying + More
Wovenwar guitarist Nick Hipa was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. She spoke with the Hipa about the formation of the band, the expectations from fans after being in the established group As I Lay Dying and about the creation of their self-titled disc. Check the chat below.
Full Metal Jackie on ‘Loudwire Nights.’ On the show with us we have Nick Hipa from Wovenwar, how are you?
I’m doing great, thank you for asking!
Great to have you on the show. The new Wovenwar album, it’s self-titled and it’s out now. Nick, musically what did you specifically want to do differently that wouldn’t have had fit with As I Lay Dying’s style and sound?
Our biggest goal in developing the new sound of Wovenwar was to expand on a lot of things we had done with As I Lay Dying, but to just make it sound a little more open. As I Lay Dying was very fast paced and specific, within the context of every song. It’s pretty much one tempo and straightforward, driving the whole time. With the type of vocals we have in this new band, we had hoped to incorporate a lot more dynamic in the songs. A little bit more push and pull. I think just more of an open sound without losing the riff-based approach we had always taken. Hopefully we captured that, or people can feel that. We feel that we did what we set out to do.
Nick, was there already an idea to do something aside from As I Lay Dying before everything happened with Tim Lambesis last year?
It’s interesting that you say that because I think there was this dynamic within As I Lay Dying where we just weren’t certain of what the future would hold. So, all of us were working on different things. Phil [Sgrosso] and Josh [Gilbert] had been writing music together just for fun and I had been working on music with Shane [Blay], the current singer, we were writing music together as well on the side. There was no specific intention with this, other than to just create music from a place that felt like was honest and natural, just for the fun of it.
With what happened to As I Lay Dying, I think both of those separate projects just ended up being married together. That’s kind of how the band ended up forming. It was a culmination of two separate things that were worked on while As I Lay Dying was touring off of our last record cycle.
How much of everything that happened over the course of the last year is reflected in the lyrics on the Wovenwar album?
Surprisingly enough, I think a lot of what we went through over the past year is reflected more in the music. When you get put into the situations that are just overwhelming and you don’t know how to respond to, or at least myself and the rest of the guys — our course of action is to just pick up an instrument. Pick up the guitar and just play. So I think some of the riffs and so much of what we had written musically, I think is more directly related to some of the emotions we went through.
Lyrically, it’s a little more broad and universal. Shane, our singer, wasn’t as closely involved with some of the things we were. So he and I collaborated on the majority of the lyrics and he chose to write about things that were a little more specific and personal to things in his life, although, a lot of those things and topics were adversity, hardship and persevering through them. That was exactly what we went through so his perspective and my perspective were kind of in line with each other. People check out the lyrics, they’re not going to find anything that specifically references the very public stuff that was happening in our lives, but I think they have a much more broad scope as far as what they mean.
Creatively and personally, what are the most fulfilling things that have come out of the events of the last year?
Creatively, it touches back on the idea that we just channeled our emotions through music. I feel like we just grew together in so many ways. You put people through something that, I guess it could be viewed as a little bit of a hardship. In the grand scheme of the world it’s not that big of deal, but our lives got complicated together. We worked together to figure out a course of action that took us through it. In doing so, I feel like we took our musical chemistry much further than we had with As I Lay Dying.
Personally, we just became closer as brothers than we had ever been before, including bringing Shane into the mix. He was someone we had been friends with and had known for years but him being involved with us and working on something we all were putting so much of ourselves into, I think just brought us together on all levels. It’s great. We’re out here on tour and we’re playing. I know across the stage that all our hearts and minds are in this thing together. That’s a great feeling, to know were all on the same page and firing on all cylinders.
You were on the road this summer with Black Label Society and you’ll be out this fall in Europe with In Flames — two pretty high profile tours to put a new band into motion. What’s been the biggest surprise about the way Wovenwar has been received so far?
I don’t know if there’s too many surprises. We were expecting a fair amount of backlash from people that were expecting us to do the same aggressive and more extreme sounding metal. I guess if I was surprised it’s how well things translated on the Black Label tour, as far as us not even having the album out then but just playing these songs live and for people who were expecting it to be a little bit less intense because there’s singing, having them be pleasantly surprised.
To be able to see us live, feel that energy and intensity and just the heaviness of what we’re doing that surpassed their expectations based on hearing, it’s like a softer sound, there’s no screaming. That’s been awesome. Just to find ourselves making new fans, within a course of a show. We’re a brand new band, we walk onstage and a lot of people don’t even know who we are. Playing our set and seeing a considerably more drastic reaction — a well received reaction versus when we step on stage with blank stares facing towards us. That’s been a cool experience as well.
What’s the rest of the touring plans in terms of the U.S.?
That’s a huge question mark for us. We’re in Europe with In Flames for a long time, and there’s a couple of things that have been mentions but I don’t know if they’ve been confirmed. But after that tour, we definitely will be back in the States. We need to do a full run on our own, so I don’t know and I can’t really say who that’s going to be with but I know we’re working on getting a full U.S. run for either the winter or late fall.
Good luck with everything you’ve got in the works, definitely looking forward to seeing you soon.
Thanks so much, Jackie!
Thanks to Wovenwar’s Nick Hipa for the interview. You can pick up the band’s self-titled debut disc as Amazon and iTunes. As stated, the band is on tour in Europe this fall. Dates can be found here. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.
Watch Wovenwar’s ‘All Rise’ Video