Returning recently to the death metalcore scene with Our Endless War, rock sextet Whitechapel’s fifth album reflects maturity and production evolution. Achieving a rare feat of garnering respect from the mainstream while retaining cred from the rabid underground, the band’s got nothing left to prove. They’ve toured the globe with metal legends and proudly claim Knoxville as their home base.
mxdwn connected with Phil Bozeman, Whitechapel’s lead singer, during a tour stop prior to the release of the album to get his thoughts on the new album, hometown pride, unexpected potential collaborators, pink dog leashes and more. Read below and visit Whitechapel’s site for more tour and album info.
mxdwn: What can fans expect to hear on Our Endless War?
Phil: A mix of old and new music fused together. I feel like this is the most mature, diverse album we’ve ever done. Every song is pretty much a completely different song from each other, none of them sound the same and there’s a lot of intensity and emotion. People are definitely going to notice it’s different.
mxdwn: What were your toughest moments during recording Our Endless War?
Phil: I’d say probably writing lyrics. It wasn’t necessarily hard but it was hard to focus because I wasn’t in the mood to really do anything. Obviously I had to. The hardest thing was to get in the writing mode and want to actually write lyrics to the songs. It took about a year to record and write this. With anything you do, you get tired and burned out of it. You just need a break from it to come back and appreciate it again.
mxdwn: You’ve got a pretty passionate fanbase. Why is it important for you to post your PhillyBo videos on YouTube?
Phil: It’s important to stay connected to the fans on a more personal level. Instead of just reading something, they can watch something and it’s more hands-on than reading something and trying to interpret. It’s a little hobby of mine and it’s a good way to stay in touch with fans instead of just Facebook and Twitter.
mxdwn: Who are your top 5 metal bands of all-time?
Phil: I’d say Pantera, Meshuggah, Slipknot, Cannibal Corpse and Slayer.
mxdwn: If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice at 16 years old, what would it be?
Phil: I would probably tell myself to take care of myself better. The older I’ve gotten, I’ve noticed that you can tell a difference in your body between 16 and 28. I’d probably want to eat a little bit healthier than I used to. There’s always the ability to change it later in life too. We’re not one of those crazy sex, drugs and rock and roll bands. We go out and play our shows and have some fun but we’re not wild and crazy partiers.
mxdwn: How does being from Knoxville influence your sound?
Phil: I wouldn’t say it influenced our sound but it’s influenced us to be proud of where we come from. We incorporate it a little bit into our music, like our song “The Saw is the Law” is our anthem song to ourselves. It pushes us to put Tennessee on the map because we’re not known for hard metal bands.
mxdwn: What would someone be surprised to know that you do in your free time?
Phil: I play with my dog and have a toy breed dog, Coco, that’s about five pounds. I don’t have a big muscular, manly dog; I have a cutesy kind of dog. My girlfriend dresses her up. I have no shame in walking my dog with a pink leash. (laughing)
Mxdwn: What’s your favorite song you’ve written and why?
Phil: I would say the last song of the album, “Diggs Road” because it’s about my life and it touches on personal subjects. It gets the feelings out and emotions you might keep in. I’m writing it from my perspective but telling a story at the same time. I’m proud of the hard work and dedication we’ve put into it. We never thought we’d get here or ever thought we’d be where are today. We never thought in a million years it would get to the point.
mxdwn: If there was a dream collaborator that someone would be surprised you’d want to work with, who would it be?
Phil: Probably someone from Three Six Mafia, maybe Juicy J. They’re from Memphis and I’ve been a fan of theirs since I was 10 years old.
mxdwn: If you could bring back one person from the dead to spend an evening with, who would it be and why?
Phil: Probably my dad so he can see me in a man’s body, instead of a young boy’s body. I’d want to him to see where I am today. I hope he’d be proud.
mxdwn: What are your plans for 2014?
Phil: We’re doing a summer tour with Devil Driver and then doing a week of shows with Heavy Montreal and Metallica and then everything’s up in the air after that.