Fresh off their 10th Anniversary 'This Is Exile' tour, Tennessee based death core band Whitechapel aren't slowing down. A new album is on the way and their fanbase is as ravenous for new music as ever. For the latest, read our interview with PRS artists Gabe Crisp & Ben Savage below.
PRS: You just finished the 10th Anniversary ‘This Is Exile’ tour – how long were you guys out?
GC: That tour was 6 weeks long.
BS: We were out for a little over a month around the US hitting up the major market areas like Chicago, Atlanta, NYC, and Los Angeles.
PRS: You performed the album in its entirety, right? Did you throw anything else in the set?
GC: We played the whole record and encored with some even older stuff off the first record.
BS: We played “This is Exile” in its entirety with a guitar driven melodic interlude in the middle of the set that was written days before leaving for tour. After playing Exile we encored with 2 songs off our first album “The Somatic Defilement”.
PRS: ‘This Is Exile’ is a pretty complex album. How was it to revisit your parts after all this time?
GC: Great experience over all. It was cool to see those songs written 12 years ago still hold up and people still care.
BS: It was cool to see what riffs and tempos we were into at the time, like a window into the past. Back then we went more off of vibe than traditional song structure which allowed us to have many parts in the span of 3 1/2 minutes. We were in the midst of writing our new record when we did this tour so some of that old flavor has seeped into the new album.
PRS: You guys just finished recording a new album with Mark Lewis. Has your approach to recording guitars changed through the years?
GC: Not really. Getting tones changes record by record but the formula pretty much stays the same.
BS: The new album is the first time we recorded guitars first rather than drums. This allowed for us to change beats up at the end to better accent the vocals and not be held back by drum tracks we recorded months prior. Other than that, I’ve tried to be more spontaneous when recording guitar tracks on the spot to get a more urgent vibe rather than have the guitar parts already 100% dialed in before recording.
PRS: Was the writing process any different from previous albums?
GC: Felt like we were all in the same room more this time than others which is always a plus. We tend to follow the same process each record and just grow on it each time, keep the good ideas and get rid of the bad stuff that doesn’t work out.
BS: I live 3 hours farther away than the rest of the guys now so it was a matter of planning out days where I can come down and write. It’s important for us to write in the same room together so we can all agree on material on the spot and not waste time.
PRS: Who are your three biggest musical influences?
GC: I play bass because of Mike Dirnt from Green Day without a doubt. Bands like RATM and Tool definitely influence more of the metal music. Big respect to all bass driven bands like those.
BS: Opeth, Metallica, Katatonia
PRS: If you had to name one song (or record) that changed your life as a musician, what would it be?
GC: Taking it back to Mike Dirnt, I definitely thought I could “play bass” after learning “Longview”. The whole Dookie album is a great bass driven record.
BS: Probably Tool “Schizm” the way it transitions out of the bridge section of that song blows my mind every time.
PRS: Any band out there right now that you’ve been in to lately?
GC: I’m usually listening to a podcast if anything nowadays but Alkaline Trio and The Story So Far have new records I definitely will be checking out. Both awesome bands and awesome dudes.
BS: The new Rivers of Nihil album is great.
PRS: When you aren’t writing music or touring, what do you like to do during your free time?
GC: I’m into craft beer and working out.
BS: I do graphic design and practice drumming.
PRS: Why PRS, and what is your go-to model?
GC: I always loved PRS guitars, it felt like they were in a class of their own. Simply put they are beautiful; you can see the quality from a mile away. I wanted to feel that quality and have that look on stage and after playing the SE Kestrel bass I was sold instantly. To have a guitar come to me playing and sounding as good as these basses do is a dream come true. These are affordable basses that are well built and sound insane!
BS: I’ve always loved PRS, it seems like it’s the only guitar company that every player can agree is great. The guitars have a timelessness to them that’s footed in the past and present and can live in either era. My go to model is the SE SVN 7 string… it’s the only 7 string I’ve played where it feels like I’m playing a classic vintage guitar.
PRS: What is on the musical horizon for the rest of 2018 and in to 2019?
GC: Another leg of the This is Exile anniversary tour NOV 1-DEC 16. The new record will be out spring 19’.
BS: Yes, we have a tour coming up in November and December where we play “This is Exile” again in its entirety along with some other heavy hitters from our discography and maybe a new song from our record coming out in March 2019.
PRS: Thanks, guys… any final thoughts?
GC: YOU’RE THE MAN!
BS: I’m so fortunate to be a part of the PRS family, I feel everything you guys do has an honesty and spiritual drive that comes through in the sound and feel of the instruments. So, thank you for having me be a part of the legacy.