Interview by Sarah Williams.
Melodic hardcore legends A Wilhelm Scream will be coming to the UK for a seven date tour in June, before heading over to the mainland for an epic month of club shows and festivals with bands like Descendents, Pennywise, Astpai and Darko! We at Shout Louder honestly couldn’t be more excited.
For those unfamiliar with A Wilhelm Scream, they are a 5-piece powerhouse of hardcore talent from New Bedford, Massachusetts. They’ve been killing it on stage since 1999, however the band are probably best known for their classic 2005 album Ruiner and 2007’s Career Suicide. They’re a band who’ve been said to scrap songs from their albums because they’re just ‘fast’ rather than ‘very very fast’, running in the same category as Strung Out, Strike Anywhere or Propagandhi.
As personal heroes of ours, we jumped at the chance to speak to drummer, Nick Angelini, ahead of their UK tour.
Hi Nick! Thanks so much for talking to me.
You’re planning a killer month-long tour around Europe and the UK in June. How do you plan to survive such an awesome few weeks?
No one will survive. Not even you.
You’re touring with Darko, Pennywise, Descendents and Astpai, plus a handful of festival dates. That’s a hell of a line-up. What are you most excited for?
I am super excited to play more shows with Darko. I listened the crap out of the last CD they gave me. I’m excited to watch them play, knowing the songs now. They are all great bands. Legends. Darko is really kicking my nuts off at the moment.
You’ve got an impressive back-catalogue. Of your recordings, which are you most proud of and why?
I am really proud of all our records. It is hard to pick just one. It’s like having five human babies and saying baby Fernando is my favorite.
What’s your favourite thing to play live?
My favorite thing to play live is my Wail City Drum Kit. I dreamed of building a full drum kit for many years. When I finally pulled it off, I was so happy and proud. Every time I play it on stage I am like a proud pappy.
Partycrasher is one of my all time favourite records. Can we expect to hear a lot of that on the tour, or do you plan to mix it up between all your old hits?
Brian is the setlist guy. He does a good job getting in all the hits and the ones we like to play as well. There will definitely be some Partycrasher jams on the list.
You guys have played a lot of gigs over the years. When was the last time you got nervous on stage / about a show?
I sometimes get nervous when we play close to home. There’s something about playing in front of friends and family makes me want to do a really good job. I guess in some weird way I feel like I owe them, because I get to travel the world playing music. It’s like I am representing all of them, and myself, when we go out on the road. I want them to know that I am not wasting this opportunity I am lucky enough to have.
You’re from Massachusetts, which is home to some of the most impressive hardcore bands out there. What do you think makes it such a great breeding ground for that genre?
Maybe the cold weather and the ocean wind. It kind of hardens you. Maybe all the pent up aggression gets released through the music. Then boom! Socks are knocked off.
What are you listening to at the moment? Any new music you’d recommend we check out?
I have been listening to a band called Animals as Leaders. They really fucking good at their instruments. It’s kind of like Steve Vai minus the Elf pants.
I heard that you’ve been working on a follow-up to Partycrasher for a couple of years. Have you got any studio time booked? I can’t wait to hear it, but hitting AWS-level quality must take time.
Trev and his wife bought this big ass old whaling house in New Bedford. Trev is building a studio in said house. As soon as it is ready we will be recording there. It is going to be called Anchor End Studio, and it is going to be top notch. He has got this awesome studio designer. His name is Lou. It is going to be state of the art, cutting edge and badass. I am very excited. Thanks Lou!
How does your songwriting process work as a band? Has your inspiration changed over the years?
My inspiration really has not changed. I just want to be the best drummer I can be, and play what is right for the song.
What are your ambitions for A Wilhelm Scream in the future?
Record and put out the new record. Play shows and keep having fun. After all these years I still love getting on stage with my brothers and sweating through my clothes. I am a very lucky guy.
What would be your advice to a band aspiring to be where you are now?
If you are playing a show and there are only a couple of people there, don’t phone it in. Give it your all. Blow three people’s minds. Those three people might tell five or ten other people about that crazy show they saw. Next thing you know you are playing to 30 people, then 50 and so on. Also, it’s a long hard road out there. Don’t be a pussy.
A Wilhelm Scream will be touring UK & Europe later in June and we could not be more excited. Make sure you pick up tickets quickly as these are bound to sell out.
Interview by Sarah Williams.