Brazil’s Whipstriker has become one of my favorite metalpunk band over the past few years, and there’s no shortage of material to choose from. Led by bassist/vocalist Victor, Whipstriker has taken influences from classic bands like Venom and Motorhead and injected an extra dosing of punk influences into the mix, and albums like 2013’s ‘Troopers of Mayhem’ have been filled with killer riffs and catchy vocal hooks that make you want to crank up the volume and drink yourself into a coma. Whipstriker releases splits on a regular basis, but it’s finally time for a new full length! ‘Only Filth Will Prevail’ will be out later in the summer on LP, CD, cassette, and digital formats courtesy of a variety of labels (specific formats/labels mentioned below). North American listeners will be able to grab the LP from Unholy Anarchy Records and CD from PRC Music in the near future, and while specific release dates aren’t locked down just yet late summer/early fall seems like the current timeline to get your hands on this one.
Thanks to the folks at Unholy Anarchy Records we’re able to offer you an exclusive stream of the song Flag of Cruelty as well as two other previously released songs that were put up on Bandcamp back in May. Whether you’ve heard Whipstriker’s past output or just like your metal/punk fast and dirty, this song has plenty of appeal. It wastes no time in launching into a fast, punchy riff that hits you right in the face with distortion and sleaze. The overall sound is similar to ‘Troopers of Mayhem’, but the riffs are just as killer and Flag of Cruelty is a great example as it hits hard and doesn’t let up for the entire three and a half minute run-time. Victor’s vocals once again hit the spot, as his screams boom over the instrumentals with jagged edges that feel like barbed wire scraping across your ears.
If these three tracks are anything to go by, the remaining six are going to add up to another must have metalpunk release from Whipstriker. Look for ‘Only Filth Will Prevail’ to be available on your format of choice in the next couple months, and crank this one up! We also had the chance to ask Victor some questions to learn more about the new album and what else is on the horizon, including the group’s upcoming fall European tour.
Transcending Obscurity (Chris Dahlberg): Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. You’ve released a lot of splits since ‘Troopers of Mayhem’ came out in 2013, and now you’re finishing up ‘Only the Filth Will Prevail’. What type of sound are you going for on this album and did you have a specific direction in mind that is different from before?
Whipstriker (Victor): Hey! Yes, we finished the new album and it is already in the pressing plant. About the sound, we always try to mix everything we like. That´s why you can hear many influences in our stuff. I can tell you the main influences are always Venom, Warfare, Tank, Motorhead and the punk bands like Discharge, Anti-Cimex, GBH and Crude SS. In the last stuff we included some Speed Metal influences but you can always hear the way between Venom and Discharge. I think this new album has the same vein of ‘Troopers of Mayhem’.
TO: You mentioned before a possible summer release for the album, is this still on-track and do you already have labels worked out to release the material?
Whipstriker: As I said, the album is in the pressing plant. The LP will be release by Unholy Anarchy Records in USA and Hell Music in Brazil. The CD version will be released by PRC Music from Canada and Morbid Tales Records from Brazil. The cassette version will be released by Goatprayer Records from UK. So yes, the album will be ready for your summer (and our ridiculous winter in the Wild Lands).
TO: You’ve been writing and recording metal for a long time now, and Whipstriker in particular you’ve been working on since 2001. How do you feel your writing style has changed in that period of time?
Whipstriker: I’ve been playing in metal bands since 1998. In the beginning the two bands I used to play were (are) more in the Thrash Metal vibe. My first band was Farscape… We´re still active and we play a Thrash Metal influenced by the German acts like Kreator mainly (Sacrifice, Destruction and Slayer are big influences as well). I’ve also played in Diabolic Force since 2001 and in this band we used to do something rawer, like the early Sodom and Hellhammer. In 2003 we formed our first Metalpunk band Atomic Roar and finally I started to compose in this way (mixing Motorhead, Venom, Discharge etc). There are some Whipstriker songs from this period, especially on the ‘Crude Rock n´Roll’ album. I don´t think my style has changed in the last ten years or more. I like to do simple songs with 2 or 3 refrains. That´s it. I hate Technical Death Metal, Prog Metal and Dream Theater shit. And especially because i´m not a guitar player, I have my limits to compose something super technical. Venom is the only way.
TO: Tying in to the last question, is there any particular element that you feel makes a Whipstriker song? For example, if you were writing something what would it need for you to decide to release it?
Whipstriker: The only thing you can find in the whole discography is the refrains. I love refrains. We recorded some crust/punk songs, some Rock n´Roll songs, some Speed Metal songs and all of them have refrains. As I said I hate super technical stuffs or 10-minutes songs without any refrain.
TO: Mark Riddick created the artwork for the upcoming album and it looks absolutely incredible. Did you give him a particular concept to work with or just throw some music at him and tell him to come up with something? Based on the artwork, does this mean this album is once again focused on the violence and chaos of daily life where you live in Brazil?
Whipstriker: Mark Riddick is great. So i just told him: “do some post-atomic stuff with tanks, skulls and gas masks”. And then he did this great artwork. Yes all the songs are about War, Violence and Mayhem. It is not only about our daily life. It is about war in general. But since we live in the middle of a civil war, it has a lot of influences in our lyrics. There are some “satanic” and “metal” lyrics too, but the most are about war.
TO: You’ve said in previous interviews that you teach geography for a living. It looks like you have a decent amount of gigs lined up this year, including a European run coming up in the fall/winter. How are you able to balance your day job and touring?
Whipstriker: Yes yes. I teach geography and I also work for the government in the National Library. Both jobs are very cool, so I don´t get tired. I like the jobs. But we don´t play live too much during the year. I book a tour on my vacation. In 2011 we played Europe. In 2012 a Brazilian tour. In 2014 another Euro Tour. In 2015 the first USA tour. And we´re booking the next Euro tour for November 2016. Balancing tours and job is not hard for me because I love to drink my daily beer after working and play my accoustic guitar. There is no problem at all. Unfortunately I need to work 11 months in a year to pay my bills. I would like to live on the road.
TO: I had the chance to catch your live performance when you came through Maryland and it was a killer show. What are some other good memories from the U.S. tour you can share?
Whipstriker: Ah, the whole tour was great. The only real bad moment was when our van broke on the road and we missed the Detroit show. We stayed on the road like 26 hours between Atlanta and Buffalo, NY. The rest was fine. The guys of Panzer Bastard and Raw Hide are great. We met a lot of friends. And I am sure the next time will be better. The best shows were in Maryland, New York City, Worcester, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Oakland.
TO: A lot of international bands have had issues getting into the U.S. due to visa denials/delays lately. Did you run into any issues last years? Are there similar types of issues for bands trying to come into Brazil to tour?
Whipstriker: Yes I know about the visa problems. I had no problems because I work for the government. But even me, I have a tourist visa. I didn´t bring the instruments with me. I had to buy a new bass for the tour. In Brazil you need a visa if your country asks for visa from Brazilians. American bands need visas, for example. European people don’t need that because we don’t need visas to enter in Europe. Indeed, we need European visas but they give us in the borders. The visa process to go to USA is a pain in the ass! I know a lot of people who has had the visa denied.
TO: You’ve had different touring lineups over the years, do you know who’s going to be playing with you on this upcoming European run?
Whipstriker: YesI know. The guitar players will be Rodrigo, who is playing often in Whipstriker since 2015. He is part of the official line up. Tony from Nuke (USA) will play the second guitar. He played the USA tour. And my friend Hugo will play the drums. He is a great friend of mine. We played together for Toxic Holocaust in 2006. In 2008 Hugo played drums for Farscape on the Brazilian tour. He recorded some Whipstriker stuff, including the new album. So, since USA we´re 4.
TO: When a lot of people think of Brazilian metal, I think they are most familiar with the old-school bands or groups like yourself and Apokalyptic Raids. What are some other bands from your country that people should be paying attention to?
Whipstriker: Apokalyptic Raids, Subterror, Power from Hell, Grave Desecrator, Demonthor, Flagelador, Cemitério, Nuclear Frost, Infamous Glory, Besthoven, Violator, Deathraiser, Tyranno, The Unhaligast, Bode Preto, Beast Conjurator, Nocturnal Worshipper, Nightmare and much more. Don’t forget the legends Vulcano, Mutilator, Sarcofago, Holocausto, Ratos de Porão and the early Sepultura.
TO: Is there anything else you can tell us about the upcoming album or what else Whipstriker has been working on recently?
Whipstriker: Together with the new album we recorded some extra songs for the new splits. This is the list of the next stuff:
+ New album ‘Only Filth Will Prevail’ LP, CD, CASSETTE.
+ 4 way split 7´´EP: Whipstriker, The Unhaligast (BRA), Occult Burial (CAN), Blackrat (CAN)
+ 4 way split 7´´EP: Whipstriker, Steel Bearing Hand (US), Hammr (US), ONE MORE BAND (US)
+ Split 7´´EP: Whipstriker / Nuke (US)
+ Split 7´´EP: Whipstriker / Terrorhammer (Serbia)
+ Split 7´´EP / TAPE: Whipstriker / Hell´s Bomber (Croatia)
+ CD: Tribute to Gehennah
Thanx a lot the interview!