Hailing from Norway we get the second album from this death thrash metal band.«Judge and Jury» will bring you a bunch of guitar solos, killing riffs and demoniacal rhythms, for sure not a good chance for those who seek meditation through yoga or the like. They are not new in this but their second effort is really a giant step in their career and they are on fire, preparing the third chapter already.
Hello guys and congratulations for your second album «Judge and Jury». Wyruz was formed in Norway in 2002, 14 years already… what do you remember of that time?
Hi, and Thanks!
What I remember the most is that when you are younger it tends to be a lot more distractions in your life. You don`t want to miss anything and staying to one thing for a longer period of time is a challenge. When I look back I don`t think we did many things the wrong way, but we didn`t have a clue on how things was in the industry. It`s all about knowing the right people and having some luck along the way also. Me and Kim were more about practising the guitar-skills and not so much selling the band. I guess we thought that everything would work out as soon we had record-deal, but i reality it`s 10% music maybe and the rest is selling a product. But hey, I am really happy we honed our skills rather than selling ourselves back then, `cause today we enjoy it and have been true to it for almost 15 years!
What has changed in Wyruz since then?
The biggest changes is that we have some peace surrounding us all while we make music, and how we have found our places in the band. It`s all about the teamwork and mutual understanding towards what we wanna be as a band. We all have jobs and have certain routines which makes it easier to see what comes next. We are also very good friends as well outside of the band. I feel that this line-up is the line-up until we part for good.. not for another 30 years I guess, and then we will battle who`s got the worst case of arthritis or something. haha
It seems the beginnings were a bit difficult, you didn’t get your first album, “Fire at Will”, on the streets till 2012, right?
Yeah, we had a good run in the first years, but we just could not get a label back then. I also moved to Oslo for some 6-7 years and because of that we had a gap for a couple of years even though we never thought of splitting up or anything. When I moved back to Hamar we got into it more than ever before so it was a good not-so-very-active period in the end. The result was «Fire at Will». Now we are more active and like playing in a band more than ever before.
Now we have in our hands your second album, in my opinion a great progression regarding your debut album
Yeah, it`s more of everything I think. You got more variations in the songs and the overall thread is way more complete. It sounds Wyruz and we finally found what we were searching for. We are not a pure thrash or death-band, and the struggle was to find our «sound» so we could shine the best on each our department of playing our instruments. If you have a drummer that plays really fast I think you should let him be at his best, and the same goes for the guitars. If someone kick ass playing thrash, don`t make them play less than what they are capable of. This was kind of our mentality this time around. – Let us mix up what we do the best as individuals and see what comes out of it, but don`t let it get in the way of the music!
How was the composition process of «Judge and Jury»?
The writing process with “Judge And Jury” was basically done by each band-member individually. Everyone in the band writes songs and plays the guitar, so each band-member makes pre-prods of their songs on their computers, and sends it to the others in the band for feedback and critique, and input on ideas on what to change and so forth. This process takes a good amount of time to complete before we start to rehears the songs before hitting the studio. We are very critical when it comes to songwriting and arrangements as we discuss this a lot, and we try to agree on details as best we can. «Judge And Jury» contains 13 songs that all of us felt had it’s place on the record and we all agreed on that. It’s a lot of hard work writing the songs that we do as we try out a lot of different arrangements, try out different solos, drum-parts, bass-lines, we take riffs out and put new ones in, and we use a lot of time to get the vocals to fit each song before we are satisfied.
«Judge and Jury» is many things except… relaxing hahaha, do you agree?
He he! Well no, it’s not relaxing music that we create and that`s a fact! One thing for sure is that we feel that we have found the style of music that fits us as a band, but when we have finished a concert or a practice-session we feel relaxed, `cause playing this type of music takes a lot of energy! That is the beauty of metal, it`s an outlet and a tension valve of releasing pressure!
I like very much the mix you make between death and thrash, spiced with some heavy and black metal. An explosive cocktail!
On our first album «Fire At Will» we actually were more strict to how we should sound when it came to be more genre-specific, and it was a good start. We found the basic foundation for Wyruz. We brought this with us when we wrote «Judge And Jury» and the foundation is Thrash Metal. But things changed a bit when we started to write «Judge And Jury» as the songs got faster, way faster actually, and they changed in terms of arrangement. We just said fuck it! We are gonna write what comes out of us without going through any genre-«filter», so yeah it came naturally to us when we just wrote the songs without thinking to much about it. In that way we found the sound that we feel Wyruz should have, and we feel that it fit us very good.
To describe our music as an explosive cocktail is very fitting, and we will take it as and compliment!
Be careful with some of the riffs and solos we get through the album because they can burn your skin! I think you should have posted a warning label on the cover, shouldn’t you?
Haha, we have worked hard on getting the riffs memorable and the solos to fit the songs as best we can, so it should give some infection or at least a rash of some sort.. That was actually a mighty cool idea, with a sticker saying something like that or just send along a rusty spike you cab stap yourself with to get that little extra.
After listening to the whole album I felt my neck was smashed, age has no pity, and your music neither, this is a “do headbanging or die album”, was that your intention?
Of course! Our assault of metal will not take any prisoners! But on a serious note we just wrote the music that came to us so to speak, and therefore you could say that it was intentional on a subconscious level. We write our music to be aggressive, brutal, catchy, fast but also to have a militant groove so to speak, and have contrast in our songs with tempo changes and solo`s with melodies and not only shredding all the time.
If I had to choose a song it would be Not The Enemy, I love the darkness in this song. Do you have any favorite?
That is a very tough question and extremely hard to answer! It will probably be different to each member of the band. The thing is that when you work very hard on an album, it is very difficult to point out a favorite tune, when each member work hard on their respective instruments on minor details, and perfecting it, you find things in every song that you are satisfied with!
“Judge and Jury» is a curious title for an album, what are the lyrics about?
We actually were gonna call it «Carved in Stone», but there was another band that had something similar, so «Judge and Jury» it was. We think the title is awesome and there is definitely some judging going on in the lyrics as well. we don`t have any main themes in the lyrics, but there`s some about serial killers, war, religion and even politics even though I`m not into it.
What bands have influenced your sound?
We like a lot of different bands and music within Wyruz, but to list some of the bands that we like without making the list longer than a whole year, it would probably look something like this: Slayer, early Metallica, Death, Morbid Angel, Behemoth, Krisiun, Zyklon, Myrkskog, Nile, Blood Red Throne, Hate Eternal, Misery Index, Exodus, Megadeth, Testament etc.
Listening to Wyruz you believe that you can also be a big band in Norway without playing only black metal…?
Norway is a small country, and the city we are from is Hamar, Which has about a population of 30.000 inhabitants. We Actually had two release-gigs in our home town, and our “main” concert drew more than 300 people, and that shows that we have a good supporting group of loyal fans in our hometown! The second gig we did was at the local “house of culture” were it was free entry and free age limit, and there were a little over 100 people there, so it is possible to draw a crowd in Norway without playing the metal of the blackness!
Wyruz has been part of the two-week European tour called “The Norwegian Invasion Tour”. Which countries did you invade and how was it? Would you repite the experience?
The countries that we invaded was: Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. It was a really good tour and experience! In total we were five Norwegian bands on tour(therefore it was called the Norwegian Invasion Tour) The bands got along great, and had a good chemistry! The tour went extremely well with little problems. We had the co-headliner place on the bill, being the 4th band on stage each night just before Blood Red Throne! As for Wyruz, and the reception we got and it was our first tour outside of Norway, was very good! And it resulted in more tour offers, festival gigs and other cool stuff!
Yes, it is an experience we definitely would repeat! Probably a one-time experience for sure, don’t think that there is an opportunity for a tour with 5 Norwegian bands emerging in the near future, so we were lucky to have the opportunity!
To get lucky, sometimes you must attract or seek luck… At this moment what are your touring plans for the following months?
We had planned to do a tour in November, but unfortunately there were some things that was out of our hands that happened, so we could not do it. We got another offer in December, but it did no fit our schedules. So no tour as of yet, but we are working on getting a tour early next year! I can ‘t reveal any details yet, but it’s in the planning stages.
Finally, what are your plans for the future?
Touring is of course the first priority as mentioned earlier. We are planning to shoot a new video in November, and we have some ideas about the video and so forth. The process of writing stuff for our 3rd album has begun, but the main focus is to shoot that video and do some kickass touring next year!
Thanks, guys, hopefully we don’t need to await a long time to get another great album from Wyruz. If you wish to add something…
Thanks so much for the attention! Go buy our album and spread the word so we can tour a lot next year! The next album will be even better and we`ve already have started to write new material.