Pennsylvania hardcore veterans WISDOM IN CHAINS are back with their highly-anticipated 7th studio album titled “Nothing In Nature Respects Weakness”, and we’re stoked to give you our fresh interview with the band’s own Richie Krutch, in conjunction with the premiere of their new track called “Already Dead” (listen below!).
Wisdom In Chains formed in 2001 as somewhat of an international side project among members of pa/hc legends Krutch and Dutch bruisers Dare Devil. The concept slowly took on a life of it’s own and by 2005 Wisdom In Chains had solidified a US lineup that was more a hardcore super group than a new band in the scene. The Pennsylvania underground officially had it’s new voice, and the band’s second studio album “Die Young” was the soundtrack that crowned the band kings of Pennsylvania Hardcore, where they still remain undisputed 17 years later. Running the gamut of profile labels like Eulogy Recordings and I Scream Records the bands do or die blue collar work ethic paid off as they rose through the ranks and were soon doing main support tours with NY royalty Sick Of It All and Madball to name a few. By 2010 Wisdom In Chains was headlining their own tours in Europe and have since become a key fixture on every US Hardcore Festival. 2018 will witness the band’s much anticipated 7th studio album titled “Nothing In NatureRespects Weakness” backed by the ultra hyped Fast Break! Records in the U.S. and buzz worthy Demons Run Amok in Europe.
Stories of hard earned lessons, and stories loss are sung in their anthems and tales, backed by a fresh infectious approach in their vision of hardcore. “Nothing In Nature Respect’s Weakness” marks a continued evolution for Wisdom In Chains as tired clichés about the genre are left to burn like heretics. Staying true to their unwritten oath, the band maintains a hard-line mix with their oi / punk hooks and choruses, unleashing explosive energy in succession on all 13 tracks, that continue to bring new sounds to the roots of traditional hardcore.
Hey there Richie! Congrats on crushing the AP servers with the premiere of your new jam Better Than I Was, haha! I suppose you’ve received a ton of great feedback, huh? How has this new record teasing era been treating you so far?
Well, unfortunately the song was only up a few hours before the site crashing, so a lot of people, especially in other time zones didn’t get a chance to check it out as it was being pushed. The feedback we did get was very good though, and we appreciate that. So far, so good.
“Nothing In Nature Respects Weakness” comes as your second offering through Fast Break! Are you the only band member involved in the label? Also, is Demons Run Amok the only foreign label backing up the release?
Yes, I’m the only guy from the band involved with Fast Break! And Demons Run Amok is the only other label involved.
Alright, so tell us about the creative process. Have you changed anything in your writing and recording habits?
Playing together a lot is key, getting riffs into everyone’s hand, and letting everyone’s input is important. Our process for this one is similar to how we wrote other albums, just less of a rush.
Judging from the first single, we shouldn’t be worried about the anthemic power of the record, so let’s talk about the lyrical side. Can you expound a bit on the content behind it and how it links to the title of the record?
Well, the songs are separate from the album title. The album title is a statement, it’s something to keep in mind. The single Better Than I Was is it’s own story. Of course the search for strength in that track is what we would hope people can get out of the song. You just have to do your best.
How do you feel you have grown over the years as songwriters, with more conscious ability to convey experiences through punk music?
I’m not sure how we may have grown, but I do know we still love writing songs together, and we are better musicians than we were, with more life experiences than we had. So those things help.
How do you view the current state of Pennsylvania hardcore scene?
It’s the greatest scene currently in the country. So many great bands. Great shows and venues, I can go on and on. The base is really diverse, there are skins here, straight edge kids, all types of diverse bands, of course This is Hardcore Fest. It’s an incredible scene, a very strong and unified scene.
How’s the new blood? Are there a lot of young, dedicated bands carrying the torch? Can you point to a couple of new acts that you think have an extraordinary level of real life influence these days?
There are a ton of new bands. Gloves Off are an awesome band that you will be hearing about. The have the current sound of HC dialed in perfectly. Young, heavy, fresh. There are also some elders from Pa. with great new bands. Done Deal and Please Die are text book versions of the style that got me into this music in the first place. Check out all those bands.
How do you think the scene and the hardcore community has changed since WISDOM IN CHAINS emerged?
Sound wise, the music got much heavier than it was. There is a heavy death metal and grindcore influence in a lot of HC that didn’t really exist when we first started.
What are some of the better ways for modern bands to reach new audiences, expand, be heard and visible, while maintaining integrity? How do you find balance between keeping up with trends, being ‘marketable’, and staying true to your roots and ethics?
The key for any band is to play live. Without playing live, nothing else matters much. So, write good songs, rehearse, book shows, get into it. Keep your word, treat people fair, show respect and you will be fine.
Do you believe it is still more effective and efficient to get fame and be recognizable through physical promotion, touring, and hard ‘offline’ work than through online promotion that allows people to connect instantly worldwide?
All are important, but physical promotion is by far the best method if you are able to do so.
Are there a lot of traditional ways of networking in the punk community in your area these days? Are there some cool undertakings like streets fairs, squats, zines, etc. that you could recommend to our readers?
Outside of shows, there isn’t much going on. What I would recommend is going to shows. If you have a band, pass out your music, talk to other bands, and promoters. You gotta make long trips, get out of your comfort zone and push your product.
How do you go about finding new and interesting bands and artists today?
For me, it’s either word of mouth, or seeing them live by chance.
Ok Richie, so what’s up next? What shows do you have planned for the coming months and what other projects are you involved in?
We are playing This is Hardcore in Philly at the end of August, right after our new album comes out, and after that we head over to Europe for a tour in August.
Great, thanks so much for your time! Feel free to drop your last words and take care! Cheers from Warsaw!
Thank you so much! We appreciate it.
WISDOM IN CHAINS European Summer tour:
03.08.2018 Rostock MAU Club GER
04.08.2018 Fredericia Support Our Scene Fest DNK
05.08.2018 Hamburg Monkey`s Club GER
06.08.2018 Osnabrück Bastard Club GER
07.08.2018 Göttingen Musa GER
08.08.2018 Jaromer Brutal Assault Festival CZE
09.08.2018 München Backstage GER
10.08.2018 Villmar Tells Bells Festival GER
11.08.2018 Ypern Ieper Hardcore Fest BEL
12.08.2018 Eindhoven Blue Collar Underground NLD
15.08.2018 Wien Viper Rooms AUT
19.08.2018 London New Cross Inn GBR