White Walls originates from Romania and released this year their latest album titled Grandeur . Eleven themes that compose a solid tapestry...

White Walls: Progressive journey

White Walls originates from Romania and released this year their latest album titled Grandeur. Eleven themes that compose a solid tapestry of progressive metal with metalcore inflections, and whose lyrics deal with complex issues such as mental illness and socially inclined comments about war and religion. 

The album has the feel and aesthetics of a concept album, whereas the hero of the sonic narrative expresses himself through the variety of vocals, a mixture of clean and potent growling vocals, progressive song writing typical of more progressive metal and some more ethereal and even cosmic atmosphere as in the song Speaking in Tongues that is somehow reminiscent of Cynic (in the Traced in Air phase). 

A solid album that comes after a long hiatus for the band, proving that time helped them achieve a crushing yet relatable sound, creating sound structures that will appeal to the fans of progressive metal infused with metalcore.

How did White Walls originate? Did you play in other bands before?
Șerban (bass): Yes, we all played in other bands before (and some of us still do!), in fact our origins can be traced back to the pioneering metalcore band Protest Urban from Constanța, of which a few of us were members over the years. At some point a different kind of chemistry grew between three of us (myself, Dasu- guitar and Marian, our former drummer) so we decided to form a different band that would play different music. We added Eugen on vocals and 11 years later, here we are answering your questions!

There was a sort of hiatus between Escape Artist and your latest release, Grandeur. What happened in that time?
Șerban: A single ("Death Follows Me", 2016) and a long string of misfortunes, haha. As we were preparing to tour supporting Escape Artist, Eugen (vocals) had some health issues that prevented him from singing. Then in 2015 Marian, our original drummer, left the country. Things sorted themselves out nicely in 2017 however, when we invited Theo to join us as a full member, and we've been happily rolling ever since.

You come from Romania. How is the national scene and how do you think you fit in it?
Șerban: I'd say it's very underrated, especially by us Romanians. There's a lot of very talented bands and a wholesome sense of community between them. I think we fit in well, there isn't anybody else playing quite what we do, but there are plenty of other bands doing their own thing, which is very cool to see.

Your latest videoclip “Eye for an I” was selected for the 9th Mumbai shorts International film Festival. Talk to us a bit about the concept and ideas behind the making of the short. 
Șerban: David Pagaille is the ultra talented animator behind the video, he took some inspiration from the song and some from references that we discussed together, and the end result is a very interesting take on disobeying authority, religion, and all that good stuff, haha. I think the best way to experience it is to just watch it here: https://youtu.be/Jpg4UKQ6ATQ

What themes do you feel most tempted to approach when writing the lyrics for the songs?
Eugen (vocals): Ten years of sad, dark and depressive themes and i am not done yet ;))
However on Grandeur the lyrics are more focused. I wrote about mental health issues, war and religion. I always loved to use tons of layered metaphors, ideas and concepts to "paint" over the instrumental.

There is a huge array of influences in your sound that is both progressive and melodic. What could you cite as major influences be they in music or in literature or even cinema?
Theo (drums): I, personally, listened to a lot of Gojira, Leprous and old White Walls songs, so I think you will hear a lot of Mario, Baard and Marian regarding the drums. Also, I think Mike Portnoy will always come out of me here and there. He was one of my childhood heroes.

Artwork by Radu Damian

The cover art seems to hold a mystique of some sort of melancholic psychedelia, what were the ideas on the table for the artwork?
Dasu (guitars): the artwork is deeply rooted in the lyrics and songs and it reflects them nicely. We told Radu (the visual artist) to go crazy, he had full freedom to do what he felt was right for the album. We also wanted something different opposed to the previous albums, color and style-wise. We were blown away by Radu's brilliant and twisted mind and we couldn't be happier.

For the mixing and mastering you had the collaboration of Forrester Savell who also worked with Animals As Leaders, Karnivool. What did you feel was the main difference in your sound having that collaboration?
Dasu: The main difference is that the sound is way better, haha. All jokes aside, this time we went for a more modern sound, kick and bass heavy. We felt that it went hand in hand with the style of the songs, and they complement each other perfectly.

How have you been adapting to this strange new way of life brought by the pandemic?
Theo: When in lockdown I got myself a pair of dumbbells and some flexible bands so I can do some workout at home. Also, I had a lot of Zoom meetings with my friends and the guys in the band. We even had a “beer drinking party” online, haha. The good part is that I practiced a lot this period, having nothing else to do and no concerts, but I really miss the audience and the stage.

Text and Interview: Cláudia Zafre
Band: White Walls 

Observação: Para compartilhar os nossos conteúdos, por favor utilize os links relativos a www.acordesdequinta.com  ou utilize os recursos oferecidos na página. Textos, fotos, artes e vídeos Acordes de Quinta estão protegidos pela legislação portuguesa sobre o direito autoral. Não reproduza o conteúdo digital e/ou do colectivo em qualquer meio de comunicação, electrónico ou impresso, sem autorização do Acordes de Quinta (geral@acordesdequinta.com). As regras têm como objetivo proteger o investimento que o Acordes de Quinta faz para produzir conteúdos de qualidade. 

Observation: To share our content, please use the links pertaining to www.acordesdequinta.com or use the resources presented in the website. Texts, photos, arts and videos Acordes de Quinta are protected by the portuguese legislation under the author's act. Do not reproduce the digital content of our collective in any communication mode be it digital or physical without authorisation from Acordes de Quinta (geral@acordesdequinta.com). The rules are meant to protect the investment made by  Acordes de Quinta in order to produce quality content.