Sometimes you read about bands slogging it out on the toilet circuit for years, playing dingy venues to one man and his blind dog with no prospects of climbing the musical ladder. But some bands come out of nowhere, like an RKO, with that drive and desire to fire themselves into the stratosphere.
Rugby-based wars have only officially been around for two months since forming from the ashes of a previous outfit, and their brand of vitriolic metallic hardcore has already been making waves across the music press./o:p
And while their scene is rapidly becoming samey with cookie-cutter bands popping up like whack-a-moles in snapbacks, wars are setting themselves apart from the clones with songs and lyrics drawn from personal, emotional experiences.
“I felt massively exposed,” vocalist Rob Vicars admits. “That’s one of the things that this band want to tackle. In fact, one of the songs on the EP – Eight On The Ballantine Scale – is named after the way you measure the exposure of an island. It’s between one to eight, with eight being the most exposed. You really do feel like you’re putting yourself out there when you’re playing live.”
But what is it all about? The band have stood behind the rather cryptic ‘we are all wars’ slogan – an idea Rob feels strongly about and, as such, is where his lyrics are born.
“The idea for the name is internal cognitive dissonance, internal conflicts – they’re the wars we’re talking about,” Rob explains. “There’s always a war between what the head and the heart want, and that’s what we approach musically – it’s that philosophical aspect that we explore with our music. You’ve got to put a certain amount into it; to have that energy you’ve got to sing about something that means a lot to you. That’s where the statement comes from.”
Meanwhile, rock media sub-editors everywhere will be blowing a fuse, as wars insist on their name remaining in lower-case. This isn’t because Rob’s shift key is broken: there’s serious reasoning behind this bitch-slap to the English language.
“War is a really brash term and when we think about the word ‘wars’ you think of international conflict which isn’t what we talk about as a band; we come from a different perspective so we wanted the name to look less harsh. We could write the name in all capitals which would make it look more ‘out there’, but it’s better for us to have a more subtle approach.”
Their lyrics may be subtle, but wars are acerbic, impassioned and pissed off with a capital P.
WARS’ EP, AND SO THE SEA WILL CLAIM US ALL, IS OUT NOW VIA ITUNES/o:p