Despite the violent connotations of their moniker, Floridian metalcore mob Wage War come in peace. “It’s the worst band name ever to travel with,” laughs guitarist and clean vocalist Cody Quistad. “We’re like: ‘Hey, we’re Wage War, can we play in your country?’ But it’s not political or army related – our band name alludes to being the change you want to see.”
At the tail end of last year, the band embarked on a UK tour supporting Stray From The Path, Northlane and metalcore heavyweights Amity Affliction, taking to venues like London’s fabulous Roundhouse to pummel unsuspecting Amity fans into oblivion with crushing beatdowns and dynamic choruses. Sonically, the five-piece stir up a brutal cacophony in the vein of The Ghost Inside and The Devil Wears Prada, but bubbling underneath is a message of empowerment, optimism and a desire to inspire change.
Single Alive, from the band’s 2015 debut Blueprints, is a resounding middle finger to anyone who accuses the youth of today of being a waste of space with the lyrics: ‘This is revolution, a generation rising to become the solution. I’d rather spend my life believing there’s hope, than be obsessed with how to tie the end of my rope. Hate is a cancer, love is the answer.’
“Positivity is something we’re all focused on,” says Cody. “We don’t want to be dark or depressing – I would rather leave kids with some hope at the end of the day. We should support each other and try to live a life a where you don’t tear each other down; you build each other up and break through the barrier of judgement that comes with being younger. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing, which is love and peace.”
It’s an outlook that’s won Wage War a sizeable following on their home turf. On YouTube, three of their music videos have either topped or are close to surpassing a million views. In the States, that’s beginning to translate into bigger crowds at increasingly bigger venues and now the band are seeing UK fans respond enthusiastically to the positive mental attitude that lies at the molten core of their raging hardcore.
That mantra is set to continue with the release of the band’s second album that’s due out in April, and although Cody can’t reveal its title yet, he can tease that it takes a more melodic, yet heavier path. “I can’t wait for everyone to hear it,” he says excitedly. “We harboured all the elements that people liked on Blueprints and perfected what we do. It’s the record that I feel will define our band in years to come.”
THE NEW WAGE WAR ALBUM LANDS LATER THIS YEAR