Lord Of War's Alexx Walshaw Talks Showcasing and Making Music

Space metal/deathcore enthusiasts Lord of War brings to the table a perfect balance of engaging technicality and progressive elements seamlessly intertwined with powerful melodies and crushing breaks. They pride themselves in keeping an expansive repertoire and a "something for everyone" ethos, while simultaneously maintaining an uncompressed level of dedication to musicianship and innovation within the scene. They constantly push their collective skill sets to the next level in order to deliver increasingly imaginative aggression to their fan base. With that their guitarist Alexx Walshaw took the time to discuss with me their latest efforts and plans for the rest of this coming year!

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Lord of War, and how long the band has been together.

Alex: My name is Alex, I play guitar, and I started this band in 2008. It will be 5 years in August!

2. Your currently on tour as a part of The Till Death Tour, how has that been going for you guys and everyone else?

Alex: It's been awesome! We just got back from another tour about 2 weeks ago and had to turn right around and hit it hard again. It's been fantastic though. We're surrounded by a lot of talent every night. Some of the shows have low turn outs but the kids are going nuts. Other shows are flooded with people, and there is a lot of energy! Over all it's been great!

 3. What did you do to prepare yourselves for this tour?

Alex: Since we just got off of our other tour with Suffocation literally 2 weeks before, we were still kind of in that tour mode, so we just picked up right where we left off. Our drummer had to work out of town the whole time so we didn't even get to practice!

4. Is there any song that when you play it live on stage makes your adrenaline levels kick in and make you want to go hyper?

Alex: I would say for me, it would have to be a new song we decided to play on tour called "Carbon Based Genocide" It's a lot different from our older stuff and when the fans at shows feed off of it's high energy level, it gets all of us amped and we get into it.

5. When it comes to performing each and every night does the time stand still or does it fly by when performing?

Alex: It definitely goes by quick. The 30 minutes we're on stage feel like nothing, and then there is hard work before and after each show. Time is constantly moving super fast whether we're performing or not. It seems there just aren't enough hours in the day.

6. What could one expect from a Lord of War show?

Alex: A fast paced, high energy, technical, and brutal performance. We get crazy on stage to have fun with fans that are going off, but still are able to play everything we write with precision.

7. Any strange or unusual happenings while out on the road or at a live show?

Alex: We ourselves are strange and unusual. Some of the people in the different towns are a trip, feels like we're on different planet, or that we've stumbled into a Twilight Zone episode sometimes. There is one very strange thing that sticks out off of the top of my head. We were driving on an isolated highway with no one else in sight for miles in either direction. Ahead about a mile up the road was this massive circular shadow patch covering the highway and out into the fields on either side. It's circumference was a few miles wide. Odd thing about it was there wasn't ONE cloud to be had in the sky, yet it was dark as if something was above blacking it out. When we drove through it, it got a lot cooler and we kept looking up to see if there was anything there causing it. Just clear skies though. Since our lyrical content and theme deals with extraterrestrials, perhaps they were making themselves known to us on that isolated road.

9. Describe your show, visual and musically for us.

Alex: This sort of ties into # 6. We play a lot of material from 'Celestial Pestilence' which is very thematic and atmospheric in sound. We're playing 2 new songs on the road that still have that concept but just take it a step further. Our set is a nice balance of melodic and technical metal.

10. What do you do to get ready for a show?

Alex: I try to stretch every night without fail. I feel horrible afterwards if I don't. We get really into our set and move a lot of stage, so it's physically enduring if you're not limbered up. You'll definitely feel it the next day if you don't. Other stuff includes making sure we're in tune, setting up our gear to go on stage after the previous band, getting water for the whole band, and making sure if anyone needs help with anything to help get them set up.

11. What do you miss most from home when you’re on tour?

Alex: We found out really quick that it was the Mexican food in Southern California. There's nothing like it anywhere else. The only other thing I would say I miss the most is showering every day.

12. Have you noticed the economy affecting your tour attendance or merch sales?

Alex: We have! A lot of people will come out to these shows, pay to get in, but not have money for any of the bands merch, which in turn hurts us as well being able to get around on the road. So we're definitely all feeling it, fans and bands alike.

13. Once this tour is over with, what else do you guys have planned for this year?

Alex: We had something really cool lined up 2 weeks after this tour was out, but it has been canceled. One cool thing we're doing still is the Rockin' Roots Festival. There will be so many awesome bands this year, and it's the events final year, so we're glad we'll get to be a part of it. Other stuff includes some tours in late Summer, and it looks like we'll be doing a big tour in fall.

14. What type of band is, Lord of War and how did the name come into the picture?

Alex: We describe ourselves as Atmospheric Melodic Death Metal, or Space Metal. The name is actually from the movie of the same title. I watched it and thought, that is a total band name. At the time we didn't have anything lined up. I went looking on popular social networking sites and searched the internet for a band already using it. Surprisingly no one had done it, so we used it. It was a few years later I found out there was a band from Italy of the same name. It's no longer around and it was more of a solo project, not an actual band.

15. Will we be seeing a music video from you guys in the future?

Alex: Yes! We've been planning one for quite some time. Money and time are the biggest factors in why we don't have one, but we are trying to fix that asap!

16. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Alex: The only thing we wanted to do at all was finally have recorded music. We played about two and a half years of show after show with no music or demos. People always asked us do you have CD's or demos we can have, and we always had to turn them down. All we wanted to do was have stuff people could listen to, that was our only goal.

17. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Alex: We used keyboard samples on this album for the illusion of being somewhere else when you listen to it. So you don't feel like you're listening to a boring straight forward metal album. It's meant to put you in a different place for a half hour. That was the only different thing we had tried for this album instrument wise.

18. How was the vibe in the studio?

Alex: Fun for the most part. A lot of hard work and a lot of trial and error. It's a process like anything else, and takes vast amounts of time. For the most part it was a good experience though.

19. Is there any story or concept behind the Celestial Pestilence title?

Alex: Each song is a different story instead of one whole concept being realized throughout the whole album. So I guess you could say there are mini stories and concepts throughout the album.

20. Who produced Celestial Pestilence and what was it like working with them?

Alex: Arde Ostowari from Burning The Masses. He had a home studio, and had just bought all the equipment to start. We were his first project and it was a learning experience for both of us I think.

21. Who did the cover art for Celestial Pestilence and how much input did you have on it?

Alex: The artwork changed several times before we settled on the final that is there today. There was a concept floating back and forth between the band for a while. We took ideas from all the other ones we had and turned it into what it is now. The inside artwork and CD art was also done by the band. We're all pretty skilled at photoshop, so luckily we were able to make something that suited this first album well.

22. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Alex: Probably the hard work we put into making it. Which happens almost all the time when we hear feedback from fans. They'll come to shows and comment on all the effort that went into making it. Not just saying it sounded good, they'll comment on specific riffs or ideas that wow them. That's a really good feeling when they can appreciate it.

23. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Alex: Our most popular site is facebook.com/lordofwarmetal. We're on http://www.youtube.com/lordofwartv and all other sorts of social media outlets. Another good way is by coming out to a show and seeing it for yourself! As far as merch, we have tons of it, but recently removed our online store due to shipping costs. We're currently still working on launching our online store through Indiemerch.com so be on the lookout for that! For now, people can go to lordofwar.bigcartel.com.

24. Is that your final answer?

Alex: There will always be questions as long as mankind is searching for answers.  “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple” Dr. Seuss.

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