Warbringer's John Kevill Thrashes Until the Empire's Collapsed

Warbringer recruited Mantic Ritual former members Jeff Potts and Ben Mottsman as replacements since then the guys have gone to the studio, recorded, and written new material for their fourth and latest album "Warbringer IV: Empires Collapse". Frontman vocalist John Kevill discusses the latest album and some back history on the former Manitc Ritual members now Warbringer recruits.

1. Come next year you will have been a hand for a solid 10 years - what runs through your mind? Did you think Warbringer would have lasted and done all that they have up until this coming point in your musical careers?

John: Nope! I didn't think that far ahead when starting the band, I just wanted to play some metal. It's really cool to have had all the opportunities we have, it’s been a great run so far.

2. Through that course of your musical career Warbringer has seen its array of line-up changes with recent additions of Carlos Cruz, Jeff Potts and Ben Mottsman both formerly of Manic Ritual - do you see this set to be the "one" for the long run?

John: It’s hard to say as people come and go, and the road is long. I am really enjoying the lineup we have now, although already Jeff is out and Adam Carroll (original member) is back with us for these tours we have. It's a real Spinal Tap kind of scenario, always.

3. How did Jeff Potts and Ben Mottsman both formerly of Manic Ritual - come into the picture and how have they both adjusted to the band?

John: We knew them for years from their Meltdown/Mantic Ritual days. We used to party together when they were in LA or when we were in Pittsburgh. They both moved to LA when Mantic ended, we knew them to be fine musicians and good dudes, so they were the first ones we called. Ben came in first during the Destruction tour since Andy had to go home due to an illness and he fit so well personally and musically we decided to keep him. Jeff joined us a couple months later when we went to Europe.They've done a great job so far.

4. All three latest additions got together to play a one time show at this year's past Thrasho de Mayo VI
Festival - bringing back Mantic Ritual  with that said and done will we ever see Mantic Ritual and Warbringer get together for a touring cycle or one time showcase?

John: Unlikely, as I understand that was their goodbye. Carlos helped by playing drums on the Mantic set at Thrasho, and Dan Wetmore (singer) had to come down from Pittsburgh. It was cool that they got to do it though.

5. You guys have been signed with Century Media Records for the past 6-66 haha years - take it the relationship with them has been going well for you guys? Do you see yourselves sticking around with them from here on out or.....?

John: Yeah, they've done well by us, we see no reason to jump ship. We aren't all pissed at our record label or anything, maybe we are lucky, because a lot of bands seem to have that problem.

6. A few months you played showcases in celebrate of the 5 year anniversary of your debut album "War Without End" - playing it in its entirety in some spots - would you consider doing this again for other releases or for this album again? Do you like the idea of playing an album in its entirety?

John: I do like the idea of playing a full album, as the track sequence, what songs are there, it all captures a point in the band's history and it is put together the way it is for a reason. 5 years both is and isn't a long time, haha. We just played the whole side one of the new record all in a row last night.

7. Your past previous albums all started with the letter "W" is that why you changed things up by calling your fourth album "IV: Empire Collapse"?

John: Technically it’s "Warbringer IV: Empires Collapse" so it still begins with a W! The record title should be spoken "Warbringer IV: Empires Collapse" because that actually has a ring to it and sounds good.
"Warbringer's new album, IV: Empires Collapse" sounds clunky and dumb so I'm not sure why people caught on to saying it that way, oh well! The W thing was never really intentional, by the third record we knew it would be a thing if we went ahead with the "Worlds" title. And lo and behold, people caught on and it was a thing. We just brainstorm and choose a title for each record that we think fits, there isn't a pre-set criteria for it.

8. How does it feel to be on album number four, have any thoughts or comments or remarks or regards?

John: It feels good, we have a lot of music to our name now, I can go and there is audio evidence of my/our musical progression and journey that exists beyond myself now, that is pretty cool.

9. What's your take on "IV: Empire Collapse" as a whole?

John: I'm very proud of it. I think it's a really creative, interesting thrash record that pushes boundaries while still maintaining intensity. That was my own goal for it, and I feel it's been achieved.

10. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

John: "Towers of the Serpent" is my favorite song. I'm really proud of the vocal performance/lyrics/concept of it, the main section of the song is some of the heaviest stuff we've done, and the epic end section is really great I think.

11. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

John: Yes, always has been. The lyrics have to give a feeling which matches and accentuates the music. It's always a challenge for me to get that to where I think it's just right, but that is a lot of the fun in writing music for me.

12. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "IV: Empire Collapse"?

John: Damn, honestly I don't know. There's a lot of different stuff on the record, enough to where I can't tie it in with any one feeling or idea. That was the idea when writing it, as well, was to have a really diverse metal album. So sorry for not having a good answer to your question.

13. Where is the new material headed?

John: Well, we just are releasing the fourth record, so nothing new since then, only trying to get all the new songs up to live-show standard. Where any future music goes is anyone's guess.

14. "IV: Empire Collapse" deluxe edition comes with a bonus DVD of the live fifth anniversary showcase - but when can we expect to see a LIVE CD or DVD or combo from you guys?

John: That was the closest thing to a full live DVD we have done so far. Maybe one day we'll go the whole nine yards on that. There is various footage laying around.

15. Would you ever consider releasing an all acoustic album or a few songs?

John: Nah. I value progression and experimentation in our music, but it still has to be Warbringer. Use of acoustic parts is fine, and something we have done, but a full acoustic album just wouldn't be us.

16. Warbringer will be on tour through most of November. What can fans expect to hear? More new songs or old songs?

John: A mixture of both, probably with a focus on new material. It's gonna be a little different every night.

17. Where hasn't Warbringer toured and would like too? Is there a place that you think you will never get to tour in?

John: Probably never get to tour the Middle East, an American band called Warbringer wouldn't go over so well there. I'd love to see Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, China... I've been lucky enough to go to many of the places I wanted to see!

18. What are your upcoming plans for the holiday season?

John: Try to eat some turkey and mashed potatoes on the highway, and get home in early December in time for Christmas and New Years before going to Europe.

19. What else do you guys have up your sleeves for the future?

John: Right now, just this USA tour followed by a European tour supporting Iced Earth. That carries us all the way into late February, I don't know what's coming after but we’re already receiving offers from different things.

20. Any final words of wisdom?

John: Rock hard, always. Never settle for less!

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