Released a few months ago, “Epitaph,” a two-track-only ep that I reviewed on these virtual pages within hours of its release, showed all fans of crust punk sounds that Canada’s Warkrusher are one of the bands to watch out for in the nearest future. Indeed, our Montreal punx give us a precise and accurate breviary of wild, warlike, primitive and catastrophic stenchcore/crust punk that marks a valid and interesting continuum with the best tradition of the genre. About their latest ep and much more I recently spoke with Tom, Sticker and Sean and so I can only leave you immediately with their words, keeping in mind that in crust war there is no law!
Hi guys, thank you once again for agreeing to answer my questions. Let’s start in the most classic way, would you like to give us some biographical notes about Warkrusher and why you decided to start playing together?
Tom: Warkrusher was started in 2018 by Sean, Diego, Miguel and Manuel. I was asked to play guitar a few months later. After numerous lineup changes we have remained as Sean, Tom D, Sticker, Jesse and Tom B since 2021. I can’t truly speak for the very beginning of the band but in my time we have just wanted to play old school, heavy crust and perform intense shows.
Sticker: Originally the band was named Warfucker.shortly after Tom D joined the band, Diego left and I came in on rhythm guitar. We then decided to change the name to Warkrusher.since then we have had a few line up changes.we have been playing with the current line up for a while now,in my opinion it is the most solid line up we have had.
Since your first demo entitled All is Not Lost in 2019, carried forward with conviction and attitude a sound rooted deep in that primordial soup known as stenchcore. How did you approach these sounds and why you choose to play this specific style of crust punk?
Sean: at least thematically during the ‘All is Not Lost’ writing session I was drawing heavily on amebix/axegrinder quasi-medieval, resist and arise against tyranny sort of stuff haha. I dont think it was a conscious effort to play ‘stench core’ more just to play crust in a classical sense. I feel we’re drawing from alot of different sources for inspiration.
Tom: Most of the songs on All is not Lost were written by the earliest iteration of the band. While I believe the style set the stage for what Warkrusher would become, it’s quite different than the music we are currently making.
Sticker: All is not Lost demo is mostly the first wave of songs written as warfucker.after the demo was released we decided to move away from this Era of songs and focus on new material.
A few months ago you released Epitaph, a splendid two-track-only ep that continues your declaration of war in the name of the most barbaric stench-crust. How did the two tracks that make up this ep come about?
Sticker: Epitaph was the first song written with the new line up as Warkrusher,it was my first contribution of material to the band.visions of Mortality is the first song written by Tom D. These 2 songs were the first efforts in creating the sound we have now.
Sean: Epitaph and Visions of Mortality I believe were the first two tracks solely written by Tom and/or Sticker, as opposed to material written with Diego and it seemed logical for them to be put forward on our first vinyl release.
Lyrically and thematically, what are the topics and events that influence your music? What do you want or try to convey with your music and lyrics?
Sean: Lyrically and thematically I would say it is a combination of internal struggles and commentary on global degradation etc. I’m not quite sure I’m trying to convey anything specific, just general frustration with existence and humanity.
A certain punk and especially also crust have always had a strong political and militant connotation in an antagonistic and anarchic sense. What does it mean for Warkrusher to play this music in 2023? Do you think that genres like punk, in all its shades and incarnations, may have potential that can go beyond just the musical side?
Sean: I mean … that’s a broad question. I tend not to write extremely direct lyrics, but i do write with ‘inspiration’ about things i see happening around me, be it ecological, state violence etc. I don’t think punk specifically is the catalyst for change as much as it has the potential for opening people up to being more critical, creative, etc. On one hand to an extent we put way to much importance to it. On the other there are bands which made me think more accutely about politics and how I live my life and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Punk can think and also be fun.
You are a Canadian band and Canada has been a promised land for decades for all lovers of certain sounds related to crust punk, both the more metallic type like yours and the more d-beat related. How do you explain this enormous fertility of the Canadian crust scene? To what do you think this is due?
Sean: I dunno. It’s cold, vast expanses of the country are nothing. But seriously, there’s just a lot of talented fucking musicians, into good shit. I honestly couldn’t say apart from that. I dont see Canada as a country to be exceptionally more productive than others. Cheap speed, strong beer and cheap rent for mtl maybe but for the rest of the country who knows.
Tom: Canada is huge and empty and mostly extremely boring. However we are very lucky that most large cities have an active punk scene. Montreal has always had a very active punk scene that has produced many excellent bands.
Since Epitaph, at least for me, has raised the hype about an upcoming record of yours, can you give us any hints or previews? Are you working on your first full length or do you have any other future projects before releasing a record?
Sean: currently writing and recording soon for a 12″ 45 to be released on Agipunk. Apart from that I hope to just be more active in producing and recording new tunes.
Last question about Epitaph concerns the accompanying cover artwork, with artwork that seems to call to mind the typical imagery of Warhammer and a band like Bolt Thrower. How much does the more aesthetic and imagery side matter to you in creating the right atmosphere to your music? What do you like about a certain warhammer, barbaric and “dark fantasy” aesthetic?
Sean: I’m probably the biggest fantasy nerd in the band, though I’ve never delved into Warhammer. I’ve always been into high fantasy, LOTR, dnd, magic card sort of shit and the accompanying imagery. Finding it combined with punk was the best of both worlds. Definitely drawn to swords, axes, armor, and skulls. Looks badass haha.
Tom: We’re really lucky to have worked with some excellent artists. I think the art adds and esthetic to the music and is important for giving the listener the full experience.
We have concluded the questions my dear Warkrusher, this space is yours to add anything else you think might be important or interesting to those who will read.
Tom: thanks for the interview and I’m looking forward to playing our music for many new fans in many new places in the coming years.