Interview: Weston Super Maim

For me it just has the perfect vibe. It kind of alludes to the futuristic nature of the music, it's stupid and funny, but then it also has connotations of death, loss and love – which are all things the album is about.

Sonic brutalist duo Weston Super Maim are about to drop their new album See You Tomorrow Baby and it sees them reaching even higher plateaus of intensity with their music. With the album also featuring guest appearances from members of Blindfolded and Led to the Woods, Frontierer and Soreption, it sees Weston Super Mare truly letting loose with their unhinged and technical noise in an even bigger way. Gavin Brown caught up with both members of Weston Super Maim in Tom Stevens and Seth Detrick to hear all about See You Tomorrow Baby and how the band create their wonderfully intense music.

E&D: Your new album See You Tomorrow Baby is out next month. How excited are you to be getting this new music out?    

Tom: I cannot wait for people to hear the rest of the album. All the songs have been finished for a long time, and I was obsessively mixing the record for most of last year, so it will be amazing to finally release it into the wild.

Seth: Extremely excited, but somewhat nervous. We just hope our riffs go hard enough to break, at least, one neck. Maybe cause some upper back pain and migraines, too.

E&D: As this is your debut full length album, did you feel any pressure in the creation of it?

Seth: Personally, I felt an enormous amount of pressure creating it. I feared I wouldn’t be able to match the intensity of what Tom was sending me to record vocals on. Additionally, some of these riffs are very intimidating from a timing standpoint. Not the easiest thing to come up with vocal patterns for hahaha.

Tom: I felt huge pressure to go beyond what we had done on 180-Degree Murder. At the time that was as hard as I could push things, so it took a lot of work to write new material that I felt was a step forward. Weirdly, there was also a challenge in writing songs that weren’t 15 minutes long. We wanted to maintain that really expansive, complex feel, and fitting that into more conventional song lengths isn’t easy.

E&D: You’ve brought out the track ‘Perfect Meadows In Every Direction’ ahead of the album’s release. How has it been received so far?

Seth: For a DIY single/video release, I think it’s done great!

Tom: The reaction has been super-positive, especially given that it’s an 8-minute track. The melodic outro section in particular seems to be really resonating with people.

E&D: ‘Perfect Meadows In Every Direction’ features Chad Kapper of Frontierer on vocals. How was it working with him on the track?

Tom: Chad has been at the top of my list since I first heard When Knives Go Skyward in the early naughts. It was a dream to work with him and he could not have gone harder on the song. Ridiculous.

Seth: He is a legend. Nicest dude one could work with. And what a fucking beast!

 

E&D: See You Tomorrow Baby also features the vocal talents of Stace Fifield and Stuart Henley-Minchington of Blindfolded and Led to the Woods. How was the experience of working with them on the album?

Seth: I was honoured to work with those NZ boys. They are so incredibly talented and definitely brought their own vibe to one of our more obscure songs. Their past couple of albums have made my #1 AOTY. We look forward to visiting them one day in Christchurch.

Tom: Stace is an absolute monster, and Stu is not only a world-class guitarist and drummer but a top-tier vocalist too. Annoying levels of talent! And I’d encourage everyone to read the lyrics they wrote for the track…

E&D: Ian Waye from Soreption also plays guitar on the album. What did he bring to the track he played on?

Seth: I had been following Ian on social media for quite some time. The guy is a fucking wizard. I have jokingly referred to him as “Dad” over the years which started a humorous bond between us. He still owes me a cover of the solo from Wintersun’s ‘Death and the Healing’, by the way. On the song that he contributed his solo to, we could only think of a couple of people who could pull it off… Ian and Per Nilsson. I simply messaged Ian and sent him the track. He came through in insane fashion, to say the least.

E&D: Who would you love to work with on a Weston Super Maim album in the future?

Seth: Peter Nordin (original Meshuggah bassist). His approach to metal bass can only be compared to a fucking bulldozer. He’s also a great friend of ours.

Tom: Peter would be amazing and the recording session would certainly be fun. I can’t play lead guitar for shit so I’m always thinking of people like Wes Hauch, Per Nilsson, Rafael Trujillo, Fredrik Thordendal…

E&D: What is the relevance to the title of the new album?

Tom: For me it just has the perfect vibe. It kind of alludes to the futuristic nature of the music, it’s stupid and funny, but then it also has connotations of death, loss and love – which are all things the album is about.

E&D: How do you feel that your music has grown since you released the 180-Degree Murder EP in 2021?

Tom: Blastbeats.

E&D: Your first release was The Neglected Works, which was a collection of tracks recorded from 2007-2018. How do you feel that your music has evolved from those early dates to now?

Tom: I’m marginally better on the guitar, so there are new technical elements, but having Seth on vocals is really the main thing. He makes every song fifteen times better. I love the fact that there’s no technique, he just roars at an obscene volume.

E&D: Who are the biggest influences on the music of Weston Super Maim?

Tom: The three original pillars were always Meshuggah, Crowbar and Will Haven. They all had a profound influence on me and have shaped what I wanted to do with Super Maim. Bands like Car Bomb, Danza and Humanity’s Last Breath have all exerted an influence too. I’m always picking up little things but I never want to replicate them or sound like anyone else, it’s more just about how your taste develops.

E&D: How did the band get together to make music in the first place?

Seth: I had done vocals for a 9-String full cover of ‘Straws Pulled at Random’ by Meshuggah. It got posted to the OG Meshuggah Forum on FB where Tom happened to see it. He had all of the music for 180-Degree Murder done and contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing vocals for it. I’ve received requests and offers to do vocals via social media before and it was never my thing, for some reason or another, so I was hesitant to even waste my time listening to it. I finally gave in and ended up hearing what would be one of my favorite songs of all time. I’m a sucker for long epics and this was just that, packed full of all my favourite things about extreme metal. It’s a shame we live on separate continents because Tom has become one of my favorite people on this planet.

E&D: Are there any plans for you  playing live in support of See You Tomorrow Baby when it comes out?

Tom: Being a two-piece and living on opposite sides of the Atlantic makes it logistically very difficult for us to even consider doing shows. But you never know.

E&D: You have made a stunning video for ‘Perfect Meadows In Every Direction’. Will these and similar visuals that you have done, like the video for ‘180-Degree Murder’ be present in the visuals if you play live?

Tom: If we ever do play live that’s a great idea that we will certainly borrow. Thanks!

E&D: What other musical plans do you have for the rest of 2024?

Tom: I haven’t told Seth about this yet but I’ve got some ideas…

E&D: What have been some of the biggest high points with Weston Super Maim so far?

Seth: Recording together. Prosthetic Records showing interest in signing us.

Tom: Every song we’ve done since Seth joined has felt like a high point. Working with some of our favourite artists on this record has also been genuinely amazing.

E&D: What do you still want to achieve with your music in the future?

Tom: I still haven’t written a riff as good as the one at the end of ‘Reborn Through Me’ by Crowbar, but I’ll keep trying.

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