Welcome to our artist-written feature on Heavy Blog, “The Anatomy Of”. Taken from the Between The Buried And Me album of the same name — in which the band pays tribute to the artists and bands that they feel have most inspired their songwriting — it’s a feature in which we hand off the metaphorical microphone to bands so they can talk about their influences.
Wrvth‘s eponymous LP this year has turned many heads, mine included. The band has had a history similar to some of their other Bay Area counterparts (Rings of Saturn and Fallujah come to mind), starting out as a progressively- and technically-minded deathcore band, but transitioning into a much more evolved, stylized unit that mixes together several styles into a technically-proficient musical salad. Setting them apart from their peers, however, is Wrvth’s huge and decidedly unconventional pool of influences: they add elements of post-rock, post-hardcore/emo, and, at times, atmospheric black metal to their techdeath core, which, together, creates an album seething with emotion and overflowing with a powerfully melancholic ambience. Their most recent release is definitely the culmination of their journey as a band so far, and, as such, it’s totally worth examining. So, we decided to ask them about their influences! It seemed the logical thing to do, after all. Here, each of Wrvth’s members has listed the three most important bands to their writing process on Wrvth. So, without further ado, a look into the anatomy of Wrvth!
Marcus Vasquez – Guitar:
Circa Survive – I think I’ve legitimately spent years of my life listening to this band. I’ve always admired Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Ekstrom‘s guitar work as well as Anthony Green’s unique voice, especially on Juturna and On Letting Go. Their ability to texturize and intertwine their effects-drenched melodies to create such vivid soundscapes has always been something I strive for in our music. To this day I still discover new things in their songs that I hadn’t realized were even there. I think I’ve seen them at least 8 times live now and will again in November for the Juturna 10 Year Anniversary Tour.
Explosions in The Sky – I’ve never really had a spiritual experience when listening to a band quite like I have with Explosions in The Sky. From the moment I first heard “The Birth and Death of The Day” it changed my whole perspective on songwriting. The way they take such small singular melodies that evolve into such large orchestral segments is beautiful. Seeing them live was even further confirmation that this band stands in a league of their own.
Between The Buried and Me – To be able to make your listeners not expect what’s next has been the page that I’ve taken from BTBAM’s book. Album after album, they’ve found a way to recreate themselves in a new interesting way and yet still manage to have their signature moments. Every album is a gift that keeps on giving. When I first heard The Silent Circus, I knew this band was going to continue to do so much more. They’ve always been the band to break the mould and make music that’s true to them. I look up to them for that.
Thomas Vasquez – Vocals:
Brand New – I remember seeing the video for “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” on Fuse (when they played music) and was super stoked on it. I went to the record store thinking I was buying the CD that song was on and ended up buying Your Favorite Weapon. No mistake: I instantly fell in love with it. I have always been a fan of Jesse Lacey’s lyrics and writing style. As a young kid and young adult, the music and lyrics felt so relatable to the events in my life. Seeing them live definitely confirmed they are a band that will be remembered for years and will always remain my favorite band.
Deftones – The Nu Metal wave definitely had an impact on me. Being super into bands such as SOAD, Linkin Park, Disturbed, and Slipknot, when I heard Deftones for the first time I knew this wasn’t just another butt rock radio band. Everything from the distorted ethereal chord progressions to Chinos vocals and stage presence enthralled me. This band has stood the test of time by being relevant throughout all the years but have still managed to keep their essence through it all. “Riviere” and “Cherry Waves” are some of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. In my top 5 favorite bands of all time for sure.
Circa Survive – I know Marcus already mentioned them and someone else probably will too, but this list would not be complete with out Circa Survive. When I first got Juturna it changed my whole perspective on listening to music. It’s difficult to get through a song with out air jamming one particular instrument. Everything flows so beautifully yet everything is so isolated and different from one another. They continue to put out awesome records that to this day I find myself revisting and still am just as amazed as the first time I heard their songs. No band has ever moved me or made me feel the way Circa Survive has. Never have I ever spent years of my time on certain records like I’ve spent on Circa’s records. This band will forever have a special place in my heart.
Joseph Serrano – Drums:
The Contortionist – I would listen to these guys everyday back when Taylor showed me them in 2009. Their Apparition EP was so heavy and beautiful, and the drumming was so unique. I never heard anything like that before. Their newer material and their live performance was a huge inspiration for me when we were writing our self titled and still inspires me to this day.
Tower of Power – Funk band from the East Bay. My dad loved them, so my family and I went to see them at the fair for my first concert ever, I think. David Garibaldi is one of my favorite drummers; his grooves are out of this world. I would jam with their live CD almost everyday when I was growing up. I learned the basics of drumming and a bunch of complicated grooves because of TOP.
Circa Survive – I listened to these guys a bunch when we were in the writing process for our self titled. I would say I listened to Juturna and Blue Sky Noise in my headphones just about everyday. I wanted to hear how they wrote their songs, what they did to get back into their catchy hooks, how many different parts they had in each song, their drummer’s grooves, and the effects and melodies from both guitarists. Plus the bass was a huge inspiration. I wanted our record to have more of a distorted, bass driven mix. Seeing them live is amazing also. Their drummer is flawless and that bass hits hard.
Jeremy Larsen – Guitar:
Norma Jean – When I was around the age of 13 or 14 and just getting into heavy music, Norma Jean’s Bless the Martyr Kiss the Child was one of the first albums my sister had showed me, and I listened to it every morning before school throughout most of the year. I loved all the droney parts and how they put together elements of metal, grunge, and even post rock. I’m thankful to have listened to such a well rounded band as one of my first.
Animals As Leaders – When I heard of AAL, I had been playing guitar for a couple years and was just starting to get into more advanced playing. The guitar playing in their songs introduced a whole new spectrum of guitar techniques and ways to blend skill with awesome song structures. when I first heard the song “CAFO” I honestly thought one of Tosin’s riffs was a computer or synthesizer and when I realized it was actually him I was amazed. Hands down one of my favorite guitar players.
Behemoth – To this day I’ve never loved a band like I do Behemoth. I got into them with the album Demigod; I felt it was a perfect blend of black metal and brutal death metal and the historical content in the lyrics were brilliant. When I saw them live, their stage presence was just so epic and they absolutely killed.
Taylor Preston – Bass:
Radiohead – I can’t even say how long I have been listening to Radiohead, let alone even begin to describe how much I love their records and songwriting. Nothing was off limits for them, and their sound has covered so much ground over the years. They didn’t just conform to one style, which is a huge thing in my book. I love bands that aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound. Obviously bands like Radiohead, BTBAM or The Mars Volta have minimal similarities, but they’re bands that constantly reinvent themselves, which in my eyes is one of the biggest merits a band can achieve.
Touche Amore – I used to be a major blog-hound when I first started to play in a band/graduated high school, and this was one of the many bands that has kept my interest since then. When I heard “Honest Sleep” the first time it really stuck with me. At that time I was also really into bands like Envy, United Nations, Giant, and Lantlos (who are still huge influences to me today), but Touche Amore had a more straightforward and addicting writing style that was, dare I say, “catchy”. My favorite part about that band and lyrics is that they’re blunt and to the point, but definitely heart-felt, relatable, and overall cathartic. I still cant get over their last two records, and they have an absolutely killer live performance to boot.
Circa Survive – There’s so many bands that I wish I could take the time to mention here… but yeah, I had to have Circa Survive on my list. Like all the other bands on my on my list, this band has gotten me through some really good and really bad times. I’m sure a lot has already been said about Circa by my band mates already, but I had to have them on my list. There just simply isn’t an aspect to Circa Survive that doesn’t influence me.
Well, there you have it! A cross-section of one of the most diverse albums of 2015 from a band that’s very deliberate about their influences. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we all enjoyed putting this piece together. If you’re so inclined, catch Wrvth playing some local California shows in the not-to-distant future!