Interview: The Warhawks
The New Jersey punk rock scene has always been strong and very diverse with bands such as the Bouncing Souls, Lifetime, Senses Fail, Armor For Sleep, and Steel Train. However, a garage rock influenced punk sound has always seemed to allude the area. Enter Gloucester City’s rock-n-rollers The Warhawks! After 10 years of being band, the release of their debut album Never Felt So Good in early 2019 took the raw energy of their dynamic live shows and put it on your speakers. With new music looming on the horizon (due out February 2020), we had the opportunity to chat with the group's drummer Patrick Bilodeau about their debut album, working with producer Dave Downham, what to expect from their upcoming new release, and much more!
1. How would you describe your music for someone who hasn’t heard you yet, to get them excited and make them want to pick up your latest album Never Felt So Good?
The Warhawks sound has always been explosive and energetic. Punk and driving, with extreme attention to melodic hooks and lyrics. For our debut album, we captured the intensity of our live set, and transferred that energy into 9 songs.
2. On the topic of that album, tell us a little bit about it. What can people expect from it, why do you feel it’s a must have for any collection, etc.
Although it is our debut record, we have been a band for over 10 years. In that time, we have grown together, and evolved in our writing. We approach the songwriting aspect as equals. Because we all write and sing, each song on the record is a fresh vibe and perspective; tied together by our chemistry and playing experience. As a result, you can feel the truth in the songs. The emotions are totally real.
3. You tapped Dave Downham to produce (record, mix, and master) the album at The Gradwell House. Why was Dave the perfect fit for the album?
Dave Downham was perfect for the album because he is a wizard at his craft. He has a keen ear, and understood how we wanted the album to come across. It’s like he became a member of the band, and helped us cross the finish line together.
4. What did Dave bring to the studio that helped define the overall sound of the album the most, that may not have been there otherwise?
Dave has a great ability to push musicians to their fullest potential in the studio. He operates in a kind of abstract way. We wanted to capture the vibe of the band at the core. If the vide wasn't there, Dave could recognize that and shift accordingly. Flow is the most important thing when recording.
5. For someone who hasn’t given the album a spin yet, which two songs from it would you recommend they check out first, so they get a good feel of what the rest of the album holds?
The first 2 tracks of the album “Not a Problem” and “Miracle” have been received very well. Right out of the gate it’s a 1-2 punch. Fast and hard hitting and catchy as hell. Leaving you wanting to hear another track.
6. What’s your personal favorite tune from the album and why?
Probably “Not a Problem” because I think the best compliments we've gotten so far are for that song. It captures the attitude of the band. And I think it’s funny when people come up to us just shouting the chorus. It’s nice to know that at least someone got it.
7. We did hear that you were working on some new music, possibly due out in early 2020. In what ways will this new crop of tunes be similar to what fans have heard from you before, but in what ways will it be different as well?
We are set to release our new EP on February 1, 2020…. It is similar to our first record because the attitude and energy are there more than ever. There is an evolution that occurs from the first song to the last song. We wanted to keep the excitement, but make it more accessible to a wider community of people. We want the whole world to love the new record.
8. Switching to live performances; you’re a part of a pretty cool show honoring the 40thAnniversary of the Clash’s London Calling on December 14, 2019 at the World Café Live in Philadelphia. What does it mean to you to be part of a show like this?
WXPN is the best radio station in Philadelphia. They have always been very good to us, and we are so honored that they asked us to pay tribute to The Clash. We feel like we are carrying the torch for bands like The Clash. The Warhawks are a blue collar, hard-working, relentless band. The spirit of our own live set will shine through, and hopefully recreate the power that The Clash had when they dropped London Calling.
9. Outside of that tribute show, when someone comes out to see you play live, what can they expect to get from that experience that just listening to your album won’t give them?
We are very fortunate to have a strong, kick ass, loyal fanbase in South Jersey and Philly. The energy that our fans bring to the live shows is unmatched. The Warhawks feed off their energy, and together we create the most exciting show you will ever see. That’s the way live shows should be.
10. We’re all about helping the next generation at allageszine.com, so we always end all our Q&A’s with this question. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with their first band today?
I would say that failure in the music business is inevitable, but that does not define you. No one achieves what they want without tasting failure first. Don’t let it get you down. The big secret to success is simply perseverance and continuous hard work. Don't take short cuts, and don’t settle.