Interview: With Andrew Knappstein of Wartooth

Wartooth (6 of 6)

If you want some awesome local Thrash Metal complete with heavy riffs, great hair, battle vests, sexy vocals and a whole heap of head banging energy then look no further than Brisbane’s Wartooth. Shannon-Lee Sloane spoke to Andrew Knappstein recently about the band, the music, the local music scene and the future of Wartooth.                   

Wartooth are by far one of the best Thrash Metal bands in Brisbane right now, how long have you guys been together for?

The band has been going for five years now, heading up to six. But the current lineup we have only had for the last 12 months.

So you and Wally are brothers, how did you find Tim and Jackson?

We met Jackson through a friend, he was in Canada when we started the band and he sort of turned up here when we lost our previous bass player and he was a perfect fit. Tim and I have been friends for a very long time and he was with another band in the Brisbane scene, Kaustic Attack, he started that band. He left the band about 2 years ago now, had some time off from playing music and then when we lost our previous member Kyle, he was a founding member. Once he left the band, it was just a perfect choice to get Tim on board.

The current lineup is really great! The four of you seem to have a great bond and connection as a band, when I have seen you perform live that really shines through…

Yeah for sure, we are all thrashers at heart and we are all passionate about our music and try and put as much passion and energy into our performances and music as we can. On top of that we all have good hair so it seems like a natural fit really *laughs* One of the requirements of being in the band is you have to have good hair *laughs*

*laughs* Absolutely agree! Good hair is so important!

Andy Live

Where did the name Wartooth come from?

So the name Wartooth is actually the name of an old Viking conqueror from I think it was the eleven hundreds or somewhere around that time. He conquered a lot of Europe and was basically just a general badass. But I got onto him through Metalocalypse, with Toki Wartooth, a character on that show that was named after the original Viking. So it kind of flowed on from there. But the name was more from the Viking himself rather than a tribute to Metalocalypse.

You guys have played some huge gigs in the last few months, supporting Lich King and Ross The Boss, as well as some big metal fests, Odinfest and Metal Of Honor 200, what is one of your most favourite gigs that you’ve ever played?

I think definitely the Metal Of Honor 200 show which was the last gig we played, it was off the chain! The crowd was insane and I mean it was one of the best times, if not the best time I have had at The Back Room! But in terms of other gigs that we’ve had, last year we had some awesome gigs. Ye Gods Of Metal in Brisbane we had our biggest crowd we have played too to date. Packed out the New Globe Theatre, that was amazing. But Metal Of Honor 200 probably takes the cake for the energy level, the crowd was insane! The crowd was on the stage at one point, they were taking us out and taking out mic stands and I mean it is all part of the fun of a thrash show, it’s great we love that stuff!

So have you got any gigs coming up that we should know about?

No not at the moment, we are sort of taking a little break from gigs to focus on writing for the new album and tending to other aspects of our individual lives. We have some catching up to do. Still recovering from the last few years where we were going really hard. So yeah, you have to balance the band and the lifestyle and all that stuff.

Your EP ‘Virus’ was released in 2016 and your single and music video for ‘Thrash Attack’ was released last year, what’s coming up next? You’ve just mentioned a new album?

Yeah so we are writing for our album at the moment. We are at about the 90 percent stage of the writing for the new album. We are pretty close to heading into demos and the recording so the album is not too far away.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

My personal influences, because I play guitar and do vocals I kind of have two different sets of influences. Musically I love bands like Megadeth, Testament and Overkill. Dave Mustine and Marty Friedman are pretty big guitar influences for me. Then vocally I love Matt Barlow from Iced Earth and Bobby Blitz from Overkill. As a band, we’ve been said to sound like Slayer, Destruction, Nuclear Assault, Testament, Megadeth, etc and once my vocals were compared to Tom Araya meets Sebastian Bach *laughs* Then obviously outside of the Thrash spectrum I am into a lot of other types of music as well. We try to incorporate a whole bunch of styles into our music. As much as we are like a pretty Thrash sort of a band, there are lots of little nuances and intricate details that come from other sorts of music as well.

As you know I have a huge love and respect for the local metal and music scene, who are some of your favourite local bands that you’d like to give a plug too?

I will hear remiss if I didn’t say Level H right now *laughs* There is definitely a mutual plugging going on there. Level H are a really solid up and coming band.My favourite band in Australia at the moment is In Malices Wake. Their latest album which is now a couple of years old is on repeat in my car pretty much every day of the week, it’s amazing. I love Desecrator and Harlott from Melbourne, they are absolutely amazing thrash metal and they are actually taking it around the world and doing all that stuff.

Oh yes, the band that unfortunately had to pull out of Dead Of Winter Festival?

Yeah Harlott had to pull out, but Desecrator are still playing.

So keen for Dead Of Winter!

Oh yes absolutely, the whole band will be there I think. It is a great Brisbane music festival.

So what are the big plans for the future for Wartooth?

We definitely have some long term goals. We toured Australia last year; we did a 16 date leg around the country at the end of last year which was so much fun. But what we are looking at long term is getting overseas and pumping out a few albums and just building the band. It is definitely an important thing in all of our lives; it’s something we really want to do for the long haul. I mean we love playing our locals in Brisbane but we would love to keep pushing ourselves to go further. And I can say this now; album two won’t be far off album one because we are already working on both of them simultaneously. Album one is mostly written and we still have plenty of other song ideas floating around between us and we are sort of starting to build up songs for album two before we have even finished the first one! Because the ideas are there and while the ideas are there you got to use them or they will disappear!

Keep an eye out for Wartooth’s upcoming album and other news on their Facebook page!Wartooth - band shot

And check out their bandcamp here:

Leave a Reply