Yesterday, we revealed "No Defeat," Attack Attack!'s first new song featuring the band's new lineup. Following the recent departures of vocalist Caleb Shomo and bassist A.J. Holgado, the band bounced back quickly, recruiting I Am Abomination vocalist Phil Druyor and their roommate/merch-guy Tyler Sapp to take over their respective positions. What resulted was a sound no one could have predicted from AA! AP spoke to drummer and longtime member Andrew Wetzel and new vocalist Phil Druyor yesterday about the changes, the new sound and Attack Attack!'s future.
INTERVIEW: Cassie Whitt
First of all, logistically, will you introduce the new lineup?
ANDREW WETZEL: Andrew Whiting and myself are still in the band. I’m still playing drums. He’s playing guitar, and Phil Druyor is now doing vocals. And then Tyler Sapp—Andrew and my roommate/merch-guy for Attack Attack! since 2009—is going to be playing bass.
I listened to the new song, “No Defeat,” and I actually emailed your manager back asking, “Wait, is this the right song?” Because it sounded so different.
BOTH: [Laugh] Yup.
What can you say about the new sound? Obviously, whenever someone is involved with something artistically, they bring in their influences, so what do you think the new lineup will mean for the sound and what direction are the band are heading in?
WETZEL: Well, I mean, you’ve heard firsthand the direction that we’re going in now. As you can see, Phil’s voice obviously adds, like, a whole new spin on our music that literally was never even remotely possible before. We just want to write music that is fun and makes us happy. We just want to write the music that we want to write, and we didn’t really know what that was going to sound like until all of us got together in a room and made this song. And, I’ve gotta say, I’m really happy with it.
AA! have experimented a lot over the years. You’ve gone in several different directions. Would you consider Attack Attack! a work-in-progress, or do you think this new thing that you’ve hit on is something you’re going to pursue?
WETZEL: We will always be a work-in-progress. You always want to try to outdo the work that you’ve already done. This sound is definitely going to be more like what the future is going to hold, but at the same time, I couldn’t tell you. It’s just, like, if we wake up tomorrow and suddenly feel like writing a different style of music,who knows what can happen, then. That’s the beauty of Attack Attack! and how we’ve covered so many different genres and have done as we pleased artistically. I think that’s a really important reason why we’ve been successful. And I think that’s an even more important reason why we can continue to be successful.
Phil, regarding your other band, I Am Abomination, with your new role in Attack Attack!, how much focus are you able to put on it? What’s the balance?
PHIL DRUYOR: It’s extremely easy, to be honest. I Am Abomination are really just a studio project. We had some plans to tour this year and were actually going to be on the Attack Attack! tour, but for the most part, we’re very much just a studio project. My other guitarist is a producer, who will also be doing the Attack Attack! record, so he has a pretty grueling schedule in terms of what he’s working on. We usually just take a couple months out of the year to make an album and then it’s on the internet. So, it won’t really change much in terms of me being in Attack Attack! now. I can pretty much do Attack Attack! full time and I Am Abomination.
You mentioned I Am Abomination were going to be on the Attack Attack! tour? Is that how you guys met?
DRUYOR: That was really just an idea that didn’t ever really come into play. We just talked about it. We’ve known each other since, like, the beginning of both of our bands’ careers, pretty much. I think each band might have been a band for, like, six months before we met each other. [We met] at a summer show or something.
WETZEL: Yeah, we played at a coffee shop together in Michigan. I want to say it was 2007. We met them and all became really good friends and then just stayed friends ever since.
How much can you say about your recent member departures?
WETZEL: I don’t know what to tell you.
DRUYOR: It was just something that happened. There’s nothing more and nothing less to it. The statements that have been released were pretty self-explanatory. It was just time, and it happened. I really think that out of any band right now that’s even close to being relevant, I think Attack Attack! have been the band to just not stop when something like this happens. And, to be honest, every time something like this happens, the next album is more successful. I’m pretty excited for it, and I wish Caleb [Shomo, former AA! vocalist] the best. He’s a really cool guy, and he’s been a really good friend to me over the past years.