Frontman JOHNNY COOKE tells the stories behind each song on WINDS OF PLAGUE’s new album, Against The World.
“This will be our third major release and we really wanted to hit the public hard with this effort, so we broke down all boundaries and pulled out all the stops. We kept with our signature epic sound using over-the-top orchestration, but really stepped up the brutality and overall energy of the album. Grammy award-winning, platinum producer Matt Hyde was our weapon of choice to help create this album, and I can whole-heartedly say we couldn’t have chosen a better producer. He’s a mad man. Here’s my best attempt at making sense of the chaos.”
“Raise The Dead”
We open the record with a Danny Elfman-inspired orchestration piece that is quickly accompanied by a choir of demonic-sounding children chanting a séance to raise the dead from their respective graves. This choir is also repeated later in the next track. Like “Anthems Of Apocalypse,” from [2008’s] Decimate The Weak, the intro and first track were originally written as one song and later decided to be split into two separate tracks.
“One For The Butcher”
We happened to be writing this song during the month of October and my love for Halloween and all things dark managed to find its way into this track. All the events in this track center around “The Butcher,” a fictional serial killer I pictured when writing this song. He is the ultimate predator of the night.
“Drop The Match”
Through life, you encounter people who maliciously try to hold you down. Some of these events have been so significant, they have carried with me through the years and subconsciously gave me the motivation needed to press on. Plain and simple: This song is about going around town, rounding all those people up, locking them in a room and setting the structure on fire.
“Built For War”
Through all our travels, we’ve encountered countless U.S. military personnel who have supported us and told us unreal stories of how our music has helped them get through their time overseas. This song is our way of giving back and saying thank you for the amazing sacrifice they make for us. We recruited Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta to lend his voice on this track. We managed to make this happen the day before [last year’s] Mayhem Fest. Hatebreed are one of my favorite bands, so I can’t express how pumped I am to have him on the album.
“Refined In The Fire”
This is our most straightforward, in-your-face song to date. When writing this song, I wanted people to hear it and be inspired to go out and conquer the day. Life has a lot of ups and downs, and during the low moments, sometimes you just need someone screamin’ in your ear like a drill sergeant to overcome. Not only did Mattie Montgomery from For Today do a guest spot on this song, but the title came from his verse.
“The Warrior Code”
This song has spoken word performed by none other than the legendary WWE champion the Ultimate Warrior. I’ll be the first to admit the idea of him being on our record is insane. However, being a fan of professional wrestling for as long as I can remember, I consider this to be one of my life’s greatest achievements. I travel the world doing what I love and the Ultimate Warrior is on my record. FTW.
“Against The World”
In all reality, I’m very happy with the world, but every now and again, I have one of those days where it feels like the world is coming down on me and everyone is out to get me. This song was written on one of those days. Instead of rolling over and dying, I prefer to get pissed and smash anything that stands between me and my goals.
Lets be honest, no matter how hard we try to be good people, we sometimes fall short. We do things we aren’t proud of and make bad decisions that we regret. With that being said, there are two types of people: those who man up and accept responsibility and those who don’t care and go through life as a parasite. Which side am I on? Which side are you on? We all have skeletons.
You either love us or hate us. There’s not much gray area. I used to let stuff I would read about myself or the band get under my skin, but then something happened. I realized the bullshit online has no direct correlation with what goes on in the real world, so we now embrace the hate. The web is filled with keyboard warriors and it’s pretty amusing for the most part. An interesting fact about this track is that it was originally an instrumental, but we decided to add vocals after the fact.
“Only Song We’re Allowed To Play In Church Venues”
We tend to play our fair share of church-affiliated venues, and there’s always a no-cursing rule. Well, not only do all our songs have naughty words, but I cuss like a sailor. By Christian standards, this would be our only song fit for their venues because it’s an instrumental song.
This is our follow-up song to “Reloaded” off Decimate The Weak, but way more obnoxious. Martin Stewart of Terror and our friend John Mishima got in on this song. It started with a slop shop of riffs and between us, Martin and Matt Hyde, we were able to sculpt it into one ignorant, energy-filled song in dedication to our home state.
“Strength To Dominate”
This is the final song written for the album and the final song on it. I wanted to write lyrics in the vein of “The Impaler” from Decimate The Weak. It has over-the-top, brutal lyrics that one could associate with medieval battlefield imagery. Some people claim they make fight music. We make Middle-earth battle music. alt