Tom over at FiXT Publicity is a very good friend of mine. So when he presents me with a band I always make sure to take a good hard listen before deciding whether or not they’re for me. It’s a mutual respect we have for one another. But when he sent me THE RABID WHOLE’S newest album Refuge I needed maybe 30 seconds before I said, “I’m in!” Described by lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Andreas Weiss as “a 21st century, high-energy, electro alternative, orgasmic-punch-in-the-face-rock band” I’d say that description is spot-on. Andreas called from the road during his driving shift (hands-free, of course!) to fill me in on all that’s going on in the world of THE RABID WHOLE. Take a look:
Amps: So, how was your gig here in Dallas the other night? How have the crowds been as a whole?
Andreas: We’ve been very fortunate that we get a pretty good response pretty much every night no matter where we go, you know? So that’s really awesome.
Amps: Well I would think that your stuff would get people moving due to the fact that it does have a punch to it.
Andreas: For sure, for sure. No one can say that there’s a lack of energy onstage.
Amps: Where the hell have you guys been that I was unaware of THE RABID WHOLE for so long?
Andreas: (Laughing) I don’t know, man. We’ve only recently started to tour around the US, and before that it was mostly shows in Canada with a few random US shows.
Amps: One of the things about Tom over at FiXT Publicity is that he respects my opinion, and if he gives me something and I don’t like it, he knows I’ll tell him. So when he presented your album Refuge to me and I listened I was all over it!
Andreas: (Laughs) that’s cool man, I’m glad you like it.
Amps: It goes by very quickly, and before you know it you’ve listened to it several times. I really love the blend of voices, and “Serenity Falls” is my favorite.
Andreas: Yeah, it’s pretty short. It’s interesting that you say that because we have a lot of different people have different favorites, but “Serenity Falls” has gotten quite a few votes that way. It’s almost like since there’s not as many songs that feature a female vocal it comes on as kind of special maybe.
Amps: Also, on “Refuge” with the male and female vocal, that’s a very atmospheric tune. So those two jumped out at me right away. “Stargazer”, too.
Andreas: Yeah we really have a lot of fun with that one, it really translates well live. We’ve used it as an opener quite a bit. We change the intro around a bit and add a little more punch to it which really gets us going.
Amps: What are your plans for 2014?
Andreas: We’re kind of rolling with the punches just kind of going with opportunities as they come. 2014 for sure is gonna have a new release. We were recently recording and I was in Vancouver again doing vocal remixes for some tracks. We’ll be releasing an EP, five or six songs sometime early 2014 and then we’ll be touring to promote it. I’m thinking Canada then the US. We’re trying to make our way to Europe, I haven’t made any plans for that yet but hopefully in the fall, we’ll see. And we have NO problem coming back to Texas, the people are awesome!
Amps: You’ve said that you wrote the last record pretty much from waking to sleeping. Is that still the way you work, or does the rest of the band write with you?
Andreas: The thing with Refuge is that we only had one other member at the time, George (Radutu, guitar/media). We lost our drummer and our previous keyboardist, although she did the vocals for “Serenity Falls” but I did all the writing. It’s still mostly me because I always end up in a situation with not enough time and too much to get done. And with Refuge I had a number of riffs that had piled up over the years, so when it came time to do it I was just locked in for about two months. It’s similar with this EP we’re doing. It can be stressful but when you listen to the playback, it’s worth it. It usually takes about a month for me to kind of step back outside of my own bubble and hear it.
Andreas: I need to be in more of a comfortable situation for writing. I don’t have a good recording set up for when I’m on tour, but at the same time with the level of touring we’re at I don’t have much free time for anything other than driving. I’d rather do it at home where I have everything I need and all my gadgets (laughing).
Amps: You’re going to put out the EP and then tour, tour, tour. What’s next for The Rabid Whole after that?
Andreas: I think it’s pretty important for us to hit Europe at some point. That’s been our target for a while. I haven’t done too much to plan that yet, we’ve been focusing on the US. Like any band we’d love to hit as many places as possible. To tour Japan would be amazing, Australia, too. But the plan is to keep touring and release something new every year.
Amps: Are there any songs on Refuge that stand out more to you than others?
Andreas: I think “Refuge” and “Delusion’ are my two favorite tracks. And “Metro” is definitely the one that gets us most amped up live, it’s pretty high energy.
I let Andreas get back to paying attention to the road after that one (I hope!). I believe they were New Mexico-bound. THE RABID WHOLE will be releasing a new EP and coming to a city near you in 2014. Make sure you check them out and pick up a copy of Refuge today!