BROKEN HOPE…wily veterans of the Death Metal landscape, they released Mutilated and Assimilated last month on Century Media Records. This new album, their seventh, is arguably their best. Every track hits you square in the chest and leaves you sucking wind. I recently spoke with guitarist and founder Jeremy Wagner by phone recently so as to get all the scoop on what went into this record and more. Check it:
Amps: I happily gave the new record Mutilated and Assimilated a pretty glowing review. Thanks for sharing my write-up all over the place, social media-wise!
Jeremy: Thanks for that great review and actually LISTENING to the album, man. The album just came out, and the majority of the reviews have been really good. There have been a couple negative ones, and this one journalist, I don’t even think he bothered to listen to the album. It was a real quick review and didn’t even talk about any of the songs. So, I appreciate it when someone like you takes time to listen to the record from start to finish. And that shows integrity.
Amps: How long did this one take to put together?
Jeremy: It took about a year total between writing and recording. About six months for each.
Amps: Was any of it written while you were touring? And who handles the majority of the writing?
Jeremy: I’d say it was written after we went on tour. We finished up our last tour in Europe then came home and started working on getting riffs together. We wrote it in our home studio and it was mostly Mike (Miczek, drums) and I writing the majority of stuff. Damian (Leski, vocals) got involved, and he wrote two full songs musically. Then he and I collaborated on a third song. It all came together real naturally.
Amps: So what’s happening tour-wise?
Jeremy: The first tour we got coming up is in Europe in September. We’re going out with CATTLE DECAPITATION. We come back from that and we’re doing a show in Bogota, Colombia. And then after that, in December I think we have some more dates, then into 2018. We have a lot of tours coming up.
Amps: What are some of your favorites on this disc?
Jeremy: For me, “The Bunker”, the title track, “Blast Frozen”, and “The Necropants” are among my favorites.
Amps: The album really doesn’t give you a minute to recover either, which I like.
Jeremy: That’s one of the things that is appealing about this record is that it’s pummeling and ferocious, right out of the gate. It’s hard to come up with a track order when they all hit hard, you know? But I think we did a good job from start to finish. Thanks for saying so, man. The mission statement was to blow people’s fucking heads off.
Amps: This year alone we have HOUR OF PENANCE, ORIGIN, SUFFOCATION, BROKEN HOPE and more putting out records. Is 2017 shaping up to be THE best year of Death Metal releases, or what?
Jeremy: It’s definitely the year of Death Metal. Multiple magazines have done Death Metal specials on this year being that year. OBITUARY, DYING FETUS, INCANTATION, etc. It’s un-fucking-believable! I don’t recall a wave like this happening since the late 80’s, early 90’s.
Amps: What are you listening to right now?
Jeremy: I made a playlist called Altar of Sacrifice Radio and it’s got SLAYER, KING DIAMOND, NAPALM DEATH, OBITUARY, CARCASS, MORBID ANGEL, all the old shit from back in the day. That’s what I’ve been spinning a lot. I write full-time, I’m a fiction writer, and I have another playlist for when I’m writing. That playlist goes from Waylon Jennings to DURAN DURAN to the BEE GEES, it’s all over the place. My philosophy is this, bro: If a song or music hits you right, it’s for your ears and your enjoyment, no matter what the band. But at the end of the day I’m still gonna write the sickest fucking riffs that you could hear.
Amps: Tell me more about your writing.
Jeremy: In 2011 I published my first novel The Armageddon Chord. It was a bestseller in four countries including the U.S. If you go on Amazon you can get it in print format and e-book format, all that good stuff. So, BROKEN HOPE is like a full-time job and keeps me really busy, but I have two new novels that are written that I’m editing, and I’m working on another. I’ve got two and a half novels in the works. I’m definitely not resting on my laurels and there are definitely more books coming.
Amps: What are you hoping the listener gets from this record when it finishes?
Jeremy: I want them to feel like they invested in an album that’s totally fucking amazing. We worked hard on it, not just on the songwriting but also the production. I want them to get their money’s worth. An album is eternal, it’s forever, so I want them to enjoy it for the rest of their lives. I want generations to come to love this album. I want people to walk away saying, “Holy fuck, BROKEN HOPE really delivered on this album!” And that’s all I could hope for.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the BROKEN HOPE fans out there in the world?
Jeremy: Thank you for sticking with BROKEN HOPE, whether it’s been since the beginning when we formed 29 years ago, or you’re a new fan. Everybody that has given us a fair shake and supports us, and is there for this band, I wanna say thank you from the bottom of my fuckin’ Death Metal Heart. I appreciate each and every one of you worldwide. And we wouldn’t still be putting out these albums if it wasn’t for all the people who like our BROKEN HOPE music. For that I am probably the most grateful goddamn dude you’ll ever meet. And I wanna thank you Damian, for your time and really fuckin’ listening to our album and that sick review. Amps and Green Screens, you guys are fuckin’ awesome.
BROKEN HOPE is a fucking amazing Death Metal band, and in 2017-2018 they are gonna make so much noise it will feel like New Year’s and 4th of July rolled into one. You can pick up Mutilated and Assimilated wherever you buy your music now. Don’t forget to crank the volume and give a big middle finger to all the neighbors, yeah?