We had a chance to speak with Phil Chamberlain for To Speak of Wolves in preparation of their upcoming album (out TOMORROW).
IVM: Hey Phil, thanks for taking some time to talk. 2016 saw the release of “New Bones” on Cardigan Records and “Dead in the Shadow” is coming up quickly. This all follows years of years of silence. How have things changed for the band, be it lineup, personal lives, or musical influences?
Phil Chamberlain: We took a few years off to pursue matters in our personal lives so when we got back together in 2016 we kind of exploded out a ton of music in a short amount of time. After recording and releasing “New Bones” we knew we wanted to release something else quickly. I guess we were making up for lost time in a way. We did have a lineup change at guitar and Andrew is a riff machine. The dude writes constantly so it made writing and recording these two releases easy. We didn’t put any “New Bones” ideas on “Dead in the Shadow” but we did write way more songs for this new release that ended up not making the record. At one point we had 30 song ideas floating around which we eventually narrowed down to 11.
IVM: One of the biggest changes for you recently was your return to Solid State. What prompted that and how has your experience with Solid State been?
PC: Solid State has always felt like home to us and it was for our first two records. They’ve made some changes over at the label and its an even better scenario for us now. They’re super easy to work with and have our best interests in mind.
IVM: “New Bones” was released on Cardigan Records, which is definitely a more niche label. I discovered them back when they signed Greaver and Iselia. How was your experience working with that label? What’s your relationship like with other bands on that roster?
PC: Shane the owner of Cardigan is a good buddy of mine. I really like a lot of the bands on the label so when it came time for us to do “New Bones” it was a natural fit. We love Shane and Cardigan and will always support the label and their bands.
IMV: “Dead in the Shadow” is your first full-length since 2012’s “Find Your Worth, Come Home”, which lyrically seemed to be conceptual to some degree. I know many bands prefer to keep some degree of ambiguity concerning lyrics, but what are some themes found on the new songs?
PC: Since I’m the drummer I can’t really answer this question, but I know Gage has a lot of really dark and heavy themes he wrote about on this album. You’d be better off asking him directly about the lyrical content and its meaning. We trust him completely and give him the freedom to write about whatever he wants to write about.
IVM: What are some of the biggest challenges of being in a band while also having families, jobs, and other adult responsibilities? Are there are any ways these obstacles have positively impacted the band?
PC: It’s a struggle that every band goes through in some form or another. You live and learn and grow and surround yourself with people that are in it with you and help each other over any obstacles that are in the way. These hardships have brought us closer as a band. We’re all in it together. We say that everyday.
IVM: Besides music, what are some of your favorite things to do? Any particular weird hobbies – and maybe a story to go along with it?
PC: Haha, I love to play golf. I used to play all the time when I was a kid with my dad and I’ve recently regained my love for it over the past couple of years. It’s pretty funny being the only long haired tattooed guy on the golf course but again I love the game and I play any chance I can get.
IVM: If you had any say in having a band join the Solid State roster, who would you like to see signed?
PC: Man I have no idea…Nirvana?
IVM: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
PC: Thank you for taking the time to read this and please pick up our new album “Dead in the Shadow” when it comes out July 21 2017.