Fresh out of Colorado, Mouth For War aren’t quite the cowboys from hell the name might suggest – they’re arguably much heavier.
Mixing classic hardcore with more modern metal (such as Lamb Of God and The Devil Wears Prada), the band are getting a real buzz going ahead of the release of their debut record Life Cast In Glass, out May 14th on 1126 Records (preorder here).
We caught up with frontman Trae Roberts to talk about the record, and the beauty of a good old tube amp.
The reaction to your single Manifesting You has been overwhelmingly positive – how ready are you guys to see the record coming out?
We are all extremely ready for this record to be out. This record more than any other just because of the state of the world and not being able to tour this album is a significant release for us.
How did the band deal with the lockdowns in 2020? Did you guys end up spending more time on the record than you might otherwise have?
I actually think this was one of the fastest and easiest recording processes that I personally have ever been a part of.
The actual recording process was 7 days. The writing process was only around a year. We started writing right before the lockdown and then in the lock down hit and songs were getting turned out one after another.
I guess In a weird way it gave us a sort of freedom to not second guess ourselves.
Were you guys at all slow to put out a record right now that you can’t immediately tour behind?
Not at all. We wanted something to put out so that when touring was back we could just hit it full speed.
So guitars! What did you guys use on the new record in terms of guitars/amps/pedals?
The only guitar we used was my custom moniker Zuma with a Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB in the bridge. For actual amps we used a 6505+ into my oversized Mesa with the classic Celestion V30’s.
Then for pedals we used my Friedman Dirty Shirley for overdrive and a Decimator as our noise gate and that is about it.
We aren’t much of a technical band so we just need simple stuff and we are set.
Did you have any reference records going into the studio in terms of how you wanted the finished product to sound?
The two albums that were the main inspiration were Burn My Eyes by Machine Head & War by Sentence.
Are you a gear head at all? Any pieces of gear you’ve played recently that were a pleasant surprise? Anything you got to play that was disappointing?
I love gear but I wouldn’t call myself a gear head.
I recently bought a Peavy Invective that sounds absolutely insane. It has a noise gate and a built in overdrive that makes it sound crazy just direct in.
Our bass player is super into Sunn cabs and I heard him play it and that thing sounds crazy. I was super surprised.
Is there any one piece of gear that you couldn’t do without? Anything that’s integral to your sound?
I don’t think I would ever be able to play without my guitar. It’s not about the sound. I just have only used that guitar for so long that I’ve become super comfortable with it. As dumb as it sounds when I try to play our songs on other guitars I get kinda turned around for a sec.
A lot of guitarists are embracing modelling and profiling amps these days, especially due to making fly in gigs much easier. What’s your take on digital amps and effects?
I definitely think models have their place especially for easy demo recording or flying overseas or you’re in a band that has a bunch of back tracks but in our opinion there is no way to replace a real tube amp. It just sounds better for our band and what we’re doing.
For someone who’s just discovering your band and wants to hear more music that sounds like you, what bands would you suggest they start with?
Lamb of God / The Devil Wears Prada / Vin Diesel / Sentence / Kick back.
Any good Colorado bands coming up that people should be aware of? Any bands that never got the national attention they should have that people should check out?
If someone maybe wasn’t familiar with you guys but wanted to learn to play one of your songs, where would you suggest they start? Any riffs/licks/passages in particular that are fun to play, or maybe challenging but rewarding for more advanced players?
I would recommend “God Help Us All” cause it’s fun and a new one that we have coming out called “Fear Is The Product.”
What’s up next for the band? Any new material in the works? Any post-rona plans?
No new material quite yet but that could change at any point. As for post rona plans we are planning to hit touring hard once everything opens up to us.