"Battened down the hatches, sittin' around twiddling our thumbs and wanting to go on tour," laughed guitarist Freddy Ordine as he elaborated on the current status of North Jersey based Weapons Of Anew.
Last we left this four piece hard rock metal band they had released their debut album titled, "The Collision of Love and Hate" and were touring with former Creed front man Scott Stapp. Ah but time has a way of changing things and this quartet has not been at all idle despite the, "Twiddling" of their thumbs thanks to the COVID climate.
A new record, new drummer and new singles to be released shows that the boys have been working feverishly to remain in the public eye as they do whatever it takes to get their music out there.
"Yeah, the new record is all done; it's been done since around June," said Ordine. "So, originally we were planning on releasing it in September that just passed but with everything kind of being shut down our management and our label kind of sat on it; so, they said OK, since we were planning on going to radio anyway they decided to go with a single to see how we do and it's been a Godsend, it's been unbelievable. We are charting on Billboard, there's been a whole bunch of craziness; every time they call me and say hey you guys are like number 30 or number 30 on this chart, I'm like, you're calling Freddy; you've got the wrong number I think (laughs). We're just like; what?! It is unbelievable, they're going for a big push in January or February because they think it's going to stay on the charts."
"The new record is called, "The Art of War" and it's 11 songs. We've got four or five radio singles on it so I think you're going to be hearing a lot of it; God willing, hopefully. We're gonna run this first single up the flag pole and see how long it stays up there and as soon as it starts going down or loses momentum we're gonna pop another one out. So, hopefully sometime around February or March we'll have another single out and the second we're allowed and touring opens up that's when the new record will come out. I mean, you know how we are; we're nuts. We get together twice a month still and rehearse. We haven't stopped, we're like caged animals, we want to go out and play. we have a new drummer in the band; we have Chad Szeliga who used to play with Breaking Benjamin and Black Label Society. He came in and learned the whole old record and did the new record with us; the band has been on fire lately and we want to go out and play."
Ordine, Ray West on vocals, Stefan "Reno" Cutrupi on bass and now with the addition of Szeliga on drums have taken what was a tight knit group and turned it into animpenetrable fortress. Ordine says that the band is like "Family" and that Szeliga fits right in and has already left his mark on the band's make-up; a make-up that includes a disdain for taking time off.
"We're happy to be able to get up and do anything that we can still do nowadays," laughed Ordine as he explained the mindset of the unit. "Ray and I have been doing this long enough that if we go on "Hiatus" we know it's over; we know we have to just keep banging it out. It's crazy, as we get older, me and Ray, we're so similar; we butt heads and argue all the time but it's like arguing with your brother; it's over in two seconds so, we don't want to take time away from it. We were kind of miserable because we took the month of December off for the holidays and we were like, alright, let's take the month off and we'll do the family thing and it was like, shit! You guys are my family, like they should be around us; so we all kind of missed it and we'll be glad when we get back in January."
"It's crazy how we happened to get Chad. We changed management companies probably back in February; Chris our old drummer kind of tapped out, he was just going through some stuff. I mean, you've really got to be built for this and over the years he was kind of fighting with it and it just came to a point where he couldn't do it anymore and we needed to finish the record and Chad's name kept coming up to us from our manager and producer. Amazingly enough we had just signed a deal with Jason Jordan who used to run Hollywood Records who had signed Breaking Benjamin. This was like the "Small world" scenario where Chad's name kept coming up to us so; we gave him the stuff and let him lay a song or two down and I was blown away by how well he can groove and and how well his pocket was. We gave him a couple of more tunes and then we brought him in and we hung out and jammed; we really connected, it was like we had known each other forever. Honestly, he was the perfect fit; he's like the nicest guy ever. There is no ego, he just wants to play his drums."
The band is really pumped to get their new material out to the masses and they are working on new songs for a third album but currently it's a cover tune that is propelling the success of this yet to be released second disc and they have the blessing of the original authors as well.
"Sick Boy," it's a cover of a Chainsmokers song that we decided to do,"said Oridine. "We have been throwing around the idea of doing a cover forever because when we're at sound check we will play Michael Jackson tunes, or Stevie Wonder tunes or Van Halen and we just wanted to do something that nobody would expect us to do. This is a cool song, it's completely out of our genre; to us it's a massive song. I think it has like 260 million views or streams or something like that (laughs) and for the Chainsmokers it wasn't a big song. We decided, let's give it a shot and see what happens and those guys are 100 percent behind it; they wanted to take it to radio and their label kind of shot it down so, they're happy that we are doing all of this. They are 100 percent aware that we are doing it and they dig it so, it's cool."
"It's weird, none of us were really Chainsmokers fans; it was just a song that we kind of picked up. I heard the song and thought, this is kind of cool with everything going on in the world right now; I came up with a whole arrangement before I even showed it to the band because I thought for sure that they were gonna say, no! Sure enough Reno and Ray both loved it and I was like, holy shit! (laughs) I wouldn't say that we were fans but it was a cool tune and I connected with it. So, since all of this has been going on I've kind of went back and listened to their stuff and they've got some really cool stuff going on; it's a total cool vibe you get from those guys."
With the record label holding off on the release; what's next in terms of keeping the momentum going? Perhaps more singles?
"They haven't decided yet, more singles are a possibility; it's been whittled down to one of three and to be honest I don't know which one it's going to be. We shot a video for the title track "Art of War," and "Sick Boy" and they're throwing two other ones at us as potential singles. I don't know which way they are going with it yet but they'll get together and calmly discuss it and then they'll come back to us. I mean we wrote them so it's part of us. I say it all of the time; if you have an ugly baby do you really know it's an ugly baby? (laughs) I love all of these songs, so for us we try not to decide; we don't know."
"In June we shot three videos for the new record, in July we shot a livestream thing, just recently we shot 14 hours of livestream video that we are releasing; we're being very selective with it. For instance, if a radio station asks us to do something for them we will go do it specifically for them. We don't do the "Fans only" and then try and sell it to people because that sucks. I mean we are a live band, we want to sweat on you and smack you and kick at ya' and spit water on you and bullshit back and forth with the crowd and that's just not there. We don't want to do that because I can't see charging money for that; the cool thing about getting out to one of our shows is it's about having fun with all of us in one room and we're being idiots together."
So; what does he think it will be like when they're finally able to get back out on the road and what are they doing until then?
"We just put a new website up, we will hopefully tour for this record until we can't tour for it anymore; it's crazy because we're already working on material for another one and it's starting to stockpile. Our management is saying when we can go out that they are going to keep us out on the road for 18 months to two years on this record so that's what we are hoping. I can't wait to get out there again. I think the first couple of shows are going to be a little weird. I think people are going to kind of wait for the first guy to jump in the water and I think once it breaks open that it's going to be awesome.''
To discover more about Weapons Of Anew, please go to www.weaponsofanew.com.
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!