Overdrive joined up with WOUNDS on the last night of their short but sweet UK tour with Kvelertak to find out what’s been happening with the tour, what’s next on the table for the four piece Dublin band and most importantly, when we are going to see the much anticipated new album! Well, that was the idea! In fact, there is so much happening with WOUNDS at the moment that it’s kind of hard to keep up with them. This feature has been updated many times due to the developments and hyper success that seems to be circulating the band at the moment.
From touring with Baby Godzilla back in November to smashing SXSW and playing with the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Asking Alexandria and The Used to their recent addition to Riotfest in Canada and their scheduled appearance at this years Camden Rocks Festival on Saturday 31st May there seems to be no stopping them and we could not wish for all this success to a more hard working band.
Vocalist Aidan Coogan, joins me in Dublin for one of our many meetings that we have had over the course of the last few months to continue the story of WOUNDS in which we had started in Wolverhampton a few weeks back.
OD – The debut album has done a huge amount for you since it’s release, did you ever expect that it would be so well received?
Aidan – No, not really. We were always used to being not liked. We came out ready for a fight and then when everybody started liking it, we just got everyone to join in the fight with us.
OD – The debut album is a very raw and almost primal collection of songs that have some bitter dark and twisted lyrics. Can you elaborate on where you take your inspiration from when writing?
Aidan – The nighttime! The dark underbelly of everything. I don’t really find inspiration in comfort. I choose to put myself in uncomfortable situations to get some inspiration. It’s probably the idiot thing to do but, that the way I do it.
OD – In terms of the process of writing the music, do you all collaborate or is there a sole member that writes the bulk of the material?
Aidan – Yea, we just get into a room and just argue for ages and great stuff comes out. It could start with something in my head that I will record on my phone sometimes if I’m half asleep I do it and it just taps into the darkness in me.
OD – WOUNDS are a band that can literally fit in anywhere musically, which is a totally unique achievement that very few bands have, did you set out with this in mind from the beginning?
Aidan – Yea, definitely. At the start we were pretty much rejected by any scene. We didn’t really set out to take part in any of the them. I guess a lot of local scene’s were asking us to play gigs and we just kept saying no because we didn’t really want to be part of any of that. That’s a clique and who wants to be part of that. We just did our own thing.
OD – The tour you did in November with Baby Godzilla was an opportunity for the UK to get a taste of WOUNDS, how did that tour go for you and are there any plans to tour with the guys again?
Aidan – It was really good. We have not been to the UK much. It’s good to show that good music can come from here (Ireland) good music with teeth. We wanted to prove a point with that. The guys from Baby Godzilla are a great bunch of guys. Just recently Johnny filled in for Aaron on a few dates of the Kvelertak tour. We had so much fun with them and are actually playing with them in Camden at the end of May for the Camden Rocks Festival. We just get on really well with them. We would love to have them over here, it’s just so hard to get them over here because it costs a lot. We could just get them over and they could crash in our house and vice versa. It’s nice making friends like that on the road.
Aidan –It was brilliant! We were surrounded by loads of bands that we admire. It was really cool playing the same festival as these bands and the feeling that we were part of it was amazing. Then, you have to snap out of that and get the job done as well. We seemed to make a big impression on everyone we met over there and I think the States is definitely where we want to go and just fucking tour like 500 day’s a year! (Laughs)
Aidan – We made some amazing connections during our time at SXSW. There is a real honest reaction over there. It’s nice going into a room where you don’t know anybody and winning them over within the first two songs. When we got there we were like ” wow”! I have traveled a bit, but it was James and Aaron’s first time in America, so that was really cool. It was slightly overwhelming, being on the same stage as Taking Back Sunday, The Used and Asking Alexandria, bands like that seemed so distant to us and then the next moment we are on stage with them. We were just out to fucking blow as many people away as possible. There was like 5,000 people there and we were on third so there was a good crowd there for us. We only had a short amount of time on stage but we made sure that we go the job done and by the last song, we had everybody signing along.
Aidan – Well, touring with Billy Talent was just amazing, Download was fucking nuts as well! A stand out moment would be when we were in Luxemburg with Billy Talent and it was the anniversary of my late father. We had never played “Dead Road” before and we were all shitting it. We just decided that if we were every going to play this, we might as well do it in front of 4,000 people. We jammed it out once before we got on stage and just went for it as soon as we got out there. That was probably the best thing that has happened to me so far in my mind anyway. It was really emotional for me and still is. Ian from Billy Talent actually remixed “Dead Road” (see below) for us which was really cool. It was originally a long track and he just had a connection with the song and did a small bit of editing on it and made it more radio friendly.
OD – Wounds recently finished a mini-tour with Kvelertak last month, how did that opportunity come about?
Aidan –That tour was so fucking cool. We were asked did we want to play with Kvelertak when we were at SXSW and we first thought that we would not have the money to do it, but it would be great to do. It’s shit being broke, but we just had to do it. It went down really well at every date. The only negative thing about that tour was that I got in trouble for talking about the lack of beer on our rider (laughs), what can I say? It’s a human emotion! We are all working class and don’t expect hand out’s from anybody, we work as hard as we can and tour and that’s just the way things are right now. It does pay off and we have no doubt that the next step will be a big one.
OD – Wounds seemed to have done the impossible, by getting out of Ireland and achieving what most bands can only dream about, do you have any advice for bands that are looking to graduate into the international market?
Aidan – Get out of Dublin! No disrespect, but it’s just too small! It can be very fucking negative here. I like to play to a room where nobody knows us. Not playing to family and friends thinking that your amazing when in fact your actually shit. My advice would be, go to a random town and play to complete strangers and then you will see if your good or not.
OD – Regarding the next album, how far into the writing process are you?
Aidan – Well right now we have about ten songs pretty much complete, give or take a few minor changes and tweaks! I so happy with them. They are everything that we have wanted to make. They are just bigger in every sense of the word. We know exactly what we are doing now and can go into a room and nail it. With “Die Young” (debut album) we were just picking ourselves up from what had happened to James and now we are just ready to take over the world.
OD – Is there any particular feeling or emotion that dominates the new material?
Aidan – Yea it’s still dark, but there is more of a sense of us going out on the streets and taking over and making some noise. We are angry about the state of our country right now and we want our say about it. Not in a political way, but we want to let it be know that we are sick of this fucking shit. The new stuff is still very angry but it’s a bit more “pull yourself together” if you know what I mean. “Die Young” was written on the basis that I actually wanted to die young and with the new stuff, it’s more fighting back and not giving a shit. It’s more of a focused anger rather than self destruction.
OD – When can we expect to see a new record? Is there a timeline as to when WOUNDS would like to release some new material?
Aidan – We are looking at releasing “Die Young” in America and putting some extra tracks on that. There are a couple of songs that I’m really excited about and will work as a nice bridge into the next album. There will be new stuff coming out from us later this year.
OD – Would it be right in saying that the band are focusing on America as a launching platform for the new record?
Aidan – Absolutely, just because it’s somewhere where we have always wanted to live. It’s the biggest challenge for us. When we first started we were talking about the prospect of how cool it would be to do show’s in England and we have done that. Now we just want to take the world.
OD – What is your thoughts on the Irish music scene at the moment?
Aidan –There is a lot of hunger, which is good but there is also a hell of a lot of snobbery. There is a very sickening class divide between rich kid bands and bands like us who actually go out and break our backs and work for it. There are so many of these piss-bag bands with mandolins and banjo’s trying to be Mumford & Son’s! Nobody believes that shit! I guess that the divide is always going to be there. Just because some little fuck goes to a drama school and gets handed a banjo doesn’t make anything about him real. It just pisses me off.
OD – Are there any particular bands that you find inspiring collectively as a band?
Aidan – I have been reading a lot of Preacher comic books. We actually named one of our new songs called “All Hell’s A Coming” from that. It’s such as great title and it’s just about saying “Fuck This Shit” and raising hell! I have been listening to loads of Interpol lately, the new Dillinger Escape Plan album, Nine Inch Nails and obviously I’m addicted to Queens Of The Stone Age.
OD – Do you have any working titles for the new record?
Aidan – We have been toying around with some stuff and we were thinking about “Concrete”. I really like that word there’s just something about it for us. “Die Young” was uncertainty and “Concrete” represents a sturdy, harder and stronger WOUNDS. We have grown up a lot. More forced to grow up with all the things that has happened to us. We just feel now that we are not going to let anything stop us.
Die Young is out now and available for download here.
Catch WOUNDS at the Camden Rocks Festival in London tomorrow. Check out here for details on stage times and tickets.
Words – Oran O’Beirne
Photography – Steve Dempsey of Down The Barrel Photography