Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman was the final guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show and discussed his band’s latest album, Close, who find the deathcore band expanding their sound even further, building on the foundations that were laid on their previous record, The valley.
As concussive and overtly heavy as Close perhaps, it shows a softer side of Whitechapel – a bit more rock-oriented side with Bozeman continuing to develop his own singing voice. The stylistic breadth has widened the reach of deathcore, and while it may come as a shock to some longtime fans of the crisp subgenre, the group isn’t worried about what they think when they write, according to Bozeman.
Read the full interview below.
Family is clearly important to you and it affects your music. What is significant about the overall meaning of the title of the new album, Close?
The basis of the album is me and my evil character, so we are parents. The word “parent” is a sort of southern word for “parents”. It has to do with the family and also with me and my perverted character, who is obviously also my parent.
Trauma can define a person’s identity without even knowing it. How will people identifying with a song like “Lost Boy” in turn be healing for you?
The phrase itself … a lot of people can relate to it just because a lot of people are lost in the world. They don’t know who they are or what they are supposed to do. It’s a very open song title because you can take it however you want, but it has some specific meaning in the story that I’m trying to tell on the album. He also holds that the value of being able to look at him in his own way.
Whitechapel, “Lost Boy” music video
The disc is a further continuation of the broadening of musical parameters that began with the last album. What makes you comfortable and, at the same time, uncomfortable with the idea of ââexpanding the musical scope?
Being cataloged in a certain genre … we have our basic genres – metal, rock, hip-hop, pop, country – which is totally understandable, but as far as subgenres come into play, that is starting to get a little too risky for me.
We love to write heavy stuff, but we have so many other types of music that we enjoy and want to dive into. We’re not very worried about the general public and so on – we just want to be able to write what we want to write. We want to be able to write a heavy and aggressive song and then maybe write a non-aggressive song and have people listen to it just for the music and not for the name it’s related to.
Whitechapel, “Orphan” music video
Phil, music is a way of telling stories. What are your biggest non-musical influences when it comes to the structure and pace of storytelling?
It’s quite difficult to refine. I had actors who influenced me. Jim Carey is one of my favorite actors of all time. As far as how he would influence me musically, Cannibal Corpse was in his Ace Ventura movie. Not musically, someone like him influenced me in terms of personality and the way he uses his humor. His general attitude is exactly what I look for in acting.
Drummer, Alex RÃ¼dinger was already on tour with Whitechapel before joining the group. What did you learn about his abilities in a studio setting that was not evident on stage? [Editor’s note: this interview was conducted before RÃ¼dinger announced his departure]
He is a very precise drummer and very disciplined in his profession. We mostly wondered about his writing ability because we knew his playing wouldn’t be a problem. It depends on how you write because it’s completely different than just playing songs.
He exceeded our expectations and as a person too. This is a great indicator if we want someone to be a full time person and it fits all categories perfectly.
Thanks to Phil Bozeman for the interview. Get your copy of Whitechapel’s new album, ‘Kin’, here and follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify. Find out where you can listen to Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show here.
The 45 best rock + metal albums of 2021
These are the 2021 albums we couldn’t stop listening to.