ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM ‘ART OF WAR’ (DUE 2021) REVEAL DEBUT SINGLE / LYRIC VIDEO COVER OF THE CHAINSMOKERS’ “SICK BOY”
SHARE Q&A WITH GUITARIST FREDDY ORDINE
New Jersey-based hard rock quartet WEAPONS OF ANEW are excited to share the news of their sophomore album ART OF WAR scheduled for release in early 2021. The band-which consists of seasoned musicians guitarist Freddy Ordine (ex-Axiom, ex-HavocHate) and vocalist Ray West (ex-Spread Eagle) along with bassist Stefan “Reno” Cutrupi and the newest addition, drummer Chad Szeliga (ex-Breaking Benjamin, ex-Black Label Society)-have revealed its debut single, a cover version of The Chainsmokers’ “Sick Boy.” It can be seen in the below lyric video and is out digitally today, October 2. Read a Q&A with Ordine below discussing the new album and more.
ART OF WARwas produced by longtime band collaborator Grammy Award-nominated Mike Ferretti (Sevendust, Warren Haynes, Saliva), mixed by multi-platinum Grammy-winner David Bendeth (Papa Roach, Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon) and mastered by A-list mastering engineer Ted Jensen (Evanescence, Korn, Lamb Of God). With its profoundly personal but accessible lyrics, the album creates an unadulterated fusion of hard rock with hints of p-funk and thrash creates a loose yet focused atmosphere of good times.
“There is a line in the song where it says, ‘How many likes is my life worth,'” shares Ordine. “The reality of that line hit home like few songs have in my life because of the pressure people have on them to be relevant at all costs. It was awesome and cathartic to be able to recreate such an awesome song and I hope it connects with people and makes them think, like it did with me.”
WEAPONS OF ANEW first stormed the rock world in 2017 with their debut offering, The Collison of Love and Hate, which collected numerous accolades on the strength of songs like “Killshot” and “Sundown.” Through the power of their debut and explosive performances on national tours with the like of Alter Bridge, Scott Stapp, and even the heavy metal supergroup Metal Allegiance, WEAPONS OF ANEW have earned a fiercely loyal fanbase around the globe.
Photo Credit: Elena Jasic
WEAPONS OF ANEW Q&A
with FREDDY ORDINE
–The band recently went through some lineup changes including the addition of drummer Chad Szeliga (ex-Breaking Benjamin, ex-Black Label Society). How was he introduced to the band? What are some of the qualities you feel he supports or adds to the overall sound of the band?
Ordine: “Chad’s name came up to us from a couple of people. My manager knew him and our producer had previously worked with him and his name kept coming up. We had given him and a few other guys songs to just track and make our decision from there. As soon as I heard Chad’s tracks, just the way the groove was in it, just the way he swings, I was like ‘yeah, this guy’s pretty badass, let’s send him a couple more songs’ and once we heard those I knew right away this guys needs to be in the band. He was a perfect fit, once we got in the room it was like we had been playing together forever.
Musically, he’s not like your typical drummer. He’s a musician’s musician.’ He is into chord progressions and organizing the dynamics of choruses and verses–he’s really well-rounded so for me it’s been phenomenal to have someone like that to bounce stuff off.”
–You recently finished recording your sophomore album with Grammy Award-nominated producer Mike Ferretti. What was it like working with him? Any favorite memories from the studio?
“Ferretti mixed our first record. He actually lives about 15 minutes away from us. So the same thing happened where his name kept being brought up to us in circles. LJ from Sevendust said, ‘Dude, how don’t you know Ferretti, he lives like five minutes from you?’ and I replied ‘I don’t know who this guy is’ so we met about four or five years ago and he’s become the fifth member of the band-we call him the hidden Beatle. He’s always around us, he’s great.
Writing the record with him was awesome. I wrote the whole record pretty much, just me and Mike in the studio and then Ray would come in after the songs were done and start adding vocals to it. I’m so comfortable with being around Mike, so for me it was super easy and Mike will push me. I respect him a lot as a musician–as a friend, he’s like my brother so for me to get in the room and be vulnerable like that…I don’t know if I would have gotten this record out of me without him.
My favorite memory with him is we’re always drinking coffee together. I got sober eleven months ago and he’s always been sober. He got me turned on to all of these flavored coffee creamers, so now I’m a coffee junkie constantly drinking Reeses-Pieces flavored coffee…cannoli is a new one that I’m on…so that’s our thing, just him and I sitting together and drinking coffee together all the time, constantly.”
–Having formerly been in recognized acts prior to forming Weapons of Anew-Freddy Ordine as the former guitarist for Axiom and HavocHate and Ray West the former vocalist for Spread Eagle-how do you feel this has shaped the band?
“You figure it would’ve taught us two idiots to never come back to doing this but it didn’t, ha. I think it’s just the work ethic that we come to the table with-I was lucky enough to get signed when I was 17 and the same thing for Ray, he was really young when he did his first Spread Eagle record. We’ve seen the music business at its best and we’re seeing it through the whole transition stage. When we started the band we got to jump a couple of levels because of the previous relationships we had. We had never played a show ever as Weapons of Anew and our first show was in front of thousands of people opening for Alter Bridge just due to those relationships.
That helped us guide the ship but we’re still learning nowadays because everything’s about streaming and social media, so we’re learning as we go with that. The asset of it is that we value relationships. When you get a good team of people behind you, you value those people and hang on to them as long as you can.”
–What can we expect from the new album? Compared to your debut album The Collision of Love and Hate, what has changed? What has stayed the same?
“It’s definitely different but it’s still Weapons. We grew a lot. When we did the first record, we had never done a show. We were in the middle of writing and recording the first record when we went on tour with Alter Bridge, so it was like we had already started to grow during that first record.
With this new record, we had just come off tour with Scott Stapp and were leaning more towards the active rock scene. It’s a pure version of us and also a more cohesive, mature version of us. It’s still got the heavy stuff from the first record but there’s definitely a lot more groove and melody which is what I was pushing for in the first record, but we just weren’t there yet.”
— What inspired you to cover The Chainsmokers’ song “Sick Boy” and release that as your first new single? What do you think makes your version stand out from the original?
“We’re a ‘metal/rock band’ but all of us are into R&B and hip-hop and crazy shit that most people would never think. I always like stuff that has that dirty in and out groove that most rock and metal bands don’t do, so when I heard it I thought ‘we could totally make this song us.’ Me and Mike Ferretti started putting an arrangement together and then Ray came in and he knocked it out of the park.”
–Prior to the pandemic, you were no stranger to extensive touring and gigs. Can you share what makes a Weapons of Anew live show unique? Are you planning any livestream concerts or drive-in gigs while we await the return of live shows? If not, how have you managed to stay connected to your fanbase?
“There’s been some talks about us doing some livestreams here and there, but nothing has really come through yet. We are a live band, we’re all about sweating on people, giving them high-fives, it’s all about energy for us and getting a conversation going with the audience. We’re all personable so after we play, we go hang out at the merch booth for however many hours it takes for everyone who wants to take pictures and talk to us, so that’s one unique thing we bring to it. I don’t know if we’d even ever sell meet & greets, these people are busting their asses to come to our shows and we appreciate that so we go out of our way to show as much appreciation back to them and hang out and that sort of stuff. With a livestream, I don’t know if that would really work that well for us-I’m not opposed to it, but I’m not 100% for it. I just want to get back out and tour!
We’re trying to keep connected with our socials as much as we can and doing videos. Chad and I are doing this weekly series which we alternate with each other where we’ll give playthroughs or tutorials on our instruments. Reno’s been doing reviews of really crazy stuff. Last week he ate a whole bunch of hot sauces and burnt his ass off, it was really funny. We’re just trying to connect with people and see what everyone else is up to. So far it’ s been pretty neat and a positive response to it.
–If you could perform on a bill with one artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
“For me personally, it would be Led Zeppelin or Michael Jackson, believe it or not. That guy was a f*cking phenomenal showman, so that would be mind-blowing. For Weapons of Anew…with a current live band it would probably be Metallica. if we ever do a concert with them, that would be the pinnacle of it, y’know? Who’s bigger than those guys?”
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