Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman Not Concerned About Reaction to Broadening Their Style
Whitechapel's Phil Bozeman was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program and discussed his band's latest album, Kin, which finds the deathcore group expanding their sound even further, building off the foundation that was laid down on their previous record, The Valley.
As concussive and overtly heavy as Kin can be, it does show off a more tender side of Whitechapel — one that is just a bit more rock oriented with Bozeman continuing to develop his clean singing voice. The stylistic breadth has widened the scope of deathcore and, while it might be shocking to some longtime fans of the bone-crunching subgenre, the band doesn't worry about what they will think while writing, per Bozeman.
Read the full interview below.
Family is clearly important to you and it impacts your music. What is significant about the overall meaning behind the title of the new album, Kin?
The basis of the album is me and my evil persona, therefore we are kin. The word "kin" is kind of a southern word for "relatives." It has to do with family and also has to do with me and my evil persona, which is obviously my relative as well.
Trauma can define a person's identity without them even knowing it. How will be people identifying with a song such as "Lost Boy," in turn, be healing for you?
The phrase itself… a lot of people can relate with that just because a lot of people are lost within the world. They don't know who they are or what they're supposed to do. It's a very open ended song title because you can take it however you want, but it has a certain specific meaning within the story I'm trying to tell in the album. It also holds that the value of being able to look at it in your own way.
Whitechapel, "Lost Boy" Music Video
The record is a further continuation of broadening musical parameters that started with the last album. What makes you comfortable, and, at the same time, uncomfortable about widening musical scope?
Being pigeonholed into a certain genre… we have our basic genres — metal, rock, hip-hop, pop, country — which is totally understandable, but as far as when sub genres come into play, it starts to get a little bit too dicey for me.
We enjoy writing the heavy stuff, but we have so many more types of music that we enjoy and that we want to dive into. We're not very worried about the general public and whatnot — we just want to be able to write whatever we want write. We want to be able to write a heavy, aggressive song and then maybe write a non-aggressive song and just people listen to it for the music and not the name that it's tied to.
Whitechapel, "Orphan" Music Video
Phil, music is a storytelling medium. Who are your biggest non-musical influences when it comes to the structure and pace of telling a story?
That's a pretty difficult one to narrow down. I've had actors influence 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. Non-musically, someone like him influenced me personality wise and how he uses his humor. His overall demeanor is exactly what I look for in comedy.
Drummer, Alex Rüdinger was already touring with Whitechapel before joining the band. What did you learn about his ability in a studio setting that wasn't obvious on stage? [Editor's note: this interview was conducted before Rüdinger announced his departure]
He's a very precise drummer and very disciplined in his craft. We were mainly wondering about was his writing ability because we knew his playing was not going to be an issue. It depends on how well you write because that's completely different than just playing songs.
He exceeded our expectations and as a person, too. That's a big indicator whether we want someone to be a full-time person and he just fits all the categories perfectly.
Thanks to Phil Bozeman for the interview. Get your copy of Whitechapel's new album, 'Kin', here and follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.