One of the perks about being a music journalist is the opportunity to be made aware of artists you ordinarily would never have even heard of if not for the plethora of publicists, labels and ambitious band members flooding my email box , proclaiming what they have to offer is going to “shock the very foundation that which the musical world stands upon.” Now, of course 99.9% of it is either an out and out lie or completely subjective (based on the opinions of parents – mine consider me to be a “catch”), but that just means that .01% manage to rock my world. And that’s also .01% that I never would have had the pleasure of knowing existed.
Brooklyn’s Wizardry falls into that very exceptional category. Brooklyn, already being home to some killer metal acts over the years (Biohazard, Type-0 Negative, Genghis Tron), has always been a hotbed for hardcore, so inspiration is in abundance.
But being inspired is one thing. Going out there and blowing the fucking doors off its hinges is something entirely different. Wizardry’s self-titled debut starts hauntingly slowly but immediately by the enticing drum beat on the album’s opener “Nigh Invincible” and in fact all five minutes of the slowly-building track, you just know that something beyond comprehension is around the corner. Their sound clearly takes their cue from where progressive industrial metal bands in Brooklyn’s past left off, but instead of trying to get too “cute,” they stayed the course, reminding listeners why New York Metal is so revered in the worldwide scene.
Having just played their first show together less than 18 months ago, Wizardry has already amassed serious recognition as a band to be on the lookout for.
RRR (Seth Fischer): How long have Wizardry been doing their thing?
Wizardry: 2 years, this Thanksgiving.
RRR: What were you guys doing before Wizardry?
W: Writing. Some kicking it around open mics and such. Playing bass in a couple bands.
RRR: How did you guys meet up? Love of the music or love of the sci-fi?
W: It all came together while rehearsing for our annual Halloween show at Union Pool. We had a great time playing Black Sabbath, and a bunch of cover tunes together to a rowdy audience. We all met through working and patronizing bars in Williamsburg and decided we needed to form the band we wanted to see.
RRR: How would you describe your sound?
W: Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Lamb of God, Black Flag, Iron Maiden and on and on…
RRR: The songs seem to have a very fantastical theme surrounding them. Not to mention the name of the band ‘Wizardry’. What’s it all about?
W: WIZARDRY is just a cool as hell band name. After that, everything just rolled into place. Thanksgiving, 2007, we decided on the name and conceived the stage show, image, etc. to go along with it. We really miss seeing bands make an effort to entertain an audience, so we decided to be that band.
RRR: Do you find that particular style prevents some from taking you too seriously, despite how solid the music is?
W: Sure, but to us, it’s total freedom. We’re not interested in bestowing our political/religious beliefs on you, or gushing about how our last girlfriend broke our heart. We’re here to create worlds and usher you unto them. The key is to be timeless, not timely.
The music is obviously the focal point of the band. We don’t practice in our costumes, though flame lamps certainly help. I think halfway through our show, the jaded audience warms up once they realize we can play, and the songs are tight.
RRR: The video for “Under the Wizard’s Sleeve” has a fantasy, but very 80’s grainy feel to it.
W: Thank Paul Kermizian for that one. He did a killer job! We froze our asses filming that one upstate NY, in the winter. It was a great drunken, treacherous time filming that one and it exceeded all of our expectations.
RRR: How has the response for the album been?
W: Great! Especially because a lot of positive reviews are from people who haven’t seen us yet. The songs stand up by themselves.
RRR: Brooklyn has always had a storied history with metal. Do you feel that there is a certain level of standard that must be met?
W: Maybe nowdays. Though, 2 years ago, the metal scene was sparse at best. Now, there’s a whole bunch of great bands around. The metal community is the biggest bunch of sweethearts in town. HULL, Wetnurse, La Otracina, NAAM, Mutant Supremacy, to name a few. None of them sound like one another. All equally kickass. I believe the metal community respects each other’s differences while embracing our common love of metal.
RRR: What comes first, the music or the lyrics?
W: The music comes first. We title it. Then hand it off for lyrics, and vocal melody.
RRR: Was the album written with a theme as far as how the sounds would progress as a whole?
W: Lyrically, the album was definitely written with a theme. Musically, that’s just what came out of us at that given time. When you start planning what your music should sound like, that’s when things get real stale.
RRR: Most surreal moment?
W: After giving a shout out to DIO, in Cortland, NY (birthplace of RJD), the stage manager pulls out an enormous beautifully rendered chalk portrait of Ronnie and places it on stage with us. Thank you Cortland!
RRR: Expectations for ’10 and beyond?
W: We’re pretty much ready to record our second album, as well as writing a whole new crop of tunes. The music is indeed getting more driving, punishing, and all around fun to play.
In the meantime, we really hope everybody enjoys our most recent album. It’s available now to download through http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/wizardry and through paypal through our myspace.
We look forward to meeting everybody as WIZARDRY steamrolls through their towns!