I Declare War

IDW2-72dpiI Declare War strike a tense balance between groove and brutality on their latest full-length album, We Are Violent People By Nature [Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie].
Four records into their career, experience has only sharpened the critically acclaimed Seattle quartet’s edge further. This time around, the band—Jamie Hanks [vocals], Jacob Hansen [guitar], Gordon McPherson [bass], John Winters [guitar], and Colin Bradford [drums]—bludgeon at all the right moments, while persevering an infectious sensibility.
“It’s dark heavy metal,” Hanks sums up the record’s sound. “We’re trying to make our albums more extreme and maintain a groove at the same time. It’s about writing songs for us and not just throwing down riffs or drum patterns.”
After a high-profile headlining tour in Australia came to a close in January 2014, Hanks and Co. emphasized that intricate song-craft. They hunkered down in a Portland studio with producer Stephan Hawks and harnessed this newfound focus.
“We’ve progressed on every single record,” the singer goes on. “We’ve continually gotten more skillful in terms of playing and writing, and we’re proud of that evolution.”
The first single “Quiet” illuminates their progression. Pummeling fretwork and deadly drumming bleed into a calculated and catchy roar from Hanks. It’s a dangerously irresistible introduction to We Are Violent People.
He reveals, “There was always something special about that song. The lyrics are a little more universal, and you want that from heavy music and extreme metal. This time, it’s that classic murderer story.”
It gets inside your head and kills—just like the rest of the album does. “Blurred Vision” turns into a rhythmic frenzy, conjuring images of “seeing red” and pure rage over polyrhythmic instrumental fireworks. Meanwhile, “Tomb Sleep” deals with a personal struggle for Hanks in a corrosively cathartic manner.
“I have sleep paralysis,” he discloses. “It’s like your mind wakes up, but you’re body doesn’t. So I sit there stuck because I can’t wake up. It feels like being in a fucking tomb or a coffin. It’s a nightmare.”
I Declare War has tirelessly worked to bring their own dream to life though. The four members dedicate their lives to the band, investing everything on stage and in the studio. That diligence continues to pay off as they’ve accrued praise from the likes of Alternative Press and Ultimate-Guitar and toured with Suicide Silence and Carnifex, while Hanks has even been invited to guest on records from the legendary Soulfly among others.
Meanwhile, the title itself addresses a pervasive flaw in the band’s eyes. Hanks says, “It’s based around the idea that we, as humans, literally kill everything. We fuck everything up. It’s just awful. This is a wakeup call.”
Ultimately, that declaration will be felt too. “I hope people can listen to this record for a long time to come and still feel it,” he concludes. “I want to make something that lasts.”

Basic Info

Founded 2005

Genre Death Metal, Metal

Members Jamie Hanks – Vocals
Gordon McPherson – Bass
John Winters – Guitar
Jacob Hansen – Guitar
Colin Bradford – Drums

Hometown NW

Record Label Artery Recordings / Razor & Tie

General Manager Scott Lee & Cody Grup – Crimson Management

Gender Plural (male)

Current Location Seattle, WA

Contact Info

Website http://ideclarewar.merchnow.com

Press Contact Kerri Brusca @ Razor & Tie | kbrusca@razorandtie.com

Booking Agent Brad Wiseman @ The Soroka Agency