Exclusive Interview: Writhe talk Tech-Fest, AI and “In Filth”!

Creating a gripping and intense tale of a sentient AI’s transformation into a Lovecraftian entity of unfathomable horror, Progressive Deathcore machine Writhe made their mark with a branding iron when they unleashed “In Filth” at the end of November. That was then followed up by a live performance at Tech-Fest’s Techabilitation 2023 in Derby in December during which Rania Bailey reprised her role as orchestral vocalist leaving us mesmerised. How could such a nightmarish vision sound so incredible and then be repeated in such spellbinding fashion? Having prised our fingers from the pillow gripped so tightly, we put some questions to them…

What drew you to writing a gripping and intense tale of a sentient AI’s transformation into a Lovecraftian entity of unfathomable horror? It feels like a concept that is very relevant to the current state of the World… “I have a tendency to compose with strong visual concepts in mind, often being inspired by stories and worlds built in all varieties of fiction. All we knew at the time is that we wanted to evoke the same emotions you’d get from being immersed in a world like Bloodborne or Berserk. We started with the last track ‘Chasm of Slumber’ and we all shared a visual image of a vast cosmic beast. The AI elements came into play when we started to interpret Simon’s lyrics into imagery – slowly forming the idea that the AI we were using was the same entity that ends up in the Chasm of Slumber. We weren’t too concerned about the current state of the world but it’s certainly fun to fantasise about real and ambiguous concepts in such horrifying settings”

It feels like Writhe are joining a growing Extreme Metal scene in the United Kingdom with bands like Draconian Reign or She Must Burn; how have you been inspired by the scene? “The UK scene is full of wonders and hardworking, passionate people. It’s not so hard to get your balls blown off by a performance. We were lucky enough to meet each other through Tech Fest and have good friends in bands such as Arcaeon, Harbinger, Vehement, all bands pushing their own style beyond boundaries. Just like them and many others, we wanted to find our own sound and push that to the extreme. It’s refreshing to be able to say there’s hardly any bands in the UK that sound identical – everyone’s encouraged to find their own thing and we’re seeing the scene unify outside of specific subgenres as a result.”

What was it like to be invited to play Techabilitation, potentially the final Tech-Fest event for a long while? How much did you enjoy the show? “We’re good friends with the Tech Fest crew and family (since conception for our vocalist Simon) and were beyond pleased to be asked to be a part of Techabilitation. We had a good amount of stank face in response to our set and many people made an effort to set their alarm clocks for us which we weren’t expecting at all! Enjoyment is an understatement, we felt connected to that room on many levels! Unforgettable”

We always say that even in the digital age, the first bite is with the eye, so who was behind the artwork of “In Filth“? How did you go about choosing it and what do you feel it says about the project? “After generating hundreds of AI images (Tens of thousands if you count the videos) we stopped thinking about specifics and evolved our favorite pieces with a direct colour palette in mind until we found the image that spoke the most to us. Simon was at the helm of this creation and I photoshopped it to match the contrast we were after. It hit the nail right on its fleshy head, a small figure being greeted by its luminous presence, like a horrific version of the cave of wonders from Aladdin. What horrors or treasures may lie within?”

What are your aspirations? Where do you see yourselves in the next five years? Touring Europe? Appearing on the cover of Metal Hammer Magazine? Releasing a signature guitar model with someone like Carillion or simply to be full time musicians? “Aspirations – to amalgamate into one corporeal form with countless limbs and circular layers of blood soaked teeth so we can spread the love.

Reality – Keep making scary tunes and concepts. Evolve and mature what we’ve conceived and keep finding that thing that makes people tick and shiver. We would love to tour Europe at some point in the next 5 years and have the opportunity to see how we’d be received by audiences all over the world. A signature guitar with Carillion would be dope! They’d definitely be my first choice as I’ve not felt a better guitar in my hands let alone having it made locally by an extremely talented luthier. I hope to get my hands on one to use for future material as soon as I can!”

What’s next for Writhe? “Gigs, tours, merch and more focused music and storytelling. We’ll be getting heavier, deeper and more cosmical. Or we might end up doing Mariah Carey covers at kids’ birthday parties. A lot is possible at this point”

In Filth” by Writhe was released on 24th November 2023 and is available over at bandcamp.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *