The name of the band Whisteria Cottage, is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
M- The name is based off of serial killer albert fish. He was a sadist and masochist, and thrived on pain. The house he murdered people in was called Whisteria Cottage and that is where we found the name for the band!
Can you briefly summarize how the band formed and what you do in Whisteria Cottage?
M- Me and Booth had a small project that really didn’t go anywhere and we wanted to do something more aggressive and with more raw emotion so we started the band with a longtime friend of ours back in 2006. Now in 2009 we have went through quite a few member changes and this is the lineup that is going to stick. My Name is mike and I do vocals!
Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the writing of Heathen?
M- On heathen a lot of the inspiration came from just my raw reaction to things going on in the world and my outlook on many things that we all come through in life. There was a not an intentional theme for the cd. But if I had to choose one I would just say the aspect that the world is becoming shit.
You just released Heathen, how has the reactions been thus far? What can fans expect when they pick up a copy?
M- We released Heathen Jan 27th on static factory records. The reaction has been good so far , kids seem to be loving it and all the reviews we have got in are extremely overwhelming didn’t expect such good feedback considering this was our debut album. But we could not be more happy with all the responses we have got from everyone. Fans can expect aggression, pure emotion, and to occasionally bang your fucking head.
When it came to releasing Heathen how did that whole package come together?
M- Heathen came together after we started writing pretty heavily and we decided we would go the route of releasing an actual full length and skip coming out with a EP. We wrote a ton of songs and just really picked out what we felt like would best capture as a whole.
What was the recording process like, how long did you have, was there any pressure on you?
M- The recording process extremely fun because we have already worked with Jamie King on our demo earlier that year. It was a fun fucking time recording this cd and just goofing off and trying to make the best out of it. We had 10 days to record the cd, near the end of the cd time got really tight but we were able to work around it and everything came out extremely good!
How has Statik-Factory Records been thus far for you guys? Who approached who?
M- Statik Factory Records is treating us well for the time that we have been on there, we appreciate everything they have done for us so far! And they approached us in the summer of 2008.
How do you think you will affect the Deathcore scene you are part of? What are your thoughts on the growing popularity in it as well?
M- We hope that we can affect the Deathcore scene with showing kids its not all about the fucking breakdowns, that seems to be the trend going on right now. If you can play 5-6 breakdowns a song , kids seem to be eating that shit up. Deathcore in general is a scene that is growing fast, but its coming over populated with bands that are doing the same damn generic thing.
You guys are from Maryland what is the local music scene like there? Any bands you’d recommend?
M- The local scene is decent around here with one of our major venues we played at being closed in the last few months has been a huge burden for us. We would draw extremely well there and the response was always amazing. The scene has been growing over the past year and im so glad to see that happening.
Who did the artwork, and title for the album, when you look on the final project, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
M- I had the idea for the artwork for the album I thought it would be pretty cool to have a few ideas from some of the songs plastered on the cd’s just showing the downfall of society. The TV’s were there to show how much media is a part of our lives now. So much gossip and random bullshit is fed to us daily because of it.
Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
M- Its fucking amazing, there is nothing better to have a fucking intense show with tons of kids having a fucking good time and standing at the front screaming the words right along with you. If you don’t know the lyrics, fucking learn them haha.
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
M- it’s a collective effort for sure, usually we will all bring some different ideas to the table and start mapping it out from there. Sometimes we will come with whole songs written and we will just pick stuff apart to make everyone happy.
Going back to the music business, what do you think of everyone downloading music, possibly even your music? Do you think it helps or hurts bands in the long run?
M- We wont ever get rid of downloading music, I think it’s a good impact because it’s a huge way for tons of kids that may have never heard of you. In the long run I would say it would hurt if your releasing multiple albums and no one is buying them its going to bring down cd sales like crazy. I would say on your first release its not as bad because your not going to have a huge name already.
How has MYSPACE and the internet impacted your band?
M- Myspace has impacted our band pretty good, it has allowed us to get our music to thousands of people who may have never heard of us. Let them check out our merch and let them listen to some new fucking music!
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
M- Personally my toughest lesson learned in the studio was how to balance my voice was recording the cd. Its definitely a fucking task trying to record the vocals for the whole cd in one night but I was able to get it done and was fucking excited to hear the final cut. On stage my biggest lesson learned was crowd interaction.
What are the upcoming plans for Whisteria Cottage?
M- We plan on getting some more tours and start hitting a lot of states and area’s that we have not been to yet. And just finding more ways to get our music into the hands of people that have not heard of us.
What bands would you like to tour with and who has been your favorite to tour with this far? Any particular reason?
M- I would love to tour with Elysia, The Black Dahlia Murder, The Red Chord, Remembering Never. These our some my favorite bands so to see them every night and play besides them would be fucking amazing.
What is currently playing on your iPod or CD Player?
M- Of Machines
If you had a chance to go back in time, where, what, and why?
M-2006 , I would like to have the lineup we have now at that point in time I think we could have really pushed ourselves to have a second full length out already and have a ton more of fans at this point and more tours!
Describe Whisteria Cottage in three words.
M- Energetic, Raw, Aggressive,
How do you think the recession is affecting musicians like yourself? Is it at all?
M- The recession Is affecting musicians definitely, with kids not being able to get jobs it stops them from coming to the shows and buying merch. We all know this is what keeps these bands going from state to state.
What’s your reaction when/if a fan told you a very meaningful statement such as “Your music changed my life?” Has this ever happened to you?
M- I would feel pretty fucking honored if we were able to do that just because we are 5 dudes from Maryland who just like to play metal music, and no its never happened .
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
M- Animosity, The Black Dahlia Murder, Elysia, The Red Chord, Cattle Decapitation, The Faceless
All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
M- eat a lot of chic-fil-a and drink a shit ton of mt.dew
Anything else you’d like to add?
M – Please help us out and go pick up Heathen At Smartpunk.com or Interpunk.com. You can come check out the cd at www.myspace.com/whisteriacottage . And come out to a show and bang your fucking head.