Electronic alt rock/metal act Weesp hail from Minsk, Belarus and have been delivering their crushing and energetic music since their inception in 2008. In 2015 they finally unleashed their debut album 'The Void' which featured the likes of Cory Brandan from Norma Jean and highlighted them as a band to firmly watch. Luckily their anticipated sophomore release 'Black Sails' is soon to reach our shores and they have already given us a taste of what to expect with some teaser videos (you can view below, with more on the way soon). I caught up with bassist Dmitry (Mi) Budko after their recent tour to discuss their history, the new album and more...
Can you tell us about your formation in 2008?
We all met together a long time ago, in school years. WEESP was formed in 2008 in Minsk, when we have released our first EP album, it was called Ep2008 vol 1 (volume one) and consisted of only 3 tracks. The second volume never came out. In fact, there were about 10 tracks, but we decided to stay at three, the rest left for revision. We are counting from that time.
How did you come up with the name Weesp?
Back in the days, we called ourselves Wisp. But soon found out that musician Reid Dunn, who plays electronic music, is already using this name and decided to change the name to Weesp. Then we found that there is a small town called Weesp near Amsterdam. It was funny when local news reporter contacted me for an interview and asked about our name and I had no idea such town even exists :) Later we came there and even gave an interview to local radio.
WEESP is the name of our ship, a big vessel, on which we sail through the void on our quest. Against cliches, rules, laws of physics, in some metaphysical space. We sail, we look for those who are close, similar to us, we gather everybody under our black sails. And our flag, it's a battlecry, a call to join us to continue our journey together. Only together we become stronger.
For those that aren’t familiar how would you describe your sound?
We made a long way to form a sound that we can call ours and we like recording process and we approach to it with a lot of care. It evolves from album to album. This is a mixture of electronics, alternative rock, nu-metal, metal, post-metal with a bunch of synthesizers, clean vocals, dirty vocals, simply put, a big-big mix.
How was the recent Human.Exe Multinational tour for you guys, any particular highlights?
The last tour was awesome! We had shows in 8 cities in Poland and played two shows in Berlin. We have travelled together with our friends Redlake Circus (Germany) and Tension Zero (Poland). Really cool guys, very music. All the venues were quite small - 30 to 70 people. Check some photos and videos on our social Media. We already had another tour called Black Sails Tour after it. Again we have travelled with our friends Redlake Circus. We had two shows in our home country Belarus (Minsk and Vitebsk) and In Ukraine (Kiev and Kharkiv), had good atmosphere and support.
|A photo taken on the Human.Exe Multinational tour|
What can fans expect from your live shows and what makes you stand out?
Weesp is known for our live shows. Always electric, always powerful, always sincere. People often say that it is really different. Our goal is to touch to the heart of the people who came to our show. We always put as much energy in it as we have.
Earlier this year you kindly gave us an exclusive look at an untitled live new song taken from your upcoming sophomore album with the working title of ‘Black Sails’, what progress has been made since then on the album, can you give us any updates?
Everything is now recorded. We have mixed and mastered three songs, which we are going to release as singles along with music videos. One of them will be released on 24th of December or somewhere around. The whole album will be released in February-March 2018. The album will contain 9 new tracks. Very proud of them and can’t wait to share with everyone.
You will be releasing a new single ‘Illumination’ soon, what can you tell us about the new song and what made you pick this to unveil next?
This song is being deeply personal for each band member, because it reveals a mindset of a creative person and how they interact with the world. It is about faith, struggling, finding own way and staying yourself. Hope you will like it as I do. It perfectly represents the sound and general feeling of the entire album, as well as getting well with whole ‘Black Sails’ philosophy.
We will release at least two more songs before the whole long-play, so keep in touch.
So far how do you think the new material is shaping up compared to your 2015 debut full length ‘The Void’?
The new album sound and feel evolved from The Void greatly. I call the genre of a new album an alternative post metal. It is gloomy, heavy, powerful, with a more pronounced character and atmosphere, which causes a spiritual impulse and motivates overcoming any obstacles. The sound will be more focused on guitars, the riffs are slower and groundbreaking in contrast to the previous album where we focused more on the synth.
Speaking of your debut you had some impressive collaborations from the likes of Cory Brandan from Norma Jean, can we expect any exciting guest appearances on the new release or is it too soon to say?
We decided to keep Black Sails conceptual and don’t invite collaborators this time. However, we already started to work on third album and it will definitely will have some guests. But it is too early to speak about.
What has the recording and writing process been like so far and what has it been like working with the well-known producer Hiili Hiilesma ( HIM, Apocalyptica, The 69 Eyes, Lordi) and how did you come to work with him?
We began writing new songs something like half a year before the release of 2015’s The Void album, have written about a dozen of new songs, but only 9 of them will be released on the album.
If I remember it correctly, we had three producing sessions with Hiili. We have chosen the proper songs for the album and he helped us to solve some questions regarding songs composition, arrangement and gave us some cool ideas.
The overall sound of the record is being produced by Wieslawski brothers of Hertz Recordings (Behemoth, Vader), very proud of their work.
As we get near to the end of 2017, what would you say have been some highlights for you as a band this year?
There’s a lot happened! We finally finished writing and recording for the Black Sails album we were working on for almost three last years. We went to three European tours, met a lot of new friends, filmed a new music video coming out soon and started to make another one. We took part in a number of summer festivals and it was super cool as well.
As well as working on your anticipated second album, what else lies ahead for Weesp?
We already have started to write new material for the third album, we plan to have new tours on Spring and Autumn, attend some festivals, film new videos and cool content. So a lot of work to do.
Is there anything else you would like to add or tell us?
This was Mi of Weesp. Thank you for your attention!
Stay true to yourself and to what you believe in!
You can check out the latest teaser video for the upcoming single/video for 'Illumination' which is to be released on the 24th December and is taken from the new album 'Black Sails':