With Our Arms To The Sun is one of THE post-metal bands to watch out for, and we have the exclusive scoop on their new album’s title.
Where bands like Deafheaven and Agalloch combine lush, shoegazey atmospherics with black metal ferocity, WOATTS take that same propensity for combining beauty and brutality and spin it into something more like thinking man’s metal, music designed to hit you in the gut and open your third eye at the same time.
WOATTS signed to Fade To Silence Records last year, who promptly re-released the band’s stunning 2014 album, A Far Away Wonder. The label is also releasing a new WOATTS full-length later this year, perhaps as soon as late summer, and guitarist and singer Josh Breckenridge tells us that it will be called ORENDA.
The band is fresh off a year that saw them open for Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 on his solo North American tour, open for Tool and Primus at a festival in Arizona, and of course sign a deal with Fade To Silence, a new label founded by industry vet Paul Bibeau, who discovered several bands that Breckendridge is a big fan of when he owned Spitfire Records and Eagle Rock Entertainment.
But despite being Bibeau’s latest “discovery,” if you will, this is not a band likely to ever rest on its laurels. “We definitely did lots of experimentation on this record. We built some of the music around the vocals instead of the other way around. We tried some unique tunings and timings, and pushed ourselves out of our own box to make a collection of songs that all tie together to tell one story,” Breckenridge told us.
“Our mission statement from the start of this band has always been the same: to create our own style of music separate from the mainstream music machine,” he added.
“Everyone has influences but few musicians are able to abandon what they know and truly play their ‘hearts song.’ That is what WOATTS does on every record. When you play our music you’re not just hearing the same rehashed stuff most bands are putting out, you’re hearing music drawn from a sacred place, by people who are in tune with themselves as artists. It is honest and deliberate.”
ORENDA is a concept album of sorts, with the lyrics telling the story of a protagonist whose life parallels Breckenridge’s “in a strange way.”
“The theme will be apparent (to some) and I am excited for people to delve in and take the ride with us. What I like about this album is there are a ton of ‘Easter Eggs.’ Each time you listen you’re going to stumble upon something new.”
The album was recorded at 11th Dimension Studios in California as well as a house WOATTS rented in the middle of nowhere in the Arizona desert. “It was great to isolate ourselves and take the time to really do it correctly and have our full artistic vision realized,” Breckenridge said. “We did work with a producer in some capacity on this record, but I am hoping he will be the first person to tell people, not me.”
You’ll definitely want to keep an eye on this band and check out ORENDA when it’s finally unleashed on the masses. But something tells us the band is going to make sure you have no other choice.
“We’re not here to blend in on the bottom, we are here to make our mark and be remembered,” Breckenridge said. “Our hunger is big, our will is strong, and our ability to never give up is second to none. We will continue to make music that challenges the mainstream, we will continue to find our audience, and we will continue to make small victories on this journey. We have sacrificed many years for our dream and there are many songs left in us.”
Watch With Our Arms To The Sun play “Great Black Divide” off of A Far Away Wonder at the Monster Mash Music Festival in Tempe, AZ last October, when they opened for TOOL, Primus, and Coheed and Cambria: