INTERVIEW: Warpark

Warpark are a New York City band who play loud, groovy rock music. Using the classic drums/bass/guitar setup with a heavy dose of far out sonic textures and punk attitude, the group has a unique take on guitar rock and a meticulous approach to songwriting.

The trio just released a new single “Slug”, which was written in response to the weekend of August 2, 2019, when the US experienced two devastating mass shootings. Violent and brutish, the song aims to give rise to a sense of urgency over the issue of gun violence. Stream the single here, and watch the music video, which was created by artist Pablo Campos, here.

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
 


Simon Arcenio (SA): Chillin’. How are you?

Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “Slug”?



SA: Slug is a violent “heavy alternative” track that directly points out the irony of the lack of gun control as it relates to self-protection. More specifically, pointing out the hypocrisy of our strict laws on alcohol and the war on drugs vs the leniency with which you can attain an automatic assault rifle.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
 


SA: Yeah. 2019 was quite a year for mass shootings. It started off with the Parkland school shootings which really sparked an interest in the discussion. However, the lyrical content of the song came out of me after a specific weekend in August 2019 when there were two mass shootings within 17 hours of each other. First at a Walmart in El Paso, followed by a shooting on a popular bar strip in Dayton. The details are a bit murky almost a year later, but the relevance of the song remains the same.

What made you want to tackle this rather dark topic?


SA: I immediately started writing down a bunch of statistics from these two specific shootings. Things like which guns were used, the distance between the two locations, the motives. The song seems to tackle mass shootings specifically but it really branches out to a number of other problems, right? I think ultimately both shootings were motivated by hate. Specifically: Latinos were the targets of the Walmart shooting in El Paso. My father’s an immigrant from Ecuador. I am a first generation American. We’re both assimilated. I’ve learned to love my neighbor despite our differences and the fact that people out there hate my existence enough to want to kill people who look like me made me very emotional. It’s hard to identify as an American when you know there’s an American populace that wants you dead, or at least wants you out of their country.

How was the recording and writing process?


SA: It was a different process than we were used to. Normally we write the music first and the lyrics follow suit. This time I had lyrics and no music. So I just kinda let Roger (Bassist) and Nick (drums) punk out with some chromatic scales while I read the lyrics through a microphone. Finding the rhythms and the placements for the words. I didn’t pick up a guitar on the song until we were ready to record. We had our rhythm section and lyrics locked in place, and then I did a ton of guitar overdubs first doubling the bass, and then adding an alternative southern twang riff that I thought fit the vibe. When I thought the song was done, Roger became adamant about adding fx and news clips to the track to give it something special.

What’s the story behind the music video?


SA: We started scouting artists and we found an awesome one by the name of Pablo Campos, who resides in Budapest. The pandemic was just hitting NYC and we needed an outlet for creativity and we knew that other people internationally would also be struggling (although Pablo mentioned things were more chill in Budapest). We decided it was a good time to support a fellow artist and work together to make something worthwhile. The band came up with the theme of communist propaganda imagery; we told Pablo what the song was about and we basically let him loose. He had full creative control and was able to expand on our message through his video in a way that I thought was really cool. Our song was saying one thing, while his video supported and added a whole series of other points that were implied through the music. Very happy with his work and I look forward to working with Pablo Campos again.

What role does NYC play in your music?

SA: It’s where two of the band members are from and that means a lot in terms of the political beliefs and ideologies of the group. Roger will always claim Philly is his home but he’s probably spent more time in NY at this point. Nevertheless Roger is kind of our centrist fact checker. Which speaks to the diversity we experienced as kids growing up in NY. He’s always looking at both sides of the argument, which is invaluable. I think NYC has made us political almost involuntarily. While simultaneously introducing us to various cultures which shows up in our music. Nick is like our buoy who keeps us balanced musically. Roger and I couldn’t be further apart in terms of music tastes. I’d claim to be hip-hop and indie rock influenced and Roger’s more classic rock, punk ska…so…you never know who you’re going to be forced to work with in NYC and what relationships can stem from that. 


Does the new single mean we can expect a new EP or album – how’s that coming along?


SA: We’ve got some songs in the works for sure. Hard to say whether we’re ready for an album yet, but the EP is definitely within reason. You can definitely expect more singles.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?


SA: We’ve got a song lined up right after ‘Slug’ which is a totally different vibe but I think it’s gonna be a real crowd pleaser. A lot less abrasive lol

Any plans to hit the road?


SA: We’re driving upstate this week to hibernate, record and see what happens. No touring plans until there’s a viable vaccine in mass production. But this will be our first outing together since March 2020 so we’re very excited.

What else is happening next in Warpark’s world?


SA: I’m looking forward to the next stage of this group. We’re entirely self-produced and we’ve been making music for years now. So I think there’s great promise for us. I know there’s a lifetime of music to come. Thanks for asking! 

You can also check out Warpark on socials, here:

https://www.facebook.com/warparkmusic

https://www.twitter.com/warparkmusic

https://www.instagram.com/warparkmusic

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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