Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
Something epic this way comes. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, World War Me are the revival the scene has been waiting for, a new lease of life on the punk-rock trends that were the epitome of the noughties—World War Me stick out like a sore thumb in today’s post-hardcore dominated charts.
The low and hollow tone of frontman Stephen Krypel rings similarly to that of younger Marilyn Manson, his lyrical material has the narrative genius of Taking Back Sunday or Panic! At The Disco, and the band’s melodies encompass everything that’s amazing about rock music. World War Me are a breath of fresh old air. “We definitely love the vibe of those bands you mentioned and we wanted to bring it back,” says Krypel, “There’s not much of that anymore—it’s like you said, it’s the same old shit.
“There’s not any good rock music any more—we’ve been called punk-pop a lot but in my opinion, we’re just a rock band.”
With so much of what World War Me are about having been done before, this revival, to set them apart from all the others, will require the band to step up to the plate with something elaborate and gripping—and the music is what will do it. “It’s different in the sense that it doesn’t pigeonhole itself to one genre,” says Krypel, “It’s real, it’s honest, it is a revival in the sense that all those bands are alive in music but I think what’s gonna separate us from all these current bands right now is, like you said… I’m just fucking tired of it right now, it’s so boring, all the same shit.
“I could listen to a new post-hardcore song or something like that and, just predict, listening to it for the first time, predict what’s going to happen, know the melody before it happens.”
World War Me embrace all the tasty little subgenres of rock. Some songs on the album, The Good Enough and That’s So Yesterday for example, manage to be both pensive yet vibrant and revitalising. Krypel was never actively trying to achieve these vibes with his writing and yet, here we are. “It’s kind of fluid with pen to paper,” Krypel begins, “But I mean, writing songs that just feel good and are fun, we just have fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. I personally try to be very honest lyrically but at the same, I wanna have a good time. I don’t want it to be all woe is me.”
We have two songs done for the next album and the first has only just come out and they’re completely mind-blowing. It’s always working nonstop.
[ Stephen Krypel ]
Krypel’s voice is wonderful—speaking, he’s now got a very Johnny Cash deepness going on, and when he’s singing, it’s the perfect blend of angsty emo and rebellious punk, with a little of his own charm thrown in. “I don’t do it on purpose, maybe it just comes out subconsciously,” he says. He has of course, looked to some of the greats for inspiration. “Gerard Way, a lot of Freddie Mercury for the theatrics. Deryck Whibley of Sum 41, I’ve always loved his raspiness—it’s very straight forward in your face, no fucking around kind of voice which I’ve always loved, and powerful. Smoking helps,” he laughs. “You know, a healthy diet of beer and smoking. I usually take a shot or two of whiskey before I go on stage every night to get that voice.”
Refreshingly cavalier and debonair is Krypel and indeed, the whole band boasts some very big characters. The opening of their video for single That’s So Yesterday features an introduction from each member, all of them eager and yet somehow, endearingly nonchalant. The band’s devil-may-care attitude is obviously, carried over to the live stage. “It’s always energetic,” Krypel says, “We give everything we have for sure. Putting the band together, I want[ed] people I can get along with and the people I’ve always gotten on with are out-there characters.
“The pure energy that comes from every member of the band when we’re on stage is really nice to have around me too, it keeps me going because I tire myself on stage—to have the guy next to me go as hard as I do, that makes me want to keep going, to push harder.”
There’s obvious energy, enthusiasm and a unique brand of passion in Krypel, and the crystal ball of rock predicts World War Me will go far. However, it’s worth remembering that so many other bands of this ilk have in the past been successful, they’ve burnt out. Perhaps they had some sort of gimmick, storyline or costume to be ahead; World War Me have none of this. These guys are raw energy, an energizer bunny on speed. At this early stage of their career, you can only speculate at what they’ll do to stop themselves burning out. “I’m just gonna keep working non-stop,” Krypel says firmly. “We’re always rehearsing, I’m always at my producer’s house writing my songs, in different genres too so I can keep my writing open. I don’t want to sound like a broken record on the next album. Also, we have two songs done for the next album and the first has only just come out and they’re completely mind-blowing. It’s always working nonstop.
“We’ve never been complacent with where we are. With where I’m at personally, and have everyone be happy with where I’m at, if I’m content in my life, then I know that I’m never gonna be able to write a fucking good song—contentment is the death of all good music.”