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INTERVIEW: Johnny Plague – Winds Of Plague

Since forming in 2005 WINDS OF PLAGUE have encountered a lot of success particularly with their first full length effort Decimate The Weak and through playing high profile tours with DESPISED ICON, ALL SHALL PERISH and PARKWAY DRIVE amongst others, 2017 see’s the band return from the shadows with a heavily revised lineup hoping to pick up where they left off. We caught up with frontman and founding member Johnny Plague to get some insight on the new lineup and what we can expect from their upcoming new album.

Winds of Plague entered a period of hiatus back in 2015, does it feel good to be back?

Johnny: 2015 marked a period of about 10 years of constant touring. We collectively felt we needed to take a break from the road and focus more on our personal lives and establishing roots at home with both our families and careers outside of music… Now, I feel it is a great time in my life to pick up the band where we left off and yes it feels great to be back, there is no other feeling in this world that comes close to being on stage with WINDS OF PLAGUE.

2015 also saw the departure of long standing guitarists Nick Eash and Nick Piunno and bassist Andrew Glover. Was it just time for a change of personnel? Was the decision amicable?

Johnny: We started this band at a very adolescent age in our lives and after spending nearly 12 years together (in a van) we had started to grow apart both personally and creatively. In 2015 when we decided to take a break I feel like we had hit a dead end with each other. When I decided to get WINDS OF PLAGUE going again we decided to go our separate ways.

What do you think the revised lineup brings to the table? Has it breathed new life into the creative processes involved in writing the album?

Johnny: Its a lot of fun and quite refreshing to have new blood on board for the rebirth of WINDS OF PLAGUE. Everyone is excited and happy to be on the road. The new members are very talented and dedicated to their craft. We have also acquired a new keyboardist, Adrienne Cowan. Adrienne is not only extremely gifted with the keys but also has a killer singing and screaming voice that has added some new elements to the band both live and recorded.

Blood Of My Enemy will be your first release in four years, what can the fans expect from this effort?

Johnny: I think fans can expect a rejuvenated WINDS OF PLAGUE. It’s the same signature sound we have carried with us since Decimate The Weak but also continues moving the band forward with a modern edge. We spent two years creating this record. Every song has been dissected, analyzed and sculpted to be the best of its potential. This is the first record ever that I have walked away from the recording studio 100% satisfied with.

Are there any particular songs on the album which you have taken a shine to?

Johnny: I really enjoy the fact this record is so diverse and every song has its own edge that makes it stand apart from the rest. I really like the blackened riffs and vocals on Soul Eater, the epic battle sounds on Blood Of My Enemy and the raw aggression on 5150.

The album clocks in at around the 40 minute mark which is around the same ball park as previous efforts, is this an aspect of the recording process that you take into consideration?

Johnny: Its not a conscious decision. I think we just aim to keep the songs around three to four minutes both due to listener attention span as well as keeping in mind a live setting. Most support shows we are given a 30-minute set and we would prefer to play eight shorter songs than five long songs.

How do you feel your sound has evolved over the course of your career?

Johnny: I feel we stumbled upon this mash up of a sound with Decimate The Weak in our early years. We spent the next few records trying to hone that sound in and I feel like this record we have finally harnessed and executed the signature blend death metal and hardcore with epic orchestral arrangements and crushing breakdowns.

Next year it will be a decade since the album that brought you to the dance, Decimate The Weak. Do you have anything special planned?

Johnny: Decimate The Weak has helped shape my identity and is responsible for 1/3 of my life. We don’t have any concrete plans but the 10-year anniversary will not go unnoticed.

Are you looking forward to getting back on the road? Can the UK fans expect any tour dates in the future?

Johnny: In both a blessing and a curse the band has effectively returned to being merely a hobby for me. I now have a full-time career at home as well as a 2 year old son so touring has become a bit more challenging. We do plan on touring a few times over the next year and would absolutely love to return to the UK if possible.

Are there any bands in particular who you would love to tour with that you haven’t had the opportunity to do so previously?

Johnny: There are so many amazing bands we have yet to share the stage with but I would be happy to tour with anyone that would have us. One of my career’s largest let down is when we had to cancel our Europe/UK tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE and DEVILDRIVER.

What are goals for the long term future of Winds Of Plague?

Johnny: I really don’t have any goals. Just taking things day by day and grateful for every opportunity and experience that comes our way.

Blood Of My Enemy is due for release on October 27th via eOne/SPV.

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