With the release of a new album and a decade in the music business, Whitechapel presented a heart-stopping, spine-tingling live performance at Warped Tour this year. Despite the early hour, the crowd gathered quickly to hear Phil Bozeman (vocals), Ben Savage (guitar), Zach Householder (guitar), Alex Wade (guitar), Ben Harclerode (drums), and Gabe Crisp (bass) play songs fans have loved for years and new selections from Mark of the Blade, released this year.
Music takes time. An accomplished guitarist, Wade has developed his unique style from the ground up. He taught himself to play guitar, listening to songs and painstakingly learning them one at a time. Over the years, he found the methods and techniques that worked for him, which formed the way he plays today. One of Wade’s greatest musical achievements to date is his signature 7-string guitar (LTD AW7-B) offered through ESP Guitars. He said, “When I was a kid and started playing guitar, I never thought in a million years I would have a signature guitar. And now I do!” His first guitar was purchased at a pawn shop and Wade is honored to have a guitar created just for him that he can share with guitar players worldwide.
The world changes and so do we. The music of Whitechapel is as ever-changing as the world we live in. The newest album, Mark of the Blade, is instantly recognizable as Whitechapel, but demonstrates a progression that has evolved with the artists. The aggression is still front and center, but more focused as they grow with their music. The clean vocals are breathtaking and add a new dimension to the sound fans have jammed for years. Lyrics from the song “Bring Me Home“ say “I’ll live on and carry your name/And be what you always thought I could be/I hope we meet at the end/But I’ll never forgive the world for taking my best friend” in a very personal and powerful tribute to lost loved ones. Spanning every level of grief, the song is a moment of remembrance. It is an emotional journey that allows you to feel, yet does not leave you sad or depressed.
Longevity requires patience. In a business where music groups can form and break up at lightning speed, Whitechapel has stayed together through it all. Wade attributes their longevity to patience and understanding. He explained, “This isn’t just one person that makes it happen. It’s a collective of people, so being able to all work together and not take each other’s heads off (is important).” Attributing their success to being raised as Southern gentlemen, Wade went on to say that no matter what happens, they maintain a level of respect. He explained, “None of us are ever going to disrespect each other. No matter how mad we are going to be at each other sometimes, we are never going to disrespect each other, because we have that, kind of, brotherly bond. It really is like a family.” Relationships take hard work to maintain and Whitechapel relies on their gentile approach and a deep-seated mutual respect to stay focused on creating the music that is at once compelling and slightly addictive.
Whitechapel is unstoppable. The savage heat and brutal schedules at Warped Tour take a toll on the artists, but Whitechapel stills pours everything they have into each live performance. There was jumping, singing, crowd surfing, and a mosh pit, everything you want in a metalcore show. Signed to Metal Blade Records, Whitechapel is a must-see at Warped Tour this year!