by Interviews

Wristmeetrazor are constantly evolving their sound and their upcoming third album Degeneration is a perfect example of this. The band leans more into their industrial and metallic side while also making use of groovy riffs as they hold a magnifying glass up to the state of the human race. Over the course of 12 tracks (and one hidden one) they explore how society (along with themselves) has degenerated in the past few years with philosophical and oftentimes misanthropic lyrics that explore what it means to be human, the true meaning of revenge, the destructive yearning for fame, the hypocrisy of the world we live in, and dive deep into what it means to lose your identity. Degeneration will be out everywhere on March 29 via Prosthetic Records. Wristmeetrazor will be touring the Eastern US starting in April.

Punknews editor Em Moore caught up with lead vocalist Justin Fornof over Zoom to talk about the album, writing and recording in near-total isolation, philosophy, dental hygiene, and so much more. Read the interview below!

This interview between Em Moore and Justin Fornof took place on March 19, 2024 over Zoom. This transcription documents their conversation and has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

You’ve been playing with this lineup for two years now and Degeneration will be your first album to feature Elaine on bass, Nate on guitar, and you on lead vocals. How has the lineup change affected the dynamic of the band?

After we did Replica of A Strange Love, which was our last record, the plan was originally that I was going to continue playing bass and doing vocals at the same time. We recorded that record and Isaac from Knocked Loose did all the bass on it. But the plan was I was going to play the bass still so the bass was good but it was supposed to be simple enough that I could pick it up and play and sing at the same time because I did that with all the Misery Never Forgets stuff. So going into it, that was the plan, and then COVID happened. The whole lockdown thing really changed the dynamics of a lot. We sat there not being able to play shows or do anything for two years. Through that time I was like, “I think maybe this is the easiest time to do this,” because we had planned on me switching solely to vocals possibly in the future. At that point, it seemed like no better time to commit to not having to do both vocals and bass anymore and we got Elaine. She started doing everything. She did our very first tour after COVID and has done everything since then. That dynamic essentially changed with the last record almost, it feels like it did. It doesn’t even feel like a new change, really.

After the first tour, our original guitar player Jonah left and then we got Nate. He toured with us for a full year before we recorded the record. The dynamic changed a lot when it came to what we were able to write and what we were able to perform live. We were able to do something a little bit heavier and the bass could be a little bit more intricate. But it wasn’t a shock going into the studio because we’ve played with this lineup for so long now. It was very seamless the way it all went down.

You wrote and recorded the album in near total isolation in a cabin in the woods in New Jersey. What went into your decision to record this way?

The record was recorded with Randy LeBoeuf, who has done stuff with Dying Wish and Boundaries and The Acacia Strain and Orthodox. He’s done a lot of bands that we’re friends with. I thought at the time that it could be really interesting to really put our all into this album and go for it. Then on top of that, the aspect of being able to record it in isolation was something that I thought was super cool and interesting. I always thought that when bands would record at places like the Houdini Mansion in California and go out there and be super far out in the middle of nowhere was really cool. Having to commit to this much larger thing that controls your life for a month or two months or a year or whatever it is, that’s something that you can’t really get from comfort - from going to a studio in the suburbs or in someone’s house or something like that. It’s very different for sure.

I think a huge part that helped us create was the isolation and being able to really submerge ourselves in what we were doing. We were even more unlike other bands that go record there because a lot of bands will go record there but don't stay there exclusively. They’ll go for a week and leave and come back and leave and come back until the record’s done. But for us, our record was done in one straight shot of about six weeks. In that entire time frame, we only left the cabin three times and of those three times, I only left twice and Nate actually never left. We left only to get groceries so the rest of the time we were there writing. It was a very interesting experience and it caused a little bit of stir-craziness when we were writing for sure. But part of producing a record, especially producing a record like this, is the madness and insanity that goes with it. It’s gotta have some sort of element of realness to it for it to come off the way that I think it needed to.

We were very excited that we were able to actually do something like that because I think it’s unique. Randy produced it, helped co-write it, and did the whole thing. He played a massive, massive role in how the record sounds because his element of it was the same as well. That whole experience was so unique and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, honestly.

How did you make sure that everyone was on board and stayed in isolation? Did you have any ties to the outside world? Was it like, “No phones when we are here in the cabin”?

I wish that would’ve been the case! That wasn’t the case, unfortunately. We all had our phones and stuff and we played Playstation 2 a lot. [laughs] There weren't any rules set down. I think we were all in the same psychotic mindset that when we went there that’s what we were there to do so there really wasn’t any need to do too much else. We very much focussed on playing and writing and that whole thing. The band is pretty much a hive mind, we all typically have the same ideas at the same time. This was one of those moments where we were all pretty locked in on the same goal.

Was the hive mind active for one song in particular or was it there for the overarching theme of the album?

Oh the whole album for sure. The album, as most people are finding out when they listen to it, has got a bunch of different vibes on it. It kinda flows in different ways. We had a very exact thing that we wanted to come into this with. We had accrued a lot of influences from touring the last record and this seemed like a good moment to utilize those influences and put them into something that was cool and something that was going to be a good representation of where we are now, which was hard to create but also was something we felt that the last record didn’t necessarily do anymore. We had evolved past that, if that makes sense.

Definitely. Not being stuck in that rut and pushing forward to find something new and different.

Yeah. And we’ve had so many different influences as musicians. I never wanted the band to be one thing and I think we get pigeon-holed into being one thing a lot by people, like being a screamo band or being a scene band or something like that. [laughs] We never really wanted descriptors like that or to be genre-specific like that. This is a record that I think breaks those a lot.

What were some of your main influences for this record?

It was coming from a bunch of different directions but we really did want to make this record a lot more metal as far as the instrumental goes on it. There was a lot of influence from groove metal from the '90s, there’s a lot of industrial metal influence, there was some Swedish death metal influence, and some vaguely black metal influences too. It takes so many more influences than the other records do but at the same time, there was always a tie back to the original stuff. We listen to Darkest Hour and Agony Scene all the time.

There’s actually two songs that I would say have screamo elements and maybe people grew to expect that from what we were going to do so I didn’t want to axe that necessarily. I know we all kinda had the same idea when it came to what the songs were going to sound like. We didn’t want to axe the old stuff just in order to completely do an about-face but we did want to really progress it in a way where it was evolving naturally and growing into something else. It’s hard because I don’t think that all the old songs represent us anymore. In one way they do and they are stuff we wrote and we are proud of what we’ve done but I think we needed something new to represent where we are now as opposed to the older songs.

What did you learn about yourself and about your bandmates when you were in isolation?

We’ve done so much touring so it wasn’t hard to be next to each other because we always do that anyways. As a band we typically tend to do our own thing, especially on tour, and we always do stuff with each other. What I think we had to persevere over was the cabin fever elements of it and having to achieve something that was out of our comfort zone a little bit when it came to the time frame to finish the record and make it really good. To create it essentially from scratch and do everything we were thinking of. We didn’t go in with any full songs so when we went to the studio there wasn’t a full record already written and then we recorded it. There were a bunch of riffs and there was maybe a piece of a song or ¾ of a song but there were no full songs. In order to finish this in time, we had to be very regimented in what we did every single day and how much work we got done. Every single day we needed to have at least some sort of progress made in order to finish it on time. Even then, after we finished the actual recording process, we still did a lot of the after-engineered production up until last summer. The work on the record never really stopped. It was seven months of constantly doing more and more stuff.

Through that time it’s tough and sometimes your creative juices run dry and you stop thinking of stuff and it becomes hard to create. At times it was hard for me to write lyrics. I wrote all thirteen tracks in about two weeks. I had a lot of the ideas but I had to actually put them together in two weeks which I did and everything on the record is what I created. There’s that thing when it comes to having to overcome what is not necessarily easy circumstances and doing things that might be kind of uncomfortable. Sometimes when you’re really in a crunch to do something, you don’t get to do it at any kind of leisure. It’s like, “Now, it has to be good and it has to be done the first time or the second time. We have to keep moving on”. I know Tyler, who recorded all the guitar, and me doing vocals, we were in positions where there really wasn’t a ton of room for error. We were trying to do our very best on some of the first takes that we did so we could continue moving at a good speed, especially if it was something that we could do in a first take. The pressure of that was something that needed to be persevered through and overcome. I think we learned that we could do that which was nice.

When you felt the creative block what helped you to push through that?

I have a Notes app on my phone that’s full of ideas. The record’s been over for about a year now and I still have tons of ideas that I'll put into Notes. So I have an accumulated thing that I’ll go back to when I run out. I try to take a lot of influence in the things that I feel especially when I can conceptualize a larger piece of work like this record is, it has a rough concept going with it. When I have that, I’ll try to go back to what my original influences were and see if I can feel inspired by any of that. That’s really it. I try to continually go back to my inspirations to pull up more stuff and usually, it is there. I’ve also been really fortunate because I graduated with an English degree when I went to college so I’m used to having to try to write things in a bind and also try to reword things and research stuff to create new influences, find new things in common with my subject matter until I can piece it together.

Did you have one thing in particular that you had to research for this album?

I wouldn’t say in particular because in a very large part, the record is about societal degeneration as reflected through me. I felt like in a large part it was more so just what was coming naturally to me at the time and what I was seeing at the time. It was easy in that sense and I didn’t have to do too much research but I always like to do research into philosophy because I’ve always been a big fan of philosophy. For this one, I really liked a lot of the absurdist philosophers. I’ve always gone back to stuff like Nietzsche, Camus, Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey, people like that who I felt were speaking on a similar level to me. I usually like a lot of those because they can ground some of my thoughts into realism which I do like. The album ended up being very absurdist and misanthropic in ways that I really wanted it to be. I think in order to be able to concisely purvey a thought sometimes you have to look back on the philosophers who have already made those points and find some sort of basis in your life with it.

How would you describe your songwriting process?

Instrumentally the record is a strong collaboration. Our guitar player, Tyler, put a lot of work into the riffs and there were a lot of tireless hours put into making sure they were the right riffs for the songs, even with the influences put in place already. It was a lot of tireless riff-choosing. It was the same with the lyrics, really. Even though I have a very strong idea of what I want the lyrics to be and what I want the songs to be, it’s one thing actually writing lyrics and it’s another thing putting them into a song and making them fit and also making them fit in the larger context of a record. Those are very, very complex situations that it’s hard to give superfluous meaning to and then move on. You realize how important it is to put out a record. It’ll be something that people can listen to forever so with that consideration in mind, it makes it more difficult but I think we were able to pull it through.

To make sure everything’s still relevant or to make sure everything stands up?

That it stands up. And that’s it’s relevant too but I think even bigger than that is that it’ll be something that we’ll be proud of. Something that we’re not going to look back on and be like, “I wish I would’ve done this” or whatever. That pressure is hard because when you’re doing it you see how it could go wrong, you could see how something that you’re saying or something that you’re writing could not age with you. In that sense it gets difficult because you don’t want to be putting something out there that might possibly not represent you, especially when you know people are going to hear it and, in our corner of the world at least, are gonna judge you for what the record sounds like or what the lyrics say. There is scrutiny on what it is.

How much weight do you give that scrutiny?

I’ve stopped giving it any weight, honestly, but it’s hard to say it doesn’t affect anything. I don’t think it has any place in my mind as far as what I do. I don’t think about what people will say but I think there’s a human aspect to it that while it might not necessarily affect me, I, as a human being, am worried about it affecting the other band members or the people who worked on the record more so than myself. I write the lyrics that I feel and that I want to write and that I feel represent me. At the end of the day, after I put that out there, I don’t care what anyone says.

But I do understand that through a lot of the writing process, especially instrumentally, you want to be proud of the way it sounds. I think there was definitely care put into how the riffs were put together and how the songs were put together because we didn’t want it to sound a certain way or come off as corny or anything like that. I understand both sides of caring and not caring in that aspect. Personally though, I don’t care at all. That’s where I stand on that.

Like you said, as long as it’s something you’re proud of that’s all that matters.

I’m very, very accustomed to people not liking it. It has no effect on me because I know that no matter what you do, there will always be people who are critical of what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter how good it is, there’s going to be someone that’s critical. This band has made ourselves kind of a lightning rod for criticism so when we do anything, it’s going to be criticized. I expect it fully from jump street that someone’s going to hate it or someone’s going to have some sort of snide comment. Whatever the Lambgoat comments are going to say or whatever the YouTube comments are going to say, I already know they won’t all be good. So to that extent, why not just put out something that I like and if they are critical of it then it doesn't really mean anything to me.

I think it’s easy to get bogged down in those opinions but it’s also kind of a compliment. I’ve always felt it’s complementary whether they love or hate the band, they feel something. I would prefer that as opposed to indifference, always. As long as they keep loving or keep hating it, that’s great in my opinion.

Then you know you’ve hit a nerve one way or another.

And it’s written in a way that’s divisive and visceral. It’s supposed to be getting a reaction so if someone listened to it and was like, “You know what? It just sounds like background noise, I don’t care”, I would be way more hurt than if they said, “Oh this sucks! I hate everything about this and I’m going to go comment on it now”. [laughs] That’s much better to me. I’m like, “Great! I’m glad you hate it, I’m really glad. The fact that you hate it so much you had to comment on it, that’s great to me".

Then someone will see the comment and be like, “The commenter’s wrong”.

We have very good fans too. We have very supportive fans which is nice that we’ve been able to create this culture around the band. There are people that will defend us even on things like the Lambgoat comments, places where it doesn’t do you any good to fight back because it’s all the faceless hoard just going at it and usually saying the most disgusting, transphobic, homophobic things that they can think of. But we have fans that will actually defend us for stuff like that. I’m very supportive of them for that. None of that really affects us but the fact that it could affect people who like us so much that they felt like they needed to defend us, I think that’s cool. I like that.

On “The Vanity Procession” you talk about the lengths people will go to to achieve fame and hold on to it. What can be done to dismantle the cult of celebrity? What’s your experience with fame in the scene?

I wrote that song because I was feeling very disconnected from a lot of my peers and what I see as a cult of internet niche celebritism where I think people very much just want to be seen as important. It’s manifested itself in ways that I find absolutely disgusting and reprehensible amongst people I’ve known for years, for most of my life essentially and most of their lives. We live in a culture and an age now where instead of having these very lofty shadowy enemies that you’re fighting against like these people that are so far above your level in the social caste system that you could comment on their Instagram post and they’d never see it - it would just disappear and be a drop in the ocean - now that person now exists in every circle of life. I know people who model their lives after celebrities and they see it the same way. There are people I’ve known and had full conversations with and done favours for who are like that. You can comment on something that they’ll say and they don’t even recognize it - they only recognize the people who like them as their fandom or whatever in a bad way, not in a relatable way but in a way that they see them as tiny specks of dust in the sand. I wrote that song out of the frustration of seeing how often that exists now in the niche celebrity age that we’re in. Instead of it being kind of like Big Brother, like the shadowy government system that you can’t see anymore, it’s all Little Brother now where they all take after Big Brother. It’s a very strange idolization of what we are shown and told to hate.

However it’s really, really interesting to me that there’s a lot of people in bands that are not that big that have very similar attitudes. I just thought it was funny and something that would be interesting to bring up in a song. I also don’t like very specific song callouts. Unless there’s a real specific beef there, it’s not relatable to most people. They might like it because it seems juicy but I think this topic is more relatable because it exists amongst everyone in our generation. I think we all exist in circles where there are people who act like they are the 1% and they basically idolize the actual 1% and then they do it to smaller communities. That’s essentially what the song’s about.

It’s also mixed with a lot of tongue-in-cheek things because I like to do that, especially in shocking ways. I brought up the idea - and this is more of a metaphor - that to murder or kill someone or kill yourself creates fame. One bullet can create your own fame, that’s all it takes. So all you have to do is literally kill off your former self, kill off all the people who have ever loved you, and you can also be famous. It’s all what you’re willing to do to achieve this niche fandom. However, on the flip side, you have to understand that you don’t own that shadow, you’re renting it. You’re trying to become famous but real famous people will never notice you at all, you’ll never be that. So in order to even try to achieve that level of fame, you have to kill off yourself as well as distance yourself from everything that makes you a human being. I know that’s kinda lofty and kind of wordy but that’s essentially what the song is.

It kinda ties in with the line “I won’t be your clone” from another song on the album.

That’s in “Synthetic-51n”. Yeah, there’s a similar vibe on that for sure.

On “Love Thy Enmity” you talk about how we’re brainwashed to constantly be at war with ourselves and to constantly seek out that conflict. Can the brainwashing be undone or is it past that point?

It’s never past that point. I think that’s more of how I feel conditioned, especially in a way that is detrimental. A lot of Degeneration was seeing myself through the broken lens of this societally degenerated thing. I felt more so that I needed to make it a point to say that I’m the man in the mirror, not only am I participating in this but I’m also a product of it. Sometimes in order to overcome it you have to become it.

“Love Thy Enmity” is a lot about trying to come to grips with the unfairness of justice and how you can be completely maddened by trying to find true justice in anything. That journey is actually fruitless and you never really get it but through trying you become the monster yourself. Through the search for justice, you become the monster or the person you were trying not to be because it’s so reflected upon you that you realize the only way to destroy the monster is to become it to some extent. On top of that, I think those tactics, the ones in which you would find justice - at least in American society - are followed very closely along the lines of the judicial system and things like that. Not following any cop logic and instead following your own leads to some very dark places I think.

Kinda like vigilantism?

To a certain extent, yeah. I would say mental vigilantism. It’s more or less being obsessed with revenge and trying to find it in any way that you can. It’s hard to put that into exact terms because I think as a concept it’s a little bit more lofty than just mental vigilantism. It’s more the mad state that you would go through. I think it’s a very human thing. Once you realize that not only is there no justice but there won’t be an even-keeled response to any kind of true injustice that happens and when you think that’s something you need to achieve, that is when you find this hopeless insanity that, in my opinion, is not found anywhere else in life.

Loss of identity is a big theme on the album. How do you come back to yourself when you feel like you’re adrift?

I like to write songs, honestly. I like to write lyrics when that happens. I definitely felt there was a huge loss of identity going into the record and the writing process. But after I wrote the lyrics and after the record was done it definitely puts things in perspective and it definitely frames things in a different way. It’s nice to get those things out there. I like to be able to create and put things out into the world that are hopefully relatable because they have a great impact on my life and how I feel. That’s always been my favourite outlet, just creating stuff.

Then you can fully express it too instead of trying to hold something in.

Yeah, exactly. I’m not a massive social media guy so I like the fact that I could sit in a room either on my phone or with a pad and a pen and just write and divulge that, just get everything out. Then I can go back afterwards and revise that into what I really wanna say. Into what is actually going to sound good, what people are going to like, and what I’m going to feel good about later. I think that’s a good representation of myself and ultimately I feel better about that when I do it. That has always helped.

Going back really enjoying the creative process and turning something negative into art.

I’ve always been a big fan of that for myself at least. I think that’s part of what the band is. It’s always been a cathartic band for all of us, instrumentally too. I think the catharsis of the band is very palpable in what we do.

Did you have a song off the album that was the most cathartic to write and record?

That’s tough, actually. There’s a couple that come to mind. I really liked doing “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead” a lot. I liked the lyrics to that one. I liked when I wrote it because that one I had had brewing for a really long time. I really wanted to put it into some sort of way that represented what I was thinking and how disconnected I was feeling from society as a whole. I thought that one came out really well. I really liked the last track too, “Greatest Love Offering in the History of the World”. That one felt very cathartic to write.

It’s hard because they really all are in different ways. Usually, I like to really put myself into lyric writing especially when I’m writing songs individually. So every single individual song that I would do, I would get really into and I would really focus on a lot. It would usually dominate a day or two where that’s the only thing I would be focused on. I have so much hyperfocus on all these tracks that I can put myself back into those places individually and really feel them.

You also have a secret song on the album called “Plasticine”. How did the idea to do a secret song come about?

We had always planned on doing a secret song on this but we weren’t sure what it was gonna be, it wasn’t always going to be that track. This is lore I guess, the last song was flipped originally. So where the secret song was the last song was and the hidden track was the song that ended up being last on the record. Rightfully so, and I agree with this decision, we ended up deciding to flip it. I think there’s a very huge tonal difference between the two tracks and lyrically too because the hidden track, while I do like the lyrics, they kind of piggyback on what I was going for on “Xeroxed Reflection”. That song was about trying to find an identity and having other people relate to your identity and wanting to also but in some ways there being a huge downside to that involving a loss of your own identity as other people try to own your life and your hardships. The lyrics are about the same, unfortunately. But I thought it was a really cool song and I definitely think it’s a really catchy song so I wanted it to be on the record in some way for sure. I think everybody else agreed with it too because it was a fan favourite when we were in the studio so it needed to be on there somehow. I’m glad it worked out this way.

It’s like a little treat. When the album’s done it’s like, “Wait, hold on, there’s more”.

Yeah, exactly. I’ve always loved records that did that. I’ve always thought that was super cool. I’m glad we were able to do a record like that.

It’s always so fun when you figure it out and no one else does like, “HA, I know a secret!”

[laughs] Exactly! I’m excited for the people who like the band to find it too. I’m sure it will get found pretty quickly. That’s been part of this record cycle too is the surprises. We’ve had a lot of little surprises in this, it’s been cool.

Like the code and the riddles.

Yeah, exactly that! We’ve been very cryptic in the lead-up to this. Elaine actually created the entire rollout in the beginning there with the cipher. It started off as a binary code and then you had to use a Caesar Cipher to shift it 12 digits over to find the exact phrase which was “Trepanation”, which was the name of our first single. If you typed that into our website you would’ve got a link that told you when the first single dropped. That was super cool. On top of that, we’ve had 12 zeros in our bio for a long time to hint at that being a thing. The number 12 is big on the whole record because - I’ve also been trying to hype this up in different cryptic ways - if you wait 12 seconds after the last song, that’s how you get to the hidden track. So if you wait 12 seconds after the 12th song you get the hidden track. It’s all part of a thing, it’s all thought of. There’s a lot of thought put into all of it.

It’s really special. You feel like you’re a part of it as a fan listening and interacting with it.

I like building that world. We’ve been very fortunate too on our Discord, there's enough people who are involved in it and invested that they want to find all the stuff out too. Sometimes they’ll do it super, super quick like as soon as we think it up, they’ll already have done it. It’s cool to have a community of people who are that intrigued by what you’re doing that they’re going after it.

Does the number 12 have any special significance?

I like numerology. Denominations or multiplications of 3 are always very important and powerful, especially in the world of numerology. I like the number 12. I’ve done the number 6 on a lot of things. On our first two records, we also utilized some numerology. There’s a track on Replica Of A Strange Love that me and our old guitar player, Jonah, created. It’s an electronic track called “99 & 44​/​100”. It utilizes a lot of numerology, the song is basically chanting numbers and then there are the numbers in the title.

I’ve always been a fan of numerology and it’s been a pervasive thing that’s replayed itself a bunch. I’m happy that we could continue that thing. I do try to do that in everything that I create. If I have a hand in the aesthetic rollout usually there is an extent of numerology that’s played into it. Elaine, thankfully, is very tech-savvy and she’s able to create a bunch of stuff. She did our whole website, which looks amazing. That’s all been part of the whole process.

The “about” section of the website has a blurb about every member and everyone mentions a drink that fuels them. If you had to create a signature Wirstmeetrazor beverage, what would it be?

Oh man, that’s tough. We all like really different stuff. I think it would be super cool if we got our own signature energy drink flavour because we’re all really big into energy drinks. I personally like Red Bull more and Elaine likes Monster more so it’s split on that. [laughs] I would say to split the difference between all of us we would probably do some sort of signature coffee flavour. Bryan is a big fan of mixed coffee drinks so I feel we could do some sort of very strange mixture between soda water and cold brew and energy drink that would just be straight poison. [laughs] I think that would be a good Degeneration drink.

You drink it and then everything becomes extra clear.

Yeah, exactly. You could see multiple dimensions at the same time.

You can see where the degeneration’s happening, where it’s not.

[laughs] You could see tears in the fabric of time with that thing for sure.

You’ve mentioned that performing live is one of the first things you take into consideration when you’re writing new music. How did this come into play with this album?

It’s hard to say exactly. While we definitely wanted to write stuff that we wanted to play, I think there is a fine line when it comes to playing music that you really wanna play live and playing music that you really just wanna record. There are certain songs on the record that definitely had a live aspect baked into them from the very beginning where, “This is going to be a very cool live song” was a main aspect. I would say that a lot of the tracks don’t necessarily have that. There are songs where we wrote them more so because we thought they were going to be a well-written song. It wasn’t really created with things like, “Here’s where the breakdown’s gonna go” or “Here’s where there’s gonna be a super crazy fast part” or something like that in mind. They were written in a way where we were going to try to flow and come to a logical conclusion. Sometimes that logical conclusion happened before any kind of crazy breakdown or some sort of wild live portion would have ever occurred. It’s a little of a and a little of b. We wanna write good live songs and then we also just want to write good songs. I think this record has a little bit of both.

What songs were created with the live aspect in mind?

“No Ceremony” definitely was a song that was meant to be a heavy live song. I think “Trepanation” definitely has some real hard live aspects to it and “Turn On” has some really heavy live aspects to it too. But I think for those, there’s also another song like “Xeroxed Reflection” which I think we’re still truly trying to figure out how we could play that live. Even though that song does have a heavy breakdown in it it was definitely put into the world without a live aspect of it being conceptualized. “DogdayGod” is the same way. That song will be really cool live when we can figure out how to do it live, however, its main purpose is that it’s on the record and that it sounds cool, and that it’s getting across the point that it’s trying to get across. That’s more important than what it’s going to be like live.

[Justin’s dentist calls]

Ok, sorry. [laughs] That’s funny because they’ve never called me before. I always go to this place at the same time every time I go to the dentist and they never ever call until I actually have something I’m doing and then they call. [laughs]

They knew. You’re not thinking about your teeth, you have to be thinking about your teeth.

[laughs] Exactly, exactly! And I do think about my teeth all the time. It’s very funny.

How seriously do you take your oral hygiene?

[laughs] I try to take it very seriously. You only have your teeth for as long as you have them and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. I try to go to the dentist as often as I possibly can. My hygienist has found the band and will talk to me about it literally every single time I go. He loves to talk to me about touring and playing music. He does things that I think are funny but I can imagine that a lot of people would probably be pretty embarrassed by. [laughs] Like he’ll play the band while he’s cleaning my teeth sometimes which I think is very funny but is also potentially very embarrassing. But mostly, I don’t really get embarrassed anymore. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually been embarrassed so I think it’s almost like performance art. It’s like a very hilariously weird situation that I would never expect to be in. [laughs] But it’s good.

That’s a live aspect, bring your hygienist on tour.

He would love that, I think! He talks to me about it constantly, about the show aspect and stuff. Then he’ll start talking to me about other shows he’s going to and it’s a whole thing, it’s very funny, it’s very weird. [laughs]

Is he in the scene?

Kind of. He’ll talk to me about going to see Underoath and stuff like that, bigger stuff but within the same parameters, it’s not super far out. He hasn’t ever come to any of our shows before. Hopefully, we play a big enough show that he comes to at some point because I would like that. That would be entertaining to me because I would let that guy in for sure. I would definitely get that guy on the guestlist or something, and let him stand on stage. See, that’s the type of thing that I think is funny because then I would tell that story all the time.

It would make his day too.

Yeah, for sure. [laughs] I’m appreciative of all the different types of fans, the dental hygienists, all of them. They’re great.

You have shows coming up for the Eastern US in April. What are you looking forward to the most about these shows?

That’s going to be really cool. We’re taking out a band called The Requiem who just signed to Fearless Records and they’ve been friends of ours for a while. They were really starting to take off and do their own thing. I wanted to do a tour that involved bands that I felt like were also putting in a lot of work but aren’t necessarily getting the big tour love. I definitely see myself on the outside of whatever big tour, big agent, big manager, kind of music industry shit. I think that the record is very critical of those aspects so I like that we’re in a position where we can help our friends and circumvent that whole thing too. I think there are a lot of good bands that deserve a right to get heard. If I like something and it’s not something that is getting the amount of love that I think it deserves, I’m always trying to help out.

Are there any bands that you’d like to take on tour in the future?

I don’t have specific band names but there are a lot of bands that I like right now. I like a lot of new bands. We toured with a band called Upon Stone last year which I think is all of our favourite band right now. We honestly love them a great deal, as people and as musicians. I would love to tour with them again. We’ve talked about it plenty because it’s definitely stuff that we feel very spiritually akin to.

What does the future hold for Wristmeetrazor?

Hopefully for us it holds more tours, progressing what this record is and what it’s about, and most importantly being able to create a good live performance with it. To me, that’s the next step. You put out a record and then afterward the artistry or whatever never really stops, it doesn't just end after the record comes out. You’re trying to apply the record to places that are going to be better and that you can do more with. Then you apply the record to what the live show is gonna look like and what the merch is going to look like and how other people are going to be able to perceive it on a much bigger level and you just keep growing and growing with it.

The bright green looks really cool in all the merch stuff.

Thank you! There’s more of that coming too. We have a lot more stuff that’s going to utilize some of the same themes but in new and different ways because, just like the band, it always evolves a little bit. It always evolves and changes a little bit and becomes something bigger and more interesting and also more realized. You realize the aesthetic more and then it gets created and becomes that. I think that’s part of what needs to happen, you bring it to life for the people who like the band and like the record. You’re going to bring it all to life with a live show and that’s hopefully what happens in the future here. That’s what I would like, for sure.

4/3Baltimore, MDOttobarw/Thus Spoke Zarathustra
4/4Chesepeake, VARiffhouse Pubw/Thus Spoke Zarathustra
4/5Charlotte, NCMilestonew/Thus Spoke Zarathustra
4/6Columbia, SCNew Brooklyn Tavernw/Thus Spoke Zarathustra
4/8Hollywood, FLAmerican Legion 92w/The Requiem, Fallen God
4/9Orlando, FLConduitw/The Requiem, Fallen God
4/10Tampa, FLOrpheumw/The Requiem, Fallen God
4/11Birmingham, ALCanteenw/The Requiem, Fromjoy
4/12Atlanta, GABogg’s Socialw/The Requiem, Fromjoy
4/13Nashville, TNArcane Workshopw/The Requiem, Fromjoy
4/14Little Rock, ARVinosw/The Requiem, Fromjoy
4/16Indianapolis, INBlack Circlew/The Requiem, Silenus
4/17Pittsburgh, PAPreserving Undergroundw/The Requiem, Silenus
4/18Buffalo, NYRec Roomw/The Requiem, Silenus
4/19New York, NYKingslandw/The Requiem, Silenus
4/20Providence, RIAlchemyw/The Requiem, Silenus
4/21Boston, MARockwood Music Hallw/The Requiem, Silenus