Interview with Knox of ENFORCED

Interview with Knox of ENFORCED

- in Written interviews

Photo Credit: Jacky Flav

Hi! “War Remains” has been described as a scathing perception of the modern world. What specific issues or events inspired the album’s themes and sound?
The first world seems very content on blaming and infantilizing the problems of the second and third world; even going so far as to complain about all its own amenities and convenience with total disregard of how it affects others around the globe. Further is the placation of ACTING to care but deep down not really proving itself to stand up to the challenge of HELPING in any other meaningful way other than violence and control.

The album is described as having “no frills” production. Can you talk about the band’s approach to production and how it serves the album’s sound?
We just recorded what we had and finished. There was nothing left to do. It feels real, raw and authentic.

How has Enforced‘s sound evolved since its inception in 2016, and what influences have played a role in this evolution?
We got more comfortable with our instruments and ourselves. There felt no need to go above and beyond. We wanted to write a hard record, and I think we did.

How has playing live influenced the band’s approach to recording, and vice versa?
We want the album to sound how we perform, pretty simple.

Can you talk about the role of lyrics in Enforced’s music, and how they contribute to the overall themes and sound of the band?
I try to find the lyrics or topics that work in tandem with the sound of the song and work from there. The music informs the lyrics. I guess I create the overall theme, and it is usually about repression, despair, delusion and fear. Tying that with hard hitting riffs and I think you might have a winner (i hope haha).

How has being a band from Richmond, Virginia influenced the band’s sound and approach to music, and how does Enforced fit into the city’s wider metal scene?
We fit onto most bills, be it hardcore, punk or metal shows. We’re influenced by all of it.

“War Remains” is your third full-length album. How does it compare to the band’s previous work, both in terms of sound and themes?
It is more concise, thought provoking, faster, and poignant.

Can you talk about the album’s title track, “War Remains,” and how it captures the album’s overall message and sound?
Conflict is the essence of life. It will never cease because it cannot cease nature’s way.
Cycles of life, death and rebirth are all around you, and within you. War is ever-present and all around you.

Enforced worked with producer Ricky Olson and mixing engineer Arthur Rizk on the album. How did they help shape the album’s sound and production?
Ricky pushed us to be more honest and open about what we wanted. Arthur knows exactly what we’re trying to do and executes it well.

The album includes the track “Ultra-Violence,” which is the first single released from the album. Can you talk about the decision to release this track first and how it represents the album as a whole?
It’s short and simple, easy lyrics to follow. You hear the production, you feel the tension, you know what you’re getting into.

Enforced has been described as a crossover thrash band. What are your influences from both the thrash and crossover genres?
I personally don’t like genres, it’s just aggressive and mean music to me. Placing it in a box cheapens it or categorizes it in a way that alienates it from potential fans. We like Slayer, Sepultura, Demolition Hammer, Razor, Sodom, Cannibal Corpse. If you like angry and aggressive music, you should have no issue with Enforced.

Can you talk about the band’s songwriting process, and how the members collaborate to create the band’s sound and music?
Zach, Will and Alex write the songs, I get sent a scratch track and then write lyrics to it. Simple process.

The album includes a song called “Avarice.” Can you talk about the meaning behind the lyrics and how they tie into the album’s themes?
Avarice means greed. A hunger for more even though you’re satisfied. Chewing, grinding, spitting out everything you can reach in an attempt to satiate the insatiable.
Sounds like big tech, big oil, lobbyists, companies before workers, huge corporate bailouts and evictions all at once. An endless awful grinding sound we call daily life.

War Remains artwork was created by Joe Petagno. How the band collaborated with Petagno on the artwork, and what they were looking to achieve with the visuals?
The artwork was the first thing done. Even before lyrics. I sent him my research notes and he sent me the sketch. Pretty simple, but powerful.

Can you talk about the role of each band member in creating Enforced’s sound and music, and how they each contribute to the overall creative process?
Ethan helps with videos and demoing, Will is basically our manager, Will Z and Alex write songs, I write lyrics and do all the public facing things, like interviews.

The album’s lyrics often deal with themes of violence and aggression. How does the band approach these themes and the message they hope to convey through their music?
They’re approached honestly. There’s no glamour or shine. I write about true death and the struggle it causes towards others around that death. I hope to convey the seriousness of life and how quickly and easily it can be taken away.

Can you unveil the band’s plans for touring and live shows in support of “War Remains”? Thank you!
A lot of touring, yet to be announced. Cheers! – Knox

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