Frontman Justin Fornof shares how the isolation of the last year gave him a unique perspective with regards to songwriting and resulted in an album in ‘Replica Of A Strange Love’ that he believes will be a future period piece.
In a relatively short amount of time, aggressors Wristmeetrazor have been able to mount a significant charge in the universe of heavy music. Their stylistic mesh of subcategories all under the umbrella of heavy make them a band that is difficult to pin down.
Their ability to absorb influences and concoct their own variation of that meld are part of what make them so intriguing. Their presentation is dark and antagonistic – bleak in a way that is well-scribed, fluidly versed, and intelligent without being contrived. Frontman and band architect Justin Fornof harnesses a unique command backed by not just his menacing vocal range but his almost literary approach to penning some of heavy music’s most introspective, insightful stanzas.
Set to release their sophomore LP, ‘Replica of A Strange Love,’ WMR has already revealed a series of strong singles that suggests the outfit is approaching their creative stride. “Last Tango In Paris” assisted by Issac Hale of Knocked Loose, followed by “Anemic (The Same Six Words)” offered an articulate assessment of the full range of human emotion, as viewed through the unique lens of Fornof’s smart, albeit stark, perspective.
The final of the band’s three singles in “This Summer’s Sorrow II: Growing Old in the Waiting Place,” adds to the album’s exploration of the emotional void that could only result from a year of isolation and separation. Justin Fornof explains the trajectory of Wristmeetrazor, how the pandemic resulted in an especially cathartic songwriting process, and how labels are a right of passage for artists working to forge their own creative identity.
‘Replica Of A Strange Love’ has a gained a healthy amount of momentum. What were some of the conscious differences the band looked to make on this album from your 2019 effort ‘Misery Never Forgets’?
Fornof – I think, in not so subtle ways, it’s a new band. Evolved from years on the road and the things we experienced on the way. On the same token, it’s the metamorphosis of what we were in a recognizable way. Just a more calloused version of what once was.
The album has been summarized as an examination of our social climate through the philosophical lens of the the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche and Anton LaVey. How the hell do you narrow down such big ideologies into three/four minute tracks?
Fornof – I think big ideologies are only as relevant as they are relatable. At no point in my time on this planet, have these philosophies felt more relatable to every day life. Existence has lost it’s innocence over the course of the past year. It’s a truly brutal world we live in.
From “Last Tango In Paris” to “Anemic (The Same Six Words)” each track has functioned like a chapter in what is a very articulate presentation of aggression. What is “This Summer’s Sorrow II: Growing Old In The Waiting Place” about and how does that work within the context of the overall theme of the album?
Fornof – “This Summer’s Sorrow II: Growing Old in the Waiting Place” is the conclusion to a triptych of singles coming off Replica of a Strange Love. The singles do tell a story – just as the record does – and this is the exasperated final metamorphosis from unfeeling shell to hollow husk.
WMR is a prime example of a new generation of artists that work well on the fringe. You’re difficult to categorized and that seems to be by design. Does that cross-genre approach happen organically or is working in various elements of aggressive music into your songs something you consciously strive for?
Fornof – I’m not sure I can speak for anyone but us; However, It’s what it means to exist. It’s pain, joy, desperation, sadness, life, death. The band will keep evolving to stay true to that. No matter how genre-specific that is.
Considering the rather bleak thematic weight of Replica Of A Strange Love, how did the events of last year influence your headspace with the writing of this record?
Fornof – The last year was the most isolation I’ve ever had while writing lyrics or creating something. I spent months without seeing human beings, it added a level of perspective that I’ll never be able to replicate. This is a future period piece, as far as I’m concerned. Whatever that might mean.
How do you feel about being included in what seems to be a screamo revival. Do you feel like those kinds of labels disregard everything else you bring to the table stylistically?
Fornof – We never considered ourselves screamo, it was just an early influence. The extent of our screamo involvement was a hashtag on bandcamp. Labels are determined for you by other people. I don’t mind them, all my favorite artists had their own annoying labels they had to shake. It’s a right of passage when you’re doing something vaguely familiar but different.
How excited are you about potentially being able to perform these songs live, to actual people in the very new future?
Fornof – Very excited. There is magick in live music, and I think we’re ready to really unleash this new creation on the world after over a year of planning.
‘Replica Of A Strange Love’ arrives June 11th via Relapse Records. Pre-order the album – HERE. Watch the premiere of the music video for “This Summer’s Sorrow II: Growing Old in the Waiting Place” below.