About Me

Interview with Warish

As we approach the release of the album "Next To Play" by the Californians Warish, Metal Imperium talked to the skater, vocalist and guitarist Riley Hawk about the creation of the band, his inspirations and what to expect from the new album. If there are Nirvana and Misfits fans out there, this record is for you.

M.I. -  Can you tell me the history of Warish? How did you guys get together as a band?

Warish started as just a thing I was working on by myself for a bit in my garage recording little guitar demos with vocals and just more so a transition is the kind of song writing I was wanting to do. I was living with Broose, the original drummer at the time, and just asked if he’d be down to play on some songs I had. I sent them over to Daniel from Riding Easy and he was stoked to do something with them. The band never really was meant to become what it did but I guess that’s how most things in life go. (laughts). The response was decent so we decided to get our friend Alex to play bass. We have a new drummer now named Justin and here we are!

M.I. -   When did your connection with music start to grow? Have you ever had music lessons before?

I had a couple acoustic guitar lessons from a neighbor when I was very young but didn't like it and kind of stopped playing because I wasn't into that formula of learning. I picked up a guitar again around 15 and just started watching Youtube till I could make some noise that didn't sound like shit. (laughts).

M.I. -  Was it a goal for you to create a band, or did it just happen spontaneously?   

There really was no goal other than just to get some songs out of my head that I wanted to record ‘cause it would have driven me nuts if I didn't. Once I’m set on something I have to do it.

M.I. -What bands have helped to shape Warish from your first release until now?

I would say ultimately the main bands are Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Bad Brains and some Ramones somewhere in there too. (laughts).

M.I. -  In 2019, your sophomore ‘Down in Flames’ was released and, from what we can notice, is definitely punk and rock-based. What can we expect from the upcoming album ‘Next to Pay’?

This album feels much more well-rounded and the songs feel way more put together. Still raw and have the same energy but just a bit more refined and matured, I guess, you could say that just comes from me kind of figuring out more how to play I guess. (laughts).

M.I. - ‘Say to Please’ was the first single of your next album to be released online. It gets delivered at a fast and contagious pace that takes us back to the early Nirvana days. Would you say this song was meant to demonstrate Warish’s devotion to Nirvana? 

I think it definitely has that vibe whether it was knowingly or unknowingly on my behalf. (laughts). It is a band I really do idolize and listen to constantly in more ways than just to hear the music. I listen to structures, the production, all that stuff. Everyone wants to be like their idols, right?

M.I. -  How was the process of recording an album during the pandemic? Did it affect your plans too much?

It really didn't affect it much other than, I think, one session had to get pushed back but nothing crazy just more time to write, I guess!

M.I. - The next album will also be dropped via Riding Easy, which is such a massive label within the stoner and doom world. Can you tell us how that union happened?

I've known Daniel for a long time because we did some work together that didn't have to do with music way back. We always kept in contact and wanted to work together on a music project but the opportunity just wasn't there till this band came about.

M.I. -  How does it feel to belong to a label with such heavy and solid bands recognized worldwide, like Monolord or Acid King?

I feel super honored that people of that status care about the music we make and that we got to become friends through the process, everyone in those bands are awesome.

M.I. - Besides Warish, you also gave life to Petyr in 2017. What led you to create a new band? Were you seeking to explore different music genres?

Like I was saying earlier, it was just the kind of music I wanted to write and Petyr was literally my first band so I really didn't know what the hell was going on. (laughts). Warish felt more along the lines of the songs I actually had inside me once they started coming out.

M.I. - What is the state of Petyr right now? Is it a stand-by project, or do you have stuff coming out soon?

It's just something that was a capsule of the era it happened in and that's kinda what it is now, I don't see anything happening with it beyond the band hanging around as friends. Just one of those things…

M.I. - In 2019, you performed with PETYR at SonicBlast. Do you have any memories of that gig in particular? Would you like to perform in Portugal again, but this time with Warish?

Well, I actually got sick as a dog right when I landed! (laughts) it was a major bummer I didn't get to experience it how I wish I could have, but I hope Warish will get to play it!

M.I. - For some artists, the experience of recording an album is way more rewarding than actually playing the songs live or vice-versa. Do you look for discovering new aspects of your songs when performing live?    

Actually, yeah, there is totally stuff we do live that we never did on the record and vice-versa it's fun both ways obviously if the crowd is loving it and energetic that's the ultimate feeling.

M.I. - The times that we live in are pretty uncertain; however, do you have any plans for the near future that you can tell us about?

Well, we have this record coming out that we hope everyone likes and, if all goes according to plan, we get to hit the road and go overseas as well! 

M.I. - Imagine you could only listen to an album for the rest of your life; which one would you choose?

Wow, that's a tough one. This is gonna be a loophole, but the Nirvana Lights Out set. Does that count? (laughts)!

M.I. -To close the interview, could you give us some music recommendations that we should be all listening to right now?

Well, I'm sitting on my couch right now listening to a record by the band called Stone Garden there is a track on the album I really dig called Assembly Line. Check it out!

For Portuguese version, click here

Interview by Filipa Lobo Gaspar