BY KAT H. WENTZELL
Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, alternative rock band World War Me is a force to be reckoned with. The group consists of vocalist Stephen Krypel, lead guitarist Charlie Harris, rhythm guitarist Jonny Watson, bassist Sean Daly, and drummer Joe Kus. The boys were recently signed to SharpTone records and dropped their first full-length, self-titled album on October 7th. Much more is to come from World War Me, and the boys invite you to join their revolution.
How did World War Me come to be?
Krypel: "It started with me and our producer, Nick [Mathews], from [the band] Get Scared just meeting up, recording demos, and writing non-stop. I had an idea in mind for a project and the name 'World War Me.' I wanted to find the sound that I was looking for for the project. After a few demos, Nick hit me up and was like, 'We’re good to go, let’s just start this f***er up.' So I was like, 'Alright, I need a band,' and Nick hit up some people for me. Our guitarist, Jonny, tattooed Nick on Warped Tour, and that’s how they got connected."
Daly: "Jonny worked on a song with our old guitarist, sent it to Nick, and then Nick gave it to Stephen. Stephen laid down vocals on it, and that was what I first heard. I was like, 'Holy sh*t, please tell me they need a bass player.' They did, and I was in. We’ve all been together now for a little over two years."
Krypel: "After we all linked up, Nick was like, 'I’m going to get you guys signed.' I was working at Starbucks around 9 p.m. a few days later when I got an email from Sal Torres at SharpTown records saying that he wanted to sign us. The rest is history."
What is World War Me’s writing process like?
Krypel: "For me, it’s pretty wild. When I write, I like to get into a zone that fits the feel of what I’m going for, kind of like method acting. I want to come off as honest as possible. For example, for a song like 'War Zone,' I will lock myself in a room for a week at a time eating bread and getting manic."
Daly: "The rest of the band really feeds off of that. Stephen’s got a lot of ideas with lyrics and melodies, and we’ll build riffs off of them. Sometimes we’ll build the riffs first, and then Stephen will write over top, but we all work really well together. This first album was really unique because Stephen had a lot of songs already done that he and Nick had worked on for a while that we were able to add our flair to."
Krypel: "It was beautiful; the album wouldn’t be what it is without that. Writing with Nick for a long time eventually got repetitive. To have new people in the room with different flair and influences really made the songs better than they initially were."
What can fans expect to see at a World War Me show?
Krypel: "I think when people put in headphones and listen to our songs, they’re listening to the perfection. Everything’s tuned, everything’s in sync. But when you hear us live, you’re not just hearing the album. I want kids to come to a show and have a completely different experience that’s like listening to the album again, but remixed and shown in a different light, because I feel like there’s no point in playing an album to the T. I think if I went to a show and a band played the album exactly how it was recorded, then I’d be like, 'Man, I could have sat at home, not paid money, and listened to this album on my iPod.' What we do is very live, very energetic, very rambunctious. There’s a lot of heart, and we leave everything on the stage."
Daly: "Our goal live is to create an experience. That’s our objective every night. We even hurt ourselves sometimes [in the process]. Our drummer likes to kick his drums down. He hit Stephen in the back of the neck the other night."
How does World War Me differ from other rock groups?
Krypel: "We try not to put ourselves in a box. Many bands classify themselves in subgenres like emo, pop-punk, and whatever, but we don’t."
Daly: "It all roots back to the same sh*t at the end of the day."
What’s coming up next from World War Me?
Krypel: "There are a few things that we can talk about. We’re going to be working with people that inspired us growing up, which we’re really excited about. I can’t name specifics, but I’m really f****** stoked about it. We’ve also already recorded two singles for our next album. We want to make sure that our next album definitely makes people say, 'Wow, I’ve never seen that before!' We want to find new ways to connect to our audience and people that support us."
Daly: "We want to keep evolving, and we plan on being on the road a lot next year. There are really cool things in the works. We really want to show people the energy that we bring."