Wild Throne: Ruling from the Wilderness
by Rodney Lotter
Which of the following bands IS NOT a grindcore band?
A) Cattle Decapitation
B) Pig Destroyer
C) Prostitute Disfigurement
D) Dog Shredder
E) All of the above
The answer: Dog Shredder, duh! If you didn’t already know that, then why are you even reading this magazine right now? Seriously! Dog Shredder is not a grindcore band, or should I say, they WERE not a grindcore band, as the band—which consists of Josh Holland on guitar and vocals, Jeff Johnson on bass, and Noah Burns on drums—has since changed their name to Wild Throne.
The name change was a long time in the making. “Eventually we hit a point with the name, in which we felt like it was holding us back,” according to Holland. “Our name sounded like we were some silly grindcore band, and we felt it was closing doors that we wanted open.”
“For me, the band name ‘Wild Throne,’ has a sense of pride to it,” Holland said. “We are a band from Bellingham, which no one knows about outside of the region, so Bellingham is kind of like a town out in the wilderness and the band name suggests we are ‘ruling from the wilderness,’ which I think is kind of cool.”
So, there you have it.
Wild Throne has a new EP, Blood Maker, set to be released on March 4, and they have a new record label, Brutal Panda, which is based out of Philadelphia.
They spent two weeks recording the Blood Maker EP with the esteemed Ross Robinson, who has been dubbed “the father of nu-metal.” Having recorded the albums that put Korn, Limp Bizkit and Slipknot on the map, he also put out some badass recordings by At The Drive In (Relationship of Command), the Blood Brothers (…Burn, Piano Island, Burn), and The Cure (their self-titled 2004 album).
The two Robinson-produced songs leaked by Wild Throne thus far see the band taking on a new dimension. The recordings are very polished and professional sounding, which is no surprise. But, they are also much more ambitious than the band’s previous output (which was very ambitious in its own right to begin with).
“[Robinson’s] recording process is big on the significance of the song, and how we connected with what we were playing on a personal level,” Holland said. “He would be there with us, while we play, and then ask us things like ‘why are you playing that?’ and ‘what does this song mean to you?’ He wanted us to all be on the same page and not be afraid to fuck up or try something new. The new songs are really just all about experimenting, and Ross really encouraged us to embrace that and he brought something out of us.”
What Robinson brought out of the band is pretty impressive. The band still sounds as heavy and thrashy as always, but the addition of atmospheric vocals and top-tier production see the band taking their music to a new level—a level that would fit in perfectly in a dimly-lit punk joint or an arena. There is no doubt Wild Throne is taking on the “go big or go home” ethos lately, which can be seen with the new album, the name change and their upcoming South By Southwest showcase (another first for the band) and a tour with ††† (pronounced “Crosses”), which is a new band fronted by Chino Moreno, the former vocalist for the Deftones. The band also plans on eventually releasing a full-length album.
“We definitely have more than enough material for a full-length release,” Holland said. “It just comes down to timing and money, really. But, we will put out a full-length as soon as we can, I promise.”
While the band said they are not delusional about making it big or landing a major record deal, they do want Wild Throne to be their full-time job.
“Playing South By Southwest has always been a big goal for the band,” Burns said. “It’s just something a band should do, and we’re doing it. It will be fun to be surrounded by hundreds of bands, meet new people and get heard.”
While the Blood Maker EP is set to be released on March 4, Bellingham will get to buy it early at Wild Throne’s unofficial record release show on March 1. The show is part of What’s Up!’s 2nd annual 15th birthday party extravaganza, and will be at the Shakedown (and FREE!). Gonzo, Minor Plains and Girl Guts are also on the bill for that show.
For more about the band, see wildthrone.com.