War Remains is the third album from Virginia thrashers Enforced. Vocalist Knox Colby fills us in on the record, touring, Richmond’s amazing metal pedigree and more.
Chad Bowar: How did the songwriting process for War Remains compare to your first two albums?
Knox Colby: It was pretty structured. Will Zach and Alex would write every Thursday, we demoed them without lyrics, I wrote the lyrics over the summer and we recorded the first week of September 2022.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Recording vocals in the open. I didn’t do it in a sound booth, it was basically like a big living room/kitchen. People were coming and going and hanging out lounging while I was just standing there shouting my head off. (laughs) It was surreal.
What was the biggest challenge in recording War Remains?
There weren’t any big big challenges. I think Alex was having a hard time playing with a click track and a tempo map, so we got rid of it and he played what was comfortable: faster.
Did you struggle with track order at all?
Briefly, but it was pretty unanimous when we figured it out.
How has your sound evolved from Kill Grid?
I think we’ve gotten better as musicians and are more comfortable within our own skin when it comes to writing and recording. I don’t remember anyone second guessing or doubting themselves.
A lot of the songs would have made good album titles. What led you to go with War Remains?
It fit the album art (which came first), it’s the first song I wrote lyrics to, and its tempo and structure is different than all the others, so it was a standout track that demanded to be the title track.
What lyrical topics do you cover this time around?
Paradoxes, psychology, distrust, fear, and I think war.
How was the video shoot for “Starve”?
Different! We recorded the live shots in RIchmond and then the director shot the narrative portion in New York City. We let him do what he wanted, and after an edit or two I think it turned out cool!
Do you enjoy making videos, or is it a necessary evil for the promotion process?
I’m on the fence about them. At times they’re not fun and then other times it’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done. There’s another video dropping with the album that was probably one of the coolest days of our lives. Overall, I’d say they’re as fun and positive as your imagination will allow it.
Touring returned to normal in 2022 after the pandemic. What were some of the highlights of your 2022 touring?
Touring with Obituary, touring Europe for the first time, touring with At the Gates, and then touring with 200 Stab Wounds, Undeath and Phobophilic… I can’t pick any specific highlight, it was one hell of a great year.
What are your upcoming tour plans?
A tour with Venom Inc., Exhumed and Acid Witch, then a run of unannounced shows, then another unannounced tour, then maybe another string of shows in the Fall. Another busy year.
What’s the most unusual venue you’ve played?
January 2020 we played this place in Santa Fe, New Mexico called the cave. It was this strange lil’ warehouse full of random objects with a half-pipe behind a chain linked fence. Very strange but it was a fun show. We played with a local band called God’s Dirty Needle that were awesome and had the best band name ever. Hope they’re doing well.
What’s your favorite way to spend your downtime on the road?
We rarely have downtime, and always try to play random shows if there is an off day on tour. But, if we do manage to settle down, we usually get an AirBnb, do laundry, clean the van, and make a family pasta dinner. Nothing wild.
There are so many great metal bands from Richmond. Does that create any extra pressure to try to attain a certain level of success?
It doesn’t create any pressure at all! It shows what you can accomplish through dedication and hard work. It creates aspirations more than anything.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I paint Warhammer and DnD miniatures, play video games, and read a lot.
What’s the best thing you’ve binge watched lately?
I’m not a big binge watcher or watch much television at all, but I started watching The Bear on Hulu; it held my attention.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Napalm Death, Destruct, Regional Justice Center, Trash Talk’s East of Eden EP and Triptykon.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Destruct’s new album Cries the Mocking Mother Nature.
(interview published April 27, 2023)
Watch Enforced – “Starve” Video