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  • Writer's pictureSparky

Woewarden - We live in, only to be tied down to a pitiful status quo that can’t be broken''

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

‘’The band (Woewarden) was founded initially by me (John Pescod) and our former drummer (Chris Gebauer) in 2016 who is the lead singer and founder of Deadspace – Dan

Jackson, Thomas Major, and Herb Bennetts are still members of Deadspace to this

day, however, I part ways from Deadspace back in 2020. A month prior to the

establishment of Woewarden, I was asked by another quite famous Perth black

metal band to fill in as lead singer for a show supporting Inquisition – may I add, well

before the publicly documented allegations against them surfaced in 2018. In the

early hours of the morning on the day of the show, I was notified by the promoter that

Inquisition had cancelled their Australian tour. I was livid. That evening to vent off

some steam, Chris and I went out for a beer for me to let off some steam at Joe &

Juice Joint, a rock / metal dive bar in our hometown of Perth, Western Australia.

During that spur of the moment, Chris and I decided to form Woewarden – formally

Cancer (Aus). Initially I was sceptical we would ever get off the ground, but two days

later we had line-up that included Dan and me who are still here to this day. Four

years later, between Chris, Dan, and myself, we had released an EP and two full

length albums: ‘Terminal,’ ‘Into the Heartless Silence’ and ‘Opioid’!

‘’So, as you can see, I wouldn’t say we are exactly the guardians of misery so to speak

– or any kind of guardian in general. We are just your typical bunch of Australian

blokes who are fortunate enough to have like-minded friends and a drive to create

when life tries to inflict forms of negativity – such as misery – upon us.’

The progression with your new album In the Art of My Caged Existence ?

During the process of producing ‘Opioid,’ our final album under the moniker Cancer

(Aus), Chris decided not to longer continue with the band leaving Dan and I to

continue as a two-piece. At that point, given the foundations and dynamics of the

band had now changed drastically; Dan and I thought it was appropriate we changed

our name to Woewarden to reflect this, as we progressed towards writing our next

record, ‘In the Art of My Caged Existence’ and looking to become a live act once


‘’The writing process for the record felt quite a lot more streamlined compared to

previous releases, but at the same was crafted quite meticulously. By now, Dan and

I have worked with each other on so many occasions we’re quite accustomed to

each other’s strengths and weakness; Dan with his uncanny ability to experiment

and create riff-after-riff which strikes straight to the core, me being able to sit back

and look at all those progressions as a collective, and work with him to structure and

polish them into a cohesive album worth more than the sum of its parts. Once Dan

and I were happy with the layout the of album and the structure of the songs, it was

simply a matter tracking everything to best of our abilities; getting Herb (us

incredible human metronome) to track his interpretation of the programmed drums

into a vibrant and organic studio recording, Dan, and Tommy to work through us

bass and guitar tracking with some spontaneous flourishes, myself to punish me

voice day-after-day for weeks on end, and finally Dan adding atmospheric elements

for good measure.

‘’What really excited us with this release is we were able to commission the duties of

a good friend ours me met on a European tour with Deadspace several years back:

Déhà. I personally have been a massive fan of his creative endeavours and

countless projects such as Imber Luminis, Déhà, and Slow. Knowing how well he’s

captured atmospheric and engulfing music across several metal sub-genres, whilst

still maintaining clarity through avoiding an overmastered mix, I knew he would

perfect of us and our vision of the album. Combining that with our newly allegiance

Australian label, Bitter Loss Records, and the always amazing artwork from Adam

Burke of Nightjar Illustration, we truly believe we’ve created something truly special

and reflective of our take on atmospheric, yet bleak and harrowing black metal.

The combination of all the extreme components?

‘’The ‘extreme components’ so to speak, distil down to our eclectic range of influences

Dan, Tommy, Herb, Rod, and I bring to the table, and what we as a collective

think sounds good. Everything from the rather evident sounds of DSBM and 2nd

wave of black metal, all the way to EDM, 70’s / 80’s / 90’s pop and rock, classical

and romantic era music, post rock and shoegaze, hell even power metal and scrolls

from 80’s action films. There are very few styles that have not shaped us an entity in

some shape or form.

''Personally though, I do greatly admire artists that don’t let musical boundaries or

being categorised portray who they are, even to the point of eccentricity. David

Bowie, Björk, Melt Banana, and Pupil Slicer are just handful of random artists that

come to mind that I have admired from afar at doing this. So, I guess eccentricity has

rubbed off onto to me to some degree, and with that, my approach on to music and

the cuts of bleak atmospheric black metal Woewarden makes to others would be

classified as ‘extreme components.

The overall theme of emptiness/confinement? Does the outside world influence your

work or are they personal metaphors given life?

''You’re second question has pretty much answered your first question without me

having to say a word! Unlike our previous release ‘Opioid,’ ‘In The Art of My Caged Existence’ is really a collection of personal stories battling my hardships with insomnia, depression, mental and physical exhaustion, borderline alcoholism (at

times), and frustrations with my hometown, my country, and my world between 2020 and 2022; combine that with narrating the tortures close companions I care for were

having to endure at the time. Without giving too much away and instead allow the listener to make these songs into their own which connects with their life

experiences, the album wholistically deals with the ongoing rut we as individuals face

in this vast modern landscape, we live in, only to be tied down to a pitiful status quo

that can’t be broken.

The biggest frustrations from social constraints, expectations and the lack of


’Quite simply, the biggest frustrations boil to the absence of freedom. As society

becomes more and more complex, and entities worldwide just want obedient

servants rather than people with intuition, creativity, or a conscience, these

pressures mount to the point that we question why we even bother living to endure it.

But through Woewarden, I use our music, or lyrics, and the friendships I have made

through fellow band mates, listeners, and other musicians as a vessel to voice these

frustrations, reaching out to those willing that they’re not alone in feeling this way,

and we’re in this together.

Is being the nails of the hammer a burden or relief?

‘’I’m glad to see someone pays attention to the lyrics I painstakingly put together with

that reference to Modus Operandi! Based on that remark, you’d think I’d say it’s a

relief being the nails of every hammer. However, Modus Operandi is neither to do

with burden or relief, rather the punishments you allow another to inflict upon you in

the hope it will find you a sense of purpose, an ultimate goal, a destination.

Is your music just a release and is only extreme because it differs from the normal?

''The extremity I think is a product of the catharsis that is Woewarden. We don’t go

out to write music just to be extreme. It still needs to mean something, and its core is

focused on evoking human emotion.

Black Metal and its constant evolution...

‘’It can only be a good thing in my opinion. Irrespective of black metal, if music isn’t

constantly evolving, we’d still be playing on harpsichords in the Baroque era – not

that I have anything against that music, quite the contrary! My point is though,

pigeonholing bands, artists, and listeners into what they should or should not do is

counterintuitive to the purpose of performing and visual arts. Hell, if people want to

create black metal that completely trolls’ others and norms of a ‘genre,’ more power

to them. At the end of the day, if it connects with people, it ultimately has a message

the world needs to hear.

Future Plans ?

‘’Off the back of our recent album launch for ‘In the Art of My Caged Existence’ in

our hometown of Perth, Western Australia, we’ll be closing out 2022 with one final

Perth show, before concentrating on touring Australia in January 2023. Cities we’ll

be targeting include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide.

Top 6 albums of all time?

‘’This is a tough one because it strongly depends on who you speak to who in

Woewarden, their mood at the time, and what they think defines their ‘top albums.’ Is

it their most influential? Is it their most played? Or is it simply their most rated?

Focusing on myself only, and assuming ‘top albums’ means those that created the

most influential turning points on my musical journey through life, I would have to


1) Shihad – Killjoy

2) At The Gates – Slaughter of the Soul

3) Opeth – Morningrise

4) Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse

5) Moonsorrow – Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa

6) Slowdive – Souvlaki

@woewarden (Instagram)

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