Toronto-based alternative/industrial rock band The Rabid Whole have been going strong since 2007. Comprised of five solid local musicians including Andreas Weiss (vocals, guitars), Chalsey Noelle (keys, backing vocals), George Radutu (guitar), Oscar Anesetti (bass), and JJ Tartaglia (drums), The Rabid Whole have crept into the local scene and grabbed hold of 1000s of fans. With an entertaining live show and solid music to boot, it’s no wonder this band keeps amassing more positive press. Here’s what front man Andreas Weiss had to say about the newest album Refuge.

How did the band come up with the name “The Rabid Whole”?
Andreas: I love wordplay… bands like Skinny Puppy are masters of this… I really wanted give the impression that there is more than meets the eye. I never felt we’d be a typical rock band… and we aren’t. I want people to feel they can escape, that they’re entering another world, going down ‘the rabbit hole’ with our music. At the same time, I feel The Rabid Whole, ‘the fanatical entirety’, reflects the passion in the music and all that we do.

The band released Refuge earlier this year. How would you describe this album in comparison to your last record, Autraumaton?
Andreas: After we had finished Autraumaton, I had a little Post-It Note I had written up with about 30 points/things/ideas I had/wanted to add/change on our next album… more female vocals, up the intensity on the drumming… more piano… push everything; whether it be the quiets, louds, whatever, further than we had before, more emotion, more electronic noises, etc. ‘Autraumaton may have been a darker-themed record on the surface, but Refuge deals with deeper, more mature themes. The couple of years leading up to this album I was going through a lot of personal changes in my life and Refuge is basically a direct reflection of all this. I was definitely more time-rushed than on Autraumaton but at the same time more focused and prepared.

Check out the song “Future”

What song off the latest album has the most meaning to you and why?
Andreas: Hard to say but probably “Refuge”. This song summed up a lot for me. “Refuge” is about change and all the emotions and experiences that an individual will pass through in the process and ultimately the search for personal peace of mind at the end of it all. It’s basically the summary of the album.

Whom are your main inspirations when writing and recording new material?
Andreas: Lots… I think it usually depends on what I’ve been listening to the couple of years before and my environment. Artists like; Nine Inch Nails, Garbage, U-ziq, Filter, Bjork, etc… Always fearless and creative in their approach to music and very inspiring to me. It really could be anyone though… a good song could do it.

How would you describe your live shows?
Andreas: A high energy, audio/visual emotional voyage/experience that won’t disappoint… with a dash of unpredictability. It will kick your ass!

What do you feel is the band’s biggest accomplishment to date?
Andreas: This might sound boring to the reader, but staying together through challenges, pushing through and putting in more effort where others might’ve given up. Because of all this, our greatest moment is where we are right now and that is exactly what we strive for!

Your music has a reminiscent-90’s alternative feel to it. How do you feel about the current state of alternative music and where do you think your music fits in?
Andreas: Sure, I can see that. Umm… these days alt music for the most part feels very “safe”, cautious… afraid to have a unique personality. Doesn’t really give people a reason to give a shit. We’re here for those wanting something honest, new and different. We work really hard and put a lot of care and thought into our craft. I think anyone who gives the album a listen will understand and see.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Andreas: I had the pleasure to work with Dave “Rave” Ogilvie on Refuge but I’d love to again… the guy is amazing at what he does and it shows… lots of wisdom/experience. Butch Vig/Alan Moulder would also be amazing… their production techniques are incredible and have shaped a multitude of my favourite albums… I’m a huge fan of all 3 of these guys’ work.

Why should someone who has never heard of The Rabid Whole check your music out?
Andreas: Because you’re most likely tired of the boring, recycled, hollow, crap you’ve been exposed to over the past few years. You need something real, raw with personality and energy you can relate to. You want to hear something good… or because you made it to the end of this interview and you’re still wondering, “who the hell are these guys” and it’s gonna bug the shit out of you if you don’t!?

Check out the album ‘Refuge’