Wretched is an up-and-coming metal band from North Carolina. After releasing their new album Cannibal and melting faces on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival this past Summer, they are back on the road with Battlecross and War Of Ages on the Winter Warriors Tour, giving fans a more intimate, but equally killer, live Wretched experience. I was lucky enough to chat with vocalist Adam Cody and guitarist Joel Moore during their New Jersey show at my favorite little rock venue, Dingbatz on Saturday December 27th.

I got to see you guys play Mayhem Fest this Summer, which was an awesome time. How is this tour comparing?
Cody: Obviously there are smaller crowds, but the crowds have been incredibly receptive and everyone is having a great time. Everyone on the tour is super awesome.

Moore: It’s different. Mayhem is big giant crowds where you don’t get to meet people, and then this is venue clubs where you meet everybody. So this is a smaller crowd for the shows, but then you actually meet fans.

What are your plans after this run with Battlecross and War of Ages?
Cody: We’re up in the air right now. Waiting to hear on tours and stuff, but if the tours don’t come through, we’ll just start writing another record.

You guys released Cannibal a little while ago, which is much more musically and lyrically cohesive compared to the last few albums. It seems you’ve really hit the sweet spot and found your sound with this one. What was the writing and recording process like?
Cody: We tracked it ourselves. Joel and Marshall both kind of manned the gear and tracked, then we sent it off to Jason Suecof to be mixed and Alan Douches to be mastered.

Moore: We recorded last February, so we are almost going on a year since we actually recorded the album. We started writing probably 8 months before that, so it was pretty much like an 8 or 9 month period of time that we were just writing the album. Actually it was even before that, because we played “Salt Lick” on a tour that we did back then. So we wrote for 10 months, did 6 weeks of pre-production, all done in Charlotte, really nailed down the last of the songs and put the whole album together. We spent 4 weeks in the studio where Marshall and myself engineered the album. More so Marshall, he’s the technical brains behind this, I just hit the space-bar.* We got to produce the whole thing, it was a great learning experience, and we definitely want to keep doing it that way.

*Joel was being modest—he actually did all of the vocal tracking for Cannibal.

In terms of lyrics, I like how the themes are realistic and relatable, like “Salt Lick.” What was the inspiration behind Cannibal?
Moore: It’s actually all about dragons, we just hide it really well.

Cody: Funny enough, on the first two albums with the old vocalist, the lyrics were very much about fantasy kind of stuff. Personally, I don’t get much fulfillment out of it. I like to have topics I care about. “Salt Lick” in particular, is about going through a rough breakup. I was in an 8 year relationship, and it wasn’t dramatic or crazy or anything, but it was suddenly no speaking, all communication lost, after all that time. Finding yourself again after not being single for almost a decade, and then being chopped off from all of those feelings is a lot. So “Salt Lick” is just about going through a shitty breakup, and it also has a lot to do with the dating scene and how much it can suck. ChristianMingle.com. It is rough.

Moore: FarmersOnly.com.

What was your weirdest fan interaction?
Cody: The one pretty interesting one happened in Saint Louis at Fubar. This guy always dresses up in a crazy outfit, and every time we play Fubar this guy comes out in an ape costume and just goes bonkers. I don’t know, there are all kinds of weird interactions, people will bring cookies, cake, weed, alcohol… but those are all good.

Moore: But it can be weird. I’m not going to say names or anything, but people do get real clingy. It’s almost like they forget that we’re people too. We need our space.

Cody: They forget that we just met that night.

Moore: And don’t get it wrong, it is one of the huge reasons we do this. We love getting out and meeting people, talking to fans, it’s great. But there are boundaries.

Most embarrassing, or unexpected music you’ll admit to listening to?
Moore: You know what? I think my taste is not all that embarrassing. Actually I like Blink-182. But that’s not that bad. I really like the Lorde album that just came out. If Steven, our other guitarist were here he’d have a whole shit list to give you.

Cody: I listen to so much indie and rap that most metalheads would think is crap, of course. But Say Anything is probably the band that would get me in trouble with the elitists out there. I haven’t gotten their latest couple of albums, but … Is A Real Boy …Was A Real Boy, their first dual CD they did, was fucking amazing.

Moore: I will say this. Iron & Wine is one of my favorite bands of all time. Sam Beam is from South Carolina where I live. He’s an amazing indie musician. The music is super crybaby, and he sort of whispers when he sings. Everybody gives me shit for listening to him, but I fucking love it.

What are your biggest non-musical must haves on tour?
Moore: I’m kind of a minimalist in tour life and my own life so I can get by with just about anything. Obviously we’re doing a Winter tour right now so sleeping bags are a must because it’s been pretty fucking cold.

Cody: I’d say marijuana. People can be very emotional on tour. It’s like if you lost something it’s the end of the fucking world. Because it really is, you don’t have any communication with home, so something to ease everybody’s tension is a pretty necessary thing.

Any secret talents or cool hobbies?
Moore: I cook, that’s what I do when I’m home. I work for a French master chef, and he’s a crazy awesome cook. So I like doing that, I like food. I’m a fat-ass at heart. Asian food is my favorite. I can make curries and all kinds of Thai stuff.

Cody: I can rap. And I farm hay. Well I yield hay. That’s what I was doing before this tour, so that’s pretty cool.

Tell me about the first concert you played?
Moore: I played in a punk band when I was 15 years old and my first show was at a speedway in Darlington, South Carolina and we did a punk version of a Lynard Skynard song. It was not very cool. It was in Darlington, so rednecks galore, and we were just bastardizing Lynard Skynard and they fucking hated it.

Cody: My first show was in a friend’s barn/garage. We got a bunch of packs of ketchup and popped them so it looked like blood was squirting everywhere, but it was really just sticky and gross. We had a strobe light going the entire show it was so bad. I was in a band called Sam’s Nightmare, first band ever, and also a punk band.

What is your drink of choice?
Cody: Fireball.

Moore: Beer, any good IPAs.

Check out the album ‘Cannibal’