Woe Redux: Less Quiet, More Drama

As an unabashed booster of the original version of Quietly, Undramatically, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard Woe mastermind Chris Grigg was embarking upon a full remix of the record. The end result, however, definitely won me over, bringing a new level of epic-ness and clarity out of the album without sacrificing any of the aggression and intensity I loved in the first place. En route late Friday night to a Philadelphia practice space where he and Woe’s new line-up would be wrestling their way through some intense new jams Grigg called Decibel up to share a few thoughts on Quietly, Undramatically, past and present.
Woe: Quietly, Undramatically Remix by Decibel Magazine

When some people hear a black metal band is remixing an album, they might assume the band is going back to make it sound shittier, running tracks through an old boombox, etcetera.

I guess a remix might go against some traditional black metal crappy sound is better aesthetic, but I draw a distinction between black metal that is the result of a deliberately raw production designed to craft a certain sound and atmosphere and the original version of Quietly, Undramatically on which the rawness was the result of inexperience.

Hindsight is 20/20 is probably a fairly common sentiment amongst artists of all stripes. How did you end up going from that to doing a full overhaul of a record, which — from what I’ve seen, anyway — garnered near universal acclaim?

As time went on I just realized the record didn’t really achieve what I wanted it to achieve, you know? I felt bad that I took responsibility for something that mattered as much to me and the other guys involved as Quietly, Undramatically when I wasn’t quite experienced enough to make it sound the way it deserved to sound. When it came out, of course, I thought it sounded great. But as people started picking it apart I realized a lot of the criticism had merit — the record lacked a sense of everything fitting together. Certain songs did not have the intensity they should have had. Ideas and atmospherics were just not all the way there and I could see the production was the cause of it. All kinds of shit, basically, that made it sound very demo-ish to me after awhile. Now I listen to things differently. I know how to get the sounds that I want. I know where I made mistakes setting up mics, and how that can sometimes result in a disgusting, horrible high-frequency mess. I know the mistakes I made with preamps. And I know what to look for in correcting those mistakes. So I had been playing around with a remix — just for my own ego, I guess — and I was very happy when the opportunity came about to redo it as a full release.

Woe: Hatred is Our Heart by Decibel Magazine

Considering the buzz surrounding it, did Quietly, Undramatically substantially change life in Woe?

It did, kind of, briefly. The record did well. It got a lot of press. We played Scion fest. We were getting more emails, more Facebook messages, more show requests, bigger crowds out at the shows. I made a lot of friends through it. All of that was pretty cool, but I can’t say it changed things all that much for us long-term. People have short memories. A lot of them are always looking for the next new thing…That’s fine. I don’t care. So I’m not sure where we’re at now in the bigger picture, but I’m still working a day job that has nothing to do with music. I’m still hanging out with the same people. I’m still playing the same guitar. I just know I want to keep moving forward, regardless.

The full version of Quietly, Undramatically revisited is currently streaming at the Candlelight Records Bandcamp page. Woe tours with Mayhem and Hate next month.