Interview: Waking the Cadaver Vocalist on Reunion, New Music and Memes

After a five year hiatus, Waking The Cadaver have announced that they are reuniting with original vocalist Don Campan (Hate Diplomacy) and guitarist Mike Mayo (Ground) with bassist Michael Thomas (Ground, Bandit), rhythm guitarist Tim Carey and drummer Matt Crismond (Corpse Hoarder) rounding out the lineup. The band, who were active from 2006 to 2013, recently announced a show at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar on November 24 with Dehumanized and Enemy Mind. Decibel sat down with Campan to discuss some of the details around the long-awaited reunion.

Why reunite now? Was there any specific reason you chose 2018 to reunite?
The fans would be the main reason for the reunion, it seems they cannot wait any longer. The continual fanbase is growing at a rapid rate. I find that very impressive, because the band has been inactive for quite some time. To wait any longer to please a fanbase that is in high demand would be foolish. Fall 2018 (SLAM SEASON) is a good year because it jump-starts us a little bit with having some big announcements in 2019.

WTC was probably most well known for your incredible vocal technique, how did you achieve such an inhuman effect on your vocals?

Thank you for the compliment! I am able to control the inhaled flow of oxygen and taper the sound to where I want the pitch to be created in my throat area. In addition, flexing my muscles in my throat and mouth movements, along with tongue movements and anything else that I can create a unique sound patterns with will go down inside.

Your new project, Hate Diplomacy, writes lyrics about various progressive causes. How do you counterbalance this with some of the more controversial subject matter WTC covers in their lyrics?
Waking the Cadaver had a mission when we first came out. We wanted to be over the top and push the envelope in many directions just like a horror movie would and make people really feel a certain way with a theatrical, horror-esque theme.

Hate Diplomacy has a different mission as well and it’s clear as day what I am trying to do here with this band lyrically … which is to move some people’s minds in directions they may not have dwelled beforehand. Both bands should not be compared to one another. They are separate creative ideas and separate driven agendas. But at the same exact time, you will always be hearing me now on stage with a positive mindset and reinforcing a lot of unity within our already strong music community/scene.

Are there any plans for new WTC recordings in the near future?
Yes, absolutely, a lot of big plans lined up and there are no limits for this band. In my opinion, anything is possible and everybody knows what we are capable of and we are going to show everybody how much we have grown as musicians throughout these passing years. The two songs that have been written already are out of control [and] mind-boggling! And as we normally do in my opinion, we are bringing fresh innovative ideas to set ourselves apart from the normal trends that are going on which has always made up our unique sound.

How big of a boost did that “Shredded Wheat” video give to your band? I know that was the first time me and my friends ever heard about WTC.

May I dare say I could be the first meme ever created? [laughs] Yes, I think it is very funny how people used to interpret guttural sounds… and when people saw this video, I think you could not deny that it was extremely funny.

I don’t think I could have created a better video to try and boost traffic, so I am greatly appreciative to the person who created it and it has created a marketing buzzword for the band and it’s kind of an iconic reference nowadays to my vocal style and specifically me in particular, so it is very funny and I guess I am very grateful for it at the end of the day. [laughs] xoxo

Find more information about Waking the Cadaver’s reunion show with the Facebook event.