INTERVIEW W/ STEVE COBUCCI BY NICHOLAS SENIOR
If you were not able to catch our rave review of the Wolves at the Gate’s debut release, Captors, then here is what you need to know: these guys are primed to lead the charge for melodic metalcore for years to come. Solid State has labeled the band part of its “New Breed”, and it is easy to see why. Soaring melodies are interspersed among technical aggression to create a sound that is almost equally catchy and heavy. Our very own Nicholas Senior was able to speak with Steve Cobucci, the clean vocalist and guitarist for the band to get his take on music, touring, and pulling teeth.
With all that has transpired this year (signing to Solid State and your debut full-length), have you had any time to really let everything sink in?
Yes and no. At times things really seem to move in slow motion while at other times I can’t keep track of everything as it just flies by. Either way, it has been incredibly clear how God has continually provided for all of our needs and beyond. We have been blessed beyond measure with the ministry of this band and all of the glory goes to God for our music, success, and if our music has blessed anyone along the way.
Are you pleased with how Captors has been received thus far? Do you think this is the album that accurately represents who you are as a band, or is there more to come?
Definitely, we have been pleasantly surprised to see the outpouring of support from old and new fans. I would say that Captors best represents who we were as a band when we wrote the record. Our tastes in music always change and never want to be content with writing the same record twice. We are very proud of Captors yet are nervous, anxious, and excited to see where we go creatively in the future. Hopefully this is just the beginning of what we will create, but there are no guarantees in the music world and will do our best to be good stewards of the opportunity we have now.
I also want to congratulate you guys for writing a modern metal album in 2012 without an over-abundance of breakdowns. Was that a conscious decision, or just something that happened organically?
I would say that it was a combination of both. While we don’t listen to “breakdown metal”, we also want to pave our own way into the heavy music genre. We really just write what we want to hear and so naturally we want to write heavy music that is a little more outside the box. We have breakdowns in our music, our goal is simply to write and play breakdowns that challenge the normal tradition of what you would hear.
The last time we spoke you mentioned that you wanted to be “wordy” as a band. Do you think Captors has met that goal? What are your favorite “wordy” moments on the album?
Saying that a record is ‘wordy’ is not quite how I would describe it. I feel that a better description would be detailed. While I want to write lyrics that are artistic and interesting, I also want them to have detailed and accurate content. Lyrically, my favorite song on the record is “Man Of Sorrows”, as it is my best attempt at painting a picture of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
How was the album release show in Columbus? Was that the moment that you realized your band had finally “arrived”, or more of a checkpoint along the way?
The release show was a great success. It was such a blessing to have great friends there, excellent bands, and at an awesome venue. We have always loved going to shows at the Newport in Columbus and this was the second we have ever been able to play there. The last time we played there was about two years ago when we opened up for the PacTour with Saosin and Innerpartysystem. So naturally this time around it was really weird to be the headliner. We had an incredible turnout of fans supporting the release of our record and were really thankful that God was able to use that show to be such a blessing to so many of the hearts there at the show that night. Our band has not “made it”, we still have a long way to go as we are a little fish in a big pond. Humility and hard work is were our heads and hearts need to remain.
What are you guys listening to this summer? Do you have any unexpected guilty pleasures you care to share?
I have been enjoying My Epic’s record Yet, Major/Minor by Thrice, and Daybreaker by Architects. As for guilty pleasures, I still love jamming “Big Willie Style” by Will Smith and “Jesus Freak” by DC Talk.
What are the band’s touring plans this summer and fall in support of Captors?
We currently are starting a tour with Becoming The Archetype which will be about three weeks long heading out to Creation West festival, doing dates on the west coast and then in the south. This summer mostly consists of routing to get us to the various festivals we are booked for, which you can find listed in our tour dates on our facebook. We also have plenty of plans for touring this fall that we simply are not able to announce yet.
Being a New Jersey native, you must have some knowledge of the restructuring of your hometown team the (former) New Jersey Nets. What is your take on Superman (Dwight Howard) potentially coming to town?
Well my friend, while it is awesome that big Dwight Howard could be coming to the Nets, I myself am and have been a Knick fan since I was a little tyke. So I am indifferent. However, I am excited that Jason Kidd will be putting on a Knick jersey this season.
What is your favorite non-Ohio place to tour? Do you have a favorite restaurant to hit while on the road?
While I feel like we haven’t yet found the “it” place for us, we thoroughly enjoyed being in Germany last December for Christmas Rock Night and look forward to heading back there this year. The food was awesome, the fans were crazy, and the culture was so interesting.
Are there any particularly interesting or funny tour stories?
There were a couple funny stories from Nick’s first tour with us in November of 2011 but I will just share one. We were in Connecticut at a local pizza shop and Nick took a bit out of the pizza and somehow cracked his molar in half. So he played that night and then the next morning we decided that we needed to pull this tooth. So I grabbed some needle nose pliers, sterilized the pliers with some Vitamin Water, had him lie down in the grass, I put my foot on his chest, and then pulled that bad boy out. It took me two tries, but we got that sucker. We have the whole event recorded, we just need to post it for fans to see the essence of Nick Detty.
You are a self-professed fan of Thrice. What is your take on the band’s potential final run and Dustin now leading worship at Mars Hill Church?
I am happy for the guys in Thrice. Sure, I was sad watching their farewell tour, but they are people with lives and families. I have really blessed to follow their career and to have been inspired by their music and performances. I feel very confident that they will put out another record, they are musicians and songwriters. It’s in their blood. As for Dustin moving into the position at Mars Hill, I am excited to see how the Lord will use his talents, ability, and heart for the church at Mars Hill and how his transition into writing corporate worship music will affect the body of Christ. He has always been an excellent lyricist as his lyrics have only gotten better and better on each record. From reading some interviews, I am excited to hear that he has a passion for serving the church with theologically sound songs. All in all, I was glad to be blessed by their music and support their pursuit of other endeavors.
Is that something you could see yourselves doing when (and if) Wolves at the Gate is nearing its end stages?
It’s always hard to say. I have a passion for leading worship and for preaching. Right now, Wolves At The Gate is how God is using my passions. My desire is that Christ be exalted with my life, the Gospel be clear in who I am and what I do, and that I be willing to go and do whatever the Lord calls me to.
What would you be doing if it weren’t for music?
As I stated earlier, my passions rest in preaching the Gospel and leading people to worship a holy God. However God wants to use that in my life will be my joy and honor. Given the opportunity to choose, I would love to travel and preach the Gospel whether on my own, with a missions organization, or in a church that I may serve at. I got my degree in Secondary Education: Social Studies/Biblical Studies and would also love to get back into a school and teach again.
What are your five favorite albums of all time (or at least that influenced you the most)?
Here is a quick rundown of the first ones that come to mind: Son I Loved You At Your Darkest – As Cities Burn, Vhessiu – Thrice, Where You Want To Be – Taking Back Sunday, Absolution – Muse, Bleed American – Jimmy Eat World, Viva La Vida – Coldplay, and Deja Entendu – Brand New. I decided to stop because there are just so many but I think these will give you the right idea.
Solid State has labeled you part of “The New Breed”. Does that have any significance to you other than just a PR slogan?
Well, our music is quite different than what they have traditionally signed to the label so I think that partially has something to do with it. It also has been a while since they signed some new bands so they just want to couple us and the Overseer as the “freshman” per say on the label to work together to start a new generation of music. I think it’s rad and both bands love it. Be sure to check out the Overseer’s new record We Search, We Dig as it is an awesome release from those guys.