Whitechapel’s Phil Bozeman Talks Clean Vocals, Says Metal Is “Almost Like A Fashion Contest”


Whitechapel vocalist Phil Bozeman spoke to Metal Wani regarding the band’s forthcoming new album, “Mark Of The Blade“, which is out June 24th on Metal Blade. It’s already been widely reported already that the effort will feature clean singing from Bozeman on two tracks. He commented of that:

“I think including clean vocals into this album… it’s only just two songs, but, I think it’s gonna catch people off guard. They’re probably not gonna be able to swallow it down right as soon as they listen to it, but hopefully it will grow on them. And they will continue to support us, no matter what direction we’re going in.”

He later continued:

“Just because we’re a metal band doesn’t mean that’s the only thing that I listen to or anything like that, I love all kinds of different music. But, I’ve always sung in the car or my house or whatever. And I’ve never done it in a professional recording studio before and I just wanted to start implementing more melody into our music rather than just straight heaviness and roughness of the vocals.

I wanted to expand as an artist and not just be one-dimensional, not just have to scream all the time. You know, be able to show people that I’m not just one-dimensional, I can do this too. I just wanted to try it out and see how it went and it turned out… It ended up being alright, it was more than I expected, so that’s definitely what we were going for.”

Whitechapel also take on the elitism of heavy metal culture in the song “Elitist Ones” on the new album. Bozeman spoke of that:

“The main reason for that song is because we are a metal band. And metal is one of the most criticized and very like, it’s one of the most… I don’t know. People are just so judgmental, it’s one of the most judgmental genres that you can be in. Because if you’re not this type of metal then you’re not true metal, there are just so many subgenres of metal that it’s almost like a fashion contest at this point. A fashion show, you know?

Like who’s got the most brutal, heavy, vocals. Or who’s got the heaviest sounding songs. It’s just a very… You know people call us deathcore and you know it’s whatever, it is what it is. But now if a band even has like screaming vocals and like a breakdown or something they’re considered deathcore. That was never considered deathcore.

But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what it’s called. That’s what people fight over to post and people in the metal community fight over what matters the least. It’s just really frustrating to see that. I don’t care if a band that I don’t care too much for, if they wrote a song that I enjoy, then I’m going to enjoy the song. I don’t care who wrote it.

People are so quick to say like ‘Oh this song’s awesome, who is it?’ you know, and they say, ‘Whitechapel‘ and they’re like “oh those guys suck, I’m not gonna listen.’ That just doesn’t make sense to me. You should like music just for the way it sounds, not because who is associated with it. If you like the song, just listen to it. That’s what that song mainly was about.”