We are very grateful to Tom Phillips (While Heaven Wept) for sharing these words about WALPYRGUS.
“I wanted to take a moment here to shed some light on my whereabouts, what’s been going on, and why for the first time in 17 years I’ve become involved with something other than While Heaven Wept.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve discussed what I’ve been doing musically – two years in fact – and now the time has finally come to reveal what has been going on: in March 2015 I was just beginning work on a solo project when I was approached by Scott (Waldrop) about tracking some keyboard parts for the debut album of Walpyrgus, which I was more than happy to do even before hearing the new material given our long history, plus it was an opportunity to put the instrumental arsenal I was building up through its paces, and I was eager to do something in light of recent events involving my own band.
The songs arrived one by one, each being more enthralling than the previous and it became very clear that Scott had a lot of ideas given the extensive notes and rough drafts in demo form. It was also very clear that – in my opinion – these were among the very best songs I’ve ever heard coming from my old friends… needless to say I was “in”, full stop. I was totally free to interpret the ideas any way that I wanted to and thus I was able to truly express myself, in turn impacting the arrangements of songs in the same way that every musician involved has.
That’s the thing about Walpyrgus: EVERY member of the band is responsible for making these songs what they are; everyone brought their skills, personality, and “A” game to the table – and the performances are both real and inspired…organic…not Pro-Tooled or forged in any way, rather the kind of music that everyone involved loves playing, the way we’ve done in our respective bands all our lives.
It was not lost on me or Scott that 20 years prior we co-founded the now long-running Twisted Tower Dire, yet that original configuration ultimately was short-lived due to both copious amounts of alcohol and the necessity to express other things musically on a much more personal level – you all know the rest of that story – but the point here is there’s always those “What If?” questions that remain. You know – like “What if the original line-up stayed together…” and so forth…and it’s not often that “second chances” actually turn into second comings…now we actually had the opportunity to dive into that parallel universe to answer some of those questions for ourselves.
Anyway, with this in mind, my role evolved over time from creating/performing/recording the keyboard parts to engineering other recording sessions to the deep editing of various tracks finally reaching a stage where I was overseeing the entire project with full “carte blanche” – and those of you who know me are cognizant this means a lot of hyper-detailing, holding ourselves to the highest standards, etc – so it should come as no surprise that this lead to additional recording, re-recording, mixing and re-mixing…but it’s not just my usual manias; the fact is it was decided that we’d stop at nothing to fully realize Scott’s vision successfully, without cutting corners, sparing no expense (aka “WHW style”) – and I absolutely took that aspect to heart. I personally felt the responsibility to deliver in every role I served so as to insure the end result was not a watered-down version, an approximation, or some outside producer’s vision, instead “the album he always wanted to make.” I believe now that we have achieved this. When all is said and done, It’s truly been an honor to work with my buddies Scott, Jim, Jonny, and Charley – each of whom kicked ass in their own right on this one – bringing this to life, and involving Kevin and Gustavo from the “WHW team” made it that much more gratifying for me. It was a no-brainer to re-align with Enrico and Cruz Del Sur Music as well considering the direct ties to TTD and WHW, along with albums in the same vein from our mates Slough Feg, Widow, Bible Of The Devil on the label. Call it a homecoming if you will.
I’ve been involved with every aspect of “Walpyrgus Nights” perhaps more so than with any of my own albums – I mean like those, I know every note and detail intimately – yet, in this case my hands were on the console, twisting the knobs, adjusting faders, zooming deep into the waveforms – I’ve literally heard these songs hundreds of times…and what I wanted to convey here is I still LOVE them; it should speak volumes that I actually still want to hear them absolutely fucking cranked and truly enjoying every freaking minute of them after hearing them more times than I can count. And THAT is what mattered to all of us the most – satisfying our own ambitions for this record and hearing exactly what we wanted to in the end – on OUR stereos. Call it self-serving if you want, but I sincerely believe that this enthusiasm, this heart translates to tape – and can only hope that everyone else out there feels that through their own speakers. \m/”
April 4, 2017