It's been a couple of years since Weeping Sores emerged. The death/doom trio consisting of Doug Moore and Steve Schwegler of Pyrrhon and Seputus and Gina Eygenhuysen of Tchornobog (and notable contributions for Hell and Mania) released a self-titled EP back in 2017. The relatively brief introduction saw the three-piece fuse emotive doom metal—bolstered by Eygenheusen's violin—with early death metal stylings to build a dichotomous blend of savagery and sorrow.
Moore (guitars, vocals), Schwegler (drums), and Eygenhuysen (violin) return with their proper full-length debut, entitled False Confession—a six-song, hour-long endeavor that sees Weeping Sores erupt into its own towering edifice of extreme and evocative metal. Their EP drew some comparisons to Peaceville's early outputs like My Dying Bride. In their full-length debut, that notion quickly disintegrates. What stands is a striking balance of heartwrenching Warning-esque arrangements laid next to Morbid Angel's earth-shaking rhythm.
False Confession is a strong pivot from the members' other musical endeavors. The slower, rolling pace and prominent ebbs and flows sharply contrasts many of the frenetic and unique tendencies of Pyrrhon or Tchornobog. Yet, the project in itself is a new avenue for the band members to explore different playing styles and writing processes. This full-length also saw the trio physically come together to work on the record—something not done on their self-titled EP. The resultant product is a wonderful and cohesive display of long-form death and doom metal that is the sum of a talented trio's personal explorations and previously established mastery.
Metal Injection caught up with the members of Weeping Sores for a brief interview about how their process has evolved since their EP, and the individual opportunities the project presents for each of them. Listen to an exclusive stream of False Confession now ahead of its official release this Friday. Pre-order the album from I, Voidhanger Records now. Digital pre-orders are available through Weeping Sores themselves.
When Weeping Sores first emerged with the self-titled EP, it seemed pretty easy to compare you all to some of the early Peaceville bands—I was guilty of it, at first—but False Confession dispels that notion pretty quickly. Going into this first full-length record, did you feel any pressure to shed this comparison?
Doug Moore: Nah, I wouldn't say that we felt any pressure of that sort. We're still under the radar, and none of us make musical decisions with audience or press reactions in mind anyhow. I'll admit that I don't love all the Peaceville Three comparisons, since those bands aren't particularly dear to us and weren't a direct influence on our music, but they're somewhat inevitable given our songwriting format. A few minutes with the new record should dispel any misconceptions that we're a My Dying Bride clone or whatever, though.
Steve Schwegler: I think we were more concerned with evolving on our original ideas, rather than working towards dispelling any active notions about what Weeping Sores is to anyone else. We only really felt pressure to do justice to the next evolution of compositions that Doug put together.
Given that the previous EP was initially fleshed out without violin parts and Doug did most of the writing with the intention of it being a solo project, how was the writing process different for False Confession now that there were three of you going into this record?
Gina Eygenhuysen: On the last album, Doug sent me otherwise finished material and I just laid down some improv. It was pretty quick and simple; the same sort of thing I’ve done for many other bands in the past.
With this album, Doug sent me single guitar tracks (roughs in their first stages). They had some gaps and spaces written into them that he intended for Steve and me to fill out. Later, he also sent along an organized list of notes indicating some of his ideas for sectioning out the songs and giving general clarification about tone, times, styles, etc.
I recorded violin roughs on my awful, garbage laptop and sent them back over the next couple months. Then, we went over them and hashed out some details. Eventually, Doug and Steve laid down the actual guitar, bass, and tracks together and I flew over to New York for a couple of days to add my own parts.
Doug: As Gina mentioned, this is our first release written with the full lineup set in advance, and so I was able to take a lot more compositional advantage of her musical imagination and performance skills when writing the song structures. She plays a much bigger role on this album as a result and is more seamlessly integrated into the compositions – she has a really amazing ear and was able to write beautiful violin parts that locked in with the guitar and bass perfectly with minimal input from me. No mean feat, given how aggressive a lot of the guitar stuff is. Steve also more or less wrote all his own parts, but we've been making music together for close to 15 years and I've come to take his excellent instincts for granted [laughs].
We also spent a lot more time demoing the material and preparing before we recorded this time, and so I was able to put a lot more thought into fine-grained details of the final product. There were multiple versions of just about every instrumental part on the album, whereas I just winged a lot of stuff while tracking on our EP.
Steve: For me, the writing process this time around was pretty similar to the process of the EP. Doug wrote and arranged the guitar and bass parts pretty fastidiously, and then he discussed rhythmic ideas for each song with me afterward. That being said, I definitely had more input with regard to improving on some of the original rhythmic ideas and made more suggestions about the way the rhythm section interacted. We did a lot more preparation in pre-production in general than we did for the EP; we knew who would be playing, and we had a foundation to improve on. Doug and I trust each other’s instincts a lot at this point; we’ve made a lot of music together! This project is his baby in the same sense that Seputus is mine, and it was important to me that I fulfilled his ideas the best that I could while delivering a performance we would both be proud of.
Doug and Steve—given you both play in Pyrrhon and Seputus—and Gina—with your contributions to bands like Hell and Mania and now playing with Tchornobog—what sort of individual opportunities does Weeping Sores present to each of you? Do you see the project as a way to flex different musical muscles or is there another purpose you find in this music?
Gina: Normally, when I go into a studio, an album or track is either totally done or not started yet. I’m asked in a very general way to add a part or write an intro/outro, and I typically listen to the surrounding sections and improvise on site. I’ll have some practical limitations, like time (or in the case of Hell, the number of tracks available for recording). I try to be honest about when I think violin will add to the existing music and when I don’t think it’s necessary, because my goal is to do the most I can to accessorize and amplify someone else’s work.
In this case, Doug let me do whatever I wanted and never gave me any restrictions with time or number of tracks. Because we’ve known each other a while, Doug already knew how to communicate with me directly and effectively about his creative ideas and vice versa. This is the first time I’ve spent any time actually composing and fleshing out violin tracks to my own satisfaction. I didn’t feel that I needed to tone anything down or match another group’s style, because we wrote together in an ongoing way.
Doug: Weeping Sores is the first project I've done in which I'm the lead songwriter as well as one of the primary instrumentalists, so it's an entirely different ballgame from my other bands. I'm not what you would call a natural as a guitarist, so it's far more labor-intensive in terms of prep time than my other projects tend to be. While I generally take a pretty holistic view of songwriting and contribute at least a bit on guitar in most outfits I work with, playing all the guitars and bass on a 56-minute metal album on top of the vocals requires you to really live inside the songs in a way that is new to me.
Weeping Sores also allows me to express a very different sort of musicality than my other bands tend to involve. Dissonance and brutality are awesome, but my instincts as a guitarist run towards more melodic ideas, and it's been really gratifying to explore them in more depth than I usually can in my other bands – especially alongside players who are as talented and creative as Steve and Gina are. I'm also a relatively introspective and introverted person outside of my musical activities, and Weeping Sores turned out to be a good way for me to express the more reserved side of my personality in a musical format.
Steve: Well generally, let me say that Doug is a fantastic songwriter and a very different one than me. When he was writing the EP’s material years ago, he was planning on doing everything himself. But after I heard the sort of idiosyncratic writing he was putting together, I basically thrust myself into the project. He writes and plays with the kind of attention to detail that I’ve always respected.
I’ve also never played in a band that had a slower, doom-ier format such as this, where there is space for our playing to breathe. Weeping Sores has more room for straight-up rock drumming in its DNA. Drumming influences from players like Matt Cameron, Travis Foster, and Vincent Signorelli made their way into this album, along with the more traditional style of death metal drumming. I don’t get to exercise those kinds of chops as actively in our other bands, and it’s refreshing to be able to apply those styles in a meaningful way.
I’m certain distance and busy schedules play into this, but have there been any talks to try and bring Weeping Sores to the stage?
Doug: I think we're all on board to make it happen at some point, but the logistics are challenging, particularly with Gina living on the other side of the country (and given that there's no way we'd play with a fill-in violinist). We'd also need to add at least two additional live members to do the songs any kind of justice, and we have talked a bit about who we'd bring in—Chris Grigg of Woe, who also did fantastic work mixing False Confession, would likely be one of them. But yeah, we'll figure it out someday.
Steve: I would personally love to play Weeping Sores material live someday. It would be a hassle with said busy schedules and distance, especially since Pyrrhon is our primary concern musically. But our little cadre is very capable, so I certainly wouldn’t say “we will never do it.” I’ll leave it at that.