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Weapons of Anew set to rock Portland with Scott Stapp, Messer

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Weapons of Anew set to rock Portland with Scott Stapp, Messer (photo courtesy of the artist)

Melodic metal band Weapons of Anew are set to perform their first Maine show on August 3 at Aura in Portland, as openers for Creed’s Scott Stapp and Texas rockers Messer.

Weapons of Anew released their debut album “The Collision of Love and Hate” in the fall of 2017, and have already recorded most of its follow-up, due for release early in 2020, according to lead singer Ray West.

Weapons of Anew is comprised of West (also a member of the band Spread Eagle), former Axiom/HavocHate guitarist Freddy Ordine, bassist Stefan “Reno” Catrupi, Chris Manfre on drums and guitarist Kris Norris on guitar.

In the following interview with The Maine Edge, West credits each band member’s broad range of musical influence for Weapons of Anew’s unique sound, and he reveals how the band’s second album will differ from the group’s debut.

The Maine Edge: Did you have a band mission in mind with Weapons of Anew?

Ray West: Our mission is to write the best songs we can and then get on the road and play them. All of us have very different backgrounds. Freddy has more of a thrash background and my background is based more on melodic rock. Our mission has been to mesh those things and make it work.

We got lucky with our natural chemistry. We didn’t plan it, it just happened. When we play, there’s this really cool thing that happens. Once we got our sound together, we recorded right away.

The Maine Edge: As someone who can speak from experience, how important is it that the members of a band get along well?

West: It’s most important because it becomes like a family. Being in a band can literally be like a brotherhood. You sometimes fight and bitch at each other, but it’s about coming back together. Some guys can’t handle the ball-busting. You can’t be too sensitive in this game. This isn’t for the weak. You have to trust the person next to you.

The Maine Edge: How has this tour with Scott Stapp and Messer been for Weapons of Anew?

West: I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’m so happy because we’ve been treated with great respect and dignity. They’ve been very cool to us and that’s what you want. We all go into each other’s camp to say hello. Scott and his crew, and the guys in Messer just couldn’t be better.

The Maine Edge: Your first album is still doing well. When can fans expect your second album?

West: We have seven or eight new songs in the can right now. We’d like to get the second record out early next year. The next one will have a strong sense of melody, but it might actually be a bit heavier than the first one. We wrote the first record so fast, it almost feels like our demo to me. We didn’t have enough time to try a lot of different things on the first one but the songs on the next one will be well threaded together.

I want it to be a record that everybody can enjoy. We strive to write stuff that isn’t offensive to the ear. We haven’t discussed potential titles yet for the record but I’m sure it will come up. I love the band name so I’m all for a self-titled record. I’m only one member of the band so we’ll see how far that goes (laughs).

The Maine Edge: Every rocker is a fan at heart. It’s the reason why you started doing this. What is the best concert you’ve ever seen?

West: Oh wow. I’m going to say it was my first experience of seeing Van Halen with David Lee Roth. It was part rock and roll, part circus and it was the most entertaining thing I’ve ever witnessed. It just lifted me up. My God, it was an incredible thing to see.

I wasn’t a fan of the Sammy Hagar years. All of the songs sounded the same. When is it love? Is it love yet? How do you fall in love? When is love going to get here? It was all the same thing. I was a big fan of the sound of the original Van Halen lineup - it was huge. To see that as a kid was just amazing.

The Maine Edge: What is the best part of your job?

West: It’s actually two parts. The first part is bonding with the band, which is really cool. We had something the other night we called “cigars under the stars.” We had these great cigars under a wide-open sky and we felt like traveling rock and roll gypsies.

The second part is when we’re in the box playing rock and roll. Most people don’t know us yet because we’re a relatively new band and we’re opening, right? When we make the connection and see people starting to vibe with us during the second or third song, it’s an incredible feeling. You’re connecting with people using a language you’ve just created. It’s awesome, man. The world just falls away.

(Tickets for Scott Stapp, Messer and Weapons of Anew’s performance at Aura, 121 Center St. in Portland, are available at www.AuraMaine.com.)

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