The Shotgun Approach
CoC talks to Jeremy Wagner of Lupara
by: Aaron McKay
Hope springs eternal and perseverance is the name of the game. Many will remember the name Jeremy Wagner from the pure sickness that was Chicago's Broken Hope. Never one to rest idly on his accomplishments, Jeremy is back at it with a new crew of extreme metalers in the form of Lupara. What the hell is that, you ask? A lupara is a sawed-off, Sicilian shotgun that mafia soldiers carry as one of their primary weapons; it is rumored to be so powerful, it can blow a man in half. For a reviewer, that description is too enticing let alone, so Chronicles of Chaos set out to uncover Wagner's newest audible ferocity.

First things first, what ever happened to the Earthburner project you were working on?

"Earthburner is one of those things that is waiting in the wings", comments Jeremy. "We've done some collaborations and recording of some of the material -- like six songs at our drummer's [Scott Creekmore] studio. We've got Scott, Shaun [LaCanne] from Putrid Pile, Steve [Murray] from Fleshgrind, Tom [Brandner] -- the other Lupara guitarist -- and myself", Wagner continues. "All of us came together for Earthburner and it is sounding really amazing. It is something that is there, waiting; we just all have to make it viable and record a whole album's worth of material."

What makes Earthburner different than what Lupara is pumping out currently?

Wagner jumps in, "Earthburner takes the real extreme nature of what would have been the last Broken Hope album, but it is more grind-oriented. We are all huge fans of Terrorizer and that's a huge inspiration for Earthburner. As fans of -real- grindcore, that is what Earthburner is for -- straight up grind and we wanna honor that genre that we love. That's what makes it different from anything we've done."

Now what about this new Lupara outfit you having going? This is the band's second demo offering.

"The first 2004 sampler was done in a Pro Tools studio and, at the time, I didn't have the line-up I have now", the Lupara founder acknowledges. "There was a whole different group of people on that demo besides Craig [Gross], our singer, and myself. There are a couple of things that are way different besides the line-up: the guy that produced the 2004 demo didn't capture the essence of what I was trying to achieve tone-wise." He continues, "It is what it is, plus the material itself, on a songwriting level, I was the only guitar player so we couldn't hammer home what we were trying to do. Plus the 2004 songs were really old -- just after Broken Hope, when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. Those were the first songs I began jammin' on myself -- they are just riffs basically."

Now what about the new six track 2005 demo?

"That is me and what I am comfortable with stepping away from Broken Hope", Jeremy offers. "I'm not even going to try and fix what isn't broke, even though I experimented more when Lupara first started, but it just wasn't me. When I was able to connect with Scott and Tom, who I've been friends with forever, it brought the whole band up musician-wise and attitude-wise."

The production is passionately professional and a huge feather in the cap for Lupara's second demo effort. Tell the CoC readers a little about Scott Creekmore's efforts in that vein.

"He owns the recording studio we did the 2005 demo in", the veteran guitarist admits. "Scott produces tons of death metal bands and metal bands all the time. He knows what to capture and what it takes to step up to the plate and play with intensity."

How about Tom Bradner? He is a fantastic complement to your style.

"He's awesome!", exclaims Wagner. "Tom is a phenomenal guitar player and teacher. Tom and Scott were in a band called Num Skull."

Hasn't Scott done some vocals in the past, as well?

"Yea!", Jeremy proclaims. "He actually filled in on vocals for Broken Hope on the last North American tour that Broken Hope ever did. The original Broken Hope singer, Joe [Ptacek], pretty much jumped ship before we hit the road and Scott filled in on vocals. He was familiar with the Broken Hope material. He's also doing the vocals for Earthburner."

From what's been shopped around so far, is there any label interest yet for Lupara?

"Well, we just started last week shopping it around with the help of Shaun Glass [Soil, ex-Broken Hope]", confesses Wagner. "We sent out everywhere we could, press-wise, world-wide, so we are trying to garner as much of a buzz as we can. We'll see what happens."

Touring is obviously a huge part of any band you're in, Jeremy, and Lupara has already been on the road a lot. What is the reception the band is receiving from the fans?

"In the first six months we did the Monterrey Metalfest II in Mexico with Motorhead, WASP, and some classic metal bands", teases the Wagner. "It was like the Ozzfest of Mexico. 20,000 people and we co-headlined the second stage and it was pretty awesome." He offers humbly, "Also, the Louder-Harder-Faster Festival had a lot of great bands on that -- Obituary, Agnostic Front, Full Blown Chaos, and Testament with the original line-up."

Bring things to a close, being as such a band like Lupara is something to behold in a live setting, what can we look forward to?

"We are pretty honored, we have three direct support dates on the Obituary / Napalm Death tour coming up in September", the guitarist meekly boasts. "We are doing three dates in a row: Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. I'm stoked because Obituary and Napalm Death have always been two of my favorite bands."

Always pushing things to the limit, Jeremy Wagner is taking things to the next level with Lupara. Like their band name suggests appropriately, these guys aren't snipers or marksmen; they are in it to blow a hole in the metal scene you could drive a Mack truck through!

(article submitted 18/7/2005)

7/12/2007 J Smit Lupara: Made in America
11/10/2006 J Smit 8 Lupara - Lupara
7/23/2005 J Smit 4.5 Lupara - Self Titled Demo 2005
12/26/2003 J Smit 4 Lupara - Advance Rough-Mix Demo
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