WOVENWAR Interview with Nick Hipa & Shane Blay

All things considered, it’s pretty crazy how Wovenwar started. Everybody knows the story of what happened with As I Lay Dying, but not many people know that the seeds of Wovenwar were actually planted over a decade ago deep in the heart of Texas, long before As I Lay Dying clawed their way to international fame, and years before their infamous demise. 

But Wovenwar are more than just an AILD reincarnate; they’re not As I Lay Dying part 2. While the band is still in its infancy, the members themselves are no strangers to the hustle.

Today we’re going to chat with former As I Lay Dying guitarist Nick Hipa and Oh Sleeper guitarist Shane Blay about their humble beginnings in the early 2000s, about the pressures they face with Wovenwar in a post-AILD world, and about the bad advice people gave them along the way. You’re in for a treat.

Key takeaways:

  • Before Wovenwar, Nick and Shane played in a band together called Evelynn in the early 2000s.
  • In 2001, Evelynn toured with As I Lay Dying — that’s how Nick met the AILD guys and later joined the band when Evelynn broke up.
  • Shane remembers driving through the Mojave Desert on that tour and having to run the heater in 127 degree weather to prevent the vehicle from overheating.
  • When Evelynn broke up Shane played briefly in Between The Buried And Me — “A lot of guitar practicing and vegan food.”
  • When trying to differentiate constructive criticism from shit talking, the key is to look at the source, who it’s coming from. If it’s from someone you respect, consider their opinion but with a grain of salt. Be especially careful with praise, as it can be even more detrimental — you start to believe “Yeah, I AM sick!”
  • “We’ve never been the kind of dudes to think that highly of ourselves. We just try to do what we love, and do it in excellence.”
  • “The opinions that matter most are the five guys in this band.”
  • In 2010 Shane posted a financial breakdown of mid-level bands on Facebook that made news headlines; it showed how bands don’t make any money. How do you maintain a job and still pursue your passion? It comes down to how hard you’re willing to hustle.
  • In a 2008 interview after As I Lay Dying was nominated for a Grammy, Nick said there was a lot of pressure when thinking of having to write a new album. Now with Wovenwar he says there’s still pressure. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.”
  • There’s a lot of bad advice out there. One thing Nick feels isn’t good is the “just completely go for it” attitude or thinking that “plan A is the only plan there is.” It’s great advice when you’re young, but when you have kids or other responsibilities it can be the worst thing you can do. Be smart about your decisions.
  • It’s important to have humility. “Nobody has ever gotten to a better place by not being humble.”

Links from this interview: