Æges Interview: Kemble Walters & Larry Herweg on Building the Bridge

When Æges frontman Kemble Walters played in Juliette and the Licks, he did a few studio sessions with Dave Grohl. “[Grohl] draws this picture and gives it to the runner there. ‘I want you to buy all these parts,'” he says imitating Grohl’s voice. “‘Here are the instructions. Make it.'”

Colorfully describing the enormous beer bong Grohl had the runner assemble, Walters says the energy during those recording sessions was crazy. “We destroyed [the studio] because we could. Dave Grohl was there.”

Today as we chat candidly at Bonnerhaus, the Ryan’s Rock Show headquarters in North Hollywood, Walters and drummer Larry Herweg (who also plays in Pelican) say that same destructive energy is the foundation of The Bridge (out April 17th), the debut album from Æges, a band six years in the making.

“We jammed in hopes of having a band together…for some reason for six years it didn’t work,” comments Walters.

After years of impromptu jam sessions between Walters and Herweg in the midst of hectic scheduling with their respective projects, timing to form a new band seemed to be on their side in late 2010. Walters, who had been playing a breed of pop/rock, wanted to test the waters of metal; Herweg insisted on being “in a straight up rock band.” The clash of objectives ultimately led to the band’s 2011 debut EP Roaches, an effort that fueled the group to architect a blueprint for The Bridge.

“It took a few rehearsals of us screwing around,” Herweg says, curiously observing the antigravity chairs on our studio wall. “Then we finally started figuring out stuff that worked.”

From left to right: Kemble Walters, Larry Herweg.

I did an interview with Torche in 2009 and Steve Brooks told this story of stopping at a rest area outside of Montreal. He said when he went to wash his hands in the restroom, luckily he looked in the open soap dispenser, because someone had put “two pieces of shit” inside. I know Pelican has toured with Torche, and Æges had their debut performance in 2011 with Floor, Brooks’ previous band. Are there fond memories of being on the road with Torche or from that first Æges show?