Sure, Danzig in the day was stocky and a badass. But we’re pretty sure he skipped leg day. Not Candace, she’s the beast of Germany.
Naplam Records caught a gem when they signed Candace Kucsulain (vocals), Chris Rawson (guitar), Aaron Ruby (bass), Mike Hasty (guitar), and Dustin Schoenhofer (drums). Walls of Jericho haven’t disappointed the fans or the label with their latest album out now, No One Can Save You From Yourself.
The Detroit, MI natives will get to sleep in their own beds the night of the show we hope since it’s a short drive up the highway to Pontiac, Michigan for this year’s Dirt Fest. We managed to pull some serious plates to grab Candace’s attention and used that time to ask her some questions. Then we had to bribe her with C4, but we do what have to do for you, the National Rock Review fans. We talked about a near death watery experience, the new CD, and who has the biggest bench in the band.
So, after you get done lifting that twelve ounce curl while clicking the mouse, head over to the Twitter or Facebook page and yell at us gym rats. We need some new routines anyway. These three by fives are killing us. Oh, and never skip leg day, or she’ll eat you alive at the next show.
NRR: Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for National Rock Review’s Dirt Fest 2016 coverage. What’s been going on with the band, Walls of Jericho, so far in 2016?
Candace Kucsulain: Thank you for your time! The most exciting thing that has happened for us this year was the release of our new record No One Can Save You From Yourself released on Napalm Records. We have also been touring and just got back from an awesome European tour.
NRR: Tell me about the latest album, No One Can Save You From Yourself. What can a new fan expect from it the first time through and what would you like a new fan to come away with from it?
Candace Kucsulain: It’s brutal, dark and at the same time extremely motivating (laughing). I can honestly say its my favorite record we have released. It doesn’t get more straight forward, musically and lyrically.
NRR: I see that you guys need to workout while out on the road to stay busy. Who is the biggest beast of the band and is it important to have something like that during the grind of being out on tour for you?
Candace Kucsulain: We sure do! We try to have a gym on the rider and if there’s not one available we make due with what we got. I always bring resistance bands with me and there usually always something to squat or somewhere to do pull-ups. I would say I’m the beast of the bunch for sure! I compete in powerlifting, its a huge part of my life. I’m pretty sure I have the biggest deadlift and possibly bench in the band, (laughing). But we all love to train together, its nice to have something outside of the club.
NRR: You have been across the Pond recently to Spain, Russia, and other places in between. Is it a different feel touring outside the States and was there anything that had to be adjusted to while over there?
Candace Kucsulain: First off let me say how fortunate we know we are because we get to see the world doing something we love, its a beautiful thing! We started touring over there in 2003, so I’ve adjusted to most everything since then. The biggest thing in the beginning was soap, soap and paper towels (laughing). It was pretty much non existent there. So I stocked up on hand sanitizer. Also NO ICE, that’s right they don’t have ice. Not a big deal for me I don’t usually put ice in anything, but I’ve seen some people from other bands get pretty bent out of shape over it.
NRR: How does it feel to play a well established festival like Dirt Fest that’s basically a home game for the band?
Candace Kucsulain: We are always honored to be a part of a big fests like Dirt Fest. It will be like a family reunion for us, so many amazing bands we’ve toured with over the years coming together and what better place but our old stomping grounds! This will also be the first time my daughter sees us play live, I cant wait!
NRR: Tell me about “Fight The Good Fight.” Why was that song good enough for video support and describe the process a band goes through especially with a video like this?
Candace Kucsulain: The lyrics all around sum up the message we wanted to get across on this record. Never stop fighting for what you love, for who you know you can be, and for the change you must be a part of in this world! The process was a great time for “Fight the Good Fight” and for “Reign Supreme.” It challenges you in many ways. None of us like to be in front of the camera. So you have to put that aside and just have a good time! I loved “Reign Supreme” because it was more in my element and its always cool to see woman lifting heavy and hitting things!
NRR: You were selling bundles for the new album and quite a few bands are doing VIP packages out on tour. Are these strictly to help make up some of the money with the changes in the industry or is it a way for bands to get closer with the fans and let them help the band’s they love at the same time?
Candace Kucsulain: We never do stuff like that for the money. If we do meet and greets or bundles its because there is a demand or request for it. We don’t believe people should have to pay to hang out with us but its what the industry demands at times, so we try to always make it worth their while and give them as much merch as we can. Bundles are just better bang for your buck! Who doesn’t like that?
NRR: If you were in the crowd after your set, and heard two people talking about Walls of Jericho, how would you hope the conversation might go?
Candace Kucsulain: Damn son that was fucking brutal!
NRR: Is there a moment, that thinking back on it now, in the your time together, or with any band in the past, that you can’t help but still feel a tad bit embarrassed about, a situation that makes you laugh about despite yourself, or just still makes you shake your head in disbelief? A Spinal Tap moment if you will, that you’d be willing to share with me?
Candace Kucsulain: Yes brain farting on questions like these, (laughing). When you’re under the microscope you never can remember. I will share a funny story from this past tour, when I almost died in a water slide! True story. I went down a slide called the Hurricane in Germany. Everything was moving fine when all of a sudden I lost speed and got sucked in the opposite direction. This landed me in the center of the U shaped part of the slide. It didn’t take me long to realize this wasn’t part of the ride.
I began banging on the walls and yelling, (laughing). I get anxiety from time to time and what better time for it to happen then when you think you’re gonna die in a water slide of all places. The idea of this did make me chuckle. I decided to Spider-man my ass out but with too high of an incline and the water flowing through it made it impossible to reach the top of the next hill of the slide.
While accepting defeat and lying on my back in the tight, humid tunnel I realized it could take a very long time before someone could rope me out. I looked up and there was a small hatch above me, it was locked from the outside and being such a small space it gave me no leverage to try and force it open with my arms. So I did what most powerlifters do best and I went into Hulk mode and I leg pressed that bitch. It took a few minutes and a bit of kicking as well but I inched it open just enough to free myself.
The victory was sweet and the escape from near death (or at least that’s how it felt) even sweeter. I gave out a loud battle cry as I shook my fists in the air and then climb my ass down. Nobody puts baby in a corner!
NRR: (Slow golf clap), our respect madame. Are you guys still music fans outside of being on stage, and if so, is there anyone on the Dirt Fest bill you’re excited to catch since everyone plays on the same day this year?
Candace Kucsulain: Oh hell yes! Music is always on. I’m stoked to see Killswitch Engage because they are great but its also been years since I’ve last seen them. Always stoked to watch Hatebreed. And it’s been too long since we have shared the stage with Bury your Dead. Gonna be an epic show!