Florida hard rock quintet Wage War will release “The Stripped Sessions,” on Dec. 2, 2022, via Fearless Records. Pre-orders are live here.
The band also has shared a video for “Never Said Goodbye,” which can be seen below.
The 11-song acoustic-based LP reimagines songs from the band’s decade-plus career.
“‘Never Said Goodbye’ is a song about losing someone you love, without the relief of closure,” the band said. “You’re left wanting another year, another day, one last chance to say the things you wish you had before it’s too late. This was a track originally written on acoustic and was an easy pick for the ‘Stripped’ record. Over the last couple of years, we’ve dealt with a lot of loss within our Wage War family and we know many others have felt the same. Grief is one of the hardest emotions to control and understand. We hope this track is a chance to find peace with loss and remember to hold those closest to you … closer.”
Overall, “The Stripped Sessions” is a time capsule of our years so far,” guitarist/vocalist Cody Quistad said. “We obviously love to get rowdy and play super-energetic hard music, but just as important to me—and I think to people in general—is having that outlet to listen to something that’s a different speed. And how cool is it if a listener has songs they love in the high-energy realm, but it’s the same band, and those songs now offer a different take?”
Recorded in Florida’s The Audio Compound, “The Stripped Sessions” was produced by Quistad and Andrew Wade, who has worked with the band previously. Jeremy MacKinnon from A Day to Remember co-produced the LP’s new track—a re-working of Johnny Cash’s song “Folsom Prison Blues.”
“The Stripped Sessions” features tracks that originally appeared on “Deadweight” (2017), “Pressure” (2019) and “Manic” (2021).
“I love that it’s different points in time for us, from all the way back to when we were playing to 200 kids a night to 2022, when we’ve been doing arenas. It’s a cool time capsule,” Quistad said.
“The Stripped Sessions” also allows co-singer Briton Bond a chance to expand his range with melodic vocals. “Briton is an incredible heavy vocalist; one of the best in the game,” Quistad said. “Over the pandemic, he was really at home just working on his singing. We’re super stoked and super proud of him.”
Some of the re-imagined versions were recorded over the past few years, with the bulk of the songs, including “Folsom Prison Blues,” tracked in 2021. The lineup has been able to hone the more acoustic versions of its songs live over recent years. At VIP meet-and-greets, the lineup would bust out an acoustic mini-set. Then, after Quistad did a solo acoustic gig opening for The Ghost Inside, where he premiered his different take on “Folsom Prison Blues,” Wage War decided to do a full-band but stripped version. They played the cover on SiriusXM’s Octane channel, and also did a well-received acoustic show at the New York SiriusXM studios. And, they said, “Before we knew it, we realized we could do a whole record.”
“The Stripped Sessions” track listing:
“Me Against Myself” (Stripped)
“Circle the Drain” (Stripped)
“Never Said Goodbye” (Stripped)
“Johnny Cash” (Stripped)
“Folsom Prison Blues”
Wage War tour dates:
with A Day to Remember
11/28 — North Charleston, SC — North Charleston Performing Arts Center
11/29 — Nashville, TN — Ryman Auditorium
12/1 — Charlotte, NC — Ovens Auditorium
12/2 — Atlanta, GA — Coca Cola Roxy
12/5 — New York, NY — Beacon Theatre
12/7 — Rochester, NY — Kodak Theatre
12/8 — Philadelphia, PA — The Met
12/9 — Boston, MA — Orpheum Theater
12/11 — Detroit, MI — The Fillmore Detroit
12/12 — Chicago, IL — Chicago Theater
12/13 — Memphis, TN — Cannon Center
12/14 — Cincinnati, OH — The Andrew J. Brady Music Center
12/15 — Memphis, TN — Cannon Center
12/16 — Ft. Lauderdale, FL — Broward Center
12/17 — North Charleston, SC — North Charleston Performing Arts Center
12/18 — St. Petersburg, FL — Mahaffey Theater
12/19 — Orlando, FL — Dr. Philips Center
12/20 — Ft. Lauderdale, FL — Broward Center