The Refrain Interview: Bogwrought

Bogwrought is a 5-piece band with their studio between the swamps and cranberry bogs of Middleborough, Massachusetts. All of the members have different musical backgrounds and influences. The band is comprised of Tim Cunningham on drums, Cyrenus Paquin on bass, Zak Welch on lead guitar, Matthew Benoit on rhythm guitar, and Carrie Brum (formerly Rocco LaVita) as the lead vocalist.

Bogwrought has released their newest intricate single, “Monarch”. chance to ask Bogwrought a couple of questions as part of The Refrain Interview Series. Check it out below.

Refrain Music Blog: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You have a new single out now. What is it called? 

Bogwrought: It’s our pleasure! Thank you for having us for the interview! The new single is called Monarch. 

RMB: What is the song about, in terms of lyrics? Any overarching messages or themes?

BW: The song is about an unhealthy obsession from a toxic person. An example of how not to be. Always on the edge of seeming nice but overcome with frustration and anger when their “love” goes unrequited. 

The lyrics for this, as for most of our songs on this upcoming album, are visions/hallucinations that passengers of the Black Cardinal are having on their journey to their destination as well as once they arrive; inspired by their sins and fears.  

RMB: Is this single part of an album? If so tell us a little bit about that.

BW: Yes! This is our third single from an upcoming album called Voyage. We’ve always thought of our songs as having a story that develops throughout while at the same time having each one be able to stand on its own. This album has been in the works mentally since 2020 and we have finally committed ourselves to recording the album. Despite some advice that we have been given about full length albums not doing well in today’s music scene, we believe in this project and stand by our vision. Looking to release the album by the end of 2023.  

RMB: How does this single differ from your previous work?

BW: Monarch was originally composed by our drummer Tim Cunningham before the conception of Bogwrought. When we started the band everyone was coming back to playing music after breaks of various length. While writing songs together we were able to improve our skills and songwriting. Monarch is the 5th song we worked on together as a band and was the most difficult to play together. We struggled to keep in time with harmonies and transitions but because we were dedicated it really pulled us together as bandmates. We believe this song helped solidify our bonds as partners in songwriting and playing.

RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded?

BW: We recorded the song at our friend Chris Idzal’s apartment studio. Chris is helping us record, mix, and master our full album. Our process right now is slow and steady. We think of this as a deep dive into our own songs; we’re dissecting them piece by piece and putting them back together. Through our recording we have added lyrics, taken out some instrumental parts, added more harmonies and chords that will be implemented into our live performances too. Some nights this process is like pulling teeth. Other times we are on the floor laughing until our lungs feel like they’re going to burst. 

RMB: Tell us a little about the band.

BW:  Bogwrought formed in the spring of 2019 (we round the date to April 20th). The band members are Tim Cunningham on drums, Carrie Brum for lead vocals, Zak Welch as lead guitar, Cyrenus Paquin on bass, and Matthew Benoit as rhythm guitar; previously Rocco LaVita as lead vocalist. Cyrenus and Matthew were working together at an battery R&D company and after about a year of talking about video games and music on lunch breaks Cyrenus mentioned that he wanted to try to get a band going but needed a drum kit. Matthew happened to have a drum kit in his parents basement that they had been begging him to get rid of. So after donating the drum kit they got together with a jam session with one of Cyrenus’ old Umass Dartmouth college buddies, Tim,  who was trying to get back into playing drums. After that jam session Tim invited his roommate, Zak, to play guitar. Our first few songs were not heavy on the lyrics and we got by without a dedicated vocalist. But as our songs began to get more technically challenging we decided to reach out to our buddy Rocco to help us out. After some amazing life changing events Rocco moved on from the band and we added Carrie as our lead vocalist in spring of 2022. Our band space was in a cranberry processing plant in Middleborough Massachusetts where we could walk out and overlook two large cranberry bogs that often have eerie mist flowing over the edges. This is what led us to pick the name. We are wrought from the bog. 

RMB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

BW: We each have our own influences so we’ll list two bands each!

Zak: Black Sabbath and Lamb of God

Carrie: System of A Down and Jinjer

Tim: August Burns Red and Trivium

Cyrenus: Mudvayne and Mastodon

Matthew: From Autumn to Ashes and Baroness

RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?

BW: We have come very far as a band that started out in a small barn in the woods. We are proud to make music that we love that hopefully many other people will enjoy. 

Carrie: I’m extremely proud to have become an advocate/icon for health and inclusivity. Nothing has been more rewarding than when someone tells me they continue to pursue their passion for music because they see me pushing past my health issues to pursue mine.

Zak: Seeing improvements in my stage performance and musical skill in real time, and doing it alongside close friends.

Cyrenus: Getting to the point we had to start turning down shows.

Tim: Seeing the crowd go nuts to songs I wrote that I never thought were going to go anywhere.

Matthew: Being able to step on a stage and play music to an audience. I honestly had given up on that dream and now I can do it all the time! 

If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?

BW: The call of the swamp is inevitable. Enjoy! 

Tim: Groovy proggy metalcore that’ll remind you of high school if you’re around 30.

Zak: If you love to bang your head to a modern take on metal, this is the stuff for you.

Cyrenus: We play modern music with respect to our influences while not constrained by the tropes of our genre.

Matthew: Listening Bogwrought will take you on a journey from the swamps of Southeastern Massachusetts to the high seas. There’s something for everyone in our music!
Carrie: We are a female fronted Metalcore/ Rock band from the swamps of MA! We definitely blend a lot of different influences into one unique sound!

 RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?

BW: While recording our first single Black Cardinal with Trevor Reilly of A Wilhelm Scream, he gave us so much advice we should have been writing it all in a notebook! One thing in particular that he said was that when you’re performing on stage you have to be having fun. Even when things are going wrong with gear, or just having a bad night, the audience wants to have a good time and when they see you having a good time up there nothing else matters! 

RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?

Carrie: The most common way to do things isn’t always the best way, everyone is different, do what works for you!

Matthew: Practice scales until your fingers fall off and take vocal lessons.

Tim: Stretch before AND after drumming.

Cyrenus: Never stop trying to start a band.

Zak: Be mentally/physically prepared to have gear fail, strings break, amps die on stage, hiccups in sets. There’s no such thing as a perfect set, just have fun!

Connect With Bogwrought:       
Linktree / Spotify / Instagram


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