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Wage War’s Briton Bond on How His Bandmates ‘Saved [His] Life’

The tight-knit metalcore band is not afraid to explore subjects like mental health and addiction
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 17: Chris Gaylord (L) and Briton Bond of Wage War perform in support of the band's "Below" release at Ace of Spades on August 17, 2021 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Wage War have always made it a band priority to be accepting of one another. The metalcore quintet’s singer, Briton Bond, tells SPIN that, while coming to terms with his addiction, he had the implicit support system of his bandmates. As a result, Bond and guitarist Cody Quistad agree that Wage War are at their best today.

“I’m sure I scared the piss out of them a bunch,” Bond says backstage at Louder Than Life, “but they were really supportive, and I remember having very deep conversations. I feel like that’s what it takes, to get into those pockets in your life [that] you really don’t want to talk about—with people that actually care and want to talk about it, and rip the Band-Aid off. … People love you, and you’ve got to remember that. Those guys absolutely saved my life.”

Bond has been sober for almost four years, including the process of making their latest album, Manic. Quistad credits Bond for helping spearhead that record, including art direction, adding that his creative drive and passion “came out of nowhere.” Manic touched on “a lot on mental health problems,” as the band isn’t afraid of having those big, sometimes heavy conversations.

“We’ve been through so much crucial life together,” Quistad says, “and everyone hits their struggles along the way. Something about our specific five in our band, I feel like we just are very tight-knit, and we have always remained that way. No one’s afraid of a conversation. No one’s afraid of criticism. We keep each other in check, but it’s all in love, and that is a cornerstone of our band.”