Interview: The Warning Discuss New Album ‘Keep Me Fed’ and Its Themes of Excess & Overindulgence

The Warning 'Keep Me Fed' © Danielle Ernst
The Warning 'Keep Me Fed' © Danielle Ernst
Monterrey, Mexico-based rock power trio The Warning embrace a new creative process on their stellar fourth album ‘Keep Me Fed,’ navigating a world of overconsumption and engaging in the mayhem while turning the tables on those who have created the chaos.
Stream: ‘Keep Me Fed’ – The Warning




“More than anything, we want people to ask themselves: what keeps them fed? And at what cost?”

That is the question posed to Atwood Magazine by The Warning, reflecting on their new studio album, Keep Me Fed, out June 28 via Lava Records.

In the world of The Warning, we must guard against the dangers of excess, we must keep our judgment sharp so we’re not susceptible to the brutalities of the world, and, at some point, we must become radical agents of chaos in a landscape that wants to bleed us dry. We must shake the table while being careful not to fall off of it.

Keep Me Fed - The Warning
Keep Me Fed – The Warning

The rollout to Keep Me Fed has been a long time coming. The band began releasing singles over a year ago, starting with the high-octane “MORE” and following it with scorching singles like “S!CK” and “Hell You Call A Dream,” which are some of their strongest songs to date.

Drummer and singer Paulina “Pau” Villareal shares with Atwood Magazine that recording the album in between two years of relentless touring allowed them space to reflect on the last few years of their lives: “We had so much going on at that time, so what really pushed us to explore new sounds was that this was the first time in two years where we had the time to actually process what we had been living.”

Bassist Alejandra “Ale” Villareal adds: “Keep Me Fed is a time capsule that captures all the craziness of what we were living in at that time.”

Help me now, ‘cause I only debase
When I see the problem staring straight at my face
I wanna kiss it, lick it, make it my own
Wanna taint the color till it’s faded and gone
Bleeding just to feel alive
I’m rotting in my place
Life is nothing more than passing time
Give me violence!
Kill the silence!
Till it makes me feel
Till it makes me feel
Till it makes me feel
SICK!
– “S!CK,” The Warning




Of keeping up their hectic schedule and utilizing a new creative process, which involved bringing in a host of other songwriters, lead singer and guitarist Daniela “Dany” Villareal says, “We definitely stepped out of our comfort zone. There is something so magical about sharing all these experiences, influences and points of view each person has and pouring it all into a song.”

Because they started out at such a young age (their debut EP, Escape The Mind, was released when they were about 15, 13 and 11), The Warning have always felt they’ve had to prove that they “deserve” to be here. But their musicality absolutely proves that. The fact that they can play as well, and sometimes better, than legacy acts and established bands who are at least 10-20 years older than them, is impressive. Not one of them is even 25 yet, but their skills, stage presence and discipline belies that.

“The three of us are perfectionists and we constantly push each other to be better at what we do,” Alejandra tells Atwood. “So sometimes the only thing you can do to feel at peace with the pressure is putting in the work to know that you belong.”




Keep Me Fed finds The Warning engaging with ideas of overindulgence, dissatisfaction and, in Paulina’s words, “Participating in that same overconsumption that we are trying to disrupt. We all ask to be entertained, to have something to consume.”

I’ve been invaded by the need to stay inside this cage
Day after day I’m hurting but I choose to stay this way
Running out of things to say
Isn’t it normal to love all we hate?
It’s draining me out just the same
I’m in too deep
Give me something to believe
In this hell you call a dream
Colliding every time
The chaos drives me
Wild like an animal
Just wanna breathe
In this hell you call a dream
– “Hell You Call A Dream,” The Warning

And this is not a new theme in The Warning’s music. It’s been prevalent since their 2015 debut album XXI Century Blood. Sustenance becomes excess, and hunger is relentless.

“Six Feet Deep,” the album’s opening track, arrives with a raucous flash of thundering drums and bass, a dizzying guitar riff and reverb that buzzes underneath a building sense of havoc. Further into the album, “Escapism” balances a soft melody, almost like a lullaby, against an off-kilter, menacing invitation to indulge in the ether.

You can take all that you want
but it will never be enough
Cut me open, pay attention,
on display I’m bleeding rust
 
Like a machine, I will complete,
I will obey, I will perfect
My every move, my every word
’til there is nothing of my left
Can’t keep hating-
You, it’s draining
Please don’t say it
“I don’t care” is such an easy lie
Is such an easy lie
Tell me, are you satisfied?
– “Satisfied,” The Warning
The Warning 'Keep Me Fed' © Danielle Ernst
The Warning ‘Keep Me Fed’ © Danielle Ernst



There are sounds of screaming tightly-packed inside some songs (“Sharks,” “Satisfied”), buried shallow in the production; exploding easter eggs you can only hear if you start to let yourself get lost in the havoc The Warning are wreaking here. It sounds like we’re taking a rollicking journey through Hades, a place the group knows well, a place they’re welcoming us into and showing us how they’ve spruced up the place. It is a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking ride.

Atwood Magazine had the opportunity to chat with The Warning about recording Keep Me Fed, introducing a new creative process, Paulina’s directorial debut of their “Qué Más Quieres” music video, and what they envision for the future of rock music.

Check out our entire conversation below, and listen to The Warning’s new album, Keep Me Fed, out now on Lava Records!

Rock has always been a genre for rebellion and self-expression.

— —

:: stream/purchase Keep Me Fed here ::
:: connect with The Warning here ::
Stream: “Qué Más Quieres” – The Warning



A CONVERSATION WITH THE WARNING

Keep Me Fed - The Warning

Atwood Magazine: What’s different about the response to the Keep Me Fed singles from your previous album rollouts?

Pau Villareal: The response for this rollout has been so exciting. Keep Me Fed is definitely a new era for us. We have been releasing the album’s singles for almost a year now, and to have people still be excited for every release makes us very happy.

Alejandra mentioned wanting to have fun on this album. What, for each of you, was the most fun part of this process?

Pau: The most fun part of the process this time for me was that we recorded it in our home city (of Monterrey, Mexico.) To have been able to come back from tour and stay home for a while and record the album there was such an incredible experience. There is nothing better than being at home AND creating art.

Dany Villareal: Making this album in between touring was so crazy. It was fun, but also very challenging. I think it pushed us to be more precise with our songwriting and to be really sure of what we wanted “Keep Me Fed” to sound like.

Ale Villareal: Working with our producer Anton DeLost was great. Even though we all knew we had very little time to record the album, he made the whole process feel as if we had all the time in the world. It was also very fun for us to host Anton in our city and to share our culture with him.



The album art for Keep Me Fed features you all at an elegant, elaborate feast table while engaging in rebellious behavior and shocking those around you. What do you want this cover to convey to audiences?

Pau: The cover shows exactly what this album is about. It shows overconsumption, excess, people ravishing in this excess, and it shows us. We’re on top of that table and we’re disrupting the scene. We are trying to change the setting, but at the end of the day we are also at that table…

We are also participating in that same overconsumption that we are trying to disrupt. That is exactly what this album is about, how it seems like nowadays nothing is ever enough… We always have to give more because we can’t seem to find a way to take less, and even though we are all aware of that, we still want to be kept fed.

Keep Me Fed - The Warning
Keep Me Fed – The Warning



We are also participating in that same overconsumption that we are trying to disrupt. That is exactly what this album is about, how it seems like nowadays nothing is ever enough…

You’ve mentioned that you worked alongside many new writers in the making of the album. How was this experience different from recording your previous albums?

Dany: It was a very new but exciting experience. We definitely stepped out of our comfort zone and opened up our process to start writing with people other than just the three of us. Working with other people expanded our perspectives in such a new way. There is something so magical about sharing all these experiences, influences and points of view each person has and putting it all into a melting pot and pouring it into a song.

You have incredible discipline with your touring schedule. How was the experience of recording Keep Me Fed while maintaining that schedule?

Ale: We’re not going to lie, it was extremely exhausting. Being tired physically and mentally from touring all the time to then come home and have to record an album was tough. But just like with everything, we were able to make the best out of it and we are very proud of the album that we made during this time. We can feel the chaos we were going through at the time in the music. “Keep Me Fed” is a time capsule that captures all the craziness of what we were living in at that time.



We definitely stepped out of our comfort zone and opened up our process to start writing with people other than just the three of us.

Daniela recently mentioned that the album’s title came last and is part of a lyric in one of the songs. What does the phrase “Keep Me Fed” represent to you, what do you want it to mean?

Pau: “Keep Me Fed” is something we all ask for out of life. We all ask to be entertained, to have something to consume. More than anything, we want people to ask themselves: What keeps them fed? And at what cost?

For Paulina, how did you come to co-direct the video for “Qué Más Quieres” with Iván Chávez? What was it like stepping into that role and continuing that creative partnership?

Pau: Making the QMQ music video was such an incredible experience, so new and so fun! I make Pinterest boards when we’re songwriting, so each song of the album has a mood board. When we got the rough mixes of the album, I was going through my mood boards and the idea for the QMQ music video came as I listened to this rough mix of the song. Working with Iván was so much fun, we really get each other creatively. He helped me in really grounding my ideas and finding ways to actually bring them to life. I loved directing, I hope I get to do it again sometime.

The video for “Qué Más Quieres” has some inspiration from Charlie’s Angels; there’s a rebellious femininity in this new era of The Warning. Was this intentional or has it unfolded organically?

Pau: Charlie’s Angels was a big inspiration for the comedic undertone for the QMQ music video as well as the overarching theme of “Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss.” We usually don’t think about our “femininity” when we’re doing what we’re doing, but since we grew as young women since recording our last album, maybe our rebellious side is showing a bit more in these new songs.

The Warning 'Keep Me Fed' © Danielle Ernst
The Warning ‘Keep Me Fed’ © Danielle Ernst

How do you deal with feeling the continual pressure to prove yourselves and that you’ve earned your “place” in rock music?

Ale: Having started out as kids in this industry we have always had to prove that we deserved the opportunities we were getting, that we had the skills to back up our success. The three of us are perfectionists and we constantly push each other to be better at what we do, so sometimes the only thing you can do to feel at peace with the pressure is putting in the work to know that you belong.

You sold out your recently-wrapped European headlining tour; what has the experience been like to go from the supporting band to having your own supporting acts as the headliner?

Dany: We’ve been touring for two straight years now, all very different tours, some headlining and some supporting but this was our first European headlining tour, and to live what we lived in that tour was absolutely amazing! And to think that we now have a space to support other bands that we like and to give them the opportunities that have been given to us at other points in our career, it’s really nice to think that we can do that now!

What were some of your inspirations in the making of Keep Me Fed?

Pau: The biggest inspiration for this album was our own lives. We had so much going on at that time, we still do! [laughs] So what really pushed us to explore new things and sounds was that this was the first time in two years where we had the time to actually process what we had been living. Now it lives on forever in Keep Me Fed.

The Warning 'Keep Me Fed' © Danielle Ernst
The Warning ‘Keep Me Fed’ © Danielle Ernst



Sometimes the only thing you can do to feel at peace with the pressure is putting in the work to know that you belong.

You were recently named by Rolling Stone En Español as one of its “Future of Music” acts. What do you imagine when you think about the future of rock music?

Dany: I think the future for rock music is very bright, especially for younger generations that have a really open mind about liking and exploring all types of music! Rock has always been a genre for rebellion and self-expression, so I hope that the kids of today look for rock to be their outlet to let it all out.

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:: stream/purchase Keep Me Fed here ::
:: connect with The Warning here ::
Stream: “Six Feet Deep” – The Warning



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Keep Me Fed - The Warning

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? © Danielle Ernst

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