Interview: Sanction's Andrew "Lumpy" Wojcik on The Band's Growth, "Broken in Refraction," and More

(Photo credit: Gabe Becerra)  

It’s no surprise that a fair amount of notoriety has come to a band like Sanction. A talented band with a heavy sound that toes the line of what’s popular in both metalcore and hardcore is definitely a recipe for appealing to fans in many different music scenes. I got to speak to guitarist Andrew “Lumpy” Wojcik (“whatever you wanna call me”) about their new record, Broken in Refraction, their fast-moving success, Lumpy’s roots in hardcore, and more.

As per usual for this blog, to open things up, I asked Lumpy about his first hardcore show was like. Lumpy explained, “First “local” show I ever went to was freshman year of high school. Atreyu, Funeral For a Friend and Anterrabae… No hardcore bands on this show. Few months later, I saw Full Blown Chaos and It Dies Today, then I would see bands like Throwdown and Black My Heart for my early years, along with countless metalcore bands. These were the closest I got to hardcore at that time. Junior year of high school, I went to a show that was Down to Nothing, Have Heart, Bracewar, Harder the Fight, The Mongoloids and Agent - this show opened my mind up to the other side of things. It’s all good shit.”

I had a few questions about their new record, Broken in Refraction. This is Sanction’s first full-length, following the 2018 release of their EP, The Infringement of God’s Plan. When I asked how it felt to have new material to play, Lumpy responded, “Playing new songs feels amazing. Touring off an EP and demos gets old FAST.”

On the recording process, Lumpy describes it as a reasonably easy stage. “The recording process for Broken in Refraction was pretty smooth. [We] did pre-production for a couple weeks with our friend Chris in Canada, recorded with our friends Chris and Evan on LI @ Shellshock Audio. If you live in the Northeast, hit them up.”

In my opinion, one of the standout aspects of Sanction’s music is their lyrical content, which made me pretty curious as to how they come up with the ideas in their songs. For example, “Conscious in a Coma,” my favorite song on the new record, is more of a concept song (the title is self-explanatory), which was an interesting direction to take. Unfortunately, I have no answers for you there.  “I take no part in the lyric writing process because I am not creative in that way, and I am easily the dumbest person in the band. I know Dave [Blom, vocals] wrote the lyrics to ‘Conscious in a Coma,’ if you see him, ask him [laughs],” he explains. “Writing process-wise, Mike [Marino, guitar] pretty much demo’d all the songs out, then we would bring them into practice and change/alter things here and there.”

The time in between the release of The Infringement of God’s Plan has brought Sanction a lot of change. Last spring, they signed to Pure Noise Records, making them a part of a bundle of hardcore bands signed to the label, including Inclination and Year of the Knife. “Pure Noise has been awesome so far,” Lumpy says. “They’re starting to sign more ‘mosh’ bands and it’s cool.”

Speaking of Pure Noise - at the end of the summer, the band finished up the Pure Noise Tour, a 2-month tour with labelmates Stick to Your Guns, Counterparts, Terror, and Year of the Knife. They’ve toured with STYG before, as openers for a co-headliner with Wage War and East Coast metalcore giants Emmure. All this being said, it certainly makes sense of their newfound fans in the metal and metalcore genres that are largely unfamiliar with hardcore. I asked Lumpy what it has been like to switch from more local hardcore shows, particularly in a local scene as strong as Long Island’s, to larger tour packages. While appreciative, Lumpy was honest. “Playing those bigger tours is definitely exhausting because it’s way more serious because they don’t have a hardcore mentality. [We] get to deal with dumbass security and venue staff. Fuck their rules. I prefer to play small shows 100% of the time.”

However, their record release in November will certainly serve as a change of pace - with openers that include a one-time performance from now-defunct Jukai, Rule Them All, Silenus, and Separated, a band that came before Sanction that they share 3 out of 5 members with. On the topic of the show, Lumpy says, “Can’t wait for our record release, gonna be a fun time.”

What’s next for Sanction? “We’re gonna keep touring starting in November with Queensway, Vatican and Fuming Mouth.” This tour will primarily be hitting the East Coast and the Midwest, as you can see above. However, in addition to that, Lumpy mentions, “[We] got some more news/plans to announce soon…”

What are Lumpy’s last words? “Do your research on hardcore/metal, nerd out, download as many albums as you can find. Find something your best friend has never heard, also do at least 2 of these… Start a band, book a show, dance for bands, make a zine... Bands to listen to: Rule Them All and The Fight. LIHC.”

Check out Sanction’s links below to stay up on news, music, and more:

If you’re local to the Midwest, be sure to catch them at X-Ray Arcade in Cudahy, WI in November, and/or at LDB Fest in Louisville, KY this February. Additionally, do yourself a favor and check out their new record, Broken in Refraction, on Bandcamp below. You can also find it streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.


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