Metal Army caught up with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s front man Trevor Strnad late this summer at The Summer Slaughter Tour. On the heels of the excellent Ritual album (Metal Blade) Trevor was all smiles in talking about their new music and headline spot on the tour. Compared with the wise cracking joker from their DVDs and the devilish front man from their live shows in person Trevor is a different animal. He was thoughtful and rather humble for a guy who’s band is one of the premiere acts in modern death metal. He also answered a burning question for me I was dying to know. Awesome! The band is on tour this fall with ALL SHALL PERISH and CANNABIS CORPSE.
MAA: How has the tour been?
TS: Awesome! It’s almost over now, but it’s definitely been a real victory for the band and everybody that has been a part of it. A lot of great turnouts. We’ve averaged 1000 or 1100 every night. It’s awesome to be back on it for the second time, let a lone begin the headliner which is awesome. Everything is going really well right now. And it synced up perfectly with Ritual‘s release and everything so its awesome.
MAA: Ritual has been out a little while now. How are the new songs going over live?
TS: Great so far! We have been playing five of them. People seemed to be taking to the new songs really well. We made sure when we were writing them we made sure they were gonna come across. That is something we keep in mind. It’s definitely a challenge to play new songs after playing the same ones forever. Actually every time we write a new album it takes a minute to get into the zone and stuff. But now we’re getting to the end of this tour and we’ve been playing these songs. I’m happy. I’m happy with the reaction and how the album is doing. It’s awesome. This is an exciting time for us right now.
MAA: The record definitely explored some new terrain for the band? What was the writing process like compared to other albums?
TS: It was pretty similar, but this time there was just a lot more time actually. The other records were all written pretty rapidly just to kind of fit into our schedules. This time we had a big break, like six months off to decompress from so much touring and spend some time on the songs. Just when they were coming together there was a level of excitement there. We had some discussions about what we wanted to do with the songs talked about making the record, which is not something we have typically done before. We were talking about incorporating new elements into THE BLACK DAHLIA sound. Trying to bring forth the aspects of the band that are great and try to magnify the things that make people like us in the first place. Like more of the horror aspects from the first record and Nocturnal. We’re happy guys. It took more elbow grease, but I think it shows. I think it shows. It’s the fifth record you know? We wanted to do something cool. Not just to put it a record, but to really make the fans really pumped again and remind them what it’s all about. I think its been a definite success in that regard so I’m happy.
MAA: The band worked again with Mark Lewis again. What does Mark bring to the table other producers do not bring?
TS: Compared to to the other guys we have worked with I think Mark Lewis and Jason Suecoff, they are just friends above anything. We have a lot of laughs with those guys. There is a definite trust there. They know their way around extreme metal, which is important. That was key for us being a really fast band. We wanted to go somewhere where we could get a killer guitar sound. Which initially it was hard to pick for us since all of the bands that influences our guitar sound are European. We’ve definitely found a good team in those guys. They are serious when its time to be serious, working hard and getting good takes. But the environment is always friendly and we also have time for a lot of laughs too.
MAA: What is the band on The Summer Slaughter tour you most enjoy watching play?
TS: FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE! They are awesome. I have all their stuff. I picked up their new CD the first day they had it at the table. I was like “yeeeeeessssss!” (laughs) They have been really cool guys as well. It’s really fun to watch em! So fucking fast, the drumming. So fast and so brutal. And he sang for HOUR OF PENANCE! Talk about a talented motherfucker man!
MAA: Better or Worse: Touring in the summer America or Touring in the summer in Europe?
TS: I think I like it in the states better. I do like it better in the summer here. Winter in Europe its just cold as shit. A lot of the European venues are older and don’t have any heat. But I like touring America in the summer.
MAA: Better or Worse: Necromanced back to life by a satanic cult or bitten by a walker in a zombie apocalypse?
TS: I think it would be worse to be bitten by a zombie! (laughs) I’d will go the other way!
MAA: I’ve waited my entire career to ask you that question Trevor. Thanks for your time!
TS: Right on! Thanks man!
(Special thanks to Trevor Strnad, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, Metal Blade Records and Return to the Pit)
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes