Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Black Dahlia Murder, Interview

I think The Black Dahlia Murder are above and beyond the glut of Swedish inspired American Death Metal bands. Not sure if it’s solely based on the music (which rules) or the attitude of the band (which rules) or perhaps it's a mid-western pride sort of thing...maybe it's just the whole thing wrapped into one?

Regardless I’m looking forward to hearing the new album, ’Deflorate’ when it comes out on 9/15 and of course I'm always looking forward to seeing them destroy live again.

I caught up with TBDM guitarist Brian Eschbach right before the band took the stage at the Tinley Park stop of the 2009 Mayhem Fest and while this was totally off the cuff and unplanned, I think it came out cool enough - length aside.


This interview was done before the Slipknot/Anthrax/The Black Dahlia Murder tour fell apart, so at the end when Brian’s talking about that tour, I left it in because well, #1 I’m not sure if they’re back on the rescheduled dates and #2 I think it shows their mindset and attitude of doing things their own way.

None But My Own: So, tell me what’s going on with The Black Dahlia Murder, new record out soon and you’re on the Mayhem tour doing some pre-promotion, huh?
Brian: Yes, new record ‘Deflorate’ comes out on September 15th on Metal Blade Records. It’s the first album with our new lead guitarist Ryan Knight, who came from a band called Arsis. He’s a very talented young man and we’re excited for people to hear the new songs with what we think is the next level in lead approach.

What has Ryan brought to the team, so to speak?
He’s just got all these tricks and bells and whistles up his sleeve!

Has he inspired you?
Yeah, yeah! I’m always having him show me tricks and exercises and shit, but yeah I’d like to play that good, but I think I missed the train already!

Well you could always jump on the caboose, right?

I hope so!

Every artist usually has a fault or something they wish they could change with their records. Even though it’s not even out yet, what can you say about ‘Deflorate’ at this early stage?
Nothing like that just yet, it’s way too soon. See me in about nine months and I’m sure they’re will be a few things.

How often do you listen to your own music?
Not often. Last time I put one of our albums on, which one I can’t even remember but I wasn’t really listening to it I was just playing along to it.

We spoke about what Ryan might have brought, what did you bring to the table this time?
I don’t know? I wrote maybe 85% of the music…

Where the fuck do I go with this (laughing)?? I guess you could say you brought the damn table or at least the legs, right?
Hahaha! Something like that, yeah!

OK, so with you writing that much of the music, in which ways do you or the band practice quality control? When does a part or a riff get thrown out? Is it entirely up to the person who wrote it or is it more of a band decision?
Well first off, anything that I would write that I’d question myself, no one in the band will hear that stuff! But then there’s times where I know I have a riff or a part and it’s just not going anywhere so I show it to the band and everyone does their own thing to make it happen. Once they add to it, it usually works. Most of the time though I’ll just keep working on an idea until I know for sure it’s us.

After the release of ‘Nocturnal’ and up until the writing of ‘Deflorate’ were there any new influences on your writing? We’re talking about a two year period.
No, not really. It’s rare for me to have like one specific individual influence, these days, from new stuff. I mean you’ll hear a good song or something most people can instantly tell they’ve heard it somewhere, it sounds like this guy or that guy and then there’s the production and it seems like everyone’s heard everything already! I mean there’s only 12 fucking notes and a bunch of octaves. We just don’t come out and think everything we do is the most original thing on the planet, hopefully they’re just cool songs.

Let’s talk about one of my favorite DVD’s of the year, ‘Majesty’ the reaction to it was unreal…
It’s just a bunch of bullshit…

I agree, but c’mon you had to be surprised at the response!
Yeah, for sure but mainly because I can’t imagine anyone wanting to watch that for two and a half hours! I mean the stuff we do, someone watching it for that long is the surprising part!

But you have to admit, ‘Majesty’ succeeds in showing the retarded (off stage) along with the serious (on stage) and it came together nicely. So many times bands have tried to do the wacky off stage stuff and it’s simply not funny, let alone entertaining!
Well it was one of those things where the label wanted to put out a DVD and we were hesitant, like “sure” because we weren’t sure if our music fit that format or whatever, but it did.

I think the band has accomplished quite a bit in the realms of underground metal, I really do. What do you feel is left out there to conquer?
I really don’t know. Sometimes things we do aren’t even goals or whatever they just happen to be cool shit that falls your way! We’re going to be doing a tour with Slipknot. Now say what you will about them, but to tour with arguably the biggest heavy act out there touring right now? Sure Metallica is bigger but a tour like Slipknot speaks to a more generational crowd, the window of ages is a little more narrow with Slipknot.

So is it a tour you feel you’ll have to ‘step up’ to?
No, not really. It’ll just be us and our tunes, not really a ‘step up’ thing because it’s not like we’ll be bringing our own lights or stage show or pyro, nothing like that. If they like the tunes, cool. If not, fuck em, we go this far without them already!