Interview: Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder
Since 2001, The Black Dahlia Murder have created a musical brute that embraces all the finest qualities of melodic death metal yet does not shackle them, giving them room to constantly evolve and grow. The latest album Nightbringers released in 2017, delivers a punishing and cutthroat form of melodic death metal with a searing visceral intensity. The Black Dahlia Murder continue to inflict a cavalcade of riffs to the table, upping the stakes in technicality, melody, and sheer blunt force trauma. Australia and New Zealand fans beware, they are on a mission to tear your soul apart. We had a chat with frontman, all round death metal enthusiast and top bloke, Trevor Strnad, about the upcoming shows in Australia plus lots more.
Hey Trev, thanks for talking with us today, how you doing?
Good man, just chillin' and doing a bit of a press marathon (laughs) so yeah I'm doing good.
Nice. It's so cool to see you guys coming back to Australia after just over 12 months. Last years tour was brutal with Putrid Pile and Whoretopsy. This time it's The Black Dahlia Murder and Aborted, are you excited about this one?
Oh definitely man, I had a great time out there and I always do, but uh, having the might of Aborted on this tour is just awesome and we've toured with them a bunch of times, they're definitely buddies of ours. It's going to be really fun, and they have their new album coming out like literally the first day of the tour, so it's all pretty exciting.
Our friends Whoretopsy have recently just been banned from a couple of shows here in Australia. Have you ever experienced anything like that before or seen it first hand?
Um, no, not really, but sometimes bands down in the Disney location at House of Blues in Anaheim, and I'm not sure why. But sometimes they just seem to pick out one band that plays there every so often and just be like "No way are you guys playing here, it's blasphemy!" It's pretty insane. Otherwise, not really man, it's only other stuff that I've heard about second hand ya know.
The New Dead Metal Fest lineup that you guys and Aborted are playing in Adelaide is insane, are you excited to be a part of that?
Yeah man, it looks super cool and there's definitely going to be some familiar face there for sure. We've played with Truth Corroded before and a few of the others, so it should be a really cool time and I'm looking forward to it.
I just saw your 'Infinite Bringers of the Night' tour lineup and it's absolutely stacked! Did you just say, let's get every cool band we can think of and try and get them on the bill?
Yeah pretty much man, and low and behold we now have the most confusing tour poster of all time. Because some of the bands are only playing a few shows here and there, like Pig Destroyer are only on a handful of shows, Devourment are on only one show, so it reads as a giant festival (laughs) but yeah we just thought let's do this and lets make something really cool.
I see that you've got Power Trip on there for some shows as well, and with you being more of an extreme metal guy, do you dig what they're doing with the whole thrash metal resurgence?
Oh yeah I love them, I'm a big thrash guy too. Yeah, they're awesome and we've been fortunate enough to play like 10 dates with them and Napalm Death. They're just totally disgusting live man, I went to see them here in New York where I live now pretty recently to and it's always a blast, and yeah I'm not surprised that they have so much hype dude, they totally deserve it.
They're actually touring Australia for the first time while you guys are going to be here, so you might cross paths perhaps.
Oh that's going to be so sick! That would be cool man.
Have you discovered a favourite beer or snack that you enjoy having every time you come back?
I'm a big pie man, and I like your pies. That's not something we really do over here in the States. So yeah dude, pies all the time, hungover with a pie is great.
Do you put a bit of tomato sauce on there as well?
You know it dude, you know it.
You've played thousands upon thousands of shows obviously, so what's the strangest encounter you've ever had with a fan?
There's been a kid that kept insisting that I punch him in the face, um, there was a kid that asked me to fuck his girlfriend once, in front of him, that didn't happen. Neither one of them happened actually, I'd never do anything like that. But just to be asked those things was kinda weird. Sometimes people will ask me to spit on them, you know like right in their face, which you know, I don't do that either. It's just too weird man, I'd much rather just have a nice conversation (laughs).
They must think because you're in a death metal band that you've gotta be brutal off-stage as well?
Yeah I don't man, I have no idea how they get those expectations. It's pretty gnarly.
What can we expect from your setlist on these upcoming shows? A bit of old and new?
Yeah a bit of everything, a good chunk of new stuff but we play for an hour and twenty minutes so that's a long ass set and we can usually fit a bunch of tracks in that time. We play about 18 songs. and we'll be touching on all eras of the band, gotta have a lot of classic stuff in there always for the fans, but yeah, lots of Nightbringers stuff in there as well, we've been getting quite a good response to the new record. This will be the first time we've played an entire record since Nocturnal, you know what I mean? Since then, every record we've done has songs that we just haven't played live, until this one.
You just sort of mentioned it there, a lot of bands are doing tours where they play a full album from start to finish. Which album of yours would you like to revisit and play in full perhaps someday?
Well we've already done it with Unhallowed, and we did another tour of Nocturnal, and I think Nocturnal was the fan favourite as far as I can surmise. I think Ritual would be really cool, it was a milestone for us and a huge release for us at the time. It's just one of those things that we don't want to fall into too heavily, because we want the focus to be on new stuff and we don't want to be like the Scorpions already, you know? I feel like we're making relevant music now, so the focus is being in the present tense.
Since you guys seem to be coming back to Australia pretty regularly it seems, is it just because you love it here and you get asked to come back every year by the promoters?
Yeah, we've been very good friends with Soundworks and we're also good friends with Dave from Psycroptic and his company Direct Touring, we've kind of worked with both of them and they're awesome. Now they've kinda of combined together into one so it's just like a family affair with those guys. They just hit us up and relations are very good with them, they'll say that there's interest for us and it's always exciting for us to come out there, it's awesome.
What message do you have for your Aussie fans that are looking forward to seeing you at these upcoming shows? What can they expect?
They better expect some bodies flying everywhere man, I wanna see people stage-diving, crowd surfing, and I want them to get up close and scream in the mic with me. I want everybody to have a good time man, spill some beer, chip a tooth. It's going to be fun dude, we're trying to break down that fourth wall between between the crowd and the fans and let's just have a blast man.
With the ferocity of The Black Dahlia Murder and the sledgehammer force of Aborted, this 'Nightbringers' tour is going to pack far more than a punch to your chops. Tickets on sale now!!!
TICKETS ON SALE NOW! PERTH – www.moshtix.com.au ADELAIDE – www.moshtix.com.au / www.fowlerslive.com.au MELBOURNE - http://soundworksdirect.eventbrite.com / www.oztix.com.au HOBART - www.oztix.com.au NEWCASTLE - http://soundworksdirect.eventbrite.com CANBERRA - http://soundworksdirect.eventbrite.com / www.oztix.com.au SYDNEY - http://soundworksdirect.eventbrite.com / www.factorytheatre.com.au BRISBANE - http://soundworksdirect.eventbrite.com / www.oztix.com.au
Written by Steve Jenkins