Note: This is an old interview that I did back in the day, 2005 even.. it was a while back. Taken from Unchain the Underground where I used to write.
I had originally gone through all the trouble of getting a 10 minute, mediocre interview with UNEARTH, and then, of course, I stuck around for the show. The other bands were OK. REMEMBERING NEVER was just a giant breakdown, TERROR was old-school run-in-place hardcore, and then THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER got on stage. I hadn’t listened to them, before. I’d heard great things about them, and I was fucking blown away by their aggressive onslaught. This wasn’t metalcore. This wasn’t hardcore. This was some of the best death metal I’d heard in a long time! It just so happened that I turned around to look for my friend and Trevor was standing there behind me. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get an impromptu interview! Here’s what went down.
AMG: I’m here with Trevor [Vocals] from THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, a lot of people know nothing about your band, so tell us about yourself.
Trevor: Well, my name is Trevor, I sing for THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER we’re a melodic death metal band from Detroit, MI. We’ve been signed by Metalblade Records, we put out an album called Unhallowed about–well, not a year ago yet–yeah, maybe it was a year ago. Well, y’know we’ve toured so much, I lose track of time. Yeah, well, we’re on tour right now with fuckin’ UNEARTH, TERROR and REMEMBERING NEVER and having a blast.
AMG: So what’s it like being a death metal band on a metalcore tour?
Trevor: Oh, it’s cool, it’s cool. Because we have a lot of fans in pretty much any aspect of the heavy genres. You know, we play hardcore shows and metalcore shows and have a lot of success, same as we play death metal shows. And it’s cool that we can walk that line, you know what I mean? Because I don’t feel like we’re metalcore in any aspect musically really it’s just–I don’t know–it’s just.. there’s something about it that people are latching on to in the hardcore scene, and I like the energy from those people. So it’s very, very cool.
AMG: I think the intensity is a lot different than a lot of metal shows.
Trevor: Oh yeah. I say this in a lot of interviews, but I look at metal as kind of a musicians music, you know what I mean? Like, when you go to see a death metal band you want to see them play a lot of guitar stuff you think is really intense, you know, really hard to play, so you want to watch them pull it off, you know what I mean? I don’t know, there’s just a lot of different aspects of the two types of tours we go on. So, it’s cool to ride on both.
P: So what’s the scene like in Detroit? Is it burgeoning or…?
Trevor: Its not like here [Minneapolis], man, like here you guys have Nightfall records, so a lot of kids got into death and grind around here today, so that means that you have a label here, you have record stores that cater to kids who want metal, y’know, we don’t have that in Detroit at all. There’s no metal record stores at all. Uh, there’s barely any independent record stores in Detroit. So, without that kind of support, there are death metal bands but they’re really scattered, without that kind of support between a label or like someone that can unify everybody, y’know.. the death metal scene is pretty scattered. So we mostly play hardcore shows when we’re in Detroit, but those are hit and miss, too. All the kids who I used to go to shows with I don’t see anymore, but, we kinda got our own crowd in Detroit now of really young kids that are really excited to be–well, we might be the first really heavy band they’ve heard or some shit like that, so the kids are fuckin’ going nuts for it in Detroit so that’s refreshing, it’s really cool.
AMG: That’s crazy man, I always figured that Detroit would have a better scene given the number of shows that I see that go through there. Everybody goes to Harpo’s.
Trevor: Well, Harpo’s is horrible.
AMG: Is it?
Trevor: Like, the only bands that go through Harpo’s are like DIMMU BORGIR, y’know what I mean, like, you’re not going to see some cool ass little death metal band from Greece like VORACITY, or something. So, it’s like, they won’t even cater to midsize bands. Harpo’s is all there is, it’s humongous. If you’re not huge, then you don’t play Harpo’s. There’s nothing for the smaller bands, which, in most cases, are the better bands, in my opinion, y’know what I mean?
AMG: Yeah, well, metal is about the underground, man.
Trevor: Exactly, exactly. In Detroit it’s really not, so it sucks. Here [Minneapolis], even in every aspect of extreme music you guys have fuckin’ Felix Havoc out here with fuckin’ Havoc Records so there’s a lot of crust punk kids around here. You’ve got a really healthy crust punk scene. We don’t have that in Detroit either, ’cause there’s no education, nobody knows about stuff in Detroit, I guess. Everything goes under the radar. And, uh, we didn’t know what to expect the first time we played here, when we played a fest that Don Decker booked. We had no idea what to expect, and people just went nuts when we played, and we were like “Oh my God, man!” It was a fuckin’ huge surprise.
AMG: So you get this kind of response every time you hit Minneapolis?
Trevor: Oh yeah, yeah! The kids here are fucking sick, man.
AMG: Where else do you get reactions like that?
Trevor: There’s like–New York is very cool. Philidelphia is pretty good. Pretty much anywhere you’d think of, you know what I mean? Like, Las Vegas is fucking sick, major cities in California are really sick. Then there are surprise where you go and play this little show in Idaho and these kids’ll go in-fucking-sane, man, because they’re music starved, or something y’know what I mean?
AMG: They haven’t seen a decent metal band in 2 1/2 years.
Trevor: Yeah, that’s pretty much what the story is, so, it’s cool when that works out like that, too.
AMG: So what have you got on the radar, here?
Trevor: Sure, I’ll give you some updates on what’s going on here, we’ve got our old EP was on this really small label Lovelost and we had some problems with them, so we’re putting it back out with new cover-art, remastered, um, it’s going to be on Black Market Activites Records which is going to be a subsidiary of Metalblade which is run by THE RED CHORD. Yeah, they’re re -releasing the EP. And I just OKd the artwork like three days ago and it looks fucking amazing, so finally it’s going to sound and look as good as we had wanted it to back then. And it’s going to have some live bonus tracks and some multi-media shit like some video clips for your computer. And that’ll hopefully hold people over until we record in March, and the record comes out, um, well, it’s slated for early summer.
AMG: Who’s producing it?
Trevor: Um, mostly us, but uh, Andreas from this band SCARLET who we toured with and had a really good time with those guys. He records all their stuff and it sounds fucking sick and then he goes to Traxeast to mix it down, like where DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN do a lot of their stuff and GOD FORBID and that kind of thing. Yeah, we’re going to do the same thing. We’re recording with him, taking the fucking tapes to Traxeast and mixing it.
Trevor: And we’re looking forward to it, because we feel like Unhallowed while it’s good in its own right and people like it to a degree, and that’s cool, we feel its not the best representation of us that could be, we rushed it really bad, we didn’t have a lot of money. Luckily everything’s been going for us this year. Now we get the chance to slow down and make the record we really want to make.
AMG: Are you getting a better budget for this record then?
Trevor: Oh yeah. Things have been going really well for us this year, like I said, we’ve been on a tour.. this is like our tenth or eleventh tour on this album. I haven’t been on home for more than two months this year, when you put all the time together.
AMG: So have you been to Europe?
Trevor: We’ve been over to play at fests, this Download Fest. And like, METALLICA was headlining and shit, but we were like the smallest band there. So we played at the same time as MACHINE HEAD and HATEBREED on two different stages.
AMG: So you had like 15 guys watching you?
Trevor: We had like 1000 guys, but when there’s 70,000 that’s the equivalent of like 15 people in America. [laughter abounds] Yeah, all we’ve been over there is for that fest, but we are going back there, um, in December, beginning of December we’re going to tour with NAPALM DEATH, MARDUK and VADER, so it’s going to be a great way to close out this whole year of fucking awesomeness.
AMG: Yeah man, that’s fucking killer! So after that tour you come back, you hit the studio…
Trevor: Right before we hit the studio we’re coming back through here, Minneapolis, we’re on the SUFFOCATION tour for like five days, and it’s all midwestern shows.
AMG: Who’s on that tour?
Trevor: Um, SUFFOCATION, BEHEMOTH, us, and I think DEVIL INSIDE who are local, too. So, that’ll be cool.
AMG: Yeah, no shit.
Trevor: Right after that we’re going into the studio. So at that show we’ll be playing a couple new songs that we didn’t play tonight, obviously.
AMG: Right. Killer man. Best of luck to you, thanks for the interview man, I appreciate it.
Trevor: Cool, no problem, dude.