Way back in June, Metallica’s Orion Music and More Festival took place. Among the more established bands initially announced, the festival definitely respected more extreme genres as well, with The Black Dahlia Murder among the acts playing. MI Contributor Alex Rudisill spoke with TBDM’s Trevor Strnad about the band’s next moves, his favorite bands on Metal Blade and of course, his favorite Metallica album.
Ritual has been out for over a year now. What can we expect next from TBDM?
We’re kind of winding down the Ritual cycle. We have a few summer festivals in Europe and then we’re pretty much done. We’re going into the the secret laboratory again. We’re going to the chamber of solitude and work on some stuff. There’s no new stuff as of yet.
The cover of Ritual is very black metal, very much like Venom’s Welcome to Hell. Was that intentional?
We wanted to throw kind of a curveball to the kids. At this point, I think that they think they know what to expect from us. Just trying to do something different. Valnoir is the guy that designed it. He’s this French dude, who’s done a lot of black metal stuff. He’s super talented. He’s bizerkly into Satan so he was definitely the right guy for the job.
There have been a lot of lineup changes in the band’s history. Why do you think that is?
It’s just a hard lifestyle. Agreeing to be camping full time? To be laying in a van with other fat men? There’s no glamour whatsoever in this. It wears people out. The amount of dedication it takes to play fast music is a lot of upkeep. If you don’t wanna practice your shit, you’re gonna fall by the wayside pretty fast.
Metal Blade is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year. How does it feel to be on a label that’s been around so long?
It’s amazing. I was a Metal Blade fan when I was a kid. Broken Hope, Cannibal (Corpse), Immolation, Vader. There’s so many awesome bands. Brian Slagel is the coolest dude who’s ever lived. If anyone deserves to keep on trucking, it’s him.
Any favorite Metal Blade albums?
The Bleeding (Cannibal Corpse) I think is the best Metal Blader. Tomb of the Mutilated is up there for me. Here and After by Immolation. They have a lot of cool shit that’s out of print right now unfortunately. The Viking album is awesome. Broken Hope dude. Swamped in Gore, that’s awesome.
What’s the metal scene like back home in Detroit?
It’s kind of rough. Detroit is small-town-ish, it seems. It’s not as many people involved. There’s a few metal bands around there. Battlecross is from there. They’re cool, starting to get some momentum. Saprogenic, they play brutal death metal, they’re really f-ing good. There’s a band called Shit Life. Our old drummer plays in it. It’s a two-man grind band. They’re really killer. As far as attendance, its just not that many people into it really.
The video for “Moonlight Equilibrium” as well as lyrics for a lot of your songs have lots of horror themes. Are you guys fans of those kinds of movies?
Definitely thematically for sure. I got into metal by way of horror. Once I figured out there was skeleton music, I was sold. I particularly like the 80s slashers. The classic American slasher films.
Cited as one of your biggest influences, what’s it mean to have been personally invited by Metallica to play this inaugural festival?
It’s still blowing my mind, that they’d even know we were in existance, let alone even like us. It’s a huge honor. It’s like getting the gold star.
Justice. Everybody’s Master, but I’m Justice, man. The song “…And Justice for All” is incredible.
Anybody else you’re trying to see today?
GHOST! In a minute! Let’s go!