American melodic death metallers The Black Dahlia Murder have been keeping the development of their seventh album under lock-and-key. JESSICA WILLOUGHBY drills vocalist, Trevor Strnad, for details ahead of their show at Capitol on Thursday, June 18, supported by Malignant Monster, Iconoclast and Earthrot.
Pressure is something all musicians feel at one time or another in their career.
Whether it’s from record labels or fans, feeling the heat is not the most pleasant thing in the world. But what if this stress is self-imposed? “I think I feel it more and more with each album and as the band achieves more success,” Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad tells X-Press. “I just feel there’s more eyes on me to come up with more scary lyrics that’ll make your skin crawl. We have almost 100 songs now, I think, and that’s a lot of songs about chopping people up. You have to be creative within the world of the macabre. I do enjoy the challenge, but there are times where the whole thing gets to me.”
With internal tensions mounting, these Michigan metallers decided to make the writing and recording process for their upcoming seventh album as ‘chill’ as possible – taking an extended break from touring and laying down sessions in Strnad’s very own home.
“I did vocals in my closet and it was the first time I got to record at home, so I was pretty stoked,” he says. “It’s nice to be comfortable when you have to do that kind of thing because it’s a pretty stressful time. It was recorded with the same studio we always record with, but we had them come here this time. We were also working with our old bass player Bart (Williams) and he helped record a lot of the album. He was also involved in Everblack (2013) and he was a good force to have because he’s an engineer himself. Having him still be around and putting in his two cents about things is really an asset to the band. He worked with Mark Lewis from Audio Hammer in Florida. We’ve known these guys for a long, long time now – so we just had a really good time.”
“Before, we normally worked with Mark and Jason (Suecof) together. But when we heard the latest Cannibal Corpse record and it just sounded so awesome, we thought we would just try Mark and see what he’d do.”
With the title of the album and its contents kept under tight lock-and-key throughout the development process these last few months, Strnad believes it is important for bands to retain ‘the mystery’ when it comes to new releases. “Some bands kind of walk you through the whole thing,” he says. “I think by now, our fans have sort of figured it out because we are always sticking to the same album cycle. Touring for two years, then an album. So far, our albums have always come out on odd years too. So it’s about time for a new one.
“Our last album (Everblack) did better than I had imagined. Coming from Ritual (2011), which was such a big success for us at the time, it seemed really intimidating to put another one out after that. For fans to really grab on to two albums like that was awesome. It made us happy. Ritual was a door opening for us; incorporating samples into the music and different kinds of instruments – and being able to recreate that stuff live. We took what we learned from that and Everblack and applying it to this new one.”