The Black Dahlia Murder
Date: 20 January 2012
MM - How has the tour gone so far? (10th Venue so far).
Shannon - Yeah it's good, can’t complain, been cold, but it`ll be cold anywhere we are right now!
MM - How have the songs from the new album been received?
Shannon - Great, good reviews, they seem to like them live. We are trying to do a big chunk of them.
MM - Do you have any favourite songs to play from the new album live?
Shannon - hmm ... 'Carbonized in Cruciform' is kind of fun and straight forward, doesn’t need too much thinking or concentration. Some of the other ones you have to put a little more thought into it, that one is pretty easy.
MM - You have had a very busy ten years together, when you first started out, did you think you would be where you are today, with an army of devoted fans?
Shannon - I don’t think anyone thought we would have the opportunities that we have had. It kind of took everyone by surprise. We started out as a bunch of dudes who like playing music and tried and take it as far as we could, got lucky and did the right thing. Yeah I think all of our minds are blown.
MM - Do you feel that the band has reached optimum potential with the current line up and the material in your latest album, which is widely regarded as a major progression in your writing and musicianship.
Shannon - I don’t think that anybody’s ever reached their full potential. Every time you have done something, you can listen back and think ... arrgh I would of done it this way, or maybe I would of done it like that. I think so far 'Ritual' is our best record and closer to the bands full potential. I think with every record a bands potential becomes greater.
MM - Venomous yet Melodic is how your music has been described, this must please you?
Shannon - Melodic? Yeah it is, it's Melodic Death Metal. We are influenced by a lot of Melodic Death Metal bands. You can really hear a lot of the Swedish Gothenburg scene in our music. You can hear a lot of that influence, it’s all melodious. That’s where we would differ from something like Cannibal Corpse, which you can hear a lot in our music as well, but you can hear the difference in what we do and what they do. We are based more on melody rather than straight brutality, which we like as well but, yeah when people ask what we are we would say Melodic Death Metal.
MM - Trevor has been quoted as saying ... “being a metal band is being an “underdog” ... can you explain that feeling?
Shannon - It's always been like that, I mean it’s a smaller community of people that enjoy that kind of music, especially the more extreme it gets. There are less people that listen to it and either don’t understand it, or appreciate it. It is extreme and metal has always been like the underdog, it’s not the mainstream, it's rebellious and stems from aggression that your parents didn’t want you to listen to. So it’s a smaller community and not mainstream, there’s a kind of underground. so it makes things harder for a band, or even just a fan of the music. Now there’s the internet so you can find new music. Ten twelve years ago the only way you would find new music was if you went to a record store and just looked, or word of mouth.
MM - What music do you listen to chill out?
Shannon - Well we all listen to different stuff, you have some guys that maybes have toured as much as others, and they just really like one type of music. Some guys will literally finish a show and listen to more metal, which I can’t even fathom, I personally don’t listen to much metal any more.
MM - The drummer out of Evile said exactly the same thing, saying it surrounds us, we live and breathe it, but like to have a break and listen to Classical or something else.
Shannon - Absolutely, it’s our job and a great job. It’s what we do day in and day out and I just don’t care about listening to it anymore, ha, ha. You know what I mean, way over it. It’s cool that we can play this kind of music and do what we do, but you know I have no interest in listening to it anymore, I listen to Country!.
MM - What would be the greatest achievement for the Black Dahlia murder? Now and future?
Shannon - Geeze, erm yeah the record it kind of encompasses all that the bands done. Everything has lead up to that, everything’s been a building block to reach where we are at now.
MM - How’s the tour being going with Skeleton Witch?
Shannon - Oh awesome, we have done some tours in the past with them and had a great time. I really dig their music, I like the whole ... “it's real metal thrash” ... because nowadays the scene seems to over saturated with this new generation of bands. Maybe people grew up on the metal that we were into, maybe listening to say the big four, who probably aren’t into this new generation of metal because it’s completely different.
And it really doesn’t do it for me and I know we have toured with some of those bands, but it’s refreshing for me to hear a real metal band who are like a throwback, you know, like vintage, so we are all stoked. We have another tour with them after this one already lined up.
MM - Would you consider playing Download, have you been asked?
Shannon - We done it once, twice actually, two or three times? (Asks the rest of the band).
All - At least twice!
Shannon - We would love to come back and do it again, but there was a little bit of drama last time, so there’s a question as to whether we would be invited back or not. Whatever drama then was squashed.
MM - What did you do?
Shannon - Oh you know, sometimes people get wild when they have a few drinks in them, you know rock n' roll!!. I think after everything was said and done and apologies were said, you know it was squashed, what’s done is done, it's rock n' roll. But it was a great show, that we did in 2008 or something and it was awesome.
MM - Tonight's show, I think you are going to find the crowd are going to be well up for it in Newcastle.
Shannon - I'm excited.
MM - You have a big crowd out there already.
Shannon - It's funny this was brought to my attention earlier today. My first tour with Black Dahlia, we came through the UK and I got really bad food poisoning from KFC of all places! ... and it was the only time in my career where I have missed a show. I was completely too far gone to play and it was here, 45 minutes before we were supposed to go on, I was throwing up blood. They ended up doing the show like a CD listening party. Some how that worked I guess, but it would be nice to have some sort of redemption.
MM - Well you are in the smaller room tonight, which I personally prefer any way, it's nice and compact.
Shannon - Well for us we are a energy type band, we need their energy and we need ours. Being too far away, you know barricades and stuff, takes away the vibe, but I think it should be fun tonight.
MM - Ouija boards have you ever tried to use one... if so what happened?
Shannon - No ... I have no intention of doing it. There’s a lot of things in the world I am unsure of, well everyone’s unsure of, you know like the unknown. I’ve talked to too many people that have had bizarre and weird experiences, and I'm just not interested in opening any doors. I would rather not play with the fire. If there’s anything to it or not, I have no idea. If there is, it’s something I would not care to deal with. There’s nobody that I want to talk to that’s not here in the present right now. Well I can’t say that, it’s not true, but I just wouldn’t want to do it.
MM - You as a band are definitely not afraid to shy away from the dark side of the human psyche, is this true belief system for you?
Shannon - No, nobody in the band is religious. If that’s what you are getting at then we don’t practise anything, but we are all interested in the occult. It's fascinating and the whole idea for me, not speaking for anyone else, the whole darker side, satanism for me is about free thinking. I am a fan of free thinkers, free anything, people not following a path in front of them when they were born, or what they are told. People that take the initiative to learn and figure out things themselves and what works best for them.
MM - I think it’s quite interesting actually, if you have ever looked at a satanist site.
Shannon - It’s not what people think it is, it’s about self-preservation. I`ve dabbled in some of those books and the best that I could get out of it is not being a slave to something that’s real or not. Just free thinking, taking things for what they are and appreciating the things in life that you really enjoy, like if it feels good, why shouldn’t you do it? Why should you deny yourself a lot of the things in life that feel great because somebody says it's wrong and who are they? Are they the authority? So it’s a lot about being an individual and not following the flock.
MM - That’s it, that was brilliant, thanks for speaking to me.
Shannon - Thanks man ...
Interview by: Seb Di Gatto