The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad: Humanity Showing ‘Dark Side’ in Pandemic
The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The vocalist touched on releasing a new record in the midst of a pandemic as well as what he foresees regarding the future of concerts once social distancing measures have been lifted.
Strnad, however, feels that the worst of the pandemic crisis may still be on the horizon, which has him forecasting that we'll see the "dark side" of humanity if that notion were to come true.
Check out the full chat below.
Did you ever think that there would ever be a thing like this where all you have to do is stay home and just watch Netflix — that's what you can do to save the world.
Yeah, you know, I’m built for this, pretty much. I was gonna do that anyway.
Have you watched all of Netflix yet?
Yeah, I’ve seen the end of it. I’ve seen the end of the Internet. I’ve done it all.
Well, I'm glad you're doing okay. The Black Dahlia Murder have a new record, Verminous, out. The title of the LP refers to metal fans being carriers of a cultural plague. How will our passion benefit the recovery of a global society engulfed by an actual pandemic?
We’re kind of reduced to banding together over the Internet now, but I still feel the positive vibes from the metal scene. I’m hoping when this blows over that it just comes back full strength and that people realize what they took for granted and come out tenfold to shows. I really look forward to what’s going to happen in the future, but for now, it’s kind of uncertain and it’s always in the back of my mind no matter what I do.
Verminous is a clear creative progression from the last album. What do you enjoy most about the challenge of evolving without losing the essence of your musical foundation?
It’s definitely a challenge. We try to stay the course that we set out with the first record, but there’s always this want to put in new ideas. With this record, there was a lot of old school metal flavor injected — some new wave of British heavy metal flavors — it’s fun.
It’s fun to try new things and push the boundaries a little bit. I think that Nightbringers kind of empowered us. It was just such a well-received record and having [guitarist] Brandon [Ellis] come into the fold with it was exciting. We’re just pushing it to the next level here, just trying some new things, but still Black Dahlia — we still want to be recognizable from the get-go.
When you were a kid, you probably didn't consider what the ramifications of such a physical vocal style would be when you get older. How have you refined your technique in order to keep doing it?
I had to actually learn what I was doing after a while. In the first years of the band, I just literally screamed bloody murder every time. You couldn’t have told me back then that professional vocalists were calm onstage and had all these techniques.
Learning to breathe was really the biggest change for me and empowered me to sing a lot more rapidly. Looking at Melissa Cross’s DVD The Zen of Screaming was a good starting point for me to get better at it.
A worldwide pandemic is the stuff of metal lyrics, basically. In what ways has coronavirus affected your creative thinking for future song ideas?
I’m seeing the world from a different angle here. I’ve never been part of this kind of thing before and it’s something that you couldn’t have predicted. The worst may be yet to come and we’re going to see the dark side of humanity and that’s going to have an effect of people’s lyrics, mine included.
Touring for a band like The Black Dahlia Murder is very much about being in close proximity to lots of other people. What do you think will change about daily life on tour once it resumes?
That's hard to say. It's been kind of predicted that venues will come back at lower capacities, so the shows will be smaller for a while. People will be apprehensive to come out when it's first lifted. It's gonna be interesting for sure. I’m kind of worried about what's going to happen to the airport. If security got so much more strict after 9/11, this is going to be another turn for the worse in that regard.
Thanks to Trevor Strnad for the interview. Get your copy of 'Verminous' here and follow The Black Dahlia Murder on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.
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