Not ten minutes into our interview with The Black Dahlia Murder’s singer Trevor and already he’s being given the heads up that the band are set to be on stage soon. He needs to hurry up. Other musicians in his situation then surely wouldn’t be criticised for perhaps rushing our talk, giving us just enough words to work with. Trevor however doesn’t do this. In fact, we’d bet money that Trevor couldn’t do this as the endless enthusiasm he has for his band takes hold and causes him to be very talkative throughout our interview. It’s a good job we like to listen.
Our first topic for this chat is, of course, the tour that we are currently sitting backstage on. Joining TBDM on this circuit are two respective metal greats, Cannibal Corpse and Devil Driver, and Trevor is very excited to be a sharing a bill with such fine acts. “It’s cool. This is like the opportunity we’ve praying for over here: to get on a bill where we’re near the bottom so we can get exposure and new fans,” says the frontman, “I think in this case it’s a great opportunity because Cannibal Corpse are the most tried and true death metal band there is, so when you’re on a bill with them the old long-haired dudes and leather clad minions are going to come out.”
For Trevor and company, impressing these older metal dudes has been an “upheaval battle”, which is massively due in part to the Metalcore genre they have been shuffled into. Did the band foresee this snobbery attitude to their music? Not at all. “When we [first] came out we were like ‘ahh we’re just going to play our death metal music and everything’s going to be fine and we’ll find our fans.’ It’s actually turned into this big stink that you know we look like turds or whatever and that’s kind of been our thing I guess.”
Thankfully Trevor has a sense of humour about it all, but on a serious note, tours like this can be very helpful to bands such as TBDM because they force the critics who may have just judged but not listened to actually check you out. “When we tour with Cannibal Corpse we get too play in front of people that might be too stubborn to check us out otherwise, so it’s a great opportunity for us. You can headline all you want but it’s going to hit like a glass ceiling. You need to go higher and there’s no radio support or anything like that so exposure in a live setting like this is definitely crucial,” explains Trevor.
These run of shows however aren’t the first time they have shared a stage with the death metal giants, although it is the first time they have done it in the UK. “This is actually our seventh time on tour with Cannibal Corpse. We’ve been around the States with them a lot and we went to South America with them but we’ve been praying for something like this over here. The only other tour where we were support was Amon Amarth a while back. That was a really big thing in the UK, that was cool.”
It seems like TBDM are finally catching a break here on our soil but their work is not over yet. Back home in the States the band will be joining the legendary Vans Warped Tour, which will undoubtedly see them face fresh new waves of scepticism. “I’m not really going there to listen to all my favourite bands,” comments the Trevor, when asked if he’s excited to play at Warped. “It’s more like a mission to conquer and we’ll definitely be stepping outside of our comfort zone by being the only extreme band there.” However, their apparent nervousness, doesn’t seem to be deterring them from planning to do what they do best: melt faces. “We’re going to again play in front of new people and hopefully scare the shit out them.” We can definitely see that happening.
This year, though, is not just about live shows and scaring people into early graves. Their new album, ‘Everblack’ is set for release in June and Trevor is certainly looking forward to it being unleashed on public ears. “ We’re definitely looking forward to dropping it. All we have to do now is mix it, as everything’s pretty much recorded, except for a few little bells and whistles. It’s for sure the best record that we’ve ever made and we’re super, super stoked to get it out.” ‘Everblack’ will be the band’s sixth studio album but it’s the first to feature new drummer, Alan Cassidy, and new bassist, Max Lavelle.
Yes, they’ve had another line-up change – lots of this has taken place since TBDM first started in 2001. Right now, though, the band is apparently pretty happy. “The moral is high and everyone gets along really well. Alan is just a cool dude. He’s really easy to get along with and he just seems like he’s ready to take this all on. Max is somebody that we’ve known for a long time while he was with Despised Icon,” says the singer of his new band mates, “I see this line-up going really far. It’s got killer players, a killer attitude and we’re going to try and take this thing as far as we can. The excitement on our end is definitely there for this record and for the band [even] after ten-plus years.”
It must be music to fans ears that the current TBDM members are all, for the moment anyway, on the same wavelength, but do they think they carry on for as long as, say, Cannibal Corpse, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year? “All we want to do is keep playing so we’re going to try until we’re falling down out there.” On that day Trev, we’re pretty sure you have enough fans to pick you back up again. That’s if the angry old metalheads don’t get there first…