The Black Dahlia Murder... one of the finest "new" bands on Metal Blade records. Lately they came up with a new record which fuckin' rocks. Here's an interview with these guys...

Hi there! Who is answering these questions? Please, introduce yourself.

Trevor Strnad.  I sing for The Black Dahlia Murder.

Your new album “Miasma” is going to be released on August 22. I think it´s much faster and more aggressive than the previous album (“Hallowed”). Do you agree and what are the reasons for that development?

We have become more talented players since the last record.  The road work had a huge influence on us.  We hadn’t even toured when we wrote and recorded Unhallowed.  We were a little green.  This time around, we wanted to challenge ourselves as players, as well as keep the listeners interested by complicating the arrangements and making a more in depth record.  I’d like to think of the band as forward thinking in some respects, while retaining that classic nineties touch.

According to the info your goal was to get heavier and to write more complex arrangements. Where do you for yourself draw the line regarding technicality and complexity? Do you expect there to be more Dillinger Escape Plans or Into The Moats in the future because those bands explore new ground and are supposed to keep music interesting?

Well, look at how huge Dillingers influence was/is.  They basically rewrote the book on technicality.  Into the Moat would not exist without them.  The end, too.  When you really smack people in the face with a new set of ideas, other bands are going to follow in your footsteps.  In our case, its still our BDM style, but it has more going on.  We want to straddle the line between complexity and catchiness.  I feel like songwriting has been eclipsed by a focus on sheer technicality, and I think that’s what's wrong with a lot of death metal.  Sure its amazing that bands can play some of the stuff they are playing, but its not the end all for us.

Looking back on “Hallowed”: Are you still happy with that album? Are there things you would be doing different now?

We like the songs from “Unhallowed”, but I think we could record it so much better now.  We’ve learned a lot since then, and I feel that we are way tighter as a unit than we were then.  I guess our anal retentiveness can be considered a good characteristic in some respects.

The At The Gates influences that everybody heard on “Hallowed” have vanished (at least in my eyes). When writing new songs have you felt the urge to prove that you´re able to develop something like your own style?

It wasn’t that necessarily as much as it was that we realized we could still wear our influences on our sleeve, but make things a bit more futuristic.  It came with the expansion of our playing abilities.  We never wanted to be an at the gates rip of band here.  We just have more maturity, and its taking us above that moniker.

Some people tried to put you into the Metalcore-genre. Have you already become allergic to the term “Metalcore”?

For a long time I felt like we needed to fight for the title of “Death Metal”.  I mean, I consider us a death metal band.  The Haunted, for example, has just as much HC influence (aka very little) as we do, and just because the way we look, we are labelled as metalcore.  I personally don’t see it.  When you listen to our records, you'll hear Carcass, In Flames, At The Gates, Morbid Angel, etc.  We are completely influenced by metal bands. 

You´ve been on tour with Metal bands and you´ve played with Hardcore bands. Now that this “Metalcore” thing is happening, have you got the expression that both scenes are growing together or at least are beginning to really accept each other?

I don’t think they’ll ever fully merge.  There are always going to be people who just aren’t smart enough to realize the two scenes can coexist, as well as teach each other a lot. 

Who came up with the idea for the cover-artwork for “Miasma”? For this kind of music it´s definitely something different. Is there any connection to the album-title?

Well, one of the definitions of Miasma is basically a clusterfuck or shitstorm.  You know, when everything is going wrong.  Vegas, in this way, embodies a lot of the feelings of the album: it’s the US’s capitol for danger and sin.  As far as the cover being a “risk” or whatever, its really not.  The album cover is metal because its our album cover.  When you listen to Miasma, youll hear nothing but metal music made by people who passionately love metal.

The title “Miasma” leaves much room for interpretation. What can you tell us about the lyrics?

It’s a bit more personal and out there than Unhallowed.  It was a very satisfying album to write, lyrically.  It was therapeutic.  There is a lot in there that I needed to get off my chest.  A self examination of my inner evils, you could say.  That’s really only one aspect of the record though.  There is an outward examination of evil as well… deception, hatred… a lot of the shitty and exescapable aspects of the human experience.

How important are the lyrics for THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER? Could you imagine to have no lyrics at all like early Obituary?

I take my lyrics very very seriously.  I would not feel any certain way if I did not write them.  They are half of the substance to me, the other half being the music.  I think lyrically, we have a lot to offer, whereas many melodic bands fall flat and just rehash the same old bullshit.  That’s not what I'm out to do.  I like to keep myself entertained above all.

Regarding the album-title: Would you go as far as calling yourselves misanthropists? Would you say that mankind is a disease that the earth is suffering from?

In a lot of ways, yes.  I think our stupidity concerning what life is really about is what makes me hate humans so much.

What are your future plans? I guess there will be a lot of touring? Can we expect the next records to be even more pissed off?

At least two years of touring.  The next record will be better than Miasma.  That I can guarantee.  The more experience we have as a band, the better off we are, and the more equipped we become to express ourselves as musicians.

Is there anything you always wanted to be asked in an interview? Go ahead!

What does the band name mean?  Just kidding.  I hate that one.

We´re done! Thank you very much for your time!