Canada-based tech-death specialists Beneath the Massacre have returned! After nearly eight years of slumber, the Great Beast from the North is ready to slay fretboards, shatter blastbeat records, and blow minds again on their fourth album and Century Media debut, Fearmonger. While most bands that go dormant will shed members due to natural causes, the Québécoise in Beneath the Massacre are a close-knit group, particularly where it concerns the Bradley brothers—Christopher Bradley (guitars) and Dennis Bradley (bass)—and their lifelong friend in vocalist Elliot Desgagnés.
I had a chat with Elliot and this is what we talked about.
You said that living the 9-5 lifestyle for a few years reminded you why you were first attracted to underground music and its scene. Elaborate, please. What exactly were you reminded of?
Well, it’s actually pretty simple to explain. When we were young adults we were touring professionally, so when we stopped and slowly went back to working in the real world, the corporate world, with things that don’t look like you personally you miss people from the scene. The venue owners, the bookers the promoters, the musicians. The coffee machine talks with a bunch of crazy guitar shredders. When you get a corporate job you just go there and they will talk about the last game of thrones, you know? It was nothing like us. And we missed those people. Now we are wondering how they will survive this pandemic, of course, especially the club owners promoters.
The band is a brotherhood. How is that translated in real-life terms? Describe your friendship.
From the three original members, the two are real brothers, the Bradley brothers, [Christopher Bradley (guitars) and Dennis Bradley (bass)] and I was their neighbour two houses down, we have pictures Dennis being so little not even walking yet and we were playing together. It’s really the same relationship you would have a with a real brother, there is no bullshit, I love these guys, and I think that’s why we survive all these years. Even when we are not active this is bigger than the band. Band or not, I’m gonna see these guys. Some bands, you know there’s friendship because of the band but with us, it’s really like a true brotherhood. Sometimes we fight and flip each other off because we are very direct, we are not scared of being direct with each other, it’s been over 30 years we know each other, we’ve been through a lot.
You don’t have to be blood to be a family and that’s definitely the case.
If you could describe the album in a single sentence what would that be?
Oh, that’s tough. I can’t really describe it in just one sentence. Almost impossible to do. I would say we always try to push the envelope, the musicianship envelope nut also the songwriting and try to push it in a way that the listener will still care even though we took him through a roller coaster and flip him three times off the wagon bring it up. And another thing that we do is try not to make the songs longer than they need to, or the albums longer than they need to be.
It’s like an electric shock.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve experienced during your career in the music industry?
Oh, I would have to say that the craziest kind of things are the ones that can’t really say because it will get people into trouble. But another crazy thing that I realized is common in the music industry is how you have to fly your ash from one show to another all the time. Sleeping at airports, not really being sure where’s home anymore.
We know that you grew up in a very open-minded music community. How did that affect you as a person and as a professional?
I grew up in a very open-minded culture so, it definitely helped me become an open-minded individual. It goes without saying. But the interesting thing is that we listen to everything. I still have my punk rock records, my hip hop records, and my death metal records. I wasn’t really raised into that kind of thing where you only listen to death metal or hip hop. And I’m very happy that nowadays it’s more and more like that. Going back in the ’90s and ’80s it wasn’t like that, you didn’t see lots of people listening to different music genres.