Thank you for taking time to speak with MHF. How is the Shrapnel world these days?
Hey, No problem. It’s going good. Excited to get a new record out this month and support it with some shows.
Kudos for helping to shape the music scene in Norwich. Since you’re somewhat established, how is the scene now? How has this transition affected your songwriting and subject matter?
It has it’s ups and downs. Being in a band is tough and a lot of the time if you want to get out of town to play or you want to record something a little more professionally it costs money. You see so many bands these days calling it a day because a member has to focus on family or pay bills or the band can’t afford to continue. We’ve seen quite a few bands come and go and a lot of bands we would call friends have moved on to other things now.
As far as song writing and subject matter is concerned we just want to make the best song we can possibly write. We released the “The Virus Conspires” in 2014 and the idea with this new record was to beat it in every way. The songs are more structured, they work together a little more than the previous record. The vocals and solos are more thought out and generally better. We are also playing some bigger shows these days so we have to keep in mind what works and doesn’t work live or what the set is missing.
Your musical influences are clearly classic Thrash…and this is my “go to” interview question–any musical influences that might surprise us? How about non-musical?
First and foremost yes it’s Thrash but actually there’s quite a bit more to it. Our singer Jae is really into Black Metal but also bands like Helloween and King Diamond. Nath our lead guitar player likes just about everything, from Bad Religion to Deftones. I think all of us have a love of death metal and I think that lends itself to us being on the heavier, more extreme side of Modern Thrash. A few of us could sit and listen to blues or classical music so it definitely goes beyond just Old School Thrash.
Your web page says your interests and Thrash and beer. With songs about religion, genocide, government corruption, there is obviously more here than meets the eye. What subjects do you see yourself tackling in the future?
Haha, yeah I couldn’t tell you the last time that thing was updated if I’m being honest. We try to diversify the lyrics as much as possible and try not to repeat anything we have done before. Nath reads a lot around his university course and out of that there’s been a few song ideas. We also tend to lean on stuff that’s current when we can or when we are pissed off enough about something. There’s always a fear of doing something generic and we’re never going to do beer and zombie songs as well as Municipal Waste or Gama Bomb so why try! haha. Right now I couldn’t say where it will go next but as soon as we start writing album number 3 the ideas will be thrown around and we will start doing some research.
“Braindead”—about the state of the world’s youth (or perhaps people in general) is very thought provoking. Was there a specific situation that sparked this song? What do you feel is the crux of this societal situation?
So exactly what I was saying before about being pissed off by something. I stumbled onto some reality T.V. show and had to watch out of pure amazement. It’s shocking what they put out these days and what people are entertained by. I was watching this show and raging, scribbling notes down which became the foundations for that song. It’s mindless dribble and the people on these shows are just some of the worst human beings.
Raised On Decay is scheduled for release in late September. What can we look forward to hearing, musically and lyrically? And will there be touring involved? Possibly in North America?
It’s a bit different to the previous record, there’s a lot more to this one, it’s not so straight-forward. It’s technically a step up from the last record, the structures are a little more diverse and we’re using ideas and sounds we maybe didn’t have the confidence to use on the last record. We all agreed we wanted to do something heavier than “the Virus Conspires’ and I think we achieved that.
Lyrically, again it’s a diverse mix of themes from Mythology to Religious persecution, the refugee crisis, to H.P. Lovecraft. There’s a lot going on.
“Pariah” (on the forthcoming album) is available for download now. Vocally, it almost takes a Black Metal slant; granted, I can’t hear in the context of the whole album. What is different about the band since your last outing?
I’d definitely say there’s more Black Metal influences on this record than anything previous, Pariah is one of the more extreme songs we’ve written for sure, with one of the more experimental choruses. It’s just us trying something new and having this collective idea, that this album had to be more extreme than the last, it came together really quickly. I’d say the only thing different is our experience and our confidence to push for something new and different for us.
Finally…what are your interests outside of music? …and perhaps stereotyping a bit here but…Chelsea or Manchester United?
Haha! I don’t think any of us are particularly into football. Nath might show a little interest if he’s not reading. Between working, and our families we are happy if we have time to meet up for a beer and a chat so maybe that website bio was accurate! Haha.
Craig Obert/MHF Magazine