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INTERVIEW: The Black Dahlia Murder (US)


by Carina Lawrence/ Dark Art Conspiracy

The Black Dahlia Murder are one of the most well-known death metal bands and they have cemented their place in the genre since their formation in 2001. Now in 2017, they are gearing up to release their eighth and most defining album yet, ‘Nightbringers’ which is unleashed October 6th via Metal Blade Records and is already doing well, as they have achieved the biggest pre-orders in Metal Blade history which is quite the accolade and shows how far the band have come. So I caught up with frontman Trevor Strnad to discuss their latest offering, their origins, touring and more before they hit the road to support ‘Nightbringers’.

So looking back to 2001, can you tell us a bit about your formation?

I would say it was pretty typical, a few nerds found each other through the local scene and the internet as well and we were kind of outcast in the scene I would say, so we definitely gravitated towards each other, and in the early days we had a hard time being taken seriously locally, but we did kick around for about three years here in Michigan just playing tonnes of local shows. We used to play this place Ypsilanti in Michigan called Mr Mugs, and there was really no kind of death metal scene that we could really find pulse off, so we kind of just existed in the hardcore scene, and there was a lot of metal creeping into hardcore at the time, like your Unearth’s and Red Chord’s, and a lot of different cross breeding. We definitely came up in the hardcore scene in Michigan, but the first three years were pretty grim I got to say. Basically we did a demo in 2001 then we got signed to a small label in 2002 called Love Lost Records, we put out an EP with them, then we used the EP to get reviews and get the info out there, eventually with the idea that we would appeal to all the record labels, make a package with them with some new songs and a bio sheet, where we basically talked in the third person about how awesome we are, one of those things…but it worked! Thirty rejection letters later we got signed to Metalblade.


How did you decide on the name The Black Dahlia Murder?

I was looking for something that was going to be shocking as it’s a death metal band, and that’s always been a big thing for me, one of that parts of the appeal is a visceral shock value, so I wanted something that was going to resonant with people and being a metal head since I was a kid, since around thirteen or fourteen there wasn’t much that was shocking me out there that I could find, nothing that would make my skin crawl, but I learnt about the crime black dahlia murder and all the weird shit surrounding it and it just seemed like the perfect band name, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been taken at the time. The story is there’s a young girl, she comes to California in 1947 with stars in her eyes, she wants to be an actress and then she is brutally murdered, cut down and no one knows who did it still and her body was left in the street to be found on purpose…it was cut in half, drained of blood and she had like a smile carved onto her face, so very blatant message was trying to be sent by this person, and it signifies in a way the darkening of times in the states and the death of the American dream you could say.

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