Baptists | Interview with Danny Marshall

With “Bushcraft”, Vancouver metal/hardcore crew Baptists solidified themselves as a furious crusty-hardcore force. The Kurt Ballou produced platter earned critical praise for its relentless and in-your-face attitude and catapulted their status to the level of killer acts such as Nails and All Pigs Must Die. 
Guitarist Danny Marshall took some time out to share his thoughts on the new album and why he doesn’t feel compelled to write a trillion riffs per song anymore.

First things first, how are things in the Baptists camp at the moment? You’ve just got back from SXSW 2013, how did that go?

“Things are good. We're back to writing, have a few cool shows coming up - same old stuff. SXSW was awesome. We actually almost didn't go - it was well over 7000km round trip, and we really didn't have many shows lined up. Haha. We decided we'd go regardless... punk vacation. The Thrasher Death Match was awesome - Black Breath, Mammoth Grinder and Hatred Surge were highlights of the trip - and we played a Brooklyn Vegan/Invisible Oranges day show, which ruled also.
On our way down we played a few shows with our friends in Griever, who are an absolutely outstanding band, and a couple with Loma Prieta, as well. Those guys are super skilled, too. Both of those bands made us feel like shit. Haha.”

Baptists’ debut full-length record “Bushcraft” was produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studios and is getting strong accolades from the press and fans. I guess you’re pretty pleased with the results?

“Well, the album wasn't really produced by Kurt - there wasn't really time for us to re-arrange things or for him to really make many suggestions beyond sounds and such. That would have been great, but we had five days to track and mix.
We're really pleased with the end results, yeah. There's not really another person that captures this particular type of music better than Kurt, so we felt very fortunate to have had the chance to record with him. The response has been surprisingly positive, which is nice.”

This new effort follows up a self-titled 7-inch released on 2011, which our former writer Ross Gnarly described as a “…full force attack of metallic hardcore fury,” and is just chaotic and intense as its predecessor. From your point of view, how did the writing and recording of this new record differ from “Baptists”?

"Well, the 7" wasn't really meant to be anything. We'd been playing together for a month or two when that was recorded, so we were just all fired up. Ha. There were exactly two years between the two releases, so we had forever to write Bushcraft. Too long.
The recording/mixing processes were both really quick - the 7" in a night, or maybe two, and Bushcraft in five days. We had to fly to Boston, but other than that..."

I read that you guys used to be in more technical bands in the past like Textbook Tragedy, but Baptists definitely seems focused on a more strip-down and violent approach. How much of a challenge it is to not have a riff change every two seconds these days?

"Absolutely not a challenge in the least! I don't think any of us are compelled to make anything "tech" anymore. I personally can't really write anything like that anyway. Put what needs to be in a song in a song - if it ends up being 45 seconds or a minute long, who cares. Once a song starts to lose steam, let it end!"

As I mentioned before, “Bushcraft” is pretty intense and angry, what was the band’s mindset while working on it?

"Fucking charge! Haha - I don't know. Bottle up your feelings and blast them into some songs."

I’ve also read that this new effort is about your own frustrations with the city and the whole urban life. Care to explain a little about that theme and tell me if the lyrics on “Bushcraft” are real stories or made up?

"That's a question for our singer, but yeah - it's about all kinds of escape. Most of the songs are based on real things in Andrew's life, though."

What lies next for Baptists? 

"We're heading to the Power Of The Riff festival in LA in August and playing some shows around there, and just writing a lot. We're a good chunk of the way through writing for the next album, so that's cool."

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