Trepalium VS The Black Dahlia Murder | Interview

Scratch the Surface chose France’s Trepalium and North America’s The Black Dahlia Murder to debut this new feature where musicians confront some of their peers and ask them a few questions about their careers and some of their interests outside music. Here’s what Trepalium’s guitarist Harun Demiraslan wanted to know about The Black Dahlia Murder's axe shredder Ryan Knight.

Harun Demiraslan: What inspired you to pick up the guitar and start playing metal?

Ryan Knight: I grew up listening to a lot of the early 90s rock bands such as Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Tool, etc… so these were the bands that really made me wanna play in a band. Once I turned about 13 I started getting into a lot of the faster melodic punk rock (Strung Out, Propaghandhi, NOFX, Skin of Tears, SNFU...) which I was really into because it was very energetic. Around 1999, I started getting heavily into Slayer, which was a natural progression from the fast music I was already listening to. Slayer had the aggression, and energy I was into, but also brought an extreme sinister quality to the music. From then on I have been somewhat of a "metal head".

HD: You've recently released your sixth album "Eveblack", was there a specific musical direction that you wanted to go in for this record?

RK: I think we wanted to take what we did on "Ritual", and take it to the next level. We always strive to make an album that sounds like Black Dahlia, but that always takes what we have done and expand on it. I'd say "Everblack" is a darker album than "Ritual", and shows progress in the terms of song writing, dynamics, and instrumentation.

HD: There've been some member changes in the band, with a new bass player and drummer. How did that have an impact on this record?

RK: The new guys have added a new life to the band. Allan Cassidy I think has been able to fill Shannon Lucas's shoes quite well with his creativity behind the kit, and strong work ethic. Allan steps outside the box a little more than Shannon did with fills I think, and "Everblack" really shows this. Max brought a heavier bass tone to the band I think.

HD: Can you make a living with your music? At what point in your career were you able to quit day jobs and become full-time musicians?

RK: All of us in the band are able to make a living with the band for the most part. I think Max does graphic design work on the side, and I teach while I'm home but that’s mostly for supplementary income. All of us feel very blessed, and lucky that we are able to do the band as our full time job. I wasn't able to do music as my only job until I was 25...almost 26 (I’m 30 now).

HD: How do you feel when younger bands cite you as an influence?

RK: I think it’s pretty flattering honestly. It's pretty cool that people have been able to find inspiration through our music. All of us started playing in bands because other people inspired us, so it's good to be able to return the favor.

HD: What advice would you give to younger musicians who want to start up a metal band?

RK: If you really wanna try to be in a metal band, and make a career out of it, be ready for the ups and downs. In the beginning, there are usually far more downs than there are ups. Losing money, sleep, relationships, are all a part of what you sacrifice to be in a full time touring band. I think if you are a band willing to do the work, and put out quality music you should be able to get somewhere with a band. I would also say, try to write music that has your own sound in it. It is increasingly hard to create "original" music this day in age, but it's still important to have your "stamp" on the style of music you play.

HD: What interests do you have outside of music?

RK: I like hanging out with my daughter, watching baseball, running, beer, and pretty much all other interests are music related.

HD: What ambitions do you have for TBDM that remain unfulfilled?

RK: I'd just love to see the band to further progress, and be successful. Most of my personal goals have been accomplished as far as music goes. I'd love TBDM to tour India, South Africa, China, and some other places we've never been.

The Black Dahlia Murder recently released their sixth album “Everblack” through Metal Blade Records and are currently playing the Warped Tour in the US. Trepalium’s newest effort “HNP” was released last year via Klonosphere Records.