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Blake Murphy (Remain)

Interview with Blake Murphy from Remain
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 25 November 2007, 12:32 PM

Canada has been producing great bands from the very beginning of our beloved music genre. In the underground scene you can find some really good bands that are trying (or playing) their best and deserve something more than our attention. One of this bands is REMAIN who have already produced the very good demo CD Died A Hero. Of course Metal Temple seized the opportunity to talk to the guys about their first attempt and more. So, read on and check them out!

First of all I have to congratulate you about Died A Hero; I really enjoyed the old-fashioned Thrash. OK, let’s start with obvious question, how did REMAIN start?

From the ashes of broken bands and broken bones came a brutal thrash metal sound being harnessed by a band called REMAIN. In 2004, after years of playing music together five friends saw their potential as a metal band and began writing their first album. The songs that would soon unfold would display both great musicianship as well as REMAINS’s own distinct sound of heavy metal.

In my review I characterized your music old-fashioned Thrash; do you agree with this label?

We don’t disagree with it.

 What is the lyrical content in Died A Hero?

The lyrics on Died A Hero covers murder and war, to disease and the impending apocalypse, and even Jack The Ripper.

What are your major influences as a band?

All we have ever done is hang out, listen to music and play music. From the time we were just young all we ever did together was watch METALLICA concerts, and all the PANTERA videos, and listen to TESTAMENT,SLAYER, GUNS ’N’ ROSES, IRON MAIDEN… the legends.

Died A Hero was released on the very METAL day 06/06/06 but reached our webzine after more than a year. Is there any special reason for this?

We smoke a lot of weed….We didn’t have anyone but ourselves doing anything for us, so I guess we would just focus all our efforts on shows and the physical part of being in a band, and we would forget about promoting it everywhere.  Also working all day and playing music all night makes the hours in each day disappear. But I am not making excuses; in the end the five of us just love playing music.

So, the album has been out for quite a while; what is the feedback so far? Are you satisfied?

Other than constructive criticism, the feedback has been tremendous. It’s only our first demo, and un-mastered at that, and it has brought us all over Ontario and into Quebec, and even over to England for our own tour. So It’s doing pretty good for itself.

 Has any record label offered you a record contract?

Yes. But none worth talking about.

 How difficult for a band to survive without a record deal? I mean what difficulties do you face as a band?

A record deal makes everything easier (not that we know) but it’s all in your definition of surviving. If you are in this for money, then I ask why play metal?. It is obvious the money is more concentrated in the mainstream, but surviving as a metal band to me is the bond and drive of the band. REMAIN has always just played our music either to a full venue or a completely empty bar. We all show up to every band practice and give it our all and we all just take part in the band. We always have…always will.  That’s surviving as a band without a record label, just doing it.  And the difficulties are constant, but that’s what makes you drive, getting past them, to easier ones, hopefully.

 You have a lot of nice stuff in your band page as well as in your Myspace page; do you think that an independent band can promote itself through the internet?

We owe everything on the internet to Boo Chow! He does all our webpage and myspace upkeep and design, and he pretty much helps manage everything REMAIN does, whether it’s online or on the road. The internet is definitely an unsigned bands best tool for promotion. If you know what you’re doing and where to put things the right people can see your band or hear your songs. It is definitely making things easier.

 Where do you stand on mp3 downloading?

It’s a split decision with REMAIN, some are for it some are not. But it depends on the grounds of the download, whether it’s outright stealing, or just checking something our you intend to buy…

 Ok, back to REMAIN; what are the latest news from the REMAIN camp? Any news on the next album (album title, song titles, etc)?

REMAIN are heading back into the studio on December 8th to start recording new material for the next album. As of now the album is untitled, but there are some working titles along the lines of The Offering, Last Stand, Ready To Die, to name a few.

 You come from a country that has produced some most important bands in the Metal scene; what is the current situation in the Canadian Metal scene?

As we have experienced so far the metal scene is healthy in Canada.  But it is extremely healthy in certain areas. Montreal is a great city that has produced some of Canada’s greatest bands, like QUO VADIS, CRYPTOPSY and KATAKLYSM. But places like Sudbury and Peterborough are thriving metal scenes with amazing local bands, and fans alike. Toronto is a pretty good scene with lots of bands and venues, and Barrie is where we are from and the metal scene has been steadily growing for years and is now a really good scene. If things continue and metal stays strong it could make a real noise in Canada, and we are proud to be a part of that noise.

 What are the tour plans for REMAIN? What is the best festival billing that you would like to take part?

We just finished our first tour of England which went great and we will be doing it again in the future. We are trying to get onto the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany which would be a dream, but also Bloodstock in England and the Music In Motion Festival in B.C. Canada.  Those are just a few festival prospects that we would love to be a part of and are working towards.

How important are the album reviews for you? I mean you have ever considered of changing something because you read it on a review?

Reviews are important to us. We love knowing that our album is getting out there and people are actually taking the time to listen to our songs, whether they like it or not we appreciate that people listen to the cd. Up to this point nothing we have read has made us think of changing anything, people have different opinions.

 What can we expect from the next REMAIN album?

The next REMAIN album will be a thicker sounding cd with it being mastered in the end, which will be a huge difference from the Died A Hero CD. It will be a collection of straight up heavy metal songs, some heavy metal that will rip your fuckin’ ear pussies apart. You’ll love it.

 OK, these were my questions. Keep it up guys, here in Greece we love the classic Thrash Metal sound and we definitely love underground bands like REMAIN.

Links: Remain.Cc, MySpace.Com/RemainCanada


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