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Interview - Trevor Strnad (Black Dahlia Murder)

Interview with Trevor Strnad from Black Dahlia Murder
by Emily Coulter at 21 June 2014, 1:19 AM

Ask anyone about the newest generation of bands leading the Death Metal scene and you are sure to hear THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER mentioned. Pioneering their unique sound since 2000 with humble beginnings in Michigan, the band have toured the world and released hit albums such as ''Everblack'', ''Nocturnal'' and ''Ritual'', all with multiple member changes throughout. THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have released their second DVD ''Fool 'Em All'' which is full with energetic sets and hilarious out-takes. Emily Coulter talked to Trevor Strnad of the band regarding the DVD along with more stuff.

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER brought out their 2nd DVD ''Fool Em All!'' on the 27th may, why did you decide to bring out another dvd?

We put out a DVD in 2009 called ''Majesty'' which went down really well with the fans, we've changed members a lot in the past few years so we thought it was time to bring out a new DVD to introduce the newer band!

You premièred the film at a restaurant called ''Grill Em All'', how did you enjoy that?

It was awesome, the place started out as a food truck which was featured on a reality channel so I knew the truck had a metal theme. We premièred the film there, drank some beers and signed a lot of stuff.

What does the DVD consist of?

Well the first disc is a documentary which is half of us being on Warped Tour and adjusting to mainstream festivals, joking around and the second half is THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER in Europe with ABORTED. The second disk is mostly live footage from Warped Tour and Europe so you saw varying sets.

What’s your favourite part from the DVD?

Any part what I'm not in haha! It makes me cringe hearing myself but the other guys crack me up, especially Ryan Knight's parts when he's in the pool.

Overall, do you think you got a good response to the DVD?

So far so good, I'm really happy as we've not had much negativity and it came out a lot better than expected.

Do you think the band will release a third DVD in the future?

If it continues down the path of success that this has then sure, it's a lot different climate than it used to be as far as selling DVD’s is concerned. It will most likely end up being downloadable at some point with how things end up.


Like any other band, just young guys looking to blow off some steam. I don't think we ever thought the band would get this professional, we wanted that but we never thought we'd be playing gigs and releasing so much music. For the first few years we were just a local band stuck in Michigan, we sent off so many demo's to record labels and getting 30 rejection letters before the offer from Metal Blade Records.

Who are the bands biggest inspirations?

Currently it's CANNIBAL CORPSE, NAPALM DEATH, any bands that have survived from the first generation of death metal and kept on touring. The bands that stayed strong during the comings and goings of death metals popularity which is one of our goals, we hope to be one of those bands who keep on going and get the crowds even more excited.

The band has a pretty big discography, which has been your favourite album?

''Everblack'' currently due to it being our newest release, it's the most developed album we have produced but we're really excited about what we are working on and we think our best albums are still yet to come due to pushing our boundaries even more.

What is in store for the future of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER?

Lots of touring as we'll be everywhere in the world! Each album we bring out seems to be taking us to near places, for example China which was an awesome experience. We try to get to the UK at least twice a year so we'll get back as soon as we can after Download Festival.

Where will you be touring this year?

We have a lot of dates left whilst touring the ''Everblack'' album, a huge tour in the states will be coming in the fall but I can't say much about that but all you can know is that it will be huge! A brief tour of Scandinavia will be fun, by that point we'll be wrapping up the ''Everblack'' cycle and seeing where we can head to from there.

Where is your favourite place to tour in the world?

Probably Japan, the place is pretty wild and you feel like you've just stepped into the pages of a Dr. Seuss book! When we head there the fans are so dedicated to metal and it just feels like the championship when you get to Japan.

When do you think you'll be writing the next album?

We're going to start planning and writing after we've hit Scandinavia, not much has been put in concrete yet.

What are the best and worst things about being in a band?

The best things are playing live and seeing fans eagerly await to hear you play, people believe in what you're making and are always behind you which is really mind blowing when you step back and think about it. Someone is always caring about what you create, something from the heart made from enjoyment. Everything since we began has been amazing, we accomplished so much. The worst is probably trying to lead a normal life and staying sane with so much travelling and down time, the concert is only a few hours in the day and your slot is only less than an hour but all of this is what sets the men from the boys. If you can handle the good and bad parts then you are all set to go.

How do you train your vocals for live and album performances?

I don't really train much but I picked up tips over the years from touring and a lot from Melissa Cross's DVD ''The Zen Of Screaming'' which helped me deliver my vocals a lot quicker and breath better which made my vocals a lot better, my tips for anyone starting this vocal style is to learn to scream with the least resistance possible as you can't just start screaming bloody murder everyday as it destroys your throat and end up being tired after 2 songs, I learned how to do it with less effort.When listening to earlier records I always cringe cause it could have been done so differently and better which we sometimes change on stage due to that.

What advice would you give to people wanting to start a band?

Currently it would be to do a lot of things yourself like starting a bandcamp page where you can sell your music, it's like having your own little record label. I check out a lot of young bands currently who I think are doing it right and they mostly have bandcamp pages or big cartels to sell merch, record labels need to see that you have a fan base which you created on your own and that is how you'll be noticed.

How did you get into death metal?

I used to listen to the Big Four which was my introduction to metal which started to creep towards bands like PANTERA and SEPULTURA then I was introduced to bands like CANNIBAL CORPSE.

What were your first death metal albums?

CANNIBAL CORPSE – Butchered At Birth
SUFFOCATION – Pierced From Within

Do you think metal has evolved since you joined the genre?

I think it's constantly changing but it always stays the same, death metal is always going to be here and with the underground scene still going there will always be fans of it, death metal is a sub-genre which ploughs on through when other genres may fall out of the public eye. Metal is a labour of love as you can lose money but you keep on recording albums because you enjoy what you do, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER is extremely lucky because we get to tour around the world and produce albums with a fan base which buys music. 


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