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With their brilliant, new album Nocturnal the five guys from Michigan are back again. Better and more brutal than ever before the guys will be touring Europe with their melodic death metal paired with terrifyingly great vocals with none less than Job For A Cowboy and The Red Chord in November/ December (see STALKER tourdates). Find out in the interview with guitarist and songwriter Brian Eschbach everything you always wanted to know about masturbating grandfathers, rectal bleedings and the new album of The Black Dahlia Murder.
How are you?
Im pretty good man, just got unshackled from a long slavery with Sprint [American mobile network operator, edit].
Where are you right now? What can you see out of the window?
I´m in my one bedroom apartment right now. I can´t really see anything due to the fact that I have the blinds drawn. I´m willing to guess there are some screaming kids outside in the courtyard though.
Nocturnal, your new album, was released in September. How are the reactions so far from the fans and the press?
So far the fans really seem to be embracing the new record, which couldn´t make us any happier. We haven´t really gotten into hunting down press reviews simply because there are bound to be folks out there that don´t dig it and I don´t really care that much about harshing my mellow.
Can you tell us a little bit about the writing and recording process!
Well the writing process was much different on this record. I wrote most of the music myself at home with my guitar on the computer. I got a drum program so I could throw some beats together at home since we were still looking for Shannon [new drummer, edit] at the time and had tons of material to come up with. Songs were pumping out pretty quickly over the course of two months and once the music was done, it went straight to Trevor so he could begin writing the lyrics. The recording process was pretty cool for us since we got to work again with Eric Rachel and for the first time with Jason Suecof. The combination of all the ears that were working on this album really helped to create an awesome communication network that helped us pinpoint the sounds we wanted to come across on this album.
What was the hardest/easiest song to write?
I think “Climatic Degradation” was the easiest to write from a musical standpoint. I don´t know, all the parts kept just coming out while I was working on it. I guess “To a Breathless Oblivion” would have to be the one that was hardest for me. It´s way more mid-paced and chill than most of our other songs. That one took a minute or two to wrap up.
Where does the inspiration come from, for the music and lyrics?
I had to think about this for a long hard moment but when it comes down to it there´s really only one answer. Satan.
What´s the most unusual influence on your music?
They´re all so unusual that it´s hard to find just one that sticks out as odder than the rest, but I guess Michael Jackson would be the strangest.
What do you aim for in your sound? How do you want the listener to feel?
Usually we want the listener to have a feeling of total discomfort, almost as if they were being forced to watch their own grandfather masturbate. Most importantly though for us is to have songs and riffs that WE feel stoked about.
How far does experimenting go in your music?
Experimenting is for sexual deviants and college kids and their genitals. We feel that genital stimulation has absolutely no place in our music. That would just be dirty.
Vocally there´s a lot going on on record, how do you realize it live?
We incorporate almost everyone in the band into the vocals in our live show. It really helps add those dynamics that are present on the album.
How much, do you think, has changed since your last record Miasma? What are the differences between the two records?
We have a band filled with members that can competently play the material now, which I can´t say about the line-up on Miasma. Basically though, Nocturnal has the sound we´ve always been trying to communicate through an album. I think the production on it blows Miasma out of the water.
Do you feel you have progressed as a band?
Absolutely, if we weren´t progressing I wouldn´t even want to be doing this.
The band has been in a lot of trouble, touring stress, line up changes. How did this affect the band and the music?
Touring stress isn´t really a problem for us. We love to tour and play and get quite bored and crazy when we can´t. In the time that we´ve been out on tour we´ve fired two drummers, a bass player, and had one drummer quit to go home and be a cop. Every time we´ve ever asked someone to leave the band it was because they were affecting the band in a negative way and weren´t allowing us to continue to build the band into our shared ideal.
Did you ever question the future of the band?
Certainly, it´s quite hard to find a drummer that´s going to play death metal as tight as you would expect Phil Rudd to play.
One of the songs on Nocturnal is called “What a horrible night to have a curse” which is also the name of your first demo from 2001. What happened on YOUR most horrible night?
I don´t know, I really have a sneaking suspicion that it hasn´t happened yet.
You will be on tour with Job For A Cowboy and The Red Chord in November/December in Europe. Are you looking forward to that? What can people expect? Maybe some more hot dog contests like at one of your gigs in the States?
I´m sure people can expect some BRUTAL TUNAGE, but I´m just looking forward to making fun of alien customs with the rest of my U.S. cohorts. There will be no hot dogs.
Who will be the most brutal band of the evening?
Uh, Job For A Cowboy of course. Haven´t you been on your Myspace lately?!
The body of Elizabeth Short, the “Black Dahlia” was found cut in half and severely mutilated. If you had to choose, how would you want to be murdered?
By having Miss Short´s lower halve shoved straight into my ass. I´m sure the bones would cause rectal bleeding and I would be bled to death.
Thanks for the interview, good luck with the record and have fun on tour!
Author: Int. Kathleen Gransalke, photos: The Black Daliah Murder Date: 2007-10-21