It's always great to discover new music that has a different style that truly stands out from the crowd. That is what Screaming Beast is accomplishing with their debut album, Our New Narrative of Hate, which is available NOW. I had the honor of asking the band a few questions about everything you need to know about this band last week and they got back to me with their answers. ENJOY!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview!
Thanks for having us.
For anyone not familiar, describe Screaming Beast.
It’s always hard for artists to say we are this or that as we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves but if you made us we would probably say we are a groove metal band with some stoner metal tendencies. Riff-based metal might be another way to describe the music. Lyrically there is life experience and some politics in there but it’s not in your face.
Our New Narrative of Hate is coming out this Friday. How does it feel to finally have this album coming out?
It’s been a long time coming that’s for sure! It started back in 2013 with Dan and Anton and it needed to become a band before we could get it done. The addition of Arun, Rory and Jason really gave us some impudence to get the album finished and start building a name for ourselves.With two previous EPs (2013’s Blistering Lies & 2015’s To Assail and Conquer) how does it feel to have a full fledged album to your name? It’s very much like you have found some completion, you have got to where you were going and you get some time to take in the view. But it also frees us up to start working on the new stuff knowing that the previous journey is complete.
How was the songwriting process and recording process for Our New Narrative of Hate? Did it go smooth or were there and bumps along the way?
Haha! There are always bumps recording. When Jason came onboard he brought with him a more classic sounding bass (think John Paul Jones) which is not what you find in modern metal and sonicly it presents some issues so there were some adjustments needed on both sides but we found a sound that works (bump or great journey you decide) .The songwriting process is a bit convoluted as Dan lives in Sweden so ideas are passed to Arun (who is the keeper of the music) who cleans the ideas up to pre-production state then it’s sent to Dan who, through magic and trickery, makes it sound like Screaming Beast. We all work from our own studios so the writing process can be a bit lonely but on the plus side it gives everyone time to arrange their thoughts regarding the songs and we generally have 5 or 6 different versions of every song until we all agree on which one we are going with.
How did you approach your work on the album? What gear did you personally use?
It was a pretty smooth process for me, as Dan and I are similar players stylistically, learning the songs was quite a quick process for me. Having jammed some of the songs in a previous musical incarnation, it all came flooding back. As for the solos I contributed, I did them through a mix of improvisation and composition. Sometimes I had an idea of where I wanted to go with certain phrasing, and the rest was improvised until I found something I loved.My live set up: I us e two Jackson KVX10 King V guitars, both modified with Schaller floyd rose bridges and Seymour Duncan Black Winter pick ups. Strings I use are D'addario 13-62 for the B standard stuff and 13-66 for the drop A stuff. I use an Engl Invader II and Pro 4x12 cab as my amp. Pedal board consists of a Line 6 G50 wireless, TC Electronic tuner, ISP Decimator noise gate, TC electronic mini corona chorus and mini flash back delay. I also use an Engl Z9 footswitch.
This was way out of my comfort zone, mainly due to the speed, so I had to spend a few weeks getting my right hand technique up to spec as I did not want to go down the plectrum route as I prefer a finger style so it was back to the Billy Sheehan tutorials. My recording setup is pretty much the same as my live setup except I take DI’s at every stage of the signal when recording. Cort SP Artist 5 string with rotosound 65-135 nickel strings into Line 6 Helix for compression, EQ and a bit of magic into a EBS HD360 amp and EBS 1x15 and 4x10 Neoline speakers. I might also add a bit of the old sonic maximiser which I find helps bring a little sparkle.
My approach to the album was side on, downwind and with extreme caution.My live and recording setup is identical; Ibanez Iceman into a tube screamer and a HM-2 into an Orange OR50 with an Engl 4x12.
I approached the work slowly, one track at a time. Building my lyrical concepts around the melodies of the songs. I try and follow the natural emotions and intensity of the main riff. I recorded with Dan using an SE2000 and with Jason using a Sennheiser Mk4.
My goal was to get the overall Screaming Beast sound that is in my head onto the computer, I tend to use the same set of plugins and record the guitars dry and then spice them up in the box. For the drums we use a blend of live and Superior Drummer to achieve the right sound. For drums recording and live I use Tama Superstar drums, Evans heads and Zildjian cymbals my guitar rig is a secret but it starts with an Ibanez and finishes with awesome sound after much magic has happened. It’s still simpler than Jason’s rig though!
At the time of writing this, you released the album to stream through your YouTube page. What has been the reception to the album so far?
The USA seems to like it a lot based on College radio plays and we are getting some good plays in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.YouTube response seems pretty positive and we are waiting to see the Spotify analytics
As a newcomer to the band, I really love your guys’ style. Such great melodies and crushing moments mixed with distinct vocals and songwriting. Was the original intent of the band or did you come to this sound naturally?
That is so kind of you to say. It was more organic than predetermined but we were always looking to be a riff based metal band as that is what we love to listen to.Anton's vocal style definitely suits a riff based sound as the listener can get into the groove quickly and start to focus on the message Anton is trying to get across. Head nodding and brain entertained is the key!
Despair got an official music video release. How was it decided that would be the song to help represent the album before coming out?
We all really love that song, it’s got such a groove and is a reel pleasure to play so there was not much discussion as it just seemed an obvious choice.
What is next for Screaming Beast?
We have plans for 3 more videos this year and we are already working on the next album which we have penciled in for an early 2019 recording. We want to get out and playing live and we are working with some promoters to get that done. Our next gig will be an all-day festival in Manchester UK June 2nd 2018 at the Bread Shed (https://www.facebook.com/events/1327141980720291/)
Now with a complete lineup, what should people expect from future Screaming Beast live shows?
Energy and fun. We want the crowd to be headbanging, dancing and having fun and we will bring you all the energy you need to do that.
What do you do for fun outside of Screaming Beast?
I play in other musical projects, which include other types of metal band and also a covers band. Outside of that, pretty normal stuff like seeing my family, my friends, going out for food, cooking..... I like to go for walks and travel to places although I don't do those as much as I would like to. Hoping for a good summer to get out and about!
I like to trail run, generally keep as fit as possible and I love reading science fiction. When they are on tour I like to get out and bother Twelve Foot Ninja until they give in and get drunk with me.
Ride bikes (a lot) and mainly eat pizza. I think that pretty much sums it up!
I lift heavy weights, read and debate with anyone that will listen ha.
I have no life outside of music and work. If I did have any spare time I would go get drunk with Jason.
Besides the new album coming out on Friday, what other music would you recommend people to check out?
God Shaped Devil and Endeavour.
Twelve Foot Ninja, Evil Scarecrow and Footprints in the Custard (their live show is something else!)
A couple of mate's bands I can highly recommend: Hacride and Carpenter Brut from France. Also, a pal's band from a while ago who sadly are no longer active: The Mire from Brighton. Their album Glass Cathedrals is still really up there for me. Loads of awesome riffs and grooves!
I would recommend Footprints in the Custard, Ten Foot Wizard and The Hicks.
Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Night and Endeavour
Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview to promote the debut album from Screaming Beast, Our New Narrative Of Hate. As a new fan I really dig what you guys do and is easily one of my favorite discoveries in quite a long time and I’m excited to see where you go from here. Before we are done, is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven’t brought up yet?
Check out our YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/uWBz7igWnU4 or search on Screaming Beast) for our new video for Despair from our debut album Our New Narrative of Hate .The album will be available on all digital platforms from March 23rd and will also be available on CD from CD Baby (https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/ScreamingBeast)
Memoriam is back in just under a year with their Sophomore album, The Silent Vigil, coming out March 23rd through Nuclear Blast. With the debut album being filled with loving nods to Bolt Thrower, The Silent Vigil is filled with anger, heartache, and a realistic look at the state of the world. I had the opportunity to ask bassist, Frank Healy a few questions about everything going on with Memoriam in 2018. I hope you enjoy it!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview! The sophomore album from Memoriam, The Silent Vigil, is coming out March 23rd through Nuclear Blast. How does it feel to have this album come out, almost a year to the day after the debut album, For The Fallen?
Well it's what we set out to do and what's happened! We come from an era when our favourite bands used to knock out an album a year in the 80's, early 90's and we decided we would do the same. Instead of working and reworking a song over and over again which I think can sometimes dilute a song we just write one and move on leaving it in its raw state so what you hear now is more or less as we wrote it. It's great that we've done what we set out to do in this respect because we already have a backlog of songs for the next album so need to get on with it.
How did the songwriting process begin for The Silent Vigil?
As always our guitarist Scott comes up with the main bones of a track and puts it in Dropbox for us to listen to and say yes or no. Then we just jam and pool in our ideas,tempo changes,middle sections etc and that's it,Karl usually gets a feel for the song and then by the following week usually has the lyrics done and off we go onto the next track !. We have always worked fast and it suits us to just stumble on keep banging tracks out fast and furious.
How did you approach your playing for The Silent Vigil?
Well once we have the track in a semi ﬁnished state I tend to harmonize Scott's riffs/notes to fill a song out a bit more,sometimes I just go off on a mad one and play a completely different undercurrent riff to keep it interesting. As a four piece with only one guitar you need to ﬁll out songs more and give them more flesh in a live situation.
I’ve noticed that the emotions changed almost drastically between For The Fallen and The Last Vigil. Where the former was more focus on loss and sadness, the latter features a lot more anger both musically and lyrically. Was this intentional or did that happen naturally?
Yes it was intentional in the end,the ﬁrst song we wrote after the "For The Fallen" album was "Nothing Remains" which again was taken from a personal angle by Karl whose mother is in the advanced stages of Dementia. The frustration,helplessness and anger manifested itself in his lyrics to that track and that in turn has spilled over onto most of the other tracks on The Silent Vigil". As for the music? It's just a development from album one in my eyes, we've worked together for a while now and are a lot more comfortable trying out new approaches and styles to our songs. Being in the middle of it all I'm not really able to be objective about it. Maybe when the album has been out for a while I can look back on it and see the changes in our music.its a bit too fresh at the moment though to be able to do that.
Bleed The Same was chosen as the first single to promote the new album. How was it decided that this would be the first song to represent the album?
Bleed The Same was chosen mainly because of its message in the lyrics. I'm sure the lyrics are clear enough for you to hear and understand why we chose it !. Secondly, we like to release a slow song first, ease the listener in so to speak before the riffing onslaught of the rest of the album. We did the same with "Reduced To Zero" from "For The Fallen" when that was released. Give everyone's ears a chance before pummeling them !
The video for Bleed The Same is something I truly appreciate being represented visually. Though there has been a lot of praise and backlash for said video. How do you personally feel about the reactions to the video?
As long as it generates a response then lyrically the song is doing its job. I am personally happy that it has caused debate from left and right. Anything that can provoke a reaction good or bad is a good thing to me. Things like this should be talked,debated and argued over, if it's getting people to think about it and discuss more then our work is done.
With that said, how do you feel about the state of the world in 2018? Is there any way you can see things becoming more civil in the future?
I personally feel that certain countries are being led by clueless fucking lunatics at the moment. In the U.K we have Theresa May backtracking and changing everything her government promised with Brexit and making a complete clusterfuck of the whole situation without even trying too hard, then you have Donald Duck the American president tweeting like a child who has had his lollipop knocked out of his hand. That man has his ﬁnger on the red button and he really cannot deal with the reality of his position. Something has to give soon,we cannot leave people with the mental capacity of a boiled egg in control of millions of sane people can we ?. Saying that , I am optimistic about sense eventually coming through, just not yet though!
Coming up this month, there will be some UK shows in promotion of the new album. How does it feel to be able to play some shows in promotion of the new album?
We don't really think about it too be honest, some of the songs on the new album we have been playing in our live shows for over 6 months. It will be good to try a few more out in a live situation though as we tend to get bored quite quickly as a band so need to be playing something new all the time. It's good to have two albums worth of songs now so we don't have to rely on cover songs to ﬁll our live set up!
What should people expect from a Memoriam live show?
Don't expect anything then you cannot be disappointed!. It's just going to be more of the same. I suppose the noticeable thing about one of our shows is the audience can see that we are genuinely enjoying ourselves on stage together, that rubs off on the audience which in turn we feed off. Everybody's happy with that situation!. We are just going to plod around various countries like we usually do, getting into trouble, getting drunk and playing metal!
Was there any albums you enjoyed that came out in 2017?
G.B.H "momentum" album. Class people,class band,class album
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me about everything going on in the world of Memoriam. As a huge fan of the band, it was awesome to be able to get more insight into the band and be able to help promote The Silent Vigil coming out March 23rd through Nuclear Blast. Before we are done is there anything else you would like to mention that I hadn’t brought up yet?
Cheers,see you all at a show hopefully.
Memoriam- The Silent Vigil available March 23rd through Nuclear Blast