THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER Frontman Discusses Influences, Lineup Changes recently conducted an interview with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER vocalist Trevor Strnad. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow: Now, I've heard THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER described as death metal, melodic death metal, metalcore, emo and more. How would you best describe the music of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER?

Trevor Strnad: I've always said that we're melodic death metal. We are mostly influenced by Swedish bands and CARCASS. The heavy end of our sound is the American style creeping in, with some Floridian influences like MORBID ANGEL, MALEVOLENT CREATION and that kind of stuff. We've been labelled more often because of our look than our sound, which is dumb, and speaks volumes about what kind of geniuses are out there! Indeed it does. Do you get tired of the Internet forum "keyboard warriors" who often take shots at the band for stupid reasons, such as the perception that you "don't look metal" or whatever else?

Trevor Strnad: We had to pretty much get over that. It hasn't stopped us from touring with CANNIBAL CORPSE, so fuck it. The Internet has had a lot of positive effects for us too, such as the fact that a lot of word of mouth is obviously spread through it. In the early days, it was all we had. We didn't have the means to tour until the Metal Blade deal. I'm thankful such a tool exists! The band has publicly stated that you proudly wear your influences on your sleeves. Who are some of the band's main influences, both lyrically and musically, particularly on the latest album?

Trevor Strnad: A few more recent influences that have come in since "Unhallowed" are CAPHARNAUM and NECROPHAGIST — you'll notice a huge leap in the technicality of the record. We also let the CARCASS influences show a lot. Listen to the galloping chorus of "A Vulgar Picture" — that's from the "Heartwork" handbook! "Unhallowed" was more strictly AT THE GATES. Lyrically, the influences are quite varied. I wanted to display the excitement that we were a part of. We had never expected to be here, to be coming to Australia and touring all over the world. It's amazing to us, still. Some of the songs are anthems of the positives and negatives of touring. There are also a few more personal songs, whereas "Unhallowed" was strictly fictional. "Flies" is about a failed love affair with a recovering bulimic. I tried to repulse people in a way that wasn't typified; to really talk about some heinous shit that happens in real life. "Spite Suicide" is about another failed love and our aborted child. A lot of this album was therapeutic in a way. I don't like to retread over past problems, but the band had a well-publicized falling out with two members last year. Just how much did some of the shit-talking affect the band and was there ever a point where you considered calling it quits?

Trevor Strnad: After our headlining tour with BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, CEPHALIC CARNAGE and INTO THE MOAT, Brian and I sat down together and discussed how we had been displeased with the way the band had been performing. Here we were, headlining successful tours and playing Ozzfest, and at the end of the day, we felt like we didn't represent the band's name in the way that we had always envisioned. We decided it best to cancel the upcoming Canadian tour and fire our rhythm section in favour of hunting people down who were more capable, had better attitudes, and actually practiced their craft outside of actual band practice. It was kinda scary at the time, and coupled with Zach Gibson's immature slandering we had a lot working against us. I still can't believe that anyone would do such a thing; whether he was bitter or not. This band has always been my dream along with Brian's — Zach should know that. There was quite a bit of backlash from people who felt as though they knew Dave and Zach, that they were somehow more important to the band than they actually were. The core of the band has always been the three of us: Brian, John and myself. Everything was written by the three of us, and until these three people are broken apart, this band will always be THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.

Read the entire interview at


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