Monday, May 15, 2017

Suffering Hour Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band
since the recording of the new album?

IsN: As of right now we have kind of been taking all the feedback in. It
has been amazing to see all the people who have been jamming the first
few tracks we've released. We're all so grateful for the support from
everyone.

2.You have a new album coming out in May, how would you describe the
musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it
differ from the ep you had released in 2014?

YhA: I’m not one for describing the music I write, but I’ll give it a
go.  Basically some of my favorite death metal bands include The Chasm,
Bolzer, Molested, Dead Congregation, and Akercocke to name a few.  One
thing I’ve always loved about these bands is the old school metal
influence is strong in their music, whether it’s with structure or the
actual riffs themselves.  While I try to write my music as with little
filter as possible, my ultimate subconscious end goal is to write death
metal that’s twisted and unpredictable while still having old school
structure and catchiness.  Whether or not I achieve that I’ll leave up
to the people who listen to the record; I don’t want to put opinions
into people’s heads without them giving it a listen.

Regardless of what music I write, I try to implement the same process
for how I put the riffs and songs together.  I’d like to assume the only
major difference between the EP and this full length is that it’s on a
thrash base instead of a death metal one, and that the songwriting in
general is still really similar.  Once again though, I’ll leave that up
to the listener.  Just for the sake of giving people a better idea of
what the EP might sound like, some of my favorite thrash bands and
influences for the EP were Massacra, Kreator, Deathrow, Anacrusis, and
Believer.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with
the new release?

DgS: I touch upon a small variety of subjects, all filtered through my
own personal metaphorical trains of thought, which are sometimes
difficult for me to sum up in simple terms. Overall, most of it is stuff
about my hatred for humanity, the ignorance of man, history repeating
itself, the passing of time, despair, and the desire for greater
knowledge. Putting my feelings and thoughts on certain subjects into
cohesive and meaningful lyrics is an art I'm still striving to refine
and improve upon with every release.

4.Originally the band was known as 'Compassion Dies' and played more of a
progressive thrash metal style, what was the cause of the name and musical
direction change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name
'Suffering Hour?

YhA: The name Compassion Dies came from an ex member who left before we
started playing shows.  Being completely honest, we changed our name
from Compassion Dies simply because it’s a crap name for a thrash band.
If we were playing funeral doom or something it would be a cool and
fitting name for sure, but by the time we were getting ready to release
our EP we knew we had to change the name.  Our current name Suffering
Hour is from the same origin though, which is the old progressive thrash
band Anacrusis I mentioned earlier. At that point I knew we were
switching to more evil death metal after the EP, but I wanted our name
to reflect our past and make it known that the old school metal
influence and appreciation is still very with us.

On the topic of genre switch, it was very natural.  I’ve always written
for this band in a way that lets the music flow as organically as
possible; I basically listen to only non-metal while writing so there’s
not a lot of interference between my listening and what I’m writing at
the moment. When I started writing for Compassion Dies in 2010, I didn’t
have the same musical knowledge as I did by the time I started writing
this full length in 2014.  With getting into more music, I realized my
unfiltered way of writing left less room for thrash influence, and thus
the genre change. I still enjoy thrash a lot, but it just doesn’t come
out in my writing like it used to.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years
and also how would you describe your stage performance?

DgS: It's actually been many years since we’ve played any shows and
we've yet to play live since we re-envisioned the band with the new
material. We had some fun little local gigs in the Twin Cities as young
kids, a couple opening for some national bands at some cool venues but
nothing particularly memorable or incredibly noteworthy. With these
upcoming shows from here on out I’d hope to say our stage performance
will be a powerful and engaging experience with a suitable atmosphere.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

IsN: We do. This summer we're planning a short tour with a couple of
other bands. It has yet to be announced but we're happy to finally be a
live act again.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of
black and death metal?

IsN: It's been great. We've been seeing positive comments from all over
the place. Europe seems to like us a bit, and of course South America is
all over us as well. But it is great to see support here in U.S. as
well. Seeing people on forums talking about the album and making
comparisons to other bands has been really cool to see. Strangest one
I've seen so far was “Like Voivod meets Deathspell Omega.” It's always
really interesting to hear people's interpretation of the music, because
it seems that a lot of the time people all have different influences
that come to mind when deciphering the music. But nonetheless I'm super
thankful for any support we get, whether it be here at home or all the
way across world.

8.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

YhA: I hope this isn’t giving away too much, but I actually have a full
EP’s worth of instrumental material written that’s one song close to 20
minutes in length.  IsN’s currently in the process of rewriting his drum
parts which I’m really excited for, and DgS is messing around with
lyrical content and vocal ideas.  Long songs were always something I
wanted to take a stab at, and I’m excited to see what people think of it
when the time comes.

I have plenty of other ideas too for new directions.  I’d like to get a
little more unpredictable in the future with our riffs, maybe mess with
some odd time signatures and rhythms here and there.  With that I’d like
to do more of just the opposite with some more simple hard-hitting riffs
than I usually write.  I’d also really like to do a longer instrumental
track at some point.  The instrumental tracks on the full length don’t
exceed 2 minutes, so writing a solid lengthed instrumental would be
really cool.  Maybe do some stuff on it we couldn’t do live, like
harmonies and lead guitar parts (no, half the guitarists I talk to about
Suffering Hour, we have no plans of getting a second guitarist in the
future, but thanks for asking).  I’d also really like to do some
Akercocke/ esque clean vocal parts in the future, but the rest of
the band isn’t quite as on board, so no guarantees on that one.  Oh
yeah, and more pedal fun.  Can’t go wrong with pedal fun.


9.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence
on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

DgS: We have been influenced by so much different stuff over the years
starting from very basic thrash to super obscure death and black metal
and everything in between. The 3 of us have simultaneously been
discovering and feeding new music to each other since we all met and
still do constantly. I'm gonna stick with mentioning more recent
black/death metal stuff in the context of Suffering Hour’s vein. We've
gotten super into the extremely barbaric, bestial stuff like;
Teitanblood, Pseudogod, Bestial Raids, Genocide Shrines, Wrathprayer,
all the Canadian chaos like Antediluvian, Mitochondrion, Adversarial,
Revenge, Thantifaxath, Nuclearhammer, ect.. Some Insane stuff from New
Zealand/ Australia, the sheer amount of it is astounding; Diocletian,
Denouncement Pyre, Witchrist, Temple Nightside, Impetuous Ritual,
Vassafor, etc...  The black metal in Iceland with bands like;
Svartidaudi, Mis├żyrming, Sinmara, ect… Polish black metal like; Mgla,
Cultes Des Ghoules, Plaga, ect...Various black metal from all over like;
Cult of Fire, Negative Plane, Void Meditation Cult, Inferno, Goat
Torment and various death metal from everywhere in between, Dead
Congregation, Irkallian Oracle, Grave Miasma, Swallowed, Necros
Christos, Prosanctus Inferi, Krypts, Lvcifyre, Embrace of Thorns,
Malthusian, Venenum, plus many more.

10.Does Occultism play any role in your music?

DgS: Occultism does not act as any sort of super direct influence in
Suffering Hour, but it is something I have an interest in and respect
many bands that do. If compelled, I may possibly begin to delve into
such subjects more in the future.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

YhA: For the most part we honestly don’t have many hobbies outside of
music.  Jason (IsN) is a show photographer for Pure Grain Audio, which
while still related to music is still a different art within itself.
He’s shot Metallica before, which was a really cool experience for him.
Dylan (DgS) and I are both avid craft beer enthusiasts, and we very
often tickle the idea of starting a brewery together in the future.
There really isn’t a type of beer we don’t like, but DgS is heavily into
IPA’s while I’m more of a Porter and Scotch Ale type of guy for the most
part.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or
thoughts?

IsN: It's redundant but thank you to anyone and everyone who has been
supporting us. It's really nice to see great results from something
you've worked so hard on. A special thanks to you guys as well, we
really appreciate your interest in the band.
 

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