Friday, June 20, 2014

Shards Of Humanity Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Shards Of Humanity is a metal band out of Memphis, TN. Formed by myself, Todd Cochran (vocals/lead guitar) and Ryan McAlister (drums) in roughly 2009. We began playing shows as a two-piece in 2011, but as of 2013 we have joined new member Larry Mercado as a rhythm/lead guitarist and creative aid. Our current discography includes a s/t EP (2012) and our soon to be debut album "Fractured Frequencies" on Unspeakable Axe Records.
2.You have your first full length coming out in September, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new album and also how does it differ from the ep you had released in 2012? The material on this album has a lot of influence from, but hardly limited to, bands like Death, Carcass, and Atheist... some have even pointed out similarities with Massacra and Sadus. Its thrashy, death metalish at times, technical, and has melodic tendencies. We spent more time and effort on recording the new album in comparison to our EP, which was recorded quickly in 3 days for minimal cash. This album has better, heavier production and displays a tighter performance. Two songs from the EP have been re-recorded for the album. 3.The music is heavily rooted in the early death metal style, what was the decision behind going more into this direction as opposed to a more modern day variation of this genre?
There was no formal decision made by me personally concerning our sound. My riffs/lyrics/approach came about without thoughts of "what genre is this" or "what will people think" or "what band am i trying to sound like". The analysis and categorizing comes about afterwards when the idea is completed. Concerning modern metal bands, i simply do not connect with the attitudes and approaches of most, and therefore do not listen. 4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music? My lyrics usually come about in a stream of consciousness type of style and touch on themes which i think you described well in your review as "dark,  scientific,  philosophical,  and  metaphysical". I might also add the adjective "political" in a song or two.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Shards Of Humanity'? The name came up in the lyrics of the song "Shards Of Humanity", written by an ex vocalist Kanon Autry around 2008 or 09. The song is loosely based on an apocalyptic dream.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe oyur stage performance? Some of our best shows have been in Memphis at a bar called Murphy's, the same place where you can find videos of the late Shawn Lane shredding in back in the day. Our second performance was a trip down to NOLA with memphis friends Process Of Suffocation. Great time down there, cool scene. Our stage performance is high energy and we like being as loud as possible. We use real tube amps and do not use triggered drums. We like crowd movement and involvement as well.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We have a couple shows back to back coming up next month: July 11: Nashville, TN. Dinos. w/ Thetan, Process Of Suffocation, and Bleed The Pigs July 12: Johnson City, TN. Mountains Of Madness Fest @ The Hideaway. w/ Mangled, Coffin Dust, Manic Scum, Ectovoid, Putrisect, etc.... Event page for Fest :
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death and thrash metal? I suspect people worldwide are still mostly in the dark about us... Although, once our debut drops with Unspeakable Axe, i assume more people will be in the loop internationally. Seems that all feedback thus far has been greatly positive, which is appreciated to say the least.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future? All aspects of our sound have been evolving for a while now and i don't see it stopping. Ive already got close to another album worth of riffs in the closet waiting to be demo'd and im very excited about some of what are the skeletons of new songs. Having Larry contribute to the guitar writing has introduced a whole new dynamic and excitement. Expect another album in the not so distant future. We'll leave it at that.
10.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? There are so many bands that influence our creative output that id feel strange making a connection to just a handful... Although, some of my favorite metal bands include Death, Carcass, Brutal,Truth, Napalm Death, and Atheist, my musical appreciation is hardly limited to extreme metal. One of my passions is playing blues/rock guitar and even exploring jazz fusion styles. Some of my riffing on this album even contains chords commonly used in jazz settings, although not used in a jazzy context whatsoever. As of late ive been listening to some of my Dad's old cassette tapes and vinyl including ZZ Top "Rio Grande Mud" and Van Halen II. Ive got Macabre's "Sinister Slaughter" loaded in my work truck currently. I listen to a bunch of different shit.
11.What are some of your non musical interests? Seems as though most of my interests are music related somehow. I like collecting rocks although i lost most of my collection. I also like watching cool/funny shit on youtube but usually that is musically related too. I know Ryan has heavy interest in things like infrastructure and buildings and such. He's very knowledgeable on a broad range of subjects. Larry is exceptionally good at video games.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? Keep your eyes on us and Unspeakable Axe because we've got new material and fire under our asses.

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