Interview: Trigger The Bloodshed

triggerGeorge recently hung out for a chat with Rob and Jonny from Bath death metallers Trigger The Bloodshed, they talked about their new album, the huge end of year tours, pissing in mouths, and said “fucking” a lot. Here’s what they had to say.

George: Can you say your names and what you do in the band?
Rob: I’m Rob Purnell and I play lead guitar.
Jonny: I’m Jonny Burgan and I’m the singer.

G: How did you come up with the name Trigger The Bloodshed?
R: Erm, well Jonny wasn’t in the band at the time so he won’t know, I didn’t have amazing amounts to do with it either, but I just think we wanted something which kind of let everyone know what they were gonna be getting, and I think something like Trigger The Bloodshed kinda lets you know that you’re gonna be into some kind of brutal music. I guess we went out at the start and decided “Shit, we have to actually stick with it.” [laughs] Nah, we quite like the name now, so it’s sick.

G: Can you describe your music to those unfamiliar?
J: [long pause] …Fucking… heavy, precise, erm, nah, I can’t really think.
R: Blasting death metal.
J: Yeah.
R: [laughs]

G: What makes you different to other British death metal bands?
R: I guess, there’s not too many bands playing the same kind of riffing as us, like the guitars are always doing different kinda things, and it’s pretty fucking fast. There are bands playing as fast as us, like there’s Ingested, and a lot of the underground bands who play proper fast and stuff, but I think we’ve got a bit more, I dunno, the guitars are a bit more, intricate than a lot of the other bands out there.

G: How are you finding the Dominatour so far?
R: Fucking sick.
J: Yep, pretty good, like, it’s fucking certainly dominating, but erm, I dunno how many dates we’ve done so far like, fucking 15 dates or something so we’ve still got like another 15 or so to go, but its going really well, turning out to be really good, crowd’s been sick as fuck and, yeah, just generally, pretty rad hanging out with Viatrophy and fucking Annotations on the bus.
R: Yeah, it’s been sick, it’s definitely one of the most fun tours we’ve done like, getting to hang out with our mates on the bus and stuff, and pump a bit of iron with Adam. [laughs]

G: You don’t really seem to have any days off on the UK leg, if any, is that stessful?
R: Nah, it’s not stressful, last year we did like 240 shows or something, we didn’t get much time off last year, so it’s not particularly stressful, it’s a bit stupid that we’re playing so many shows in the UK, ’cause I mean like, we were scheduled to play Reading, Milton Keynes and Swindon, and I could probably throw a stone between each of those places, so it’s a bit stupid that we’re playing so many shows in the UK, but loving playing every day really, wouldn’t be doing anything else.

G: What’s the best point of the tour been so far?
R: Watching Gav piss in his own mouth.
J: [laughs]
R: The bass player from Viatrophy has a few attributes of a dog, and one of those is pissing in his mouth and I got to witness that, and then Sean (Hynes, AOAA Bassist) and Steve (Regan, AOAA Vocalist) had a competition to see who could inflict the most damage on their own face, in the space of about 30 seconds they were just punching away at their faces which was pretty good, and show wise, the Southampton show was fucking crazy, that was sick as fuck, and the Glasgow show as well, ’cause it was a tough crowd but we actually had a good one at Glasgow.
J: Yeah, it was fucking brilliant.
R: It was fucking awesome, it was fun.

G: You recently released The Great Depression, can you tell us a bit about it and what makes it different to your last record (Purgation)?
R: Well, it’s a big step up I think, with Purgation we were very hung up on being the heaviest, and the fastest, and the most brutal, and that’s kind of how we wrote the music and how we approached the writing, rather than thinking about the songs themselves. We just thought “fuck it, we need to be heavier and fucking faster, and everything else” so when we sat down to write this record, we thought about the songs a lot more, and thought about the dynamics of the song, what we could achieve in the time period, especially with the lyrics and the message, which Jonny covered, which was the great depression, and the situation that the UK and the world’s in at the moment, and how we’re driving it to collapse. See, I think we had a lot more purpose behind The Great Depression and we knew what we wanted before we started writing it so it came out a lot better.

G: How have people reacted to it so far?
J: Pretty damn well. Yeah, really well, like all the songs, there’s a few kids at shows seem to know all the lyrics and shit, it’s fucking amazing, and yeah, because this record is like, in terms of it’s riffing and stuff is a lot more sort of, I suppose technical, yet it maintains a sort of groove to it, and people are really finding it a lot easier at shows to sort of get in and bang their heads and that, it’s pretty rad, so it’s all going down really well, it went down really well in the press, which is awesome they’re backing us really well which is wicked, yep, just couldn’t be any happier with it really.
R: Yeah, definitely.

G: Some people say it’s somewhat of a political record, would you say that statement is correct?
J: Kind of, but not really, it’s more of a reflective album, on sort of, the state of the world as it is, and the attributes that are sort of contributing towards sort of, the worlds downfalls, erm, I wouldn’t say it was based solely on politics, I wouldn’t say that at all. It hasn’t got that sort of punk lyric vibe to it or anything like that.
R: Yeah, I think like there are elements of politicalness in there, and people have homed in on that rather than the reflective nature of the lyrics so…

G: Have you converted anyone new with the new album?
J: Yeah.
R: Well, yeah, there’s more people turning up to our shows.
J: [laughs]
R: So erm, yeah we went out on The Great Depression Tour, and it went down really well, and there’s a lot of new faces that we hadn’t seen before, I guess on our headline tour we had quite a lot of mixed ages and stuff come along, we had quite a lot of old guys come along, whereas the younger guys, and just generally people who are into death metal, which is cool. It’s cool seeing a bit of a younger crowd, I think there’s a lot of people on this tour that we haven’t played to before, fans of Viatrophy, fans of Annotations, so yeah, it’s going nicely.

G: You recently toured at the last minute with Evile, how was that?
J: Fucking sick.
R: They are the safest guys, them and Mutant, two fucking wicked bands, and I think it was really good for us, actually, because going out and playing to a solid thrash crowd, and obviously you’ve gotta be going out there expecting to be bottled offstage, like “Who’s this fucking death metal band?” and all that, but I think we converted a lot of people.
J: Definitely.
R: We had a lot of contact from thrashism…
J: Yeah, it was sort of nice to be able to go out there and play to a crowd that isn’t solely our own crowd, sort of, the people who love their death metal and stuff, it’s great to go out to a crowd of people who’re really into their roots thrash and stuff, and fucking show them what we could do, and I think evidently, we won over quite a few people, and it turned out to be a really good tour for us.
G: You got a sick reaction in Newcastle…
R: Yeah man, Newcastle was our favourite place to play…
J: What’s that? Oh, Newcastle, it’s fucking brilliant.
R: We were meant to play there on The Great Depression Tour,
G: That venues been shut down now…
R: Yeah, that’s why, and we were fucking gutted about that cause that’s our favourite place to play, and there’s a lot of people in Newcastle that think we just cancelled the show, whereas, we got run up by the promoter and told that there was no PA and stuff, so yeah we were completely gutted about that. We’ll be back there, with Devildriver…
J: Yeah, Devildriver, that’s gonna be fucking off the hook, can’t fucking wait.

G: You also toured with Meshuggah back in September-ish kind of time, how did you find that?
J: Fucking brilliant.
R: Yeah, that was fucking brilliant, they’re one of those bands you watch and you’re just shocked, you’ve already got expectations of what they’re gonna be like, through the fucking roof, and when you see them live and they surpass that, it really makes you think that you’ve gotta step up your game. I think they, not without them sitting us down and telling us, I think they taught us a lot on that tour, in terms of professionalism, how to put together a set, how to keep a crowd interested, and how to perform, to capture the live sound, everything they did was just… The best you can do.
J: I think just by watching them, they really inspired us, to really put on a show, when we play live, and really try and captivate people, bring people in, cause that’s what a live show’s all about, that’s why we love playing, it’s what we love doing, so being on that tour really really helped, in terms of the aspects of our live show and stuff.
R: And we got to hang around with Meshuggah…
J: And that, yeah.
R: [laughs]

G: You recently parted ways with Max (ex-drummer), how come, and is Dan fitting in okay?
R: Yeah, we parted ways with Max because when we started a band, back in the day, we all just got together, like, we were both in kinda rock bands, for the sake of being in a band, so we decided to start a metal, death metal band because that’s what we liked, and we got in whoever we could, and Max came in, and he was a pop-punk drummer originally, but he fucking picked it up like there was no tomorrow, and we got him involved and he was loving it, but his heart lied within pop-punk. So, eventually, it got to the stage where he just wasn’t enjoying practising all the blasting every day, so he left and joined a pop-punk band, which, y’know, no hard feelings or any of that, ’cause that’s just what he’s into, and I’m doing what I love, so I wouldn’t want to stop anyone else doing what they love, so he got to do that, and it’s actually a bit of a blessing, because Dan is fucking nuts. [laughs] We feel so much tighter now as a band, we really rely on the drums, not that Max is a bad drummer or anything, but Dan’s just got that, he’s well into death metal, well into our kind of music and everything he plays is just perfect. Same with everyone we spoke to about it, great reaction for Dan, live there’s been a great reaction, from the drummers on this tour, they think he’s insane, it’s definitely been a positive thing.

G: Well like you said before, you’re touring with Devildriver in Autumn, and Cannibal Corpse a little bit later on, are you excited for those?
R: Haha, yeah, fucking hell…
J: Yeah man, it’s gonna be amazing.
R: Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse in one show, I don’t think it gets any better than that, it’s gonna be sick as fuck, I mean, the Devildriver tour, we did a, just before we played Download, we did a warm-up show with Devildriver and God Forbid in TJ’s, and if that was anything to go by, then the Devildriver tour is gonna be insane.
J: Yeah, it was fucking fun.
R: And obviously touring with Behemoth, and Nergal (Vocalist, Behemoth) is my fucking idol so I obviously can’t wait to sink a few vodkas with him or something. Yeah, that’s gonna be cool, and Dying Fetus are king, and they just put two new tracks up on their myspace, which are gonna destroy every death metal album released this year, so very excited to see them live aswell.

G: Do you feel that the amount of gigs this year featuring the more extreme side of metal, large bills like the Dominatour, Devildriver Tour, Cannibal Corpse tour, where they all have about 4 or 5 bands on, do you think it’s helping the British death metal scene?
R: Yeah, I think it’s a good thing, cause like, if all those bands came over separately to tour, I personally wouldn’t be able to afford to go and see every single one of them, and I don’t think kids would be able to get to every show, so if they come over together on big packages, you pay, I dunno, 10, 15 quid, whatever, and you see a fucking sick bill, so it’s definitely good, rather than seeing one headliner, then a few bands you’re not really that interested in, you get to see 4 or 5 sick bands, and have a great evening.
J: Yeah, it’s not only that, it’s like kids that would go to a Devildriver show to see Devildriver might not know any other bands so then they’re gonna be exposed to all these other bands and then they’re probably gonna really fucking enjoy it, and there’s Behemoth, Suicide Silence, us, and Malefice on that lineup, so it opens up for the bands aswell, for a whole new fanbase which is awesome and hopefully we’ll be able to go out there, and fucking show them, a fucking thing or two about death metal in the UK.
R: Yeah, I think there’s been groups of people on this tour that don’t necessarily know all the bands, and they turn up, and they’ve checked us out, or checked Viatrophy out, or checked Annotations out, when they wouldn’t normally do it, so it’s good for every band, to play to people they wouldn’t normally play to, and gain new fans.

G: You guys and Annotations, with the Metal Hammer award nominations, you seem to be coming forward as the new forerunners in British death metal; which other British death metal bands are you fans of, and you think are due for a breakthrough?
R: Dyscarnate, definitely.
J: Yeah, Dyscarnate.
R: They’re gonna be releasing a record with Seige Of Amida records, later this year or something, and it’s proper sick, real, real sick.
J: They’re brilliant. Them and Ingested, extreme as fuck.
R: A bit of Viatrophy, obviously fucking sick aswell, erm, who else?
[pause]
R: Dead Beyond Buried.
J: Yeah, Dead Beyond Buried.
R: They’re just recording their new record now, and the songs that we heard, their new stuff is absolutely sick, I think they’re gonna fucking kill it when their record comes out.

[At this point, we are interrupted by their tour manager…]

TM: Guestlist? No?
R: This dude…
J: Yeah, this guy.
[Rob and Jonny indicate yours truly]
TM: They said no, he has to play the game [laughs] he did! They said “fuck it, he can play the game” [laughs] alright, what’s your name?
G: George Cannings…
TM: Tempest?
G: Cannings…
TM: Sorry [laughs] it’s cause they’re playing that fucking gay shit up there. [referring to the pop music on the stereo upstairs]

[Back to the interview…]

G: Do you have any guilty pleasures, music wise?
R: Jonny does…
J: Could by anything, really…
R: Akon.
J: There’s no guilty pleasures, you’re into what you’re into, innit.
R: From the death metal aspect, we’ve all got a few guilty pleasures. We listen to a lot of pop and shit, just cause, y’know, you don’t want to listen to a load of raging death metal when you come offstage, that you listen to all day, so we get the radio on sometimes…
J: N-Dubz…
R: N-Dubz, yeah [laughs] bit of whatever’s going, really. Listen to a lot of shit, Dave’s the king of it, you go through his iPod, you haven’t heard of anyone on there, so you just pick whatever you want, it’s either dubstep, or fucking ambient, and shit, but whatever, we love everything.

G: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
R: Dyscarnate.
J: Dyscarnate, yeah.
R: Dying Fetus, their new fucking songs, cause they sound stupidly good, erm, who else?
[pause]
J: Behemoth record…
R: I just got introduced to Septic Flesh, and they’re fucking sick, you should check them out, Annotations and Viatrophy.
J: Yeah, well Annotations’ new stuff sounds fucking amazing, what they’re releasing is gonna be amazing, Viatrophy’s album’s also sick as hell, so, yeah, check them out.

G: Have you got anything else to add?
R: If you haven’t already checked it out, check out The Great Depression.
J: Come to our shows.
R: Come to our shows…
J: Bang your fucking heads, buy Rob some drinks.
R: Yeah. [laughs]

Trigger The Bloodshed’s new album, The Great Depression, is out now. The band tour in October with Devildriver, and again in November with Cannibal Corpse. See www.myspace.com/triggerthebloodshed for more details.

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