TRIVERSE MASSACRE (from l-r): Chris Kelsall (guitar), James Graham (guitar), Mike Collins (drums), Liam Stark (vocals), Jason McEwan (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Since their formation in 2010, Cumbrian metal five-piece Triverse Massacre have been steadily building up a loyal fan base with their aggressive, energetic, mosher-friendly sound, and have also established themselves as a fixture of the British underground metal scene.
However, it has been in the last twelve months that the band have made a real breakthrough, finally getting the widespread recognition for their music they have worked so hard to get these past seven years, as well as playing last summer’s Bloodstock Open Air festival with such legends as Slayer and Twisted Sister.
With a new EP, ‘Hades’, out next month, which promises to contain the strongest collection of songs they have produced up to now, I chatted to frontman Liam Stark about their journey so far, and what the future holds for the Carlisle quintet.
How did the band get together initially?
Initially, me and Jamesy had just left a band but wanted to continue playing, that’s when we got in touch with Mikey who we knew from our local rock club, he was a DJ there. After some messing around with the line-up, a few years ago, we found Chris and Jason who were playing in and around the local scene, they had heard we were looking for another guitarist and bassist, so we reached out and it kicked off from there.
How did the name Triverse Massacre come about?
We were joking about how often we get asked this the other day and how we should have come up with something easier to explain! It’s a bit late now!! Basically, you have universe, which is a singular verse that we exist in, then you have a multiverse, which is a hypothetical set of possible universes, including the universe in which we live, so we took the multiverse, multiplied it by three and caused massacres in all of them… Triverse Massacre, mainly we thought it sounded cool and unique, oh and its TRIVERSE not TRAVERSE… Just for people’s reference in the future.
In your own words, how would you describe your sound?
I’d say the most apt sub-genre we’ve ever been boxed in is progressive heavy groove death metal… But I’d rather just say we were a metal band – I think you cut off a lot of your potential audience when you get bogged down in sub-genres, plus they take far too long to say. We play loud aggressive metal with a shit ton of energy that you can’t help but bang your head to.
What are the band’s musical influences?
Collectively, we have quite an eclectic range of influences and music tastes, but our sound is mainly evolved from the heavy metal/rock umbrella, unsurprisingly. Metallica, Lamb of God, Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, At The Gates, Slayer. On our new record, bits of Behemoth and Gojira, stuff like that, bits of black metal thrown in here and there for good measure, you can’t beat some dirty keys in there.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
I don’t think we do anything out of the ordinary. Riffs get thrown about at a practice, if people smile at the right times, it gets repeated and Mikey will stick some drum beats under it, and I’ll have a few shouting fits just so I get to join in. Then it’ll get taken away and James and Chris will work on it, record it roughly and send it out. I’ll usually have ideas of vocal patterns from listening to it at practice, I’ll listen to the rough recording, put some lyrics to it, and then take it back to practice and see what happens from there.
How has the reaction been to the band’s music?
It’s always been really positive – surprisingly really positive. It’s a really strange experience people complimenting something you’ve poured all your time, energy and creativity into. I suppose you’re in somewhat of a vulnerable position when you play your material, it’s open to interpretation and out there to be ripped apart, luckily, that’s never happened. To have people compliment it and big it up and say how much they enjoy it is awesome.
Also, watching people from the stage, seeing people look at each other, smile and nod, then start a pit is such an amazing feeling. Just looking out and thinking “That’s it, they get it“, that connection through something we created, it’s amazing.
You have a new EP, ‘Hades’, out next month. How has recording it been?
Recording went really well, and really quickly. Just going to shout out to our partner in crime, Jordan (Red Leader) Embleton, he used to be in Xisforeyes and Nexilva, as well working with Black Tongue previously. He’s a super talented dude and based at The Custom Space in South Shields, where we also recorded our previous EP, ‘With Bared Teeth and Truths’. The guy just made the whole process really easy. We hammered through the tracks, and it took a day for each instrument including vocals.
And what can listeners expect from it?
‘Hades’ is the EP we wanted to write when we first started, but we lacked the skills and the knowledge at the time. Its just full of balls out, death metal tunes – the few times I’ve listened back to it, it’s given me that kind of burning, angry rush that kind of rises through you. There’s something very urgent and unnerving about it – in a good way I’d hope.
Last year, you played at the Bloodstock Open Air festival. How was that for you all, playing alongside such bands as Slayer?
Unbelievable – that’s the only word I can use to describe it. I’d been to Bloodstock numerous times before. I remember, like most people in bands I’d assume, looking at the bands on the stage and drunkenly murmuring to my mates that I wanted to be up there doing that. To be able to do it was unbelievable. The whole process, from The Metal to the Masses heats, to the final, to the journey down there, the anticipation on the day, the staff backstage, the crowd, just everything about it was amazing, hands down Bloodstock is the place to aim to play if you’re in a metal band, and we were privileged to be given that opportunity.
Aside from the EP, what else does the band have planned for 2017?
We’re currently in the process of finding a location for our first performance video, which should be fun, and we’re also in the process of booking a tour at the heels of ‘Hades’ being released on the 26th May; we have a special early release show on the 22nd April with Divine Chaos at The Brickyard in Carlisle for people wanting to grab a copy early. We want to get out and play as many shows and festivals as we possibly can.
What is your long-term aim?
To get signed to a label would be amazing. We also want to head over into Europe, and play a few shows over there. We just want to be out there doing it, showing people what we can do, and hope they enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoy doing it, work tends to get in the way, so if we could all fuck that off, that would be great!
‘HADES’, THE NEW EP FROM TRIVERSE MASSACRE, WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 26TH.