Terror The Damned, The Shamed

Terror The Damned, The Shamed
Once again Terror have come out of the gates and hit the front of the pack as a hardcore band that constantly prove themselves consistent, energetic and heavy. Their last album, Always The Hard Way, featured touches of metal from guitarists Martin Stewart and Doug Weber, and The Damned, The Shamed continues down this path but doesn’t overuse these potentially trendy sounds, instead giving the album a little diversity. Terror make music that will dislocate your shoulders and set your anger ablaze with the breakdown laden "Crush What’s Weak,” supplying razor-sharp guitar riffs at the same time. Their music isn’t the only way to get irate, as vocalist Scott Vogel’s misanthropic outlook clouds your mind like a shot of adrenaline after getting sucker-punched on "Super Secret Hidden Bonus Track.” In contrast he delivers obvious positive ideals with "Never Alone,” showing that it’s not all dark days with the same conviction, passion and zeal he always has. Terror’s third full-length album demonstrates their ability to sustain their style of hardcore, delivering punishing music that hasn’t strayed too far from its roots.

What are you up to right now?
Scott Vogel: Watching Cold Case Files.

Which one?
I don’t know. It’s on A&E and some prostitute got killed in San Diego. You know, some real positive stuff.

Another one bites the dust, eh?
[Laughs] Yup.

So, what are you and the band up to right now, touring?
No, we’re actually on a month-long break, which is the longest break we’ve had in a long fucking time.

That’s not much of a break though.
Yeah, I mean it may even be five weeks. We just got done doing a million things and we’re doing a U.S. headlining tour and all across Canada and that goes for two months. So we get a little break, then we got that to do.

What were you able to do with this release that you were unable to with past releases?
I think this record differs from all the other Terror releases. It definitely has some new elements to it. It wasn’t like we had a preconceived notion or sat down and made a plan, it was just when the songs were being written some ideas were thrown out there that maybe at the beginning of Terror five or six years ago I or someone else would have shot down. I think we’ve grown and are more confident in doing what we want and not worrying if people receive it well or think it’s not Terror. Whatever we do, we’re doing it from our hearts. We definitely used elements of cleaner parts and more mellow parts that make the heavier parts even heavier. I don’t think we stepped too far out of the box; I think we’re always going to be Terror. I think you always know what you’re going to be getting with a Terror record, but we added some elements that make it a more complete record.

Do you feel that it’s a sign of maturity for the band?
Yeah, I would say so. You know it’s weird for me because I always will consider us a straight-up hardcore band, but we definitely draw a lot of influences from bands like Marauder, Leeway, Burn and Judge, who were doing things that no one had really done before. I’m not saying we’re setting a new standard but I think we’re comfortable doing new things that aren’t just like, fast part, fast part, breakdown.

Where do you feel this album fits in Terror’s musical canon?
I think it was just the right next step. I haven’t physically gotten one of the new records yet so I haven’t seen the whole thing. Everything from the cover art to the actual recording and the process of recording the lyrics — there’s really nothing I would change at this point. I think it was just the next record that needed to happen and I think every single record we do people will just dismiss as another Terror record and say it’s traditional hardcore. Every single record we’ve done is a little bit different and I think it was just the next step we needed to take.

Well, if you listen to One With The Underdogs and then The Damned, The Shamed, you can tell there’s a big difference musically.
Yeah, definitely, even if you just listen to the recording. I love a lot of the songs on One With The Underdogs but the cover art I don’t like at all [laughs] and the recording is just maybe a little too raw. A lot of things went wrong with that recording, and maybe it’s not worth going back to talk about, but a lot of shitty things were happening and I think it kind of showed in the recording quality. I mean, I would like to think that other people who like Terror don’t want the same record over and over and don’t want the same songs over and over. Although there are some people out there that will say they do. In reality, who wants another record you heard four years ago?

Exactly. And as musicians it would be hard to stay at a stand still.
Yeah, definitely, that’s not helping anything.

How has the move to Century Media been for Terror?
When we signed with Trustkill we were into the label. The main thing was they were the only label that would give us a two-record deal. I just think it’s really shitty when you sign to a label for a really long time and you’re locked into this relationship where they can get rid of you but if you’re not happy with them they can continue to put your records out. We did two albums with Trustkill, the Lowest Of The Low re-release, a DVD and so we by far fulfilled our contract. We were just like, "let’s demo some songs and send them to labels and see what’s out there.” We thought it might be time to try something new. I think Trustkill went in the direction of a rock label. I don’t pay total attention to what’s going on with other bands, I can’t even tell you what’s going on with my band sometimes [laughs], but it looked to me like it was headed in a rock direction. I think we fit in a lot more personally and musically on the metal side of things. We sent our stuff out to a lot of labels but Century Media was in many aspects, whether it came down to money being offered or enthusiasm, by far the label most interested. That made it a no brainer. A big thing for us was that we travel and we spend more time doing great tours outside the U.S. and we’ve never really had true label support out there. Century Media is a worldwide label. That was something that was important to us — Trustkill would either put the record out in a country that they really don’t have a grasp on or they would license it to Roadrunner and since we’re not a Roadrunner band, it would just be in stores and didn’t get any support. So now we finally have a worldwide label and we’re really excited about that.

What’s it been like with the addition of guitarist Martin Stewart?
He’s been great. He was in a band that was probably one of my favourite bands in the last five years and they were from L.A. also and we played with them all the time. They got to a point where they weren’t going to break up but stopped touring and really slowed down and that freed him up and we needed a guitarist. And so be it.

How does he fit in musically?
He’s a really great musician, he plays guitar, he writes lyrics and he writes vocal patterns for his other bands. Within Terror though it’s Nick [Jett] and me. Our drummer Nick writes all of our music, and it stayed like that. With the pre-production and stuff it was Nick and me but in the studio he [Stewart] actually added a few things. I think things will pretty much stay the same, with me and Nick writing, unless someone is really hounding us and wants to get involved. And right now it’s set the way it is.

It seems over the past two records you’ve added more metal influences. How do you stay clear of metalcore but add this sound?
I think by this time everyone knows Terror whether they like us or not. I guess our look and our style don’t allow us to go into that metalcore thing, which is fine with me. As much as we draw influences from metal, people always associate us with old school or traditional hardcore. I would say that there definitely is more of a metal feel on the new record than ever before but I still see reviews where it says "straight up hardcore” and I’m not insulted but wonder if they even listened to the record or did you just know our reputation and just think it’s the same as other records we’ve done? To answer your question a little more directly, I think even though we throw in some metal everything about us is still in a hardcore mindset and that’s what keeps us apart.

You’re very vocal about your distrust for people. I was wondering what causes you to draw your emotions from a hateful place?
Well, if you look at the tone of the whole record I think it’s pretty positive. It’s pretty much saying you have to recognise that, whether it be people you know or people you don’t know or things you have to deal with, all in all you’ve only got yourself and you have to work through that to make better days for yourself. I think that’s a tone for a lot of Terror songs. When we’re writing a Terror song and the music is so fast, heavy and in your face it would be kind of hard to write nice things about all the great things in this world. I think the music sets the tone for the energy, the vocals and the lyrics, and the way that I scream to these songs I think anger is the only way to really make it as intense as it could be.

Do you think that’s a common misconception because of the music and your screaming?
Yeah, I could definitely see that if you didn’t look in and investigate to see what the band are about. I mean, we’re called Terror. On the surface it is very aggressive and angry but if you take the time to look into the band by reading interviews and hearing the stuff that gets said at a live show, and I’ve done lyrical explanations on the last record and also on the new record, if you take the time to really investigate you’re going to see that this whole thing, to me, is an escape to get through all the bullshit.

Is that therapeutic for you?
Not to sound like I’m a fucking councillor but I think at this stage in my life I’m pretty set in my ways and know what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’m trying to open other people’s eyes and ears up and show them there is a better way.

Why do you think Terror fans are so loyal?
I think because we’ve let everyone know that we’re fuck-up kids and humans like everyone else and we’re not on some ego trip or power trip and we’ve tried to stay true to what we’ve said and stayed consistent. Also, I think people can see that the people in the band do fanzines, record labels, are in other bands when we’re not doing Terror, going to shows and supporting other bands. We’re just a band full of people that are in the mix and not trying to separate ourselves with barricades. I like bands that are like that. It’s one thing to love a band for their music but if you can relate to the people that can also work.

I was reading an album review on The Damned, The Shamed on www.new-noise.net and they mentioned the term "Vogelisms.” It says that you have pre-made quotes you use during a show like, "Maximum output! Activate the pit!” and "If a Nazi walks through that door/ Beat the shit out of him!” Is this true?
[Laughs] It’s just something that happens, there are a lot things that are said that I don’t even know if I really said. I think I get a little carried away and just try and have fun with it. As serious as a lot of bands are, I think there needs to be fun and stupidity, especially to keep touring at the rate that we tour to keep your sanity. Sometimes when we play I’m very serious and in the zone and don’t say anything and sometimes we’re having a good time and our friends are there and we just have fun. (Century Media)