Published Jun 16, 2008Once 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 doesnt 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 Whats Weak, supplying razor-sharp guitar riffs at the same time. Their music isnt the only way to get irate, as vocalist Scott Vogels 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 its not all dark days with the same conviction, passion and zeal he always has. Terrors third full-length album demonstrates their ability to sustain their style of hardcore, delivering punishing music that hasnt strayed too far from its roots.
What are you up to right now?
Scott Vogel: Watching Cold Case Files.
I dont know. Its on A&E and some prostitute got killed in San Diego. You know, some real positive stuff.
Another one bites the dust, eh?
So, what are you and the band up to right now, touring?
No, were actually on a month-long break, which is the longest break weve had in a long fucking time.
Thats not much of a break though.
Yeah, I mean it may even be five weeks. We just got done doing a million things and were 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 wasnt 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 weve grown and are more confident in doing what we want and not worrying if people receive it well or think its not Terror. Whatever we do, were doing it from our hearts. We definitely used elements of cleaner parts and more mellow parts that make the heavier parts even heavier. I dont think we stepped too far out of the box; I think were always going to be Terror. I think you always know what youre going to be getting with a Terror record, but we added some elements that make it a more complete record.
Do you feel that its a sign of maturity for the band?
Yeah, I would say so. You know its 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. Im not saying were setting a new standard but I think were comfortable doing new things that arent just like, fast part, fast part, breakdown.
Where do you feel this album fits in Terrors musical canon?
I think it was just the right next step. I havent physically gotten one of the new records yet so I havent seen the whole thing. Everything from the cover art to the actual recording and the process of recording the lyrics theres 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 its traditional hardcore. Every single record weve 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 theres 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 dont 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 its 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 dont want the same record over and over and dont 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, thats 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 its really shitty when you sign to a label for a really long time and youre locked into this relationship where they can get rid of you but if youre 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, "lets demo some songs and send them to labels and see whats out there. We thought it might be time to try something new. I think Trustkill went in the direction of a rock label. I dont pay total attention to whats going on with other bands, I cant even tell you whats 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 weve 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 dont have a grasp on or they would license it to Roadrunner and since were not a Roadrunner band, it would just be in stores and didnt get any support. So now we finally have a worldwide label and were really excited about that.
Whats it been like with the addition of guitarist Martin Stewart?
Hes 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 werent 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?
Hes a really great musician, he plays guitar, he writes lyrics and he writes vocal patterns for his other bands. Within Terror though its 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 its set the way it is.
It seems over the past two records youve 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 dont 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 Im not insulted but wonder if they even listened to the record or did you just know our reputation and just think its the same as other records weve 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 thats what keeps us apart.
Youre 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 its pretty positive. Its pretty much saying you have to recognise that, whether it be people you know or people you dont know or things you have to deal with, all in all youve only got yourself and you have to work through that to make better days for yourself. I think thats a tone for a lot of Terror songs. When were 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 thats a common misconception because of the music and your screaming?
Yeah, I could definitely see that if you didnt look in and investigate to see what the band are about. I mean, were 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 Ive done lyrical explanations on the last record and also on the new record, if you take the time to really investigate youre 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 Im a fucking councillor but I think at this stage in my life Im pretty set in my ways and know what Im doing and where Im going. Im trying to open other peoples eyes and ears up and show them there is a better way.
Why do you think Terror fans are so loyal?
I think because weve let everyone know that were fuck-up kids and humans like everyone else and were not on some ego trip or power trip and weve tried to stay true to what weve 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 were not doing Terror, going to shows and supporting other bands. Were 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. Its 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] Its just something that happens, there are a lot things that are said that I dont 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 Im very serious and in the zone and dont say anything and sometimes were having a good time and our friends are there and we just have fun. (Century Media)