After a few lineup changes, Seraph In Travail arrived with their second full length, Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul, back in April and July 12 will see this same album released in CD format. Simply meaning, there’s no excuse not to get your hands around this symphonic death metal offering that bobs and weaves between bombastically operatic and melodic death metal with vocal performances literally all over the map. It’s catchy and addictive so be prepared to spend some time with it. In the midst of this album cycle we had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions so keep reading to see how it all went down.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
My parents gave me lessons as a child. The material younger music students get is usually just arbitrary and uninspired for no reason. I didn’t like music until I was about 13, and realized I could actually make my own music any way I wanted without the stupid parts. I didn’t have any real expectations beyond just making music. As far as success goes, I feel we succeeded artistically in making a strong record with Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul. Being commercially successful for us would mean most people who would like it have heard it. We have a long way to go before we can say that.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
We covered “Stairway To Heaven” using tons of clean vocals. A promoter for the Trocadero (RIP) heard it and, without listening to any of our originals, asked us to play a glam rock showcase. So we played, bewildering the audience and other bands. Thanks to strong support from the local scene, he asked us to come back for a headline show.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
A great thing is originality. At this phase in its history, metal is old enough that the simple tropes have all been done before. Bands are pushing out in many new directions to innovate and set themselves apart. I guess hand in hand with that upside is the downside of the sub-sub-genre charades game that fans and musicians alike get sucked into playing.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
I try to avoid grinding my personal axes on other people’s record players. I will say human civilization is in its adolescence: a dangerous era where our common knowledge and abilities far outstrip our collective wisdom. I see at best futility and at worst villainy in urging my fellow man toward one greater good because that is an individual’s prerogative. However I’m not afraid to write about my own thoughts, as such, on such serious subjects.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
There were a few suspects. My buddy Ryan showed me a lot of music when we were about 14. I used to listen to Yahoo music, digging through the “similar artist” page to find new bands. My folks thought it was garbage and a waste of time and talent. They came around after I did my first album.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
That seems like a great question but I wouldn’t know where to begin telling you where to improve. I appreciate what you’re doing. If I could, I would flip it around and ask you guys (as people who listen to a lot of music) where you think there is uncovered ground musically; what sort of things are missing that should be explored by the musicians?
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
My goal, musically, is to make the most powerful songs that I can. Maybe record them and perform them sometimes. I’ll be pleased if people listen to them, but I’ll keep writing them regardless. Beyond music, I recently decided to study engineering thanks to encouragement from my wife. My ultimate goal is to build a spaceship for a one-way mission.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
“Scour” by Since The Fire, “Casuistry” by Abiotic, “Ascend Antediluvian” by Erciyes Fragment, “Crimson Dyed Abyss” by Angelseed, and “Imperium” by The Kennedy Veil.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
We’ve committed ourselves to releasing something every year. Right now we’re working on a nine track concept album for which only two songs are finished and the others are in progress. We’re also working on covers of stuff by Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, and Bach, in death metal style of course. We’re not sure yet which one will come first.
Summarize your band in exactly one word.
Many thanks to Seraph In Travail for their time!
Lest They Feed Upon Your Soul is available now in digital format and CD format will be available July 12, both can be found on the band’s Bandcamp page. For more information on Seraph In Travail, visit their Facebook page.