Strength Betrayed Interview
by Rachel Collins
Rachel Collins: Describe your music sound.
Thomas Smith: This is actually something I ask close fans about. If I had to make it quick, I would say we mix the sounds of bands like Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Static-X and Red. But each song in itself pulls from many different sources. We def can be described as a straight forward hard rock band, but we just like to add to that genre just slightly. Nothing is new under the sun, but we can have our sound added to a familiar genre.
RC: Who did you work with on this particular release?
Thomas Smith: We actually worked with a local studio called Black Plate out of Dunn NC. Those guys really delivered and pushed us to be better and better. A lot of working with us in the studio to get the best possible take.
RC: How crucial do you feel it is to market yourselves digitally?
Thomas Smith: You absolutely have to market yourself online. There is no choice. I’m not saying I am a master at online marketing whatsoever, but you get to do more than just “check out my band” over and over again. I have messages sent to me every day that basically say that exact thing. If it annoys me, it annoys others. We try to be different the best we can. We are always learning and never perfect.
RC: What process did you go through as an artist to create the sound you have presented on this particular single?
Thomas Smith: This song specifically was the brainchild our bass player. He came in with this Tool/Korn sound that just stuck out to us. We modified the main riff while I added the more melodic verse. This song was just a puzzle put together piece by piece and it turned out the way it did. The studio helped us get a different perspective on the song that helped us form the song even more. We wanted it to slap and slap hard while changing it up on you to keep you engaged.
RC: Would you consider yourselves to be musicians on a mission?
Thomas Smith: I would say I’m/we are humans on a mission. This just seems to be what we are good at the moment. We all should be on a mission. One that is either personal to you or one that is the goal of a group or a cause. If you have no mission or direction then find one, because if you don’t, I believe you will be unhappy for the rest of your life.
RC: Talk to us about this lineup of your releases. How did you choose the order?
Thomas Smith: War-Torn we just wanted to catch people off guard, considering what our old sound was like for those who have followed us from the beginning. “My Fight” is more of a straightforward song, “Sour” was our second music video that was fun to make. And “Playing With Hearts” is an old song we revised and just wanted to release it just for fun.
RC: There must be more music videos coming from this project, can you share with us how long before we might see your next video and can you tease us with a music/lyric direction?
Thomas Smith: “Sour “ was just released not too long ago. You can check it out on YouTube now! It’s def a different song and the video is all comedy and stupidity lol It was Great! Lyrics? I’ll give you a hint “I feel nothing”.
RC: How confident are you in what you are creating? How does your faith play into what you are doing?
Thomas Smith: I’m never confident in what we make 100%. That’s just my personality. I just let people listen to what we write and if they like it then I’m like, okay this is good I think. Most of what we write is from our perspective, and so our faith goes into that perspective of writing. We don’t want to shove anything down anybody’s thoughts, but we will let people know what we believe. Sometimes that even helps people out a lot. And if it helps people than we are good with that. We do believe in the Christian faith and thats what we walk by. Just like any other band with differing beliefs from ours, we still express them openly without full our preaching.
RC: Talk to us about the band members. What does each band member bring to the bands performance?
Thomas Smith: We’ll I am the lead vocalist and hold down the rhythm on the guitar. Seth Altman is our killer bass player. Jacob Hair is our lead guitarist that shreds like a MOFO. Lastly, Taylor is my brother and our drummer. We bring our own influences to the table. Taylor def brings his playstyle to the table, like most bands, we just need to keep things simple but, in the pocket, along with him and Seth, we like to add a lot of “bounce” to our sound. Things that get people jumping and moving. That’s right up my playstyle, so working closely with Seth and Taylor has really developed our sound We just let Jacob off the leash and do what he does best!
RC: Is finding a pace and structure outside what has been done already musically difficult for you as a band? Do you feel like you ‘fit in’ or outside?
Thomas Smith: We are just coming around this era change. iTunes is going away and everything will be streaming which means we have to do business differently. I think everyone is learning and above all else, Metal is currently changing to meet this new market. Right now I feel like we are outsiders a bit, but that may be because we are so small time right now. None of us have a single tattoo on our bodies (yet), we are from the south so hospitality and treating people well is very important to us. Just trying to get people to pay attention to us, but it seems once we get their attention, we don’t seem to lose it.
RC: Where can your fans find you playing in 2019 and 2020?
Thomas Smith: We are still local to the North Carolina area, but things are in the plans to def start spreading out and even hitting the road, so be on the lookout for that! Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for future shows for sure!
RC: Who would you like to tour with?
Thomas Smith: Absolutely Breaking Benjamin or Korn! That is the dream! I wouldn’t mind touring with alternative artists or artists outside of our genre. Time will tell!