1. To start off the interview please introduce yourselves to our readers, introduce
your band, where you´re coming from:
We´re a metal band from Boston, Massachusetts that consists of Lawrence
Kwong - Vocals, Justin Chappell - Guitar, Adam Wentworth - Guitar, Rob Devlin
- Bass, and Brendan Roche - Drums.
2. When did your band come together? Have you guys been in some other bands
before you started doing Beyond the Sixth Seal? Give us a brief survey about
the band´s history:
Beyond The Sixth Seal came together in the begining of 1999 as a 4-peice.
By march of 2000 we added a second guitar player and began writing material
in the vein of what we play now. In the early days we were more of a thrash
band, playing Slayer covers for fun and old Metallica songs. As time went on
we progressed into a more melodic band, but we never lost our taste for faster,
thrashier songs. We all played in other bands before BTSS but nothing that we
were a big part of. Adam still plays bass in a death/grind band called The Red
3. What releases have you done with BTSS so far? Where are these cds, demos,
compilations available if any of our readers would like to get them?
Our first release was a thrash demo called "Genocide Empire",
which was recorded in August of 1999. This demo is out of print and you will
probably never find it. We recorded the 2000 demo in April of 2000, and that
can be ordered through our website at www.beyondthesixthseal.com. Our latest
release is an ep called "A Homicide Divine", and it is available through
Voice Of Life Records, beyondthesixthseal.com, and many other distributers throughout
4. Ok, after we talked about your history it´s now time to talk about
the future of Beyond the Sixth Seal: What plans do you have - where do you want
to go with BTSS?
Well, we just finished our first tour, a 3 week tour that took us through
all of East Germany. Now we will focus our energy on writing for the next record,
which we hope to finish by the beginning of 2002. The next release will be a
full length on Voice Of Life Records in Germany, and we hope to license the
cd to an American label, as well as a Japanese label, but we have not decided
on one as of now. The new material is in the vein of the "A Homicide Divine"
ep, but we hope to push the boundaries set by that release even further.
5. After I listened to your cd the first time, i was quite like "wow,
those guys sound like melodic swedish death metal" ... ( which i like very
much btw. ). Which bands do you consider as a influence for yourself? Are there
some bands who are like "gods" for you? Btw. name your favourite 5
hc and your favourite 5 non hc records:
All members of the band draw from different influences. Personally, I (Brendan)
listen to many genres of music, and I am influenced by all of them, such as
metal bands like Dismember, Arch Enemy, Dissection, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and
non metal bands like U2 and Bruce Springsteen. The bands that are "Gods"
to me are Slayer, Iron Maiden and Dissection. Slayer because they are the masters
of brutality and speed, Iron Maiden because they are the masters of melody,
and Dissection because they are the masters of all 3.
6. What about your lyrics? What topics do they deal with?
The lyrics on the EP deal with many personal experience that all of us,
in some way, have had to deal with throughout our lives. Whether it be dealing
with peers who treat you as an enemy, while their only enemy is themselves;
the hypocrisy in faith: when individuals live careless, demeaning, violent,
or just simply bad lives, and turn to their faith for purification and redemption;
and losing something or someone you once held dearly. We want our music not
just to appeal to our audience musically, but emotionally. Everyone has had
to deal with these feelings at one time or another.
7. What did you guys bring into the hardcore scene? What does Hardcore mean
I feel that we bring emotion into the scene. Something that we can all share
and use to unite, and bring people with these same feelings together. We are
not a Hardcore band, but we do live the lifestyle. Adam and I(Larry) both come
from hardcore backgrounds. Today it just seems that it does not exist anymore
in the states. It has become a popularity contest of who knows who, and so on.
If you are not in a big band like Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, or so on,
then nobody really comes out to see you except your friends, girlfriends, or
even family. The German hardcore scene, what we´ve seen of it, is something
we have all taken in as an emotional experience.
8. Right now you´re on your first european tour - hopefully not the
last - so maybe you can compare the scene overthere in the us to our european
scene? What differences would you mention concerning both scenes? Are there
any european bands you like or favour?
Well, the US scene is like I just described. It just lacks the unity, the
fun, and the brutality(in a good way). The German Hardcore scene makes me envious.
The people are so supportive and helpful. They supply the bands with food, a
place to sleep, and enough money to drive to the next show. If we were to tour
in the states, we´d be eating beef jerky, sleeping in our van, and finishing
the tour early because we´d run out of money for gas. The vegan straightedge
scene is pretty big in Europe. It is so different from the states whereas everyone
I knew that was straightedge five years ago stopped after they turned 21. In
Germany it seems that the kids start drinking at a young age and stop as they
get older. I feel that the kids in Germany know what they stand for more than
the Boston Hardcore scene. We have met so many new friends who we will miss
on our way home. Bands like Fall of Serenity, True Illusion, Sunrise, and so
on are great people.
9. Now i´ll give you one word and you give me a short answer:
we are not, but give great respect to those that are
- straight edge
if you´re not now, you never were... and we never were.
- in flames
a band from sweden
- iron maiden
- violent dancing
fun to a point
the 5 of us have our own, Beyond The Sixth Seal has none.
should not take the place of reason
- diversity in the scene
should be glorified, not shunned
10. What are the things you like the most in nowadays hardcore scene and
the ones you hate the most?
It´s nice to see more people getting into music like hardcore and
metal, hopefully they will remain involved with it for the right reasons. One
thing that bothers me is when people hold others taste in music against them.
If someone likes a band you don´t like, that doesn´t mean they´re
a loser, they just like different bands than you. I see alot of that in America,
however we can´t really comment on the European scene much as we´ve
only been here 3 weeks.
11. What do you guys do for a living? What are your future plans - besides
Adam, Larry and Rob are all college students full time, and they spend a
lot of their time doing school work or working at various part time jobs. I
(Brendan) work at a record store in the Boston area and I keep busy with that.
Justin doesn´t have a job and he doesn´t go to school. He just sleeps
a lot. hahaha. As for our future plans, we all want to finish school and continue
to play in BTSS.
12. That´s it so far. Last Words :o) :
We´d like to thank the following people for their company and support
during our tour: Frank, Tom, Ulli, Patrik, Johannes, Felix, Sascha, FALL OF
SERENITY, TRUE ILLUSION, SUNRISE, MAROON, DEADLOCK, DISRESPECT, NARZISS, UNCONQUERED,
all the kids we´ve met in Leisnig, Ingo + Rockwell, Fastclick.de, VOICE
OF LIFE RECORDS, WINTER RECORDINGS, ALVERAN RECORDS and probably more we can´t
remember right now. Hopefully we´ll be back to visit all of Europe next
summer, and check out www.voiceoflife.de and www.beyondthesixthseal.com for
more info, mp3´s, news, pictures, and other fun crap.