Metalpaths have the honor to make its first interview with a great newborn band from U.S. called Shatter Messiah. We have a great and full of fun conversation with the founders of the band, Curran Murphy and Robert Falzano, who were both session members of Annihilator in the past. So here you are the interview without any cuts!
Hello to Shatter’s family. Would you like to give me at first a short biography of Shatter Messiah for the fans that maybe don’t know the band?
C.M.: Well, BOBS (s.s Robert Falzano) and I used to play together in Annihilator, and this is where we met and he heard some of the Shatter Messiah demo’s I was working on, and he wanted to play drums for me. From there I kept working on material and finding people to be in the band. We finished 14 songs for two ep’s and then had Dockyard1 sign us and release the debut album “Never To Play The Servant”. Since then we have been playing some us tours and working for the last two week son the new album “God Burns Like Flesh”. It has been a busy year.
R.F.: Yeah…what he said.
So your debut album was the “Never To Play The Servant”. It was a really great beginning. Are you satisfied with the result?
C.M.: Absolutely! We love how the record sounds and the playing and everything. We just wish it would have sold more copies is all (laughs). Every band says that I think.
Don’t worry! You’re just in the beginning of your career.
C.M.: Yeah we know we just want tons of people to dig what we do.
So the album released through Dockyard and not through DCA records?
C.M.: Yeah, Dockyard. DCA is our management company. We are being distributed through DCA in North America.
The “label” is the most important thing for an upcoming band. Are you satisfied of your label? Was it difficult to find a label?
C.M.: Yeah we are happy with Dockyard but it was hard for us to find a label too a longer time that we thought it would.
Back to the album…How much time did you spent to write all the Never to play the servant material? What way did you choose to write the songs?
C.M.: It took about 6-12 months to write everything for the record. I had to write it by myself because BOBS was not in the Shatter Messiah at the time. I was just working on music that I really liked and trying to find guys that would like to work with me for this kind of metal. I got real lucky.
The production of the album was really good as well. Who was the producer?
C.M.: I did all of the production on the album. Recording, editing and mixing. We had Lia from Mystic Prophesy master it in Germany when I was done.
R.F.: I played drums…
C.M.: Yeah! Like a motherfucker you did! BOBS rocks! (Laughs)
R.F.: Bob Rock?
The famous manager? (Laughs)
C.M.: No! BOBS the drummer for Shatter Messiah ROCKS! (Laughs again)
So how important was for you to be the producer of your own music?
C.M.: It was required. We had no recording budget when I started this band and every recording studio in my state sucks. So I had to do it all because I was forced to.
R.F.: I think it was important to ensure that we got the sound and performances we were looking for too.
C.M.: Yeah. A lot of studios just don’t know metal and don’t care.
What kind of metal do you think that Shatter Messiah play? In the album I found many influences such as power sound as thrash/death too.
C.M.: Metal! We really do what we want with the metal. So you can hear anything in there as far as I am concerned.
So… no limits?
C.M.: Nope. You are gonna hear blast beast and ballads on the new album and well as other great stuff. We just play what we like. No rules.
So you just play metal with the way that you want and like, without limits.
R.F.: When you say you play one “style” of metal you set yourself up to be ridiculed if you choose to try something new (unfortunately). So we always want to keep that door open.
C.M.: Yeah. That is right BOBS.
That’s really great. In the “Never To Play The Servant” I really tried to find a genre for your music but I really couldn’t. I heard so many sounds of metal and it war really interesting. You know…you don’t know what are you going to listen on the next song and you are not boring.
R.F.: That was the point. Unfortunately some reviewers didn’t realize that when they listened to it. Not that we got bad reviews…. But I remember reading some reviews that even said that they had a hard time reviewing “Never To Play The Servant” because they couldn’t tell what “style” we were.
I see… That could maybe be your own music style. It’s very important for a band nowadays to have its own style because many bands are like cover bands.
C.M.: Yes. And they can’t play something really new.
R.F.: Well that’s kind of what were going for I think.
C.M.: You are correct sir!
R.F.: Yes! I bet you can’t wait for our EMO Come back album! (Laughs)
C.M.: BOOOO! Stop making jokes!
What about the gigs that you have already gave for the promotion of the album? Do you think that the fans are satisfied with the album too?
C.M.: Fuck yeah! Everyone that buys a copy of the record loves it!
R.F.: I have heard nothing but good things from the fans.
C.M.: They keep telling us they like it when we shift gears to all of these different styles of metal.
R.F.: Come to think of it even people I meet that don’t like the type of music we play all say that it’s Great! I think the album has something for everyone.
Yeap! It’s not just for heavy or death or black listeners but for all of them. That’s the key of success I think.
R.F.: Yes. Keep in mind that we are not trying to make a band that EVERYONE likes, we are just playing music that WE ENJOY playing (with no boundaries).
Yeah, and I think that it is really important because if you tried just to make a music that everyone likes to then maybe many say that you do what you do just for money.
C.M.: Fuck the money. We are broke ass fools. But we love what we do. Insane!
R.F.: Exactly! I think some people might think we are trying to do that but they need to realize that we have many influences and we are just having fun doing everything we love! Some bands confine you to play a certain way but in this band we are exploring all our backgrounds from Thrash to Hard Core to Goth to Jazz to Black Metal, Etc… And I think that creates it’s own style and sound.
And as I read through your site you are going to play on a tour with to/die/for. Right?
R.F.: Yes we start the tour in a few days.
Let’s talk about the future. As you told me you are on the recordings of a new material. Would you like to give us some information about that work?
R.F.: We have been in the studio all week recording drums for our Next album “God Burns Like Flesh”. It is more of a development on our original theme…
C.M.: …and we even wrote a new song while we where in here.
R.F.: I think the fans will really dig this album.
C.M.: Yeah I think we have defiantly pushed some limits again and also refined some of our earlier elements from the first album.
R.F.: We took a more mature approach to the song writing and it really paid off!
C.M.: We have played some demo’s for our street team people and they are drooling fir the new one.
The music will be in the same paths as your debut album?
R.F.: Yes, but a little more organized. We have really found our sound on this album I think.
C.M.: Lots of big guitars more solos action from dusty and myself. Good times.
R.F.: The drums are pretty ok too…
C.M.: Yeah… they don’t suck, they are ok (Laughs)
R.F.: Too much! Better than Tony Chapel (Laughs again)
As I can see from the title that you choose for the album it will be in the same paths like Never “To Play The Servant” on the lyrics section? Is there any concept both on the debut album and this one? Your lyrics on “Never To Play The Servant” were about God and your deny to him. That’s clearly of your “God Deny” song too.
C.M.: No. It is deeper than that. You can get what you want out of it… if god is that then god is that. For me it is something more than just a silly concept called “god”. It is really what the listener pulls out of the lyrics not what I put into them. Some people think we are satanic and that is just because they are scared and weak in their life. It’s not my problem. You get to pick what the lyrics mean not me. I just write them.
R.F.: The lyrical concept and theme is similar between the 2 albums partly because we had a plan for how they would originally be released but that didn’t happen so you end up getting 2 albums with similar lyrical themes. No big deal.
The lyrics are written completely by you Curran?
R.F.: … (Whispering around)
C.M.: Oh!!! Except for one lyric that BOBS write and I stole and forgot that I stole it from him (Laughs). Honest mistake!
And in this album the bass player will be the new member of the band Jason Chamberlain and not Ron. Which was the reason of that change?
C.M.: BOBS take this one.
R.F.: Ron bowed out of the band around the time of release of the first album for personal reasons. We don’t have any animosity or hard feelings toward one another but he just decided to go his own way (we are all still friends). So yes Jason will be the guy on the 2nd album. We were very lucky to find him when we did.
C.M.: Heck yeah!
Well, you were both sessions of major bands such as Annihilator. Curran was in Nevermore too but you choose to make your own project. It looks really hard decision because everyone would like to play in Annihilator for example but you choose to make your own band.
C.M.: Yeah. BOBS and I left of our one accord. It wasn’t that hard to make though. We both wanted more than what we could ever get from those bands.
R.F.: It wasn’t really a difficult decision for me, I had a simple choice I could live in the shadow of a huge name like ANNIHILATOR or Jeff Waters or I could take a chance and try to make a name for myself.
C.M.: Good choice.
But it would be easier to make a huge name via Annihilator…wouldn’t you?
R.F.: Not necessarily. You get noticed quicker yes but no because it is the Jeff waters show. You never escape the shadow of the name.
C.M.: Few people remember the members of Annihilator other than Jeff and Joe or the other singers.
R.F.: In Annihilator I was really just a number (#34 I think) where in Shatter Messiah I have a chance to create my own identity and be creative.
C.M.: Number 58 actually…
R.F.: I get to offer input in this band which is something I would NEVER have got in Annihilator, another reason for my decision.
You know how the things are of both sides. I mean the side of a big band and of an underground or upcoming band. How difficult do you think that it is for a new band to survive and become famous and strong? What’s the key of success in your opinion?
R.F.: VERY DIFFICULT. The only key to success I have found is the determination and will to preserver over any and all obstacles and not to succumb to your own “fear to succeed”.
C.M.: Lots of hard work and taking chances. Work your ass off and eat the fear that tries to cripple you.
As I saw, all your gigs for the promotion of “Never To Play The Servant” were in US. Are you going to make any tour for the promotion of the new album in Europe too?
R.F.: We have been trying to get over there relentlessly.
C.M.: We are trying hopeful on October or November this year
R.F.: Up untill now it hasn’t really been in the cards unfortunately, but we are finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Great…I wish you to find the “light”. Is there anything else that we should know or you would like to talk about?
C.M.: Make sure you guys check out www.shattermessiah.com , www.myspace/shattermessiah.com and also forums and studio video’s journals on you tube and my space.
R.F.: We are constantly updating videos and pics as they come in and we are trying to stay in constant contact with all our fans worldwide. We all post on the forums and talk to our fans personally, which is something I don’t think enough bands do.
That’s great! It’s very important to keep in touch with your fans.
R.F.: Indeed. Also keep a look out for “God Burns Like Flesh” which should be out in late Oct/Nov.
So guys, thank you very much for the interview. I hope to see you live in Greece soon. Best wishes both for you and Shatter Messiah. The last words belong to you…
C.M.: Metal for ever!
R.F.: My last words would have to be….thanks. Take care.
Interviewed by: Karagiannidis Panagiotis.