Interviews: Traitor

This is a new interview with the Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal band Traitor from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the artist on his FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

Brian: The name kind of came out of true fallout of my previous band Hessian. The band basically rolled over and died. And the other members pursued their non metal side projects and I just felt they were the traitors to the band and metal. I told Greg and he was down as well as Joe and Dlyan (our original bass player) and they agreed it was an acceptable band name. I believe at the time I also wanted it to be a one word band name.

Greg: Yeah, Brian and I were both in other bands that broke up around the same time. Brian asked me to start this project with him, and that we would call it Traitor in response to the downfall of our other projects.

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Joe: I really fell in love with thrash around high school, and after graduating I started going up to Philly once or twice a month to see whoever was in town, particularly anyone playing at a this great dive bar JR’s (RIP). Bands like Fatality, Vulcan, Hessian, and Hatchet just blew me away with their live sets. I loved the energy and the attitude of the music. It became my goal to be on the other side of it. This was around when I started playing drums too, so I jammed a ton of Slayer and Metallica, badly!

Greg: When we first started, I actually wasn’t much of a thrash metal fan outside the common household names (Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Testament, etc.) I was typically doing more hair metal or rock oriented projects. It was the beginning of a time of growth for me, musically, to dig into more bands of that style and understand their music. I fell in love with the speed and the intensity, and found my own taste for it. That’s what you have today in Last Hope For The Wretched.

Brian: I have been into thrash since my early teenage years. I grew up around the turn of the century and the music was horrendous so I dug deeper and really got into the 80s thrash bands. The speed, aggression, technicality, and riffs that were so heavy but still in standard tuning really spoke to me. I knew that for my own project I wanted it to be that sound.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Greg: I met Brian when he worked for Guitar Center. He started doing sound for the group I was in, so he knew what I was capable of as a guitar player and vocalist. He saved my first show with that group. A pre amp tube blew in my amp not even half way through. He drove back to his house and got his amp for me to use the rest of the night. I met Joe through a mutual friend of ours who he played hockey with. He gave me Joe’s phone number, I shot Joe an awkward text, we had a few awkward jam sessions, and the rest was history. Obviously, it’s not awkward any more!

Brian: I knew Greg Daddy before the band from working at a local Guitar Center and I would run sound for his former band. The original bass player Dylan was a Philly DIY punk/metal scene guy who I knew would be into this kind of stuff and was a good bass player.

Joe: I had seen Brian’s former band Hessian a few times and I still maintain that he was the guy dressed as some kind of vegetable who kicked me while crowdsurfing at a JRs Halloween show, but he denies it. I actually met Greg through a mutual friend I played hockey with when he was starting to form Traitor with Brian and they were looking for a drummer.

4. Each band member's favourite band?

Brian: It’s a toss up between Slayer & GG Allin

Joe: 100% GWAR

Greg: Iron Maiden

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Joe: Really anything, like seeing a movie, hearing a song, or just trying to get some feelings out of my system will inspire me to jot down some lyrics or get the wheels turning.

Greg: Unlike a lot of other writers, I write the music first, which then I listen back to, and see what it makes me feel. That eventually develops a theme or concept for the song, and the lyrics come after that.

Brian: Greg does a lot of the writing but for me it needs to be fast and have memorable riffs that keep the song exciting to listen to.

6. Where was your last gig?

Brian: I’m currently on tour with Midnight running sound, so Prague. With Traitor it was our album release show in Philly.

Joe: Yup, we just played a double album release show at Kung Fu Necktie in Philly for us and Roadkiller (releasing their new album, Pick of the Litter), along with Brazen Hell and Skullovich.

7. Where would you like to act?

Joe: Europe would be really cool, but I will settle for the west coast.

Greg: I second Joe’s notion there.

Brian: In the Film Actors Guild

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Brian: As far as a magazine, Decibel would be cool. If you are referring to a split record that is hard for me to say.

Greg: Not to be obvious, but my dream would be to do some dates with Iron Maiden. Not just because they’re my favorite band, but they seem like they would be kind, genuine, and a lot of fun to be around.

Joe: As far as a written publication, Revolver would be cool just because I used to buy copies of it at FYE anytime I went to the mall in high school, so to see my band in there would be pretty neat.

9. Whom not?

Greg: I don’t really have any reservations about who we play with. Of course we’d want to play with some bands that are in the same realm, musically, but as long as it’s a good stage, good sound, and a great audience, that’s all I hope for. 

Brian: Any mainstream rock publication.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Greg: Stage fright is something that is always with you, but with experience you can learn to channel it into a “second wind” like no other. You can use it to become what is called your “artist self” or “performer self”, which is like your alter ego. That’s how you put on a good show.

Brian: Nope, just own it.

Joe: I always get nerves before a show, but I practice a lot in the weeks leading up to the show and I just rely on my experience. For drummers, warm up before you play. I don’t usually do the practice pad but I stretch my arms and hands to get loosened up.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Brian: Exciter, Whiplash, English Dogs, Hirax, Slayer, Exodus, Rainbow, GG Allin, Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Sepultura all the classic 80s speed & thrash metal bands

Joe: Slayer and GWAR. Slayer because Dave Lombardo is one of the best to ever do it. GWAR because as silly as most people think they are, they’re incredibly talented and have so much freedom with their material. It always bugs me a little when people let themselves be so constrained to a single style, it’s music, don’t be afraid to get creative.

Greg: I pull inspiration from a lot of different groups, but musically speaking, I find that I pull inspiration most from the European metal groups. Both the household names and the newcomers have been consistently putting out great music for a long time.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

Brian: Just getting asked to sign stuff is still weird for me.

Joe: We played a show in Queens where some girl told Greg and I about our energies, and commented that mine was very negative. Then she tried to steal a shirt, so I guess my energy was just super suspicious.

Greg: In addition to Joe’s story, she asked to pray over us, and then yeah she tried to steal a shirt.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Joe: We have some real European die hards, like Ville from Finland who's been supporting us since the very beginning. Fans make everything possible, so anyone who supports us has my never ending thanks. We also have a decent following in the Hispanic community down in the DC/Silver Spring area. Playing down there makes you feel like a rock star, the energy is just so infectious and pure. They truly appreciate the music and it’s super rewarding.

Brian: Very grateful to have them and appreciate their support. They are a lot more true than the “here today gone tomorrow” scenesters in West Philly who only like what’s cool at the moment. Also, the straight up non-existent fans in Smellaware.

14. What do you think of our site?

Joe: I love that you all get background on songs and album art. It’s a unique approach and a great opportunity for bands to showcase themselves in more ways.

Brian: Haven’t checked it out yet my internet isn’t that great in Europe on my phone!

15. Something to add?

Joe: Go hire Lauren Gornik to do your albums art. We had some major complications with the original art for the album and she delivered an amazing cover for us very quickly. You can also check out the other offerings from our label First Blood Family Records, and check our social media pages for upcoming shows on our summer tour.

Brian: Buy our record because their aren’t many copies left and come see us this summer on our tour if you are in the area. And Europe, we are coming for you eventually!

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