Electro-metal/hard rock/industrialists Beauty In The Suffering have given us a glimpse into who they are with their single "The Crazies (The Zombie Song)" and have their debut full-length album coming out soon with touring to follow through. Main man DieTrich Thrall discusses the album's process, touring plans, and much more!
1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Beauty In The Suffering, and how long the band has been together.
DieTrich Thrall: My name is DieTrich Thrall and I produce, write, program, perform, and vocalize everything in my new band Beauty In The Suffering except for live drums. I have been focused on this project for a little over 2 years.
2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
DieTrich Thrall: Right now we are located in the Oklahoma City, OK metro area although that could change. The Oklahoma music scene seems like an interesting one although I don't feel like we are a part of it in any traditional sense of the word. From day one our focus has always been on a National approach.
3. Why did you want to go and call yourselves Beauty In The Suffering? What does the name represent and symbolize for the band?
DieTrich Thrall: Beauty In The Suffering comes from a lyric from a song called "AnTiThesis" that I wrote in my previous band MARAZENE and it is a concept very near and dear to me. The name represents the phoenix rising from the ashes and symbolizes rebirth. It is also represents the struggle that everybody goes through and who they become on the other side. We are all the butterfly that has emerged from the cocoon. We all have fascinating and incredible stories. We are all the beauty in the suffering in this world trying to figure ourselves out. I feel very much at home exploring this in much further depth within the context of music and multi-media. If you have suffered and you have survived against overwhelming and suffocating odds then our music is for you.
4. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
DieTrich Thrall: To oversimplify it I would call it everything from rock to metal to industrial. A lot of horror, science fiction, pre and post apocalyptic themes, and Biblical references too. Very cinematic. I am a student of history and a major history nerd in general and that seeps in there too. TONS of comic books too. Prince, Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground, Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Static X, old Ministry, 80's hair metal would be some musical influences with some of the more obvious bands such as Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and so on.
5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?
DieTrich Thrall: Our message is ultimately acceptance. Acceptance for the brutally fucked up people that we all are as a collective. Ever struggling to try and understand ourselves and our place in this world. Acceptance of the pain. Acceptance of our fate. And acceptance of what is to come. Nobody gets out of here alive so accept that and embrace the moments we have left with everything you are. Accept the reasons why and be free to immerse yourself in the last days of humankind as our collective reckoning will not be pretty.
6. Your whole project is DIY based why take this and use it to your full on ability what makes this DIY act stand out as opposed to an act who was signed or in another DIY situation?
DieTrich Thrall: Our DIY is bigger than your DIY. We produce our own music and multi media. We have a fabulous team of enthusiastic industry vets who believe in our music and our message and whom we are working with to get it all out to everybody to experience. We could have recorded 10 songs and one music video but instead we filmed 3 music videos and a short film from August thru November with a zombie theme with a ton of extras. They all wrap together with original art work and mesh in with the lyrical content and a big giant sound. This was always my approach in my previous band and it will continue to be my approach moving forward.
7. You've released the single for the song "The Crazies (The Zombie Song)" can you tell me about this song and will there be a video following it?
DieTrich Thrall: The song was one of those happy accidents as most songs are. Who can say where a song will end up when you start writing it? I have always had good songwriting instincts and so I just follow the path that it leads me. But overall the music came together very quickly and then when I finished the lyrics I realized that the perspective of this song - which was about zombies - was from their perspective. A rally cry for the zombie apocalypse. It's a fun song that doesn't take itself too seriously and it's got a great up tempo vibe which I thought would be a great way to introduce the new music to everybody. And yes, the first version of the video which does not include any short zombie film elements has just been release and seen HERE. Beginning in February or March we will begin releasing our zombie music video trilogy and zombie short film.
8. Why did you want to approach using the Zombie theme and concept for the Beauty In The Suffering project?
DieTrich Thrall: Again, that is a happy accident. "The Crazies" kept moving up in my order of songs that I wanted to take into production. The more I listened to it and where I heard it end up in terms of post production, the more I liked it. It wasn't included in the initial batch of songs that I sent to drummer Chris Emery (who is in the band American Head Charge) to prep for studio. Chris actually received 12 songs from me and in the week before he traveled down for our drum session I sent him 2 additional songs to work on - one of which was "The Crazies." We didn't end up getting to it in that studio session so I sent the track to Angel Bartolotta (who was in the band DOPE and Team Cybergeist) this past February.
"The Crazies" actually ties in to another zombie song we will release next called "REVEILLE." If "THE CRAZIES" is the zombie rallying cry then "REVEILLE" is the zombie charge. So when I realized I was looking at a zombie song then I wanted to make sure we went in a zombie direction with the multi-media. We sort of turned the first three songs into an audio/visual zombie trilogy and it's been a lot of fun!
After the initial songs are released I may never do another zombie themed song again - or I may do 10. At the end of the day the song lyrics and mood dictate the general path and I am only happy to follow through as long as we have something fresh to offer and the ability to make it work.
9. So what can you tell me about this new album?
DieTrich Thrall: I have several albums worth of material - about 40 songs total - and 11 songs currently in full production. But as an independent band I will only be releasing one song - and hopefully - one video per song at a time until a label is involved. The concepts can tie together being released as singles just as easily as an album even though they will be spaced apart a bit longer in release - about 3 months apart - so about one every quarter.
We are releasing digitally at the moment but I look forward to a time when we will release a hard copy collection. I still believe in an album approach but at the moment and I don't see the point in releasing 10 songs all at once that my team can't manage. Releasing one song at a time gives us some time to let the song saturate and helps spread the infection with everyone focused on the one song. I don't write filler and I want to make sure every single song gets a chance to shine.
10. Is this album going to be a concept release?
DieTrich Thrall: I have always favored concept releases and some of the songs will, of course, tie together. A hard copy collection would most likely have a running theme to it.
11. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?
DieTrich Thrall: My goal was always to move at a faster pace and keep the same high level of quality. At some point in the past several years I realized that I could accomplish my goals much faster on my own than in my previous band. The simple fact is, there is no reason why someone who writes 40 songs - as I did in 2012 - to not release new music. I certainly don't spend my entire life working on something to not do what I say I am going to do.
At the end of the day, this is my life and I understand the gift that I have been given, the fragility of it, and the importance of taking advantage of the time you have. I am very thankful to be in a position to be able to do what I do without having to run it through a committee or to be forced to work with musicians who don't have the same values, goals, focus, and/or vision. And I am not afraid of the mountain of work that an independent band will have to slog through day in and day out to make things work at the level we know they can work.
12. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to previous projects you've done?
DieTrich Thrall: I have always written complete songs on my own including during the time with my previous band Marazene. I wrote the best selling digital track on our lone full length album called "Give" which fans came to know as SkumFuckerz and which was the theme song for the SkumFucker Nation which was essentially our core fanbase. I also put together and brought to Marazene the re-worked arrangement for the Motley Crue "Live Wire" cover that we released in 2011 which both Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee both gave a thumbs up to. The approach in Beauty In The Suffering is simply 150% Maximum Thrall. Most of the material will be from the past 2-3 years although "JULIET" - which will be the third song we release sometime in the Spring of 2014 - was written primarily in the late 1990's and finished in my home studio sometime in 2012. There are also a few songs I brought to Marazene which we never released which I am preparing to dust off and re-record that fit perfectly with the Beauty In The Suffering concept and approach. I did not write them to sit on a hard drive never to be heard from again so it is just a matter of time. Overall, songs come together easily and I have dozens of lyrical concepts drawing upon my love for science fiction, horror, apocalypse, and personal relationships, personal demons, etc. "THE CRAZIES" would have been a Marazene song had things worked out. "REVEILLE" which we will drop in February or March would have been too.
13. Do you feel any pressure whatsoever for this release?
DieTrich Thrall: The only pressure I feel is making sure every piece of multi-media that is released is as good as it can be. At the end of the day I can be a notoriously picky person and I have to draw a line between what is in my head versus what the collaboration with my team can accomplish without getting to the point where we are throwing physical objects at each other.
14. Are there any collaborations or special guests on the album?
DieTrich Thrall: I have several special guests on the tracks - mostly live drummers. Chris Emery has been a friend for years going back to a time in 2006 when I was jamming with American Head Charge for several weeks during a time when they were considering having Chad Hanks jump from guitar to bass. Chris has laid a total of 12 Beauty In The Suffering songs. The rest is up to me to go in and lay guitar, bass, vocals and steer post production. Angel Bartolotta of DOPE and Team Cybergeist played on "THE CRAZIES." Aaron "Monty" Montgomery of TRAPT sent me some drums for a track called "The Plea." Other guests include guitarist Chris Telkes who was with the band Nocturne and is currently with The Razorblade Dolls.
15. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?
DieTrich Thrall: New music. New videos. New artwork. A short zombie film. Tour dates too. Our full production zombie videos based off of a short film we did last month will start to drop in February or March 2014. From there we hope to be making headway on tour dates. So there should be plenty of exciting things for those who are interested in more Beauty In The Suffering.
16. Is that your final answer?
DieTrich Thrall: For the moment - to be continued of course.. We're just getting warmed up! Thank you for the questions!