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Interview

Suppressive Fire Discusses New Full-Length Album "Bedlam"

Photo of Suppressive Fire

Band Photo: Suppressive Fire (?)

A young player on the thrash scene, the North Carolina extreme metal outfit Suppressive Fire is on the cusp of releasing debut full-length album "Bedlam" - due out tomorrow (January 14th).

We previously had the pleasure of premiering the entire new killer album prior to its official release, and can't wait for the world to get ahold of this monstrous disc of raging death/thrash.

In addition to streaming the album, we checked in with guitarist Joseph Bursey to chat about the diverse Raleigh metal scene, whether the band feels actively seeking label support is worth the effort ("...at the moment what could a label really do to benefit us that we’re not doing on our own?") and the good happy fun things covered in the album's lyrics - like the sexual satisfaction of running another man through with a bayonet.

Be sure to grab your digital or physical pre-order for "Bedlam" via Bandcamp here and check out the full interview below.

xFiruath: What's the latest band shirt you bought and what do you think will be the next one to hit your closet?

Joseph: Most recently I got the Goatwhore tour shirt with "FUCKED BY SATAN" in large letters on the back. So cool.

xFiruath: You guys worked with Joel Grind on this album, which is sort of like working with thrash metal royalty. How was it having him handling the producing side and how did he end up influencing the album's final version?

Joseph: We actually self-produced. A large effort was made by Greg Klaiber (our recording engineer) and I to get the album as right as possible before sending it Joel to mix and master. Joel took the tracks and infused his old-school style which helped bring out the aggression we wanted with modern production. Working with Joel was a breeze, dude's super nice. We played with Toxic Holocaust in Chapel Hill and I was glad Joel had a chance to see and hear us live beforehand. The best compliment we’ve gotten by his hand in the production is that the album sounds like we do live which is what we wanted.

xFiruath: On the recording, where did it take place and how long did it take?

Joseph: The album was recorded at Caveman Studios in Durham, NC where we visited previously to record a split and the demo. So, previously visiting the studio was great as we learned how to record and how to work together in a different environment. We also learned to leave booze till after you record. *laughs* We really wanted to take our time recording so we laid down the tracks between last May and June, we did a northeast tour and I finished leads up in August.

xFiruath: Were there any tracks that didn't make it onto the album that are still floating around somewhere?

Joseph: There’s 1 left over. Not out of being a weak song, but just being a song that seemed to not fit as well with the others plus 11 tracks is pretty beefy for a thrash record as it is. We’ll probably toss it on a split or another album, we’ll see!

xFiruath: How long has Suppressive Fire been in existence and how did the band come together? How do you all know each other from the local music scene?

Joseph: Suppressive Fire has been rolling along since late 2013. I moved into Raleigh and put an ad up in the classifieds, Brandon answered and the two met up originally to jam a few covers but instead had a few songs structured out after the first practice. We then found Aaron who was originally supposed to be our second guitarist, but after a long series of auditions Aaron just showed up shredding a bass and yelling shit and we’ve been rolling along just fine as a 3-piece. It’s been working great for us.

xFiruath: That's some killer cover artwork from Par Olofsson. What sort of direction did you give him on what you wanted displayed and how does the art connect to the overall music?

Joseph: I emailed Par with a concept which he absolutely brought to life. Pretty much, told him Mad Max meets government overthrow. We’re pretty against police states and wanted to show a scene of absolute mayhem befitting to the music.

xFiruath: On a similar note, tell me a bit about why the title “Bedlam” was picked and what sort of lyrical themes you've got going on this album's 11 tracks.

Joseph: I’m a big fan of keeping titles short and sweet, I don’t think a more descriptive title is needed. Lyrically the album subtly follows a scene of unrest and government overthrow but other songs have themes like exploding blood, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Finnish Sniper Simo Hayah’s massacre during WWII, the video game Doom, sexual satisfaction from impaling someone with a bayonet, ya know, good happy fun things. The album concludes with Bedlam as a way to tie all the carnage together leading up to it into a nice climatic rager.

xFiruath: Has Suppressive Fire been actively seeking a label or are you guys planning on going the solo route for the foreseeable future?

Joseph: It would be cool to eventually work with a label but at the moment what could a label really do to benefit us that we’re not doing on our own? Bands that actively seek labels are usually the bands that aren’t focused on developing their band as far as what they can even offer a label to begin with. You can self-produce a record, build your local scene presence, release and distribute your own album, book your own tours, and hire your own PR to drive everything. There’s a million bands competing for labels attention and we would rather be noticed for the right reasons and not for begging like dogs.

xFiruath: Do you have any tour dates or local shows lined up to support the album when it drops?

Joseph: Oh yes! We’ve got a run through the Carolinas with the album release 1/14-1/17, and then we’re hitting all of the deep south 1/29-2/6. We’ve also got a rad date with Warbringer and Exmortus 2/21 in Raleigh. Should be returning up north this summer as well!

xFiruath: You guys are from Raleigh, an area with a pretty rich musical history and a diverse crop of metal bands that cover quite a few sub-genres. What's happening lately with metal there and what venues would you recommend to new metal bands getting started?

Joseph: Raleigh is indeed a nice place to kick off a metal band! There’s a ton of great bands here and definitely across a multi-spectrum of metal. You have your thrash crowd, grind, death metal, black metal, crust, heavy metal, power metal, and they pretty much all help support each other. It’s not the biggest scene in the world, but we’re also within weekend driving distance of Asheville, Charlotte, Columbia, Richmond, etc. which makes Raleigh a strong foothold. Primitive Ways, a booking/record label, has been a huge help to the local scene here which Joseph help’s book at. They’re great at putting together like-genre bands and not stacking the sub-genres to a point of over-saturation. We got our start here playing at The Maywood and Slim’s Downtown, those venues are run by some great people.

xFiruath: The year just ended – what was your favorite metal release of 2015 and what's coming out soon you are looking forward to?

Joseph: All Hell's "The Red Sect" was easily my favorite release of 2015. They’re friends of ours from across state doing that blackened thrash punk thing. Very tasty album!

xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to add?

Joseph: LEMMY FOR LIFE!

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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