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Betraying The Martyrs Talks New Album "Breathe In Life" And The U.S. Metal Scene

Betraying the Martyrs, a French deathcore act with some surprising progressive flourishes, is currently making its mark on the U.S. and picking up new fans touring alongside Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and Carnifex. The band is sharing its message Stateside in support of the versatile and crushing new album "Breathe In Life," currently available through Sumerian Records.

Shortly after arriving in the U.S. and only a handful of days into the tour, an unfortunately sick band front man Aaron Matts spoke with me about the new album and current run of shows. Below you can find a transcript of our conversation, in which Aaron reveals the band will be shooting an upcoming third music video, discusses the difference between the French and American metal scenes, and shares his love for Born of Osiris.

xFiruath: You are on tour now with Born of Osiris. How’s the tour been so far and did you guys all get over to the U.S. without any problems?

Aaron: It was like a 12 hour flight and we had a few problems with customs, so that was pretty stressful, but we got over here fine and everyone’s been really nice. We’ve played three shows so far and they’ve been amazing. Me, I’m really sick, but other than that everything’s going good.

xFiruath: On the shows so far have there been different crowds there for each band or does it seem like everyone is coming for all the bands on the bill?

Aaron: The lineup’s varied, we’ve got local bands and Born of Osiris, and then there’s Carnifex which is a bit strange on the bill. It’s really giving everyone a chance and all the bands are having a good time.

xFiruath: Fill me in on the history and creation of Betraying the Martyrs.

Aaron: The band formed in the beginning of 2009. They released an EP with their old singer, and then started touring in Europe and that’s when I joined. I’m from England and came over to France. We started recording our first album and got signed to Sumerian Records and now we’re touring the States.

xFiruath: What’s going on with the new album “Breathe in Life” and what can your audience expect to hear on the release?

Aaron: If I was to pick a few bands from genres to mix up, I guess I’d say it’s like Born of Osiris mixed with Winds of Plague mixed with Asking Alexandria I guess, or something like that. We’ve got some melodies and then some heavy and progressive parts. We’ve got some black metal orchestration and things like that.

xFiruath: What sort of themes do you explore with the lyrics on the album?

Aaron: Each song was written very personally. There’s songs about friends of ours dying, we’ve got some Christian songs, we’ve got some songs about helping people. We tried to make it very personal.

xFiruath: You have released two separate music videos for the album now. Tell me about those videos and how the shooting process went.

Aaron: The first one we recorded when on tour in England with Tom Welsh. He’s a really great guy to work with. We worked with him during the trailer and everything was really comfortable. Recording the first one was really fun. The second one is a live video we shot at our album release party in Paris. We just had a really great time doing a show and filming. We’re hoping to get filming another one as well.

xFiruath: Have you picked a song yet for the upcoming video?

Aaron: It will be for a song called “Because of You.”

xFiruath: What’s happening in the French metal scene these days and do you guys get a chance to play hometown shows often?

Aaron: Not often, we try not to play hometown shows too often. Being in a big city there’s a lot of shows going on all the time in Paris. We don’t want to over saturate ourselves. We had a really good album release party, but other than that the scene is not as good as over here. The scene in America is really great.

xFiruath: Have you guys been on a longer tour like this one in Europe before?

Aaron: Yeah, we did a tour just earlier in the year. We toured France, Belgium, Russia, Holland, the Ukraine, Italy. We did most of Europe and were out on our own. This is a lot more fun, it’s more organized and it’s got good bands on it to guarantee a good turn out every night.

xFiruath: When I talk to European musicians who come over to the U.S. for a tour they usually mention how they enjoy coming here but they hate the long travel distances between shows. Has that been your experience so far?

Aaron: Yeah, so far I think the longest one has been like six hours driving, and the longest one on the tour should be nine hours. But when we toured in Europe we did one drive that was 14 hours, so this is pretty chill.

xFiruath: What music are you personally listening to recently?

Aaron: For most of the guys probably the new Born of Osiris album “The Discovery,” it’s incredible and we all love it. We are all such huge fans of the band.

xFiruath: With you guys being over in France you get a different perspective on events than we do, and I’m wondering if you guys got all those May 21st/October 21st Harold Camping rapture billboards over there and how you view that whole situation.

Aaron: No, not at all. We heard about it. The amount of billboards over here is incredible, there’s advertisements everywhere. There’s food advertisements everywhere, so we’re really excited to taste everything.

xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to say?

Aaron: We want to tell everyone to get down to a show, hope you have a good time, check out the album and merch and the merch from the band’s were supporting.

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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