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Slipknot

FULL-ON METAL

Posted on February 12, 2008

Brian Fair, Shadows Fall frontman talks about their album ‘Threads of Life’:

“We just wanted to write a full-on metal record, We were like, 'I don't care what's going on, nowadays — let's write some fucking metal!' I mean, that's always been our attitude, but this time we went even further into our rock and thrash roots.”

The album produced by Nick Raskulinecz (FOO FIGHTERS, STONE SOUR, RUSH) at Studio 606 in Los Angeles, “Nick was able to get performances out of us that we didn't even expect from ourselves,”

“Structurally, we had worked out a lot of the stuff before we even got to the studio, but he really brought new life to things sonically — different layering of guitars, vocal harmonies that we wouldn't have thought of, great ideas like that.”

Blabbermouth states, ‘For those who've already been paying attention, the band's continued musical growth won't come as much of a surprise — in terms of pure musicianship, SHADOWS FALL has long been one of the most highly respected bands in the metal community, boasting a lineup that could easily go toe-to-toe with rock's most legendary players. Guitarists Matt Bachand and Jon Donais are former guest columnists for Guitar World magazine, and the pair recently had the honor of being included in the mag's “Top 100 Guitarists of All Time” list. Bassist Paul Romanko is a regular contributor to Guitar World's Bass Guitar magazine, while drummer Jason Bittner pens a column for Modern Drummer, whose readers voted him “Best Metal Drummer” in year-end polls for 2005 and 2006. And with his four-foot-long dreadlocks, powerful vocals and commanding stage presence, Brian Fair — a frequent guest host on MTV's “Headbanger's Ball” — is one of the most charismatic and recognizable frontmen in metal.’

Of the members of Shadows Fall, Brian Fair explains their influences:

Jonny's always been into '80s metal and '70s rock,” Fair explains. “Matt was really into death metal and grindcore back in the day, but he also likes all sorts of singer/songwriter stuff; Jay has a real prog background — he's a huge fan of RUSH and DREAM THEATER — and Paul's the old-school punk rock and hardcore dude. I kind of came up through '70s rock, and then found the hardcore scene, but I'd always been listening to a lot of jazz, reggae and spacey stuff.”

“There are really no egos in this band,” says Fair. “We're always going to have the technical aspect of our music, because these boys can play. But we want to incorporate all of that into a song framework; it's all about trying to create the best song, and everyone understanding how they fit into it.

“Of course,” he adds, “when it's time to let it rip, we let it rip!”

“We were all friends before we started this band,” Fair recalls. “We all played in other bands that played with each other, and we had a very similar goal and vision in mind for what we wanted to accomplish together. We had that all-for-one, one-for-all attitude from the beginning, which is still how we do business — it's gotta be a unanimous decision before anything gets done.”

Talking of ‘RedemptionFair states, “This is the SHADOWS FALL sound condensed into four minutes,”

“I think it's a perfect representation of what we do. And I think it really encapsulates the entire album, which is why we opened with it — it has a little bit of everything you're going to get in the next 45 minutes!”

The guitar shredding ‘Final Call’ is a seven-minute epic:

“So many of the ideals and goals of our government seem to be so far from what I'm trying to accomplish in my life, that I feel like I've been exiled to my own little plane of existence,” says Fair. “But at this point, I'm fine with it, because I think there are others who feel the same way, and I think there are more of them out there than people realize.”

Another Hero Lost“, an achingly heartfelt ballad inspired by the death of Fair's cousin, a U.S. soldier who was killed last year in Iraq. “We've always had those slower moments on our records, with songs like 'The Art of Balance' and 'Inspiration on Demand',” the singer explains, “but this was the most straightforward, melodic rock ballad we've ever done. I didn't want to take away from the tribute vibe to it by making it this brutal, crazy song; it had to be straight-up from the heart, and really pure and true. It's also the most personal song I've ever recorded. Lyrically, it's from my cousin's perspective, as well as just me sorting through the emotions that my family and I were going through at the time. The song has no political agenda, at all — it's just me remembering someone I grew up with, who meant a lot to me. I know a lot of people have been going through similar things recently, so I think it's a song they'll be able relate to. Hopefully, there won't have to be many more songs written about something like this.”

To read the full interview at Blabbermouth.net here

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