It’s Time To Fucking Die! Cvlt Nation Interviews BLACK BREATH

Photos by Alan Hunter

Those of you who frequent this site know that we’re all big fans of Black Breath, and in the seven years since they released debut EP Razor to Oblivion they’ve rightfully become a household name. In brief, if you’re looking for heavy, infectious anthems to please death metallers, crusties and hardcore kids alike, you need look no further than the back catalog of these Seattle mainstays. Before leaving for tour, vocalist Neil McAdams was cool enough to give CVLT Nation a few minutes of his time to discuss Black Breath’s forthcoming record and the great lengths his band has come during the past few years. Alan and I caught them live in Seattle a few days back and they gave us a taste of some new material, so if you’re anywhere near one of the cities they’re set to attack, this is not a show to miss! Check out the interview and photoset below…

 

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What’s Black Breath been up to since the release of Sentenced to Life? I know there have been some great shows, like Autopsy’s first-ever Seattle gig…

We were really busy after Sentenced came out. Toured the U.S., Europe, Japan, Mexico and Australia. There were too many awesome shows to count. After a while it all blurs together. The Autopsy show was unreal. They killed it so hard. The crowd was freaking out. So many stage dives.

 

Late last year, you guys went into the studio for a new full-length. What should fans expect sonically from the new record, and what was the writing process like? One of your old Facebook posts said something about a marijuana farm out on the Olympic Peninsula…

The new record can be compared, sonically, to a bat across the skull of all living things and that’s all I can say about that at this point. Yes, there was the farm. That was a good time, but I don’t think much, if anything, we wrote out there made it onto the new record. Not long after the farm, Jamie got hit by the car. So there was a big chunk of down time. Jamie spent most of his recovery writing riffs and playing an electric kit along to Slaughter of the Soul to keep his chops up.

 

Did you guys try to do anything different this time around in terms of production? What made you go back to Kurt Ballou at GodCity?

Kurt is the best at what he does. And he has incredibly strong hands.

 

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You recently announced that the cover artwork was done by Paolo Girardi, which marks a big stylistic change from the kind of art Black Breath has used in the past. Anything about it you can reveal here?

It’s a different kind of record, so it needed a different approach visually. Paulo is amazing. Really dark.

 

Especially since the release of Sentenced…, your music has been exposed to a much wider audience. Not many people get to go from being a local band to one that’s written up in the New York Times and nominated for Golden Gods awards… Does it feel different? When you play a show now, is it obvious that things have changed since Black Breath’s early days?

Yeah, the New York Times thing is kinda crazy. We still do all kinds of different shows and venues. We recently played a Bellingham show at a friend’s 100 cap bar. We played a show after MDF last year in I think Hartford and there were like 15 people there. So you never know. You play hard as hell every time you play, and are thankful that anyone gives a shit about your band.

 

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As a band that’s toured all over the world, what are some of your favorite places to play? Are you able to get a feel for the scenes in different spots?

Mexico. The best. Crazy kids down there. They appreciate bands coming down there so much. So many people are scared of the drug war shit and don’t tour down there. It’s a shame. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Black Breath has graced stages at Maryland Deathfest, Roadburn and Hellfest to name just a few… What are the differences between playing festivals and club shows? Do you prefer one over the other?

Anything personal is good. Even a large festival stage can have that kind of close feel as long as there isn’t a barricade. I grew up playing in basements and living rooms and weird corners in sketchy bars, and I love that shit. But you can’t always do the same thing. You have to play different venues. Try different things. Don’t get too comfortable or you might lose sight of what rock and roll is all about. Kicking ass. Kicking more ass. And kicking even more ass.

 

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You guys are just now embarking on a tour with Goatwhore, Ringworm, and Theories. Anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

We leave for tour on Friday. Going to a bunch of towns we’ve never been to before. This will be our first time touring in Canada so that’s super cool.

 

What do you want to communicate with a Black Breath live show, or what’s the intended experience? I know you’ll often come down and talk to people after the show, and every time I’ve seen you guys I’ve felt a significant vibe of your wanting to draw fans into the performance.

The crowd is just as important as the band. Without a crowd, the band is just jerking itself off in an empty room somewhere. I think it’s very important to never forget that. Why wouldn’t you talk to the people that buy your records? They keep you in business. Besides, we’re all fans or none of us would be here.

 

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Lastly, I want to say thanks for your time and all the killer records! Any final words for CVLT NATION’s followers?

Kill it all the time. Own your shit. Rock and Roll son of a bitch. Thanks! See you out there!

 

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Thanks to Josh and everyone at The Crocodile for their hospitality. Remaining Black Breath tour dates below!

6/22: Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop
6/23: Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brian’s Event Centre
6/24: Regina, SK @ The Exchange
6/25: Winnipeg, MB @ The Zoo
6/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
06/27: Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
6/28: Detroit, MI @ Majestic Jr.
6/29: Cleveland, OH @ Now That Class
6/30: Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
7/1: Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
7/2: Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck Bar
7/3: Montreal, QC @ Les Foufounes Electriques
7/4: Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
7/5: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
7/6: Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar
7/8: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts Black Box
7/9: Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
7/11: Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
7/12: Atlanta, GA @ The Earl

 

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Sam H.S.

Sam H.S.

Sam resides in Seattle, Washington. He is the founder and editor of the Pacific Northwest metal zine The Sentinel.

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