-Interview- The Human Tragedy (1/2/18)

The Human Tragedy talks about the development of their sound, the current state of Metal and much more.


From: Huntington, WV
Sounds like: Orchestral Death Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “The Human Tragedy” and is there any meaning behind it?

Sam: I got a really late start with music. I didn't sit behind a drum set until I was almost 20 years old but I do remember the day I got inspired. It was in November of 1999 I was at home watching MTV when Metallica's S&M concert came one. I thought it was really great to hear what the orchestra done to the music and the extra layers and colors it added. One thing I do remember in which was a game changer for me was the very first time I heard the album Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia by Dimmu Borgir. I remember it being the most epic music I have ever heard. But the one thing I had wondered for many years was what would happen if you took the extreme metal but instead of writing the typical classical arrangements you would take a more film score approach to it. It has took years of trial and error figuring out what will work and what won't work to keep everything clean, punchy and not having instruments masking others. But I feel we have a pretty balanced mix of both worlds and we just keep trying to learn more and push the envelope as much as we can with each new piece of music.

James: I started in a band back in High School called When Monkies Eat Tadpoles. I played bass which was the original instrument I started playing. Went through a few bands and eventually met Sam. We kept in contact for a few years and he messaged me looking for a guitarist for a new Project. I sent him to my buddy Jew (Ryan) and he (Jew) recommended me as a bassist. So I met with Sam and we formed The Human Tragedy. He had the name already picked out. You'll have to talk to him about meanings. Haha

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

Sam: I've always felt that music has always been a release or a distraction for people in this day and age. My hope is that when people listen to us they really take something from it, to be a little adventurous and let the music take them on a journey.

James: That we are very passionate musicians and enjoy writing some of the heaviest but beautiful music around! Our live shows will be where we shine!

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Sam: Dark, atmospheric, riffy, colorful, heavy, intense, emotional, and catchy.

James: I'd say that we are a death metal band in the vein of Nevermore, Scar Symmetry and other with a full Movie Score behind it!

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Sam: Dimmu Borgir, Scar Symmetry, Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse (Sorry that's 4).

James: Dimmu Borgir, Septicflesh, and Conquering Dystopia! Loomis is my idol!

5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

Sam: Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Armaeggdon, Old Mans Child - In Defiance of Existence, and Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress.

James: Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor, Korn - Korn, and City and Colour.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Metal?

Sam: I've had this conversation with countless people over the years and I believe that the state of metal is as strong as I believe its ever been. In the past decade alone I have never seen so many impressive original bands come out. It's a good day to be playing metal. However I feel labels today for the most part exploit bands more than they help them. The industry is very different than what it was 20 years ago. Bands can can get noticed a lot easier and do a lot more things for themselves. I believe that's why the labels take a lot more money on the back end of these deals that what they used to. There is so much talent in the metal community that should be on a major label but are struggling because labels are to concerned about what it is trendy or what is popular.

James: I'm actually fairly disappointed with the current state. It seems to me that a lot of artist are just in it for the money and it loses heart! There is a lot of bland and copied stuff going around. Not to mention local Bands don't get the support like they deserve.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in Ohio both locally and state wide?

Sam: These scene here in the Tri-state is very strong. I see a lot more venues opening up and more and more bands coming out. It's an exciting time right now and look forward to getting back out in 2018.

James: I honestly don't know. That a question better left for Sam.

8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

Sam: That answer will vary depending on who you ask. For an unsigned band most would say that it really helps them get introduced to the masses and helps them but to a signed band to a label nothing could be worse. Personally speaking I believe piracy helps a lot more than it hurts but like I said that depends on who you ask.

James: Alright this is a tricky one. I myself pirate music simply because I can't afford my music addiction. However... I think if you like the album and most importantly the artist, that you should buy the album and support them. I try to buy the albums eventually when I have money. Thanks to Spotify, I can listen without feeling guilty. Haha

9. What’s next for The Human Tragedy?

Sam: We all well into writing away and pre-production for new material. We are going to go back and re-record our first E.P. and re issue it with about 4 or 5 new tracks. 2018 will be the first time everyone will get to hear material with our new lead guitarist Justin Reynolds. Our hope is to have everything ready to release by late April or early May. I can tell you as of right now there are a lot more intense and old THT influence with this new stuff mixed in with some new influences. We can't wait to share it.

James: Next is phase two for the band. We have begun working on our sophomore album which so far is a lot heavier and also more melodic. Hints of the first Ep run through each track. We have some other surprises in store. Once that's done, we will begin touring to support the untitled album. We will destroy each town we come in contact with!

10. Any shoutouts?

Sam: First and foremost I would like to thank God for giving me the this gift. I would like to give a shout to my wonderful fiance Heather who puts up with all of this to make me happy. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to the music of the years. I would like to thank Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe, Junkie XL, Alan Meyerson, Sam Estes, Michael Hobe, Daniel James, Micheal Patti for all their skills and wisdom they have shared with me.

James: I'd like to give a couple shout outs to my bros in Revendication and Vain Interior! These are two up and coming metals bands from opposite sides of the metal spectrum! We have Revendication as a thrashy death metal band and then we have Vain Interior offering their take on the Metalcore genre! You don't want to miss these guys. Both are insane live and hopefully can tour with us later. Who knows!