Mark Sugar of TRIALS Interview September 7, 2010

September 14, 2010 by: admin

September 7, 2010

TRIALS

Mark Sugar (Vocals, Guitar)

Chicago, Illinois

Myspace.com/trials

By: Shauna O’Donnell


HEY GUYS, THIS IS SHAUNA O’DONNELL AND YOU ARE LISTENING TO MUEN TALK. WE HAVE MARK SUGAR THE VOCALIST/GUITARIST OF TRIALS ON THE PHONE TODAY.

MUEN: HI MARK THANKS FOR TALKING WITH ME.

Hi Shauna, how’s it going?

MUEN: IT’S GOING GOOD. HOW WAS YOUR HOLIDAY WEEKEND?

It was pretty awesome, I had a good time.

MUEN: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE BAND. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER AND HOW DID THE BAND COME TOGETHER?

The band has been around for about two years. We started out as a demo recording project with myself and Sasha our original drummer, who is in November’s Doom at the moment. We put together a recording and things snowballed from there. We got other players in the band, Remy on guitar, Usha on bass and more recently our new drummer Adam. We have been playing shows opening for some well known bands and we just finished recording our album.

MUEN: HAVE YOU BEEN IN ANY OTHER BANDS PRIOR TO THIS ONE?

Yeah, but they were just small local bands.

MUEN: YOU ARE DESCRIBED AS A PROGRESSIVE THRASH METAL BAND. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES SOUND WISE?

The cool thing about this band is that we are all into different things. I’d say the closest comparisons and the things that all four of us like is Death, Strapping Young Lad and other things that Devin Townsend has done. We also like earlier Thresh, Megadeth, Testament and things of that nature. That is kind of the foundation of what we do. Within that framework we will throw people curve balls now and then. We are into black metal like Emperor for instance; they are a huge influence on us as well. Failure is one of my all time favorite bands. There are a lot of different things that we can come with in that range.

MUEN: WHAT IS THE MUSIC SCENE IN CHICAGO LIKE FOR A THRASH METAL BAND?

It is interesting here. I was thinking about this the other day. We were talking about this in practice. There are so many different things going on in Chicago. You have Yakuzas out here, Nachtmystium and all these different bands doing different things. The thrash scene here is a little bit smaller than that. I would say the black metal and sort of sludgier doom kind of thing is bigger here, but we’re trying to carve out a bigger area for ourselves and bands like us who play fast. In a city of 4 million people maybe there is room for both I hope.

MUEN: IS IT HARD TO FIND BANDS TO PLAY WITH?

No, we’ve gigged with all kinds of bands and we always seem to go over really well. We’ve played with Jungle Rot who are old school death metal versus playing with Dirge Within who are a bit more accessible you might say, not in a bad way. It’s not like we are trying to go play straight thrash metal shows and being bummed out that there aren’t any. We will play with anyone, anytime and any place.

MUEN: YOU RECENTLY FINISHED RECORDING YOUR DEBUT ALBUM TITLED WITNESS TO THE DOWNFALL. WHEN WILL IT RELEASE?

We are trying to figure out the details to that right now. We literally just finished having it mixed and mastered. We are still working on the artwork for the album and details like that. Personally I would like to see it out before the end of the year, that is my hope.

MUEN: WHO DO YOU HAVE WORKING ON THE ARTWORK? IS IT ONE OF YOU?

We are looking at a couple people to do the cover. There are a couple people in the band that are designers, graphic art types, so maybe we will lend a hand. We are trying to get some outside opinions for the cover though.

MUEN: I LOVE THE NAME WITNESS TO THE DOWNFALL.

Thank you, you are one of the first people who even know that is what it’s called, that’s how new it is.

MUEN: EVERYONE HAS THERE OWN INTERPRETATIONS, BUT WITH THE WAY THE TALK HAS BEEN LATELY ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, IT SEEMS LIKE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SAYING IT’S GETTING READY TO FALL. THE TITLE REMINDED ME OF THAT, LIKE WE ARE WITNESSING THE DOWNFALL.

It’s funny you say that because Remy our guitar player came up with the name. He actually picked that line out of the lyrics from one of the songs. That was kind of his take on it too. That is exactly what he said. We re musicians, we are working really hard at what we do and we are living through an era where things are not making sense anymore. Things are getting progressively worse and you can take that to mean beyond the music business, the world and culture in general.

MUEN: I ASSUME YOU WRITE THE LYRICS. WHERE DO THE IDEAS FOR THE LYRICS COME FROM?

Yes, the ideas for that can come from just about anywhere. One of my short comings with lyrics is that they are all over the place; they are not focused on any one thing. Current cultural and political events play a part, religion plays a part and various personal things that happen to me may influence that process. On the record we just finished, there are songs about my personal life, things that have happened to the band, things about religion and the church. It’s all over.

MUEN: DO ALL OF YOU USUALLY AGREE ON THE DIRECTION OF THE ALBUM WHILE WRITING?

Yes, I bring a lot of music and the lyrics to the band, but it is definitely a collaborative process. We try to make sure everyone is happy with what we are doing. We all contribute, we all bring music in and we hammer things out until we are all satisfied with it.

MUEN: WHO DID YOU ENLIST TO PRODUCE AND MIX?

We recorded a lot of the album ourselves and the mixing and mastering was done by a man named Lasse Lammert who is based in Germany and who has worked with Stuck Mojo and Alestorm. We told him what we were going for and the man did a fantastic job. Everyone is really happy with it; we are really enjoying listening to it.

MUEN: DESCRIBE THE ALBUM FOR US.

If you are about to hear Trials for the first time, you are about to hear some raging metal riffs, pretty intense drumming and some quality songwriting.

MUEN: ARE YOU GOING TO BE SHOPPING IT TO LABELS?

We are in the process of doing that. We have been even before it was finished. We have been in talks with a few people, hopefully something good will happen for us there.

MUEN: WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF YOUR TOURING EXPERIENCE WITH THIS BAND?

We have definitely been out a couple times and we are gearing up to go on another run this weekend. We have had set backs getting on the road with this band, whether it’s been line-up changes or other commitments or just generally being broke. We are working it out and we are looking to play more shows in the immediate future both here and abroad.

MUEN: DO YOU ALL STILL HAVE DAY JOBS SO IT’S HARD TO GET OUT THERE?

That’s part of it; I wouldn’t say that’s the main thing.

MUEN: WHAT IS YOUR GEAR OF CHOICE?

At the moment I am using Gibson Explorer Guitars and Peavey Amps. We just got and endorsement deal with DR Strings, which are very nice strings. I’m liking them a lot. Our set up is pretty lean and straightforward, nothing fancy with us.

MUEN: IF YOU COULD CHANGE SOMETHING ABOUT THE METAL SCENE AS IT STANDS TODAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I wouldn’t even know where to begin; honestly I think things are very good right now. I think bands get a good amount of coverage versus ten year ago when nobody was paying attention. There is all kinds of good music coming out from all genres. Musically everything seems to be going pretty well, as far as the business, it would be nice if there was more of a way for artists to be rewarded for what they are doing in one way or another. I don’t have an easy solution for that, nobody does.

MUEN: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INTERVIEW. GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING. BEFORE I LET YOU GO IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD OR SAY?

I’d just like to say to everyone, if you’ve heard of the band already thanks for your support. If you are hearing us for the first time, check it out, you might like it!

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