Matt Bachand, lead guitarist for Shadows Fall, could best be referred to as the 2002 version of Kirk Hammett or James Hetfield. With their upcoming album The Art of Balance[Set for a Sept. 27 release date on Century Media], Shadows Fall challenge all of the monotonous, one-dimensional metal bands that labels have been heaving at us lately. Musicianship, songwriting bravado and flat-out playing the shit out of their instruments are traits each member of the band possess.
Master of Puppets is the easiest comparison to the new Shadows Fall project, with skin-boiling metal chords leading way into epic, floating solos breaking up the aggression. Itís very much early Metallica, but with more abrasive vocals. In other words -- it's kickass heavy metal.
Here's what Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand has to say in an e-mail interview:
NT: In a time where lots of metal music is so cut-and-paste, Shadows Fall takes the genre to a new level with musicianship. From start to finish, tell me how the band as a whole writes, structures and records their songs.
SF: Pretty much Jon and I get together and throw some riffs down on a 4-track and start arranging. we go into practice with a rough idea and start throwing ideas around the room to everyone until we get a finished product. Then we send a tape off to Brian and he starts the vocal process.
NT: With all the hype and press that Shadows Fall has been receiving lately, do
you feel as if some people automatically will presume that you guys 'sold out', even before hearing the new album? If so, what's your response to them?
SF: We have heard that before... Those people don't know what the hell they are talking about... The term "sold out" would mean that some money is involved... None of us have seen a PENNY yet from doing this. The REAL fans will stick by us... The people that THINK they are real fans but call it selling out, were never real fans to begin with... They just get bitchy when we get a little exposure and obviously have their heads crammed way too far up their asses to even hear what's going on.
NT: OK...With your bandmates excluded, pick four other musicians from other bands that you'd love to hit the stage with, or just rock out with.
SF: Mark Knopfler, Zakk Wylde, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty
NT: Can heavy music be saved from the corporate push, while still keeping its integrity?
SF: Absolutely. Just because something is popular doesn't mean that it loses its integrity.
NT: The recent passing of Dave Williams of Drowning Pool has certainly affected many involved in the metal scene. Did you ever know Dave, and if so, can you share any experiences with him?
SF: I didn't know Dave but I know a lot of people that did. Its a terrible thing. I heard he was a great person and a hell of a lot of fun. R.I.P.
NT: You guys are all from Massachusetts. The Northeast hardcore/metal scene is a serious force to be reckoned with. Do you think that there's a certain style to the NY/MA bands that's more attractive to listeners than the Cali scene?
SF: I don't really see too much of a difference because I like bands from both scenes. Both have great things to offer and all the bands from both scenes will be a good thing for metal in the future.
NT: You've been touring with 2 of the other heavy hitters in the mainstream metal-core scene, Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage. Is there a friendly rivalry when you go out on stage on who can rip it up the most? Do you guys push each other to that next level each night?
SF: Both bands are and have been good friends of ours for quite some time. We always look at it as a party really. Those always make for the best shows. They certainly make us play harder.
NT: Can we expect a new line of tour dates after the September tour is finished?
SF: Absolutely, we will be on tour all year I'm sure.
NT: What are the top 5 albums that you spin the most in your discman or on the tour bus?
SF: Mark Knopfler Sailing To Philadelphia, Boston Greatest Hits, Ben Folds Rockin the Suburbs, Tom Petty Greatest Hits, Better Than Ezra Closer
NT: Any last words for those who may not know what to expect from Shadows Fall?
SF: thanks for the support, check out www.shadowsfall.com, and come check us out on the road!