When a woman rips a guy's heart out of his chest, tosses it into a blender and presses "frappe," he either falls in love with his depression or does something practical with the pain — just ask any emo fan. So when Diecast singer Paul Stoddard sat back and witnessed the recent collapse of his own relationship, one that had lasted more than four years, he took his pain and channeled it into his lyrics. The result, he said, is the Boston metalcore band's fourth LP, Internal Revolution, which is set to drop Tuesday.
"Any time you can take any emotion — whether it's anger, sadness, even happiness — if you can take that emotion and squeeze it for all its lifeblood, you're going to get amazing songs," Stoddard explained. "Initially I was toying with the idea of maybe doing a theme record this time around. But when it came time to start writing these songs, I had so much stuff inside that I wanted to get out and write about, I just said, 'Forget it — I'm going with this.' "
Not that the inspiration behind his words will be blatantly obvious to the casual listener. But while Diecast's frontman uses some symbolism on the record, he didn't exploit it to make his point.
"I try not to hide things too much," he explained. "I think people can pretty much get the point of where I'm going with a lot of the songs. I don't want it to be too clear and come off cheesy: 'I loved her. She's gone. Boohoo.' I think you have to have some fun with it and be artistic with [music]. People will always identify with it in their own way."
Heartbreak aside, the road to Internal Revolution was riddled with numerous obstacles, Stoddard said. Within the last year, Diecast have lost — and replaced — two of their members, sidelining them for a spell from touring and recording the follow-up to 2004's Tearing Down Your Blue Skies. Drummer Jason Costa left in November, following a heated argument concerning Brendan Fraser's acting prowess, and in May, the band announced that bassist Jeremy Wooden, the band's only remaining original member, had split. Dennis Pavia and Brad Horion were later named as their respective replacements.
A scheduling conflict delayed the effort even further. The band had recruited producer Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed) to helm Internal, but he had to pull out at the last minute. Instead, Diecast turned to Tearing Down's producer, Paul Trust.
"Jason was an absolutely incredible drummer," Stoddard said. "He was something Diecast had become known for, and so you tended to write songs that really showcased his abilities. And then you'd write good songs around that. But this time around, we started without a drummer, and we just wanted to write the best songs possible. We tried to eliminate all of the walls. We just wanted to make the best record we could, and get the best songs possible. We didn't want to set any boundaries, which is what the scene tends to do. If it makes sense, it will be there. If it doesn't make sense, we're going to replace it with something that does.
"I feel like my vocals have come a long way too," he continued. "We went the extra mile on this record, and I'm so excited about it. I'm ready to start writing and recording the next one, because we're in such a good zone and we're just connecting so well that I don't want to stop."
The album's theme comes through in several of Internal Revolution's tracks, but none more so than the first single, "Fade Away." Diecast recently shot a video for the tune in a vacant building in Brooklyn, New York, with director David Brodsky (God Forbid, the Red Chord).
"It has to deal with breakups, and everybody in the band was involved in different relationship scenarios," Stoddard explained. "I got to smash some windows and break through a wall like the Kool-Aid man. For my part, there's this woman on the other side of the glass, and I break through it to get to her. It's symbolic."
Diecast will spend much of next year on the road but have no concrete touring plans just yet. The band will play a semi-acoustic record-release gig at Newbury Comics in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, and a headlining show in Bedford, New Hampshire, the following evening.
Really, what Stoddard wants is what most metal and hardcore bands want: an Ozzfest slot.
"I've been to every single Ozzfest, except for 2005's," he said. "For the last 10 years, I would go to that festival, and my dream has been to make it onto one of those stages. I'll feel like I've made it if that happens. We were up for it last year, but it didn't work out. But it would be great to do Ozzfest. That would be a dream come true, and we hope the stars align, and this time, it will be our turn."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Despite reports that they'd be touring this fall as one of the support acts on Avenged Sevenfold's upcoming North American tour, set to kick off in November, Killswitch Engage will not be on the bill. ... Technical death-metal stalwarts Suffocation shot a performance video last weekend for "Abomination Reborn," from their self-titled album, dropping Tuesday. The video was filmed in Brooklyn with director Frankie Nasso (Mudvayne, Hatebreed) and producers Dale Resteghini and Melissa Manousos of Raging Nations Films and will be sent to video outlets at the end of the month. ... An October 24 release date has been set for the soundtrack to the forthcoming film "Saw III." The disc will include tracks from several heavy hitters, including Slayer, Mastodon, Lamb of God, All That Remains, DragonForce, As I Lay Dying, Every Time I Die and more. ... Cartoonish metal legend King Diamond will play a role in an upcoming episode of Cartoon Network's "Deathklok Metalocalypse." Diamond recorded his part for the program on August 21, joining a short legacy that includes Metallica guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, Arch Enemy guitarist Michael Amott and three members of Nevermore. ...
Several major metal bands have been nominated for this year's San Diego Music Awards, the winners of which will be announced September 18. As I Lay Dying are vying for the top award, Artist of the Year, and are up against Jason Mraz, Louis XIV, Pinback, Slightly Stoopid and Switchfoot. "I love awards like this because they're not political, and it's about the fans being there for us," As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambesis said in a statement. In other categories, Cattle Decapitation, Divided by Zero, Mower, Underminded and Media Lab are up for Best Hard Rock, and ex-P.O.D. guitarist Marcos Curiel's new band the Accident Experiment are nominated for Best Hard Rock Album along with Goblin Co--, Divided by Zero, Mower, Earthless and Nihilist. ... Melodic death-metal band If Hope Dies have officially hired guitarist Naren Ananda, who started working with the band after the departure of Thad Jackson this spring. "We're all really excited to have him with us and are looking forward to getting back on the road very soon," the band said in a statement. The band will hit the road in October as part of the Radiotakeover Tour, which starts October 7 in Albany, New York. Dates are currently scheduled through November 11 in Akron, Ohio, with additional shows to be announced soon. ...
Full Blown Chaos, Remembering Never and War of Ages will head out together in late October for a U.S. run that'll conclude on November 7 in Oklahoma City. The trek launches October 20 in Cleveland. ... Bleed the Sky is down a guitarist. Kyle Moorman left the Orange County, California, metallers to "pursue other elements of the music business," according to frontman Noah Robinson. "He has plans to be involved in studio production and engineering and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. We are in the midst of looking for a new lead guitarist and are accepting open submissions." Those interested in trying out should e-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org. ... More dates have been added to the upcoming Gwar tour, which will include dates with the Red Chord and Municipal Waste. The tour now launches October 13 in Philadelphia, and dates are scheduled through December 1 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Gwar's latest album, the Devin Townsend-produced Beyond Hell, came out August 29. ... The first SoCal Deathfest has been set for October 14 in Riverside, California. Look for the bill to boast Cattle Decapitation, Condemend, Cryptic Gallbladder Splatter, Horseman of the Apocalypse and Super.Ninja.Robot.Fighter. ...
Want to ring in '07 with Clutch? You can on December 31 (duh!) at Rams Head Live in Baltimore; the Sword and William Elliott Whitmore are also on the bill. Clutch will begin recording the follow-up to 2005's Robot Hive/Exodus next month, with a tentative spring release in the works. ... Entombed, Dismember, Grave and the Absence will hit the road together for a U.S. run that kicks off in Hollywood on December 1. Gigs are booked through December 16 in San Marcos, California, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. ... Generations will be spanned when Facedownins--- release their cover of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," which they recorded with drummer Don Bolles, a member of the legendary '80s L.A. punk band the Germs. Facedowninsh-- tracked the tune on Wednesday in Los Angeles and have been playing it live on the Relapse Records Contamination Tour, which runs through September 28 in Baltimore and also features Unearthly Trance, Jucifer, F--- the Facts and Hex Machine. ... Looking for something sicker and heavier than black and death metal? Check out Skullflower, whose latest album, Tribulation, has just been released on Crucial Blast. The band's sonic architect, Matthew Bower, has been crushing skulls since 1992 with deafening washes of feedback, grinding sound effects, crashing percussion and harrowing howls. Test your mettle — if you dare.