It Dies Today frontman Nick Brooks didn't mean to write a concept album — but his band's forthcoming album, Sirens, ended up being just that. The LP's title, he said, was inspired by the trio of Greek mythological creatures that were often portrayed as having the heads of women and the bodies of birds.
"The Sirens would call mariners to their death by singing songs," Brooks explained. "[The record is] all about temptation and how it affected everybody in our lives — between substance abuse, infidelity and stuff like that. And that's pretty much what every song on the record is about."
Some of the material, Brooks said, was inspired by his own struggles.
"My drinking was a problem," he said. "At one point, I lost my voice really bad because of it. I basically f---ed over my band because of all the crap I was into. I had just started drinking [at age 22] and it became quite a problem."
Brooks, who had been straightedge for the majority of his adult life, began drinking during 2005's Ozzfest. "I was drinking big time, because it's like, what am I supposed to do for 12 hours a day? After we play, I'm gonna get drunk and go watch [Iron] Maiden." At one point, during the recording of Sirens (due Tuesday), Brooks said he made "a huge ass" of himself during a party at producer GGGarth's house.
"There were all these actors there and the founder of [a large movie studio] there, and I got drunk, and I said a lot of very offensive things to certain people — a certain actor, the [studio boss] — and tried to fight his assistant," the singer said. But "it was a good night," he joked.
While Brooks says he's gotten his drinking under control, he did booze it up during the filming of the video for the first single from Sirens, "Sacred Heart [Sacre Coeur]." The clip was helmed by director Christoffer Salzgeber (Mudvayne, Soulfly) in downtown Los Angeles in the Poodle Parlor, a vintage warehouse that's served as the backdrop for several recent metal videos. The video, inspired by true events, involved loads of "hot girls," Brooks said. Oh, and alcohol.
"It's a very interesting video," he said. "[It's] a celebration of getting over a sh--ty relationship by parting with a bunch of hot girls. And we all went out and partied afterwards."
The Buffalo, New York, band began working on Sirens in December and wrote material for the effort over the course of six months. The album was originally intended for release last month, but the band's label, Trustkill, bumped it to next week so it could beef up promotion. And now "we're just honestly really excited to get it out because we're really stoked on it and couldn't be happier with what we've done.
"We wanted to write thrashier songs because there are only so many breakdowns you can just put in a song that don't need to be there," Brooks continued. "I think it's getting kind of redundant. As far as the more metal songs on the record go, we wanted to make them a lot thrashier and use a lot of melody too. There's something for everybody on this record. There are solos, thrash parts — I'm really happy with the way it came out. I think it's a different kind of heavy than our last record. I do think it's our smartest record and, with the amount of time and effort we put into it, if you aren't getting better with every record, you probably shouldn't be in a band."
Brooks said he's thrilled to be releasing an album like Sirens during what he feels is an "exciting time for metal."
"I am excited to be in a metal band now because, you look at Lamb of God and Avenged Sevenfold, and I mean, [Avenged are] on 'TRL' shredding solos," he said. "We kind of just do our own thing and hope for the best. We don't have any unrealistic goals of selling millions of records. It's just like, we love what we're doing, and if kids like what we're doing, that's fine."
It Dies Today will be on the road with Silverstein, Aiden, He Is Legend and Prom Queen through November 25 in Albany, New York. The tour rolls through Milwaukee Friday night (October 13).
The rest of the week's metal news:
While there's been no official confirmation from the band, erstwhile hardcore legends Earth Crisis have reunited — at least for one gig. The straightedge act has been added to the bill for the second annual Maryland Metal and Hardcore Festival in Baltimore on January 27. The event will also feature Sworn Enemy, Full Blown Chaos and Subzero, among others. Earth Crisis got back together in 2001 for Hellfest. ... It seems as though Life of Agony's hiatus is nearing its end. The band has booked three live gigs — LOA's first of 2006. On November 24, they'll play the Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York, and two days later, will take the stage inside the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. The band will also play December 3 at the Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown, Pennsylvania. ... Cradle of Filth will launch a two-month U.S. tour in January to support their new album Thornography, which drops Tuesday. Exact dates will be announced soon. Finnish goth-metal band the 69 Eyes, who recently released the best-of collection Framed in Blood: The Very Blessed of the 69 Eyes, will open all shows. ... Cattle Decapitation have enlisted ex-Dying Fetus drummer Kevin Talley to pound the kit during the band's upcoming North American trek. Talley will be quite busy on the tour, pulling double duty with Cattle and openers Daath. Lair of the Minotaur and Goatwhore are also on the bill. The tour kicks off November 16 in El Paso, Texas, with dates booked through December 10 in Ogden City, Utah. ...
Austin, Texas, metallers At All Cost have made it through the writing phase for their forthcoming studio offering, which is slated for release in 2007. No additional information on the LP has been revealed, but in the meantime, fans can catch the Cost in its home state on October 14 (Houston), October 20 (Austin), October 21 and 22 (San Angelo) and October 23 (Corpus Christi). ... Seemless will replace Soil on In Flames' upcoming North American jaunt, also with Lacuna Coil, starting December 5 in Norfolk, Virginia. The run ends December 19 in Kansas City, Missouri. ... Diecast will hit the road with Sepultura, Sworn Enemy and Suicide Silence starting November 16 in Phoenix. Dates run through December 22 in Pomona, California. ... Swedish death-metal act Impious are nearly finished recording their forthcoming album, Holy Murder Masquerade. The effort will include "The Confession," "Bound to Bleed (For a Sacred Need)," "Death on Floor 44" and "Three of One." No release date has been set yet for the disc. ... Stoner metallers Fu Manchu will release Hung Out to Dry, a four-song EP, November 28. The effort will boast two tracks from the band's forthcoming 10th LP, as well as a cover of Van Halen's "D.O.A." Only 3,000 copies of the EP will be pressed. The band will take the stage for the first time in 10 months on November 16 in Costa Mesa, California, and plan to debut several fresh tunes during the gig. ...
And now for some news that begs the question "What the hell took so long?" Metalheads will soon get the chance to enhance their cellular phones with Manowar ringtones. The band is asking fans to submit a list of their 10 favorite Manowar tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the results will determine which ringtones will be offered, although there's no word yet on when they will be available for download. Manowar's new EP, The Sons of Odin, will be released October 24. The disc will feature the title track from the band's upcoming full-length, Gods of War, "The Sons of Odin," an orchestral version of the new song "Odin" and live performances of "The Ascension" and "King of Kings," recorded at Earthshaker Fest 2005. A bonus DVD will include 5.1 mixes of the songs plus a 30-minute Manowar fan-convention documentary and rehearsal footage. ... Ex-Snot and Soulfly guitarist Mikey Doling has founded GridIron Records, a new label with former Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Kyle Turley. "[Once] I was in New Orleans on the bus drinking beers and Kyle comes on the bus and says, 'Who's the guy from Snot?' " Doling said. "I raised my hand like a schoolboy, thinking he was gonna kick my ass for something, but he freaked because he was a huge Snot fan. From there on we've been really good friends." Also partnering in the label are former Snot manager Nic Adler and Max Harris. The first two offerings from the label will be the debut by Doling's new band Invitro and an album by psychedelic-rock group the Hairbrain Scheme. Both discs will come out in early 2007 and can be previewed at MySpace.com/GridIronRecords. The label is also in negotiations with Asesino, ex-Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares' new band, and Los Angeles thrash band Instinct of Aggression. ...
The Showdown, who will release Temptation Come My Way on February 20, have welcomed drummer A.J. Barrette into the fold. The death-metal squad will hit the road later this month with Pillar and Day of Fire. The trek kicks off October 26 in Minneapolis, with dates booked through December 17 in Wichita, Kansas. ... Swedish doom-rockers Witchcraft — not to be mistaken with Swedish thrash band Witchery — will support psychedelic-metal band Danava starting October 23 in Seattle. Dates run through November 16. Witchcraft's most recent album Firewood came out last year. This fall the band will re-release its 2004 self-titled offering. ... Australian band I Killed the Prom Queen's debut, Music for the Recently Deceased, will come out in North America on November 14, and U.S. audiences can see them open for It Dies Today, Aiden and Silverstein starting November 17 in Norfolk, Virginia. Dates run through November 25 in Albany, New York. The band may not have used a bullet for their valentine, but its style of melodic metalcore should strike a chord with anyone who considers Atreyu saviors of teen angst. ... Eighties metalheads and S&M aficionados might remember Bitch, the Betsy Bitch-fronted Los Angeles band that performed gritty songs like "Be My Slave," "Live for the Whip" and "Leatherbound" before fading into obscurity. Well, following a lengthy hiatus, Betsy returned Thursday with a whip-smarting set at the Roxy in West Hollywood, California. MTV News hasn't heard anything about a new album, but reissues can't be far off.