US Classic Metal/Thrash band To the Pain’s latest album 7 is a feast of delicious Metal delights, albeit one that’s over far too quickly for my liking! The very amiable Steve kindly answered my questions about the band…
For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!
Hi those unfamiliar with our band…where have you been? We are To The Pain!!! We are a METAL band from Long Island, New York. We formed in 2012, and just released our 2nd album, “7”. The band is Johnny Intagliata- Vocals, Jimmy Klimatas- Drums, Craig Piano- Rhythm Guitar, Jeremy Lustig- Bass Guitar, and me, Steve Shaver- Lead Guitars. Check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ToThePainNY or Twitter at https://twitter.com/ToThePainNY
Give us a bit of background to To the Pain
To The Pain formed in 2012, as a band. Originally it was a recording project of Johnny and Steve. We were just re-recording a few old songs we had written in the 80’s and a few new ones. We decided that we really should get a band together and play some gigs. So we recruited Jimmy and Jeremy, and our original rhythm guitar player Mark Trojanoski. Mark eventually decided to leave the band to follow Janick Gers around the globe to learn the fine art of marching in place, and we got Craig Piano to replace him. Here we are now, making lots of loud noises! (Sometimes even in key!)
Where did the band name come from?
The band name is from the movie The Princess Bride. There is a duel scene in the movie, and instead of battling to the death, they battle To The Pain! Mark thought of the name, and we all thought it was slightly better than any other name we could think of, so we kept it!
What are your influences?
The bands influences are definitely the Big 4 of American Thrash Metal, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, and some other band who’s name escapes me. Also Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Judas Priest, Racer X, and of course Mariah Carey. (Just kidding)
Not sure what the other guys are listening to, but I cannot stop listening to the new Lamb of God album. Its brutal, heavy, and I think one of their best. Also the new Symphony X album. They have been playing nonstop in my car. Both great albums, and vastly different.
What’s your favourite song on 7 and why?
Tough question. My fav is probably either “Seven”, or “Is It My Turn To Die”. I was real happy with the solo in “Seven”, and the crazy tapping part in the outro of “Die”. Oh yeah, and there is some decent song in there too. LOL. If you made me choose, I would pick “Seven”. I just like the groove of it, and I like the anger in Johnny’s voice. Although some dope on Deadspin called it the worst song he ever heard because he didn’t like the lyrics. So to that guy, suck it! Actually I feel if people love your stuff, some people are going to hate it too…nobody ever 100% approved of any idea or song.
How do you feel you have progressed between releases?
Well the first album as I said was really just going to be a recording project, so I wasn’t really that concerned with who else was playing on it, or their style of playing, or anything like that. A lot of what Jimmy played on the drums were parts I played on the demos. This album, is way more of a polished band playing the songs. Johnny shook off the rust from his vocal cords, and the rest of the guys in the band really brought it on the second album. I also think we found our groove as far as the style of music we play. On the first album we tinkered with some new school metal ideas and on this album I kind of threw them out the window. We all like the classic stuff, we are good at playing that, so we stuck to it. Not to say there aren’t any newer types of influences, but you can really hear the classic style in our album. I also have always looked at the band song-wise as trying to write like early Van Halen. What I mean by that is Van Halen played all kinds of tunes. There was variety in their music. They just didn’t play 10 versions of “I’m The One”. You had “Ice Cream Man” and “Running With The Devil” along with “On Fire”, etc. We tried to have a vast array of styles, but with that classic feel. There is some Priest inspired playing, but also some Slayer and Anthrax inspired playing. Definitely a lot of Maiden inspiration throughout the guitars on this.
So far both of your releases have been quite short – what’s the deal? MORE THRASH!
LOL. I would love to write a full length album and release it. But the truth is, we just don’t have the time to sit down and write and record the full album. This album has 6 songs, plus an orchestrated intro that I wrote. It very easily could have been 4 songs, as I made the call to add “Is It My Turn To Die” and “Don’t Eat The Eyes” in the 11th hour when Jimmy was doing his drum tracks. Its funny, people say we are a thrash band, but I consider us to just be a metal band. Sure we play some thrash, Heavens Carnage is certainly thrash. But we also play Dio/Maiden inspired metal like Don’t Eat The Eyes. If I had to say what we are, we are a metal band. But if someone wants to call us thrash, or speed, or retroclassicmetalrockwhatevergenreIjustmadeup, that is fine too. Getting back to not recording a full length, because we do all of this ourselves, and I am mixing and recording everything in my house, and not in a studio, its tough to find time to add more songs. But we will try on our next one! I promise!
What does the future hold for To the Pain?
Hopefully the future includes some shows with some established artists…and some bigger and better venues. We do pretty well for a local band drawing folks to shows, and we have some awesome fans that just go bananas at our shows. So we are hoping to grow that fanbase, and move on to bigger and better things…Oh and write longer albums with more songs for you!!!! Thanks for taking the time to interview us, and check out our album! We really do appreciate all the opportunities and the reviews, both good and bad that you folks in the press give us.