Interview with Suppressive Fire

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Suppressive Fire’s début album Bedlam ticks all of the right boxes as far as Death/Thrash Metal goes, from the riotous album cover to the gritty, catchy songs. I donned some body armour and stepped into the fray…

Give us a bit of history to Suppressive Fire

Greetings and thanks for talking with us. I’m Joseph Bursey, the guitarist in Suppressive Fire. The band begin with the simple goal of playing fast and aggressive music. I put out a classified ad and was nearly ready to give up until Brandon Smith (drummer) answered my call. We hit it off great, riffs wrote themselves and soon we found our capable bassist/vocalist Aaron Schmidt who was originally going be our second guitarist, the dude shreds, but we decided to move as a 3-piece which has been working great for us.

What are your influences?

Everything fast, dirty, and offensive. I love 70’s rock like old Scorpions, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top, but I also love some 80’s thrash. I guess the more German thrash bands like Kreator and Sodom are pretty big influences on me. Brandon’s our resident ex-punk made death metal guru. The dude loves all that techy stuff and honestly barely listens to thrash and then we have Aaron who loves doomier stuff and bands like Sleep. We’re all over the place but we’ve come together I think with great dynamics because of it.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

All Hell – The Red Sect! This is seriously one of the best albums to come out of North Carolina. They’re like a punky blackened thrash and they put on one hell of a live show.

Love the album cover – tell us about this

Thanks! I feel like Par Olofsson caught what we wanted very well. I wanted album art to represent not only the music that was coming, but also some of the story unfolding within. Par illustrated this in a very Mad Max meets modern dystopia type setting wonderfully.

Give us a bit of background to Bedlam – any particular concepts or ideas you want to discuss?

Bedlam is much more than simple chaos. Nearly half of the album kind of follows a theme. Ceasefire starts with government betrayal, The Hellwraith follows our mysterious gas-masked ghoul who’s kind of controlling and steering everything into chaos, Coup d’etat is the uprising of people against the State, Crucify the Kings is the actual execution of all false leaders of our world, and we close with Bedlam, everything that’s left in absolute carnage. There’s a lot of other songs that fill in between that aren’t really tied to it, like Nazi Face Melter that’s pretty much just about Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Thy Flesh Consumed which is the demon’s perspective in the video game Doom. We’re just having a ton of fun and didn’t really aim for a concept album, it’s just that our style really came together and made one on its own.

Suppressive Fire BandHow do you go about writing your songs?

I really just start writing riffs with no real end goal and listen back to them and classify them. Some may sound like good openers, mid-section riffs, verses, choruses, ya know, proper song writing! We come up with riffs either at practice on the fly or I’ll have a great riff come to me and have to hum it into my phone’s recorder because I’m busy driving! There’s no rules here!

How did the recording process go?

Recording went very well. Having had recorded our demo and the ‘Covered in Conflict’ split, we were pretty much ready to reload and attack a full album. Greg Klaiber did an amazing job capturing the sound we wanted. Joel Grind also did an amazing job. We played with his band Toxic Holocaust a few weeks before hand so I was very happy he had a chance to hear us live before mixing and mastering it. The best compliment we’ve gotten so far is simply that our album sounds just like us. No bullshit and straight forward speedy thrashy metal.

What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

That’s a tough one! I think I’ll have to go with the title track itself. Bedlam is a song where we threw everything we had at it. Like, 3 more songs could have been written with the riffs invested in it. The song was the most recently written song and definitely shows a lot of progress as we’ve gotten more used to writing together. It’s also really fun to play live!

What’s next for the band?

Unleashing Bedlam on the world! We’ll be hitting the road January/February. ‘Bedlam’ releases on 1/14 and we’re doing a 4-date run that weekend across North and South Carolina, then we’ll be joining Hot Graves for a 9-date tour of Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. We’ll also be playing with Warbringer, Exmortus and our friends Gorbash in February, 2/21 at the Pour House in Raleigh. We’re returning back North this summer as well! Then I guess more writing. I already have a lot of ideas for album #2.

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