The Sword Talk New Album + Metal Scene Complaints at Orion Music Festival
The Sword have taken the metal scene by storm, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Saturday afternoon the Sword played to a huge and dedicated crowd of fans on the Fuel stage at Metallica‘s Orion Music + More festival at Bader Field in Atlantic City, N.J.
Hanging out at the festival, guitarist Kyle Shutt and vocalist/guitarist JD Cronise spent some time with Loudwire to discuss Orion, what’s going on in the world of heavy metal and what fans can expect from their upcoming album, ‘Apocryphon.’
You guys have toured with Metallica before.
Kyle Shutt (guitar): F— yeah!
What was it like when you were told you made the bill for Orion?
JD Cronise (vocals/guitar): We were like, “Well yeah we better be!” But seriously, it was really cool.
KS: It’s pretty cool they’re starting this festival franchise. Well I hope they continue it. They’ve done so much of this stuff in Europe and it seems like America is coming around to the whole festival thing. It’s cool they’re getting in on it.
What do you think of the festival with such a variety of genres? Do you think it can succeed in America?
JD: Yeah, definitely. That used to be what we did here in the 90s, you know? There used to be this awesome tour called Lollapalooza that everybody went to for years and years. Not that it doesn’t still exist, but back in the day Lollapalooza was, you know, that’s what you did! You could see Tool, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube and then some industrial band and then Pearl Jam!
ES: This is the first year [Metallica] has done it, and it’s been smooth as silk so far. We’ve done a lot of festivals and it’s not always this pretty.
How did your set go on the Fuel stage?
JD: It was great. People were into it, it was fun.
ES: The sun was beating down on us, but you know, it’s what you do.
Did you debut any new music?
JD: We played one new song. It wasn’t the debut, but it’s new. It’s unrecorded.
But not for long, right?
JD: That’s right, not for long. It’ll be recorded very soon. We hit the studio next week, right after this. Pretty much everything is written.
ES: We’ve got some ideas here and there. We’ve got a lot of s— that we’re going to experiment with, but all the blueprints are there.
What can fans expect from the album?
ES: I’m going to try to push myself with my guitar playing. A lot of the songs are more mid-tempo, but still impossibly heavy. People are going to like it. I think it’ll appeal to fans who aren’t fans right now. You can either get our first three records, or you can just get this one.
JD: Yeah, and then you’ll be like, “Whoa, those first three albums were really angry!”
What’s the timeline for the album?
JD: We’re going to be recording throughout July. Hopefully it’ll be out in late September or early October.
ES: If the cover art takes a little while, probably early October.
JD: We’ve got this guy, J.H. Williams III, he’s a comic book artist, working on the cover art. He’s amazing. Right now he’s working on ‘Batwoman’ for DC [Comics]. He’s next-level. It’s going to be awesome. And then after that’s done, we’re going to take a little breather until it comes out. And then, time to tour.
ES: Tour ’til you die.
How does it feel to be considered as part of the foundation for the revival of metal?
ES: Did it ever go away? I mean, new metal kind of took over for awhile I guess.
JD: We don’t receive that accolade that often. But hey, it’s cool. We just do what we do.
What do you think of the state of heavy metal right now?
JD: Well, honestly, I think there are a lot of bands out there that are making a complete mockery of the genre. It’s kind of becoming a cartoon of itself. People need to take themselves and their audiences a little more seriously. I’m not going to name any names, but it’s an attempt for people to still stay relevant and keep fans and sell records and things. But they’re dumbing it down so much. It’s like a circus onstage. For us, that seems silly. We just play music. I don’t have some funny voice I talk in. It’s not some cabaret act. We’re just a band playing songs. More bands need to worry about their chops and their songs instead of their costumes…
ES: …and their wardrobe changes.
You mean the Sword doesn’t have any wardrobe changes during shows?
ES: Maybe I’ll add one or two on the next tour. The ladies like that, right?