How The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad Learned to Scream
Learning how to scream isn't easy and it takes years for even today's best extreme vocalists to learn how to do it properly. But it all starts somewhere, usually in a childhood bedroom when the rest of the family is home, and this is the story behind how The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad figured out how to do it.
So why did Strnad gravitate toward being a vocalist? He first tried to play guitar, but he wasn't thrilled with how long it would take to really be proficient at playing, so he resorted to screaming in his room, making one-man songs using a karaoke machine, drum sounds on a keyboard and simple riffs.
Before taking music seriously, he had some fictitious bands going, one of them being the adorably brutal Puppy Parts. "We had a logo with a cute cartoon dog head that was cut off with X's for eyes, but that never really became a band," Strnad laughed.
While he was making these wild noises in his room, his parents were home for some of that and were tolerant of what he was doing, despite initially being bummed that their son wanted to drop out of college to tour with The Black Dahlia Murder when they first signed to Metal Blade.
In those early days of the band, Strnad was a lunatic onstage with no concept of pacing his energy for the duration of a full set, unaware that extreme metal singers were actually capable of demonstrated calm control of their voices onstage. "I would be having this intense adrenaline rush and scream my face off and then like two songs in I was panting and half dead," the singer said of those times.
In the video at the top of the page, The Black Dahlia Murder frontman goes on to explain how he gained an understanding of proper technique and what his pre-show routine looks like in regard to getting his voice prepped for a set.
Verminous, the latest record from The Black Dahlia Murder, drops on April 17 on Metal Blade. Get your copy here and look for the band on tour in North America supporting Testament alongside Municipal Waste and Meshiaak at these dates.
The Black Dahlia Murder, "Verminous"
The Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985