We have had the extreme pleasure to meet and interview Trevor Strnad, singer of The Black Dahlia Murder during the Durbuy Rock Festival 2019.

First things first, who are you and what’s behind the famous name The Black Dahlia Murder ?

I’m Trevor Strnad and I sing for the band. I’m one of the original members. For the name, I’m just fascinated with the crime itself. I feel like it’s one of the most important murder cases in U.S. history and it has a really dark kind of story with it being covered up by the police and there being so many false confessions and it’s a really weird case with a lot of ins and outs. To me overall it represents the death of the American dream because you have this actress going out to California to become a star and she was cruelly murdered, and you know it kind of signified the darkening of times. So, I thought man that’s a cool band name.

It’s just that something about this case in particular really struck me when I learned about it and it scared the shit out of me, so I thought wow it’s powerful.

What are the themes of your song or maybe what are the messages you want to send to the people who are listening to them ?

I mean we’re not really like a politically driven band, but I want people to just have fun with our music. I am usually telling a kind of story as a villain character something like a horror movie. And so, I hope that it’s a thrill ride and I hope it’s fun in the same way that a horror movie is, and you know even though we’re a death metal band I think people see us as a positive force. I want to see people out in the crowd having fun and see unity within the metal scene and I really want to be an escape for people from reality because that’s kind of what music is for me. So, if I can provide that for somebody else that would be very cool.

What are your plans for 2019 ?

Well we are going back to the States for a tour with Meshuggah in April which is awesome, it is a huge opportunity for us, we are really excited about that. Then we’ll head into the studio to work on the next record and it won’t come out this year but early into next year and then we’ll be back to touring pretty much right after that. I imagine in the fall. So Black Dahlia business as usual full speed ahead.

What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you as a member of the Black Dahlia Murder ?

The first time we played at Wacken, I think was substantial for sure. It stands out in my mind. We were the first band of the day on the second day on the big stage and I was probably the most scared I’ve ever been in my entire life. I didn’t know like if anyone would show up that early. I thought people would still be asleep in their tents from drinking too much the night before. That’s what I would’ve done but it was eye opening, it was a really cool experience. When I look back now at the video of it. I can see how scared I was. We are playing in front of thousands and thousands and thousands of people. And that was unexpected that was very cool. That definitely stands out in my mind as a crazy like what the fuck moment.

How did people react to the show ?

It was good it was a really positive reaction. That was the other surprise like I didn’t know what to expect. I feel like festivals are a great opportunity to get you in front of people that haven’t seen or heard you before or maybe just heard you. It felt like magic was happening while we were playing, and I was like “this is so cool”. So yeah, I’ll always remember that.

How do you feel about playing here in a smaller festival ?

I enjoy the small ones. I like festivals of all kinds. We don’t really have them in the States. We have a few fests but it’s nothing like these ones really. It’s really awesome to come over here and experience this festival culture and people camping and people drinking their faces off and having a good time. I love all the merch tents and looking at patches and shirts and get into it. It’s fun for me, definitely.

You don’t have the same festivals in the States ?

Not really no. I mean there’s plenty of concerts you know but not as many organized festivals. So, it’s definitely cool to come over here and do a festival run tour where we play a bunch of different ones.

If you had to live alone on a desert island, imagine you can listen to music, what are the three albums you would take with you ?

Ok so, 90125 by Yes because that’s an album that my dad played endlessly when I was a kid and I didn’t realize I liked it until a lot later. I heard it in a record store, and I was like “man I know every word of this album” and then I started listening to it willingly.

Then, Inner Visions by Stevie Wonder, that’s from my mom. She played that so much. So, there’s a lot of powerful nostalgia with these records that like takes me back to being a kid.

And you got to have a metal record too . So, Countdown To Extinction by Megadeth . That was the kind of gateway metal album for me that really changed my life. You know that day that I saw this symphony of destruction video of the first day of sixth grade when I got home from school and I had a shitty day at school and that video blew my hair back. So still love that album a lot. I think it’s a perfect album and I got to take it with me on a desert island.

If you could play in any other band to replace a band member, which one would it be and why ?

I would sing in Defeated Sanity. Actually, I really love brutal death metal a lot. I’ve been following it since it came into fruition pretty much. And those guys are just the best that there is and that has ever been. So, I’d love to sing with them. I don’t know how to sing like that, but I’d figure it out.

I leave you the last word of the interview.

Well, thanks for checking us out, if we’re near to you. If not, thanks for sticking around. We really appreciate your dedication and we’ll be coming back soon. We’re always on tour and we have a new album coming out pretty soon. So, stay tuned.

Want to know more about The Black Dahlia Murder ?