Epic metal sextet Storm Of Perception are without a doubt, one of the new “Americans Band to Watch”. As demonstrated on their album debut Into The Sun, their sound is raw and uncompromising. It mixes power, thrash, symphonic, and even black metal elements with a larger-than-life lyrical approach that promises to please everyone from fans of Dream Theater and Children Of Bodom, to Dimmu Borgir. On top of that, the Arizona-based outfit are signed to Tru-B-Dor Records, the new label established by former Guns ‘N Roses manager Alan Niven. PureGrainAudio recently talked with frontman Brian Herring about the band’s music, getting signed, and of course, the new album.
How did the band come together?
Brian: With the exception to “The Kid” (keyboards), we’ve all been gigging around the local scene for years now. Respectively, meticulously practicing and honing our craft from the dusty garages of our youth to sharing the lights and stage with metal greats, Ensiferum, at this year’s PaganFest down in Scottsdale, April 1st. The ironic thing is, twelve years ago I wanted to jam with RJ (guitars) but it never happened. Six years back, Dylan (guitars) and Steve (drums) had wanted to recruit me into one of their bands but again, it wasn’t meant to be. Until now…
You’re a pure American band. But, your sound is very European, very Power/Epic Metal-influenced. How do you explain that?
Brian: Keyboards. Hahaha, that’s a joke. Collectively, we have a great many influences, bands from our youth, bands of today. I can safely speak for each of my brothers and tell you that if it sounds good, we like it. That can also explain our writing process; however, it’s all relative. It’s not about European vs American, power or epic, thrash vs death, etc. etc. etc. It’s solely about one thing, from a listener’s point of view AND a writer’s point of view… “do you like it?”
Check out the song “Tempest”
Into The Sun is your first full-length album. Could you tell me more about writing and recording that material?
Brian: We tend to write collectively. We shape, mold, forge our music until it sounds right to each of our ears. The material for this album is a few years old now. We recorded it over the course of a month or so, everything was already laid out, planned out and thought through. From the get-go, our aim was to capture who we are, what we are and how we sound live.
Why did you choose Heather Niven to co-produce the album?
Brian: Heather is and always will be our biggest supporter. She knows what a Storm song sounds like, more than us at times. Her vision goes hand-in-hand with ours, it’s a perfect relationship. Without her, there would be no Storm. She is Inanna.
Looking at the album credits, I can see that most of the songs are written collectively, no just by an individual. Is that the formula that works better for you?
Brian: We are all artists in our hearts. We each have a voice and it is only proper that we each have the opportunity to speak. As stated before, we edit, revise and write until it sounds right to each of us.
In songs like the title track or “Of Clashing Steel” your lyrics sometimes navigate into epic-like scenarios. But there are also more introspective tracks like “Depth Of Euphoria” or “In Light Of My Solitude”. Were you consciously trying to create a balance between both songs’ lyrical approach?
Brian: Lyrically, musically each song takes on a life of it’s own. It’s good to have balance; we want our music to reach all ears. But, was that a conscious decision? Not at all. We all have elements of inter and intro-spective characteristics, music is merely a reflection of this.
You’re one of the first bands signed by the young label Tru-B-Dor Records. How did you become involved with them and with former Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven?
Brian: With fate by our side, the Rev so happened to retire here in the small town of Prescott, Arizona. Dylan grew up with his oldest son. Dylan is quite persistent. Eventually, he was able to convince Alan to at least listen to what we had to offer. He had been trying for years, failed attempt after failed attempt. Then Storm came along and even Alan Niven couldn’t turn away, haha.
I imagine that being one of the label’s main acts so far puts some extra pressure on the band and the album’s success. Is that the case?
Brian: We are all in this together, not just Storm of Perception. Everyone here at Tru-B-Dor Records, Heather, Alan, even Chris Buck. Everyone that has helped with what we are trying to accomplish here. Everyone who believes that we have something to be successful.
In your opinion, what new elements are you bringing to the American Epic/Progressive Metal scene?
Brian: As a great man once said, “there are only six songs that have ever been written: I love you, I hate you, I feel good, I feel bad, the world is great and the world is shit.” What we bring to the metal scene is simply the music, from our own creative minds, which we have to offer. Groove, melody, catchy riffs, amazing solos, thunderous drums and powerful vocals. We want all music lovers to enjoy our rock n’ roll, not just this niche group or that. All.
From where came the name Storm Of Perception? How did that name represent you as a band?
Brian: Indeed we are a Storm of Perception. Life is and always will be how we, as individuals, perceive it. Our members, our music, our live performances, everything about us is a Storm of perceptions, from one end of the spectrum to the other.
The album’s physical packaging is really luxurious, it even comes with an extra DVD. That’s rare, especially for a new band in this digital age. Any comment on that?
Brian: First off, it’s a huge honor and very humbling to have that amount of trust and support from those who surround us to allow us to put out such a “luxurious” package. The DVD is simply for fun. Obviously, we want people to know us, know our music, and take this ride alongside us. There is something very rock n’ roll about owning an actual physical copy with artwork, liner notes, photographs and lyrics. You get a greater understanding of the concept behind the album, within the album. The ride becomes more in-depth, personable. It is all connective…
Do you have touring plans anytime soon?
Brian: We had the honor of opening the PaganFest, in Scottsdale, on April 1st. There is nothing definitive at the moment, but we certainly plan on supporting this album. Considering how much time and effort has gone into it, we would be fools not to.
Check out the song “Tempest (Rebirth)”