Interview and Photos by: George Archibald
Extreme metal act Bermuda has been hamming out their brand of music since 2010, over the years the line-up has changed but the music has continued to grow in intensity. The band fronted by vocalist Corey Bennett, guitarist Noah Sias, bassist JT Tickner, and drummer Kevin Daniels; is about to drop their new album Nepenthe on June 30th. Currently Bermuda is out on the Are You Afraid of the Djent? Tour with A Wake in Providence, and Fallen Captive till June 30th, when they are then joined by Armed for Apocalypse and Filth. I was fortunate to catch the band on the official first date of the tour, and sit down with Noah, JT, and Kevin to learn more about the new album.
GA: Tell me a little about the band?
Noah: I don’t want to say we are all new, but we are newer to the band. JT and I have been with the band for over two years now, and Kevin has been in the band for over a year. Prior to this line up there is a long line of members starting with the beginning of the band in 2010. We were all together for the last album, Use Your Burdens.
GA: The band has a new album Nepenthe coming out on June 30th, what can we expect as listeners on this album, what makes it stand out for the last album Use Your Burdens?
Noah: I would say that this new album is a lot darker, but we are all still about having that groove. The band tried a few new things as well, there is some almost operatic singing in the background. This is prevalent on the titled track. I also feel like there are more wilder parts on this album as compared to Use Your Burdens.
GA: Nepenthe is also the first album for the new label, Urban Yeti Records. How did you hook up with them?
Noah: Our vocalist Corey had been talking with Mike from Urban Yeti Records for a while, and he came on out to our Van Nuys show last year. He listened to our set and was stoked about the music, and there were talks from there.
GA: Can you tell me a bit about the recording process for this new album? Were there any changes to your approach as to albums you have made in the past, if so what were they?
Noah: Everything was done in house this time, at my home in Michigan. With Use Your Burdens, I just came into the band as a hired hand to help write. Then with Nepenthe I kind of did everything; I did all the engineering, mixing, and mastering. I would have people come in and put their input in where needed to be.
JT: We would go out there one at a time, then while out there we would toss ideas around.
Noah: This album wasn’t as tight as a time table as with a conventional studio setup. It was a lot more relaxed. It gave us time to develop the album more, and work on ideas.
GA: What is your process on how the band creates a song, every band is unique in this aspect. I think it is interesting to hear how you guys do it.
Noah: I will write a majority of the song then kick it out to these guys to get their input.
JT: We are all thousands of miles apart so we tend to use a lot of Dropbox and YouTube videos back and forth. There are a lot of group texting, communication is huge when it comes to writing.
GA: What gear is the band currently using while touring?
Kevin: I am using SJC custom drums, I have been with them for a few months now. I also have TRX cymbals and 64 Audio in-ear monitors. I also use Braddum drumming shoes.
Noah: JT and I are using Line 6 gear. We are team Line 6; Bass Pod and Pod HT Pro, Rocktron Velocity 300 to run my cabs. JT is using a Crown power amp for his bass rig. Then I play what I call ‘Basic Bitch’ Agile 8 string guitars on stage. Everything on them is stock. People are always asking, “man what pickups do you have in that?” You don’t want to know. “Oh… come on what are they Bareknuckles?” Nope, these are the B stock specials. (everyone is laughing at this point)
JT: I am using a 6 string Spector bass, that has been customized so I can use a 210-gauge string so I am hitting an octave below Noah’s lowest string. So, it hits hard for a bass.
GA: What are some of your hobbies?
Noah: Video games, and pinball.
Kevin: It’s a lot of music for me, I work in other projects as well.
JT: I would say watching hockey, but the season just ended. So, I don’t know what to do for the rest of summer. I know my hockey, and love the sport.
GA: Gearing up for tour what is one of you tour essentials?
(in Unison) JT, Noah, and Kevin: Baby Wipes
JT: Definitely baby wipes, and a full 10-point check on the van. Just go over everything, and clean and vacuum the whole van out. You want to make sure that you are in a good space for hygiene before you leave, because it is only going to get worse. It’s nice before we go out on tour, we meet in Michigan and have a few days to just chill and get ready before hitting the road.
GA: When you are in Michigan do you guys fish or hunt?
Noah: No, it is a nice quiet town where I live. We can be really loud and noisy, but at least I am not living in loud and noisy.
JT: They have tons of great breweries out there so that’s fun to hit up.
Noah: Also, we are so close to lake up there, so there is that to go and do.
GA: What is your favorite thing about playing live to you?
Noah: Crowd reactions.
JT: Getting to act like a kid on stage. It’s a good spot to get a lot of frustration out.
GA: If you could work on music with anyone outside of the band who would it be?
Noah: Mike Patton, or John Zorn.
GA: What is next for Bermuda?
Noah: After this tour, the record would have been out for a few weeks, so we will see how that goes. We have pre-orders up for the Nepenthe right now. We are hoping for strong first week sales. We also have a music video coming out for the track, Gnashing Teeth. This is kind of Corey’s thing, because he was the one in the video, since this was a quick let’s get you down to LA to film a video. Urban Yeti wanted to get some media put together to go with the release of Nepenthe. Outside of that, we have a few things in the wraps, but nothing we know right off hand.
GA: Anything else you would like to add?
Noah: Please pick up the album, urbanyetirecords.com, we have several pre-order bundles available. You can get the album and some t-shirts. Come out to one of our shows as well.
I’d like to thank Noah, JT, and Kevin for sitting down with me. I wish you guys well on tour and looking forward to hearing the new album once it drops. You can now pre-order Nepenthe through Urban Yeti Records, go get your orders in. This album is going to be a face-melter for sure.