Metalcore’s New Secret Weapon: ANNABELL LEIGH – The Exclusive Interview

by admin on February 21, 2013

There comes a time when every sound has a revolution, and for metalcore, that sound may very well be North Carolina’s Annabell Leigh. While other metalcore bands are getting comfortable with their sound or shifting towards a more mainstream hard rock sound, heavy metal newcomers Annabell Leigh have raised the bar for not just North Carolina metal, but for metalcore as whole.

Today, we’re pleased to introduce you to Annabell Leigh. Bringing a fresh, revitalized loudness coupled with excellent melody, this band breathes new life into the metalcore scene. Below you’ll find their candid answers, the origins of the band, and links to find out more about the band on YouTube, Facebook, and their own website.

annabell-leigh

{Interview begins}

Please introduce the fans to the members of Annabell Leigh.

Chad – Drums

Chino – Guitar/Vocals

Jim – Guitar

Krom – Bass/Vocals

Sid – Vocals

annabell-leigh-music

When was Annabell Leigh founded?  Where does the band hail from?  How did all of you meet?

Jim: September of 2010 Chino replied to a musicians wanted ad I had placed looking to start a metal band along the lines of All That Remains and Killswitch Engage, something aggressive and melodic with a lot of feeling to it.  When I met Chino he had some material already written and had the band name and concept put together.  We clicked right away and for several months just he and I wrote more material while we looked for the remaining pieces of the band.  In April of 2011 we met our drummer Chad through a musicians wanted ad and about a month after that one of Chad’s good friends Krom joined the band on Bass.  In the summer of 2011 we found Sid through a musicians wanted at and our lineup was complete.

Chad is the only one in the band from North Carolina.  I am originally from Vermont, Chino from Texas, Krom from Massachusetts, and Sid from Maryland.  Currently the band is based out of Mooresville North Carolina.

What bands influenced each of you to begin playing heavy metal?

Sid:  Bands that influence me would be Suicide Silence, Killswitch Engage, Job for a Cowboy, Lamb of God, Chimera, Otep and Slayer.

Krom:  Black Sabbath, Pantera, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, KoRn, Metallica, Slipknot, System of a Down and Superjoint Ritual to name the most prominent ones.

Chad:  Death, Pantera, Led Zeppelin, Megadeth, Rush.

Jim: This is a hard one to say.  My playing and experience evolved into metal.  I started going to hardcore/punk shows when I was in high school and the way the bands were on stage brought out such an energy in the crowd I knew that was what I wanted to do with my music.  Getting into that scene at a young age turned me on to many different types of bands which opened so many doors into the world of Hardcore, Punk, and Metal for me.

Chino: I’ve always been influenced by the older music like Journey, Iron Maiden, Jason Becker, etc. Really anything guitar based that was melodic or neo-classical. I always played this style of music though, even when I was younger.

Annabell Leigh band members

We notice a strong old school metalcore influence, like old All That Remains and Killswitch Engage before they sold out.  How would you describe and categorize your sound to the fans?

Jim: I’d have to describe it as Melodic Metal.  The songs have many layers to them that create depth and feeling and each song tells its own unique story.

Chino: We bring a certain uniqueness to the music. The sound is very pure and untouched by any influences but our own and because of that we are able to create a product that is very original. Humans can feel emotions run very deep when going through a difficult or traumatic time. Sadness and anger are prominent, but in the end and even during those times is a strength, that’s our sound. The sadness is hear in our melodic vocals and the anger is represented in our heavier vocals. The lead, rhythm and bass as well as our drum section support those aspects while tying the music together in a long lasting impression of strength and enlightenment. If we had to categorize our sound, to me its a newer style genre that we call “melodic metal.”

There also seems to be some great death metal and melodic death metal influence in the music, especially in the harsh vocals that differ from typical metalcore.  What other things differentiate Annabell Leigh from other metalcore bands?

Jim:  There is a ton of diversity within the band itself.  It’s really hard to say how we’re different from other metalcore bands.  I feel that the diversity within band makes us unique in our way.  We’ve all been in various types of heavy bands and come from much different musical backgrounds.  Plus we are all very comfortable on our instruments so we all play whatever feels right.

Chino: Agreed, but to add on to what Jim said, we have very unique vocal techniques. Josh does inward screams rather than outward, also instead of 2 vocalist we use 3 to bring a wider variety of harmonies while performing live.

Can you tell the fans the story behind the name Annabell Leigh?

Jim: Although I didn’t come up with the band name whatsoever here’s what it means to me:  Annabell Leigh represents a deeper love, deeper than just on the surface, and it’s an undying, never ending love.  This represents how I feel about music, performance, and expression through creation.  Music has always been a part of my life and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunities from a very young age to not only play music but to perform the music I play in front of an audience.  Music will always be a part of my life.

Chino: Annabell Leigh, was taken from Edgar Allen Poe’s love for his wife. It fascinated me that even in her death the amount of love he had for her. Thats the way I feel about music, no matter what music will be a part of my life and continue to inspire me to create works of art and help to express my views creatively.

We really liked what we heard from the five songs that you have available on your Facebook page.  The sound is refreshing and very reminiscent of when metalcore first came out in the late 1990’s and still had a lot of extreme metal influence. For the most part, metalcore has become extremely commercial and almost pop influenced.  What do you think about the current state of metalcore and metal in general?

Jim: I think metal in general is wide open right now.  On any given night you never know what you’re going to hear from the bands out there.  From kids that think some distortion and screaming vocals is metal to extreme technical death metal, you really never know what you’re in for.  I think the best thing to do is to achieve the highest quality sound that you can, regardless of what genre of metal you play.  There are a lot of metal bands out playing right now, the scene is saturated with bands and all the digital tools out there make it possible for bands that aren’t that good to sound amazing on a recording.  This really mixes things up but that’s the nature of our environment right now.

Annabell Leigh band artOur favorite songs are “Eternal Whispers” and “Becoming”.  Can you tell the fans more about these tracks?   Lyrically, what are these songs about? What was the writing and recording process like?

Jim: The writing process for Becoming was fairly simple.  It was almost like Chino came to practice one day with a slew of riffs that all had a similar feel to them and just kept adding them to the table.  We kept shaping them and moving them around and by the end of practice we had something pretty solid to finish off.

Eternal Whispers on the other hand took a little while to write.  The format of that song was changed several times before we were finally happy with it.  It’s one of my personal favorites out of all of our songs.

Chino: Becoming was one of the first songs we all wrote together while we were trying to decide on what direction to go in as far as sound and it eventually evolved into something even greater.

Eternal Whispers is a song I wrote about returning home from combat and having to rely on no one but yourself to make it through another day. For instance the second verse goes “Fueled by the will to survive, I carry this heavy smite.  At the end of the day Vanity will devour, No more contest, I’ve carried the burden for way to long” Never give up, fight for what you believe in, and don’t let your conscious get the best of you. I dealt with a lot returning home as a combat veteran and this song tells that. I’m hoping to help other veterans like myself see that nothing is ever too bad and if we can be on the front line of combat and make it, then we can make it through anything.

Do you have any other songs available above and beyond the ones available on your Facebook page?  If so, where can fans find them?

YouTube has most of our material but it’s all live.

What other types of music and bands inspire each of you besides metal?

Krom: I listen to several types of music other than metal. Two genres I really like are Singer/Songwriters and also Late 60s/Early 70s Classic Rock. Some examples of the first are Paul Simon and Van Morrison, both of whom are huge influences on my writing and I listen to regularly. Some examples of the other are bands like The Who, Steppenwolf, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin to name a few. I also have to give honorable mention to old school 50s and 60s Rock and Roll as well since I listen to that genre a good deal as well.

Chad:  Jazz, a lot of 70’s and 80’s music, Billy Joel, Steppenwolf

Jim: Quality.  I can get into anything of any genre as long as it’s good, thoughtful, well done, and shows that the performer truly believes in what they are doing.  It’s gotta have feeling!  My musical tastes range from KRS-One to Bolero and a lot of stuff in between.

Chino: I like classical a lot, as well as old school 80’s bands!!

Annabell Leigh liveAre you working on any new material now?  When do you expect to release it?

Jim: We currently are finishing up the writing for our debut full length album.  We’re hoping to record it sometime this spring for a late spring/early summer release.

Chino: We work on new material all the time, but when it comes to using it… thats a different story, haha. We like to take time to finish up songs we write, so to us we can make it just right and throughout that process we might re-write a riff like 7 times. But usually after we write a new song we play it about a month or two after we finish it.

Where can the fans find your music and information about Annabell Leigh?

www.ABLNC.com is probably the best place to start.  It’s our official website and also has links to all of our other pages out there (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, etc.)

Live shows and touring are most likely a big part of getting your music out.  In what areas do you usually play your lives shows? What bands have you played with?

We play in North and South Carolina and Southern Virginia at the present time.  We have played with so many bands, this past year’s been a lot of fun!  Some notable names we’ve played with: Devil Driver, Dying Fetus, 3 inches of blood, Wretched, and Job for a Cowboy.

annabell leigh 4Do you have any upcoming tour dates or events?  If so what are the venues and what bands will you be playing with.

Our next outing is February 9th at the Odditorium in Asheville, NC booked with Lifecurse, Burnstitch and Avast.  We also have a show March 1st at Firewater 110 in Rock Hill, SC with Crimson Countess, and we have March 2nd at Pound Town in Salibury, NC with Luna’s Lament, First Class Villain and A Vision Grotesque.

Are there any interesting stories from recording or touring that you’d like to share with the readers of Metal Descent?

Krom: My favorite was at Firewater 110 about a month or so ago. We had just finished playing and loading the gear back in the van and Sid was in the driver’s seat with the door open. Chino was standing next to him and they were talking. Meanwhile I was standing just upwind from both of them and had a rather rancid fart brewed up so I let it slip. I waited a few seconds and then said “Hey I just crop dusted both you guys…peace!”. It got Chino so bad he almost puked. That was my favorite moment since we’ve been playing as a band and definitely my best crop dust in my illustrious career of crop dusting.

Jim: Let’s see, we’ve met a basketball playing English bulldog, we played a show where our biggest response was from 3 homeless dudes headbanging outside the venue (one looked just like Flavor Flav), we’ve driven 3 hours to a venue to find out they’d cancelled the show, we played a Halloween party where a guy caught on fire standing near a gas can next to a fire (dumbass!!), taking pictures with the passed out dude in the grass outside the Coffin House in Roanoke, VA, JOURNEYMAN, Chino slapping a St. Bernard in the mouth for trying to bite him.

Any plans or negotiations happening for a record deal?

Jim: We are currently wrapping up the material for our debut full length album and are hoping to get some interest from labels.  Currently we are looking.

Annabell Leigh

Annabell Leigh

We here at Metal Descent really like your material a lot and hope that your brand of non- commercial metalcore/melodic death metal will once again come to the forefront of heavy metal.  What mark do you hope to leave on the metal community?

Sid: The mark I would like to leave would be to show people that with enough hard work, dedication, and commitment, that you can create a band that can bring a new taste of music to the scene inspiring and influencing everyone in your path.

Chad: I hope to leave our fans begging for more every time we play.  Most importantly I hope to bring back a positive metal scene where bands work together and can coexist, promote, and work together regardless of how ‘heavy’ or ‘fast’ or ‘brutal’ the music is.  Music is Art, not a competition.

Krom: My goal as a musician is to leave behind something that will inspire others to love music long after I’m gone. Music has always been a big part of my life and it has gotten me through many bad times when I had little else to comfort me. I hope that the music I make will live on and help other people through bad times in their life and encourage them to follow their dreams whatever they may be.

Jim:  I want to reach as many people as we can.  I believe in our band and our music and I just want to rock as many heads as we can.

Chino: That original music and creativity still exist.

Be sure to listen to Annabell Leigh’s music on their Facebook page and on their website.

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