SF_Promo_AlbumSUPRESSIVE FIRE are a new thrash metal discovery. I am a huge fan of the different styles of thrash that exists. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl

Could you please introduce us to the band?
-We’re a thrash 3-piece out of Raleigh, NC. Joseph Bursey on guitar, Aaron Schmidt on vocals/bass, and Brandon Smith handling the battery.

What has been the greatest catalyst in shaping your sound?
-Really, just the love of speedy, crunchy, tasteful riffs! I personally love riffs that make me want to go crazy and that love transferred to our own songs.

How hard is it to record and release new songs?
-It’s a weird age we live in. It’s honestly easier to record song ideas now then it’s ever been. When at home I have a mic set up with an input and can lay down and organize songs on free software and when out and about I can hum song ideas into my phone. However it’s also the age when record companies can be very picky and choosy about who they sign so we honestly just moved on our own and took care of the bill ourselves on recording professionally. I think a lot of bands get stuck trying too hard to get signed and don’t spend enough time playing shows and touring.

Has digital made it easier to get your music released?
-Of course! However this is another double edged sword. Any band that releases any tunes today can be rest assured their music will be free on some Russian website within hours of the release. It’s unfortunate, but there’s still a solid underground that still supports the music. We do it because we love it at least so it’s not so demoralizing.

If you release your music digitally is there a risk that you release songs too soon, before you are ready compared to releasing them on cd?
-Most definitely. Many bands release tracks on Bandcamp that have poor production and are unfinished, but they’re stoked on them. It’s part of the reason record labels can be so picky now. So many bands releasing so much music. Even if it’s good music, bad quality or representation will kill your first impression of any band.

What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music?
-Really good so far! I think I saw a review say our record was a bit on the long side (44 minutes of thrash) but I think people these days are pretty used to having EP and EP length records. Overwhelmingly though it’s been positive and we can’t wait for it to come out.

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-When we first started getting off the ground, I think the biggest surprise was how many little fish were in the sea, trying to contact us or badger us about sending them full CDs for radio stations, or offering us distribution from some country 15,000 miles away. Basically, the spam! Again technology can be great but also annoying. Aside from that, we had a guy message us that our music made his autistic son’s day. That was really surprising and touching to me!

Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community playing in a metal band?
-Absolutely. The underground metal scene across the Southeastern US is one of the best out there. We have some of the hardest working bands within a smaller base of fans, spread across a great area, but everyone’s kicking ass! I highly suggest checking out All Hell, Sadistic Ritual, Death of Kings, Necrocosm, and Cemetery Filth for some more thrashin’ death from our area.

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Playing live is the most important way to build a following in my opinion. Bands today rely hard on Facebook and other social media outlets, don’t get me wrong, we have those but they’re really just tools in a box. You have to show the fans you’re willing to drive 5 hours and get paid nothing a few times, but then you’ve built a solid following in a new city.

What plans do you have for the future?
-Our album ‘Bedlam’ comes out January 14th. We’ll be playing our release show in Raleigh that day, followed by a short tour through the Carolinas. The end of January we’ll be trekking down through Florida and Georgia and to a lot of new places we’ve not been before. Our plans are simply to keep spreading our speed and raging across the country!

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