A friend from Trinidad told me about the band. Eamon wrote the CD review and also contributed most of the questions I sent to Terrance. To be honest I haven't heard of any metal band from Trinidad before and so I'm glad to learn about Tremor and that the band was so kind to send me a copy of their CD.
Hello Terrance, perhaps we should start with a brief history of the band, about the present state and perhaps a little look into the future...
The concept for the band Tremor was developed in 1999 and our 1st gig was in was in October 2000, the band at this time consisted of me on lead guitars, our present manager Rishi on vocals, my brother Andre on rhythm guitars, close friend Steve Ali on drums and our neighbor Dave on bass guitar. These were the founding members of the band, but the line-up has changed quite a few times since. Our sound changed for the better with the addition of new vocalist Evan Moon in 2002 this addition saw us recording our 1st album / demo Crawl From The Wreckage. Three members from this recording remain today as the core of Tremor myself, Evan and new bassman Anil Bessessar. With the addition of new members Daniel Bessessar on drums and Premchand Samsundar on rhythm guitars the band has truly developed the Tremor sound. This line up has recorded our latest album 5.8 which shows the band at our peak. This current lineup is the unit to carry us into the future as we keep developing our sound. There may be some experimentation with keyboards in the future to give us a fuller sound.
As with all bands who have had a few member changes... How has line-up changes affected your sound?
With each member change we have grown stronger, our sound has tightened and evolved into the true Tremor sound. We have been fortunate enough to have had so many good players in the band that we have developed musically by playing with all these different individuals and their styles.
How exactly would you describe the Tremor sound? What requirements have you set as must haves for band members?
The Tremor sound is a mixture of classic metal, thrash metal and death metal all rolled into one.
The most important requirement for band members is that playing metal should be fun, whenever it becomes a burden its time for you to move on. Playing in this band should enjoyable getting your daily frustrations out in the music, putting your mind at ease. However, their are some restrictions when it comes to practicing and playing gigs i.e. no drinking of alcohol before practicing and before gigs. You can drink as much as you desire after practice and gigs. It may seem harsh, but I've learnt the hard way that drinking on stage only causes problems!! lol
Tell us a bit about your album 5.8! Recordings... Production...
All of 5.8 was done at the Wreckkage Studios which is actually on my PC using Adobe Audition and a truly amazing product from Line 6 the Tone Port UX2 this is a USB interfacing direct recording device that comes with all the tones of the professional bands at your finger tips. I did all the mixing, recording, production and mastering on 5.8 it was truly an amazing learning process for me. The album was recorded from March 2006 to October 2006 with mixing done during November 2006. We even purchased a printer that prints directly onto CDs for the packaging of 5.8 to save cost. All cover concepts, graphics, layout and web design was done by a close friend of mine Keegan Baney ( email@example.com ).
Have you been shopping labels? What was the reactions?
We are currently in the process of sending a number of cds to the different labels.
What is it like playing heavy metal in Trinidad? The scene is very small. How often do you get gigs?
To be honest its very depressing playing heavy metal in Trinidad the scene is very small for pure metal. There is a bigger market for alternative music than metal. We get about 10 gigs during the year, but most are not purely metal shows they are mixed with alternative and so called 'Original' bands. The scene is very fragmented with the pure metal bands being shunned by other bands and even more if you do any cover music they label you a cover band for life. We play metal not to make a profit, but it is what is in our hearts. If we play a gig and their is even one metal fan who comes to see the band then its worth all our time and effort.
How would you describe the Tremor live experience?
The music is earth shaking (the ground rumbles under your feet), intense, powerfull and the playing is tight.
Do you sometimes get shunned from show opportunities, because you play more or less traditional metal while most bands from Trinidad play emocore/hardcore/ethnic reggae type of stuff?
Yes, we get shunned all the time from show opportunities, because we play traditional metal. But as I said earlier this is not going to stop or damper our spirits. If we play one good metal show for the year where the true metal fans come out and have a good time then its worth it.
How about relations with other bands? Are you friendly with some of these outfits? Any band you would like to recommened?
Their is a general brotherhood with the true metal bands in Trinidad. Some bands I can recommend are Face Of Death, Last Minute and the band Brutus (from Guyana).
Do you ever get a sense or slight feeling of lack of respect, because you guys choose to stick to your guns?
Yes, we get that attitude from people all the time especially as we also do metal cover music. It seems that these so called 'Original' bands look down on bands that do cover music, so were are seldom invited to play at their gigs. I believe in order to develop your skills as a musician you need to cover other people's music and by doing so you eventually develop your signature sound. If you don't then you are confined to your personal 'Box' and are never able to think outside the 'Box' and your playing ability remains at one level, you are never able to develop your true potential.
What was it like growing up as a metal head in Trinidad?
The Metal scene was truly underground with most people trading cassette tapes, it was difficult to get original LPs / CDs in the early 80's / 90's. But on a brighter note those were the best years for metal bands! There were death bands, thrash bands and classic metal bands, generally this was the high point of metal in Trinidad. But with the popularity of alternative music in the last 90's saw attendances to metal gigs on a drastic decline. The true metal fans however, kept in close contact with fellow metal heads and continued to show their support for the remaining metal bands.
What were some of your favourite early albums? What are some of your current favourites?
Favourite early albums:
OverKill - Under The Influence / Horrorscope / W.F.O.
Metallica - Master Of Puppets / Ride The Lightning / Kill'em'All / And Justice for All
Slayer- South of Heaven / Seasons in the Abyss
Death - Individual Thought Patterns / Spiritual Healing
Sacred Reich - American Way
Anthrax - Among The Living / Spreading The Disease
Obituary - Slowly We Rot / Cause of Death
Deicide - Deicide
Pantera - Cowboys From Hell / Far Beyond Driven
Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Megadeth - Rust In Peaces / So Far So Good So What / Youthanasia
Sodom - Agent Orange
Kreator - Terrible Certainty / Coma Of Souls
Heathen - Breaking the Silence
Metal Church - Blessing In Disguise / The Dark
Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh / Impact is Immanent
Sepultura - Arise
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of A Madman
Nevermore - Dead Heart In A Dead World
Hammerfall - Legacy Of Kings
Testament - Practice What You Preach / The New Order / The Ritual
Flotsam and Jetsam - My God / Cuatro
Solitude Aeturnus - Into The Depths Of Sorrow
Carcass - Heartwork / Necrotism…Descanting The Insalubrious
Morbid Angel - Covenant / Blessed Are The Sick
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Dream Theater - Images And Words
Jag Panzer - Mechanized Warfare
Annihilator - Alice In Hell
Sanctuary - Refuge Denied
Onslaught - In Search Of Sanity
Exhorder - Slaughter in the Vatican
..and many more too numerous to mention!!
Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
Arch Enemy - Doomsday Machine
Solitude Aeturnus - Alone
Echoes of Eternity - Echoes Of Eternity
Kreator - Enemy Of God
Firewind - Allegience
Dream Evil - Book Of Heavy Metal
Dream Theater - Train of Thought
Quo Vadis - Day Into Night / Defiant Imagination
Exodus - Tempo Of The Damned
Trivium - The Crusade
Jag Panzer - Casting The Stones
..and many more
What about hobbies do you have beside music?
I am an avid cricket fan and internet junkie!!
Tell us a little about the band members! Such as age... What are some of your regular day jobs, etc.
I am the oldest in the band, I will be 34 this year and I am an electrician. Daniel our drummer is the youngest at age 17, he's an electrical motor re-wing apprentice. Anil our bassist is 25 years old and he's an electrical motor re-wing technician. Evan our singer is 24 and he's an electrical technician. Prem our rhythm guitarist is 24 and he's an AutoCAD technician.
Do you think you guys may ever want to relocate to another country in order to persue your music careers?
If we get the chance to make a decent career out metal then we would relocate in a flash.
What are some places you always dream of playing? And which bands would you like to play with one day?
We would like to do an entire European and American tour visiting all the different metal fans and countries. Also playing in places like Japan and Brazil. In fact we would gladly play in any country that has a large Metal following. Sharing the stage with bands like Nevermore, Dream Theater, Metallica, OverKill, Arch Enemy, Testament, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Anthrax would be a dream come true.
Let's talk a little about Trinidad on the whole. Are there any misconceptions, both positive and negative that you would like to clarify here?
Trinidad is not just a party island that most people think it is. In fact we are the most developed and fastest developing country in the Caribbean and truely the most industrialized. We are the hub of all activities in this region.
The whole internet downloading thing is always a hot topic. What is your take on it? Do you ever feel frustrated? Especially as you are trying to expand your audience internationally, that you often have to 'give-away' your music via the internet sharing thing?
It is bad when your whole CD is download on the internet even before the release date, after you have put in so many long hard hours into recording and producing the final product. But it is a reality we have to deal with and try to develop new ways in dealing with internet piracy. It is frustrating especially as you are trying to expand your audience internationally and you often have to 'give-away' your music via the internet sharing thing, but as an upcoming band you can use it to your advantage to spread your name and sound. Its like developing an underground network for your music and its the fastest way to spread your music. Most bands stream their entire CDs before release on the internet to drum up hype and promotion for the actual finished CD. So you have to embrace this forum and use it for your advantage.
How do you feel about major websites as MySpace, Hi5 etc who have artist pages?
Its a great forum where you can interact with them on a one to one basis and for artist who cannot afford their own webspace for getting their product out.
So far in your career what would you say has been your most proud moment? And what would you say has been the biggest disappointment?
I would have to say that one of our proudest moments was hearing our music being played on local radio station for the first time it, we were all covered in goose bumps, it was the most unreal feeling. The biggest disappointment was not making it to the finals of a local music contest. We missed the final by 0.1 of a point, but we were the only real metal band in a pop/rock contest to have made it so far.
Lyrics... Is their a chief lyricist? Or is a group effort? What are some of the lyrical topics you cover?
The chief lyricist is our singer Evan, he has a natural talent for coming up with melodies and words for different riffs. So we all help him assemble these fragments into an entire song. Our topics are wide and varied covering such things as 'death' as in our song Deceased which is about never getting to tell someone your true feelings when they were alive. 'Remberance' as in the song J which is in remberance of our friend John who upon being diagnosed with skin cancer died within a few months. 'The environment' as in the song Final Strike which is our constant destruction of our environment and eventually this would lead to the final demise of the human race, this song actually has sound samples of whales in the ocean. And some songs are about just raw power like Disembodied. It all depends in what frame of mind we are in at that moment when we are jamming on new song.
Are there any particular topics you would like to cover later on? How about concepts? Any "Abigails" on the horizon?
Indeed there are many topics that we would like to cover including oppression, war, hunger and senseless killings. We might consider some concepts as we develop our musical talents to better levels. A concept album has to be well thought of and planned it is like a movie or novel with a plot that has to have characters and a good storyline to keep the listener intrigued. We all would like to try this sometime during our career but maybe not now as we try to get ourselves established in the music scene.
How about other elements musically, is there anything you may want to incorporate later on? How about the all too common trend now of female vocals and grand orchestration? Do you enjoy these or do you find them a little too common?
We might incorporate keyboards, but not in a grand orchestration way, maybe in sparse amounts to fill spaces in the music, we like the sound of raw guitars and drums not an over processed sound that so many bands eventually end up sounding like. Female vocals are great, but when you have every other band incorporating female vocals the all eventually sound the same. Right now these bands are a little to common, but bands that stray from this norm like Arch Enemy, Aghora and Echoes of Eternity stand out from the rest. Their sound is original and is not stereotyped like those who use the grand orchestration approach.
Well thanks for your time please feel free to send a message to the world here and provide info as to how people can get your CD. How about other items like shirts and patches etc?
Tremor would like to thank you for the awesome interview and the chance to spread our sound to the world.
We would like to tell everyone to look out for Tremor as we will be rumbling the world with our unique brand of metal. And we look forward to meeting and making new friends worldwide as we keep the metal flame burning for all eternity. We would like to thank all those who have supported us from the very beginning and those who make time to support us at the different gigs.
Please visit our website http://www.tremortt.com for more info on the band / merchandise / CDs etc.
You can contact the band through our manager:
Rishi Ramoutar at 1-868-782-4863 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Terrance Sahatoo at 1-868-693-0069 or 1-868-782-9517(email@example.com)
Good luck to you all & keep the metal flame alive.
Many thanks to Terrance for answering our questions and telling us a bit about the band, Trinidad and pointing out some other bands. Check them out and drop them a line.