Shroud Eater Interview w/ Jean, Felipe & Janette
July 14, 2011
Shroud Eater is one of the most powerful sludge/doom acts in Miami, Florida right now. With catastrophic riffs and pulverizing structures that could make God himself questions his own passion for the human race. Say hello to Jean, Felipe and Janette, the trio that deserves everything they have worked hard for.
If you dig some heavy, let my balls drop sludge/doom, check these guys out in the links below.
Official Facebook. Official Reverbnation. Official Myspace. Official Youtube. Official Site. Buy their shit here.
How did you all meet and at what point did the conversatoin of starting a band pop up?
Jean: Janette and I have been partners in crime for about 9 years, we’ve moved through different bands throughout that time and we met up with Felipe about a year after our one of our bands finally dissolved. It was a natural thing, one door closes and another one opens.
Coming out of the Miami, FL scene, I would think that you guys have a ton more Death/Tech-Death bands compared to Sludge/Doom bands. How has that weighed on you guys finding shows and promoting the band overall?
Jean: There is most definitely a bigger scene of technical metal than there is for the stuff we’re doing. We don’t get asked or booked to play many shows, so I’ll usually organize shows with the few bands that are similarly minded, however sonically different, and that has worked out. If you come to one of our shows, you’ll most likely hear a sludge band, a doom band, a stoner/drone band, black metal, etc. It’s not a night of ONLY sludge bands or ONLY metal bands - the blossoming Miami scene is cool with these mixed genre shows as it brings in different crowds that may not have known that they would be into a sludge band or a drone band. It’s worked out thus far and I can only imagine with more time the scene will grow.
I've read a couple reviews for "ThunderNoise", one in particular said that you guys needed to add more layers so it would be more "haunting". How do you feel about that comment?
Jean: I think it’s a valid comment. I would have liked to do more with the album, but we had limitations based on money and time, and we put out the most solid record we could given those factors.
If you guys could be doing anything else besides creating music. What would it be and why?
Jean: We all share the dream of owning and operating a real-deal rock n’ roll bar. Mostly because we’ve lived in Miami for a long time and keep hearing complaints from people about the scene, about clubs or bars and going out and how lame it is. We like to have parties and have a good time, play cool music and be in an atmosphere that is eclectic, interesting and stimulating to people. We’ve started hosting some underground shows at our practice space (which we’ve dubbed Beelzebub’s Cave), so we consider it kinda like a practice run to perhaps some day operating a real den of iniquity.
You guys have some pretty great shows in the future and you've played with some amazing bands in the past. Do any shows stand out that you loved more than others?
Jean: Well, one that sticks out to me is the first show we did at our place Beelzebub’s Cave - the venue we were supposed to play “double booked” the night and we had to scramble with a week’s notice to relocate the show. The three of us decided to take a risk and host the show at our space and we had an unexpectedly great turnout. We were really surprised that so many people came out and supported the show - many of which we had never met before, so it was really cool to see something basically get around by word of mouth, a little internet promotion, and in the end a successful event.
What kind of images do you guys try to evoke in the listeners mind, if any?
Jean: I think the lyrics, if people read them, are pretty vivid in regards to imagery, however the most important thing is that the listener evokes their own response to the stimuli, or the song takes on a personal meaning for them.
Felipe, what inspired you the most to start playing drums and what bands did you love growing up as a kid?
Felipe: I remember I was in third grade, and I saw a high school cover band and they were playing Guns N’ Roses, TESLA, Alice Cooper and stuff, and I remember watching the drummer, his name was Armando, and I knew I wanted to play the drums. Around the same time, my friend Jairo gave me the first tape I ever had of rock music, it had Alice Cooper, Motley Crüe, Cinderalla, Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath and I listened to that tape every fucking day and night. Ever since then I would listen to albums from Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Motörhead and stuff and those were the things that really inspired me to keep playing.
Jean, you seem to have the voice that fits perfectly with the style of music Shroud Eater plays, did that just come natural or was it something you had to work on?
Jean: Thanks! It was really a fluke. I was very hesitant about singing in the first place, I’m incredibly shy and partially anti-social, so the very thought of having to “front” a band was a big issue. I started practicing in my car to my High on Fire albums, and I got pretty stoked one day when I was able to conjure up these guttural pitches akin to Matt Pike. From there it’s definitely been something I’ve had to work on, just to be comfortable with myself, and eventually to expand and try to do new or different things with my voice.
Janette, as we all know, you play bass in the band but you also have a photography project. Is there anything you wanna tell the readers about that and how you got into photography?
Janette: I've been running my photo studio (terriblygirly.com), specializing in retro (pin-up) portraits for about 6/7 years now in Miami. It's a fun job and it allows me certain freedoms since i'm my own boss. It's a very girlie, kitschy world that's extremely different from my experience in the band. I got into photography because i love the process and wanted to run a studio. Lately, i've been photographing bands and musicians as well which is a cool break from my daily work.
Lastly, is there anyone you guys would like to say thanks or shout out to?
Jean: Well many thanks to you, Nicholas and Blood or Love for taking the time to review our record and taking an interest in us as a band. Necessary shout-outs to the Eclectic Miami Collective of heavy bands: Holly Hunt, Slashpine, Orbweaver, Bulletproof Tiger, Consular, Ether and Masticator. More shout-outs to our buds throughout Florida: Hollow Leg, Junior Bruce, Hot Graves, Fire in the Cave, Six Dead Horses, Flying Snakes and Man Made. Check out these bands, buy their music, go to their shows, support the damn scene and be excellent to each other.
We would like to thanks Shroud Eater for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions.