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A Dirty Dozen with STRENGTH BETRAYED – September 2019

| 6 September 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Christian Hard Rock Band STRENGTH BETRAYED has released the official music video for their new single, “War Torn,” the title track off of their upcoming EP, due out 9/28/2019. Strength Betrayed was formed 2014 with band members Taylor (Drummer), Jacob (Lead Guitar), Seth (Bassist), and Thomas (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar). Strength Betrayed is a Christian Rock band that believes in sharing the love of Jesus, but also being honest about the message we deliver. The name “Strength Betrayed” comes from the biblical story of Sampson and serves as a reminder to the band that the strengths that are given to us can betray us if we allow our strengths to go to our heads, consume our lives, destroy the lives of others through inflated egos and self-importants.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Thomas: Out of the singles, “War-Torn” seems to be the song that best captures who we are as far as sound, direction, and topics we sing about. With this single, we hope to use it as an introduction to our band and our sound as a whole. As far as hidden nuggets, we’d like to see what the fans can find but all we will say is actually, yes, there is something hidden in the track 😉

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Thomas: It’s def different for all of us. My story starts when I was playing Raw v Smackdown on the PS2 with my cousin. And one of the tracks on the game was “Firefly” by Breaking Benjamin and when I heard that song, it absolutely blew me away. I never heard anything so huge and beautiful yet slamming and heavy. Before then, all I was around was country and 80’s hair metal because that’s what my parents listened to. Country music and 80’s aren’t bad at all, but I had never heard anything like that in my life and I was hooked like it was a drug. Taylor, our drummer, is my brother so I went to him like “STOP LIFE A QUICK MIN AND LISTEN TO THIS”. What made me want to get into music myself was really seeing how people could say certain things and express harsh emotions and not be reprimanded versus if I outright shared my opinion. It really became, and still is, a way to express hell and pain, and became a way of therapy for me.

Taylor: Yeh like Thomas said I started getting into music after my brother showed me Breaking Benjamin’s We Are Not Alone album. The moment I realized I wanted to be a musician was when I saw Creed surprisingly, on their Full Circle tour. It was the first modern rock concert I’d ever seen. I remember just thinking, “I want to do that.”

Jacob: I was raised around my dad’s hair metal records and became obsessed with the guitar itself and what you could do with the guitar as a tool of sound. I had an uncle named Gary who taught me how to play guitar. He would sit across from me, drink a beer and KICK THE CRAP out of my shin every time I messed up. So, come hell or high water I was going to learn guitar or lose my leg before it’s all over!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Thomas: We could write a book on everything that goes into our influences. As a songwriter and an artist, you got to have your ‘radar’ up all the time. You pull creatively from literally everything. The rhythm of bands like Korn and Static-X, the melodies of bands like Breaking Benjamin and modern pop artists, and the live energy of bands like Slipknot and Skillet. We try to be a band that smiles and invites people to have fun with us, but at the same time we bare our teeth and show up ready to “play”.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Thomas: Oh man there are so many but definitely Breaking Benjamin, Korn, Red, Tool and the 80’s DUMP Jacob puts on his leads lol.

Taylor: As far as my personal influences; Disturbed, A day to Remember, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin and Killswitch Engage.

Jacob: Musicians would be Eddie Van Halen, Mark Tremonti, Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, and Frank Hannon. Bands would be Van Halen, Metallica, Alter Bridge, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tesla.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Thomas: I can only speak for myself but if I could get Post Malone on a track, I would consider myself a success. LOL. In all honesty, I am all about genres crossing over to help each other out so that would be sick!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Thomas: This is a question we actually ask close fans and friends and it’s amazing the different responses we get. We just like to combine a lot of factors into one song and one sound. Heavy, Rhythm Focused and Melodic. As the vocalist, I love pop/Melodic melodies. Seth brings that Rhythm front and center that gets the people moving, Taylor and Jacob just add that heavy SLAM that we love to hear. Combine that with my rhythm guitar behind Jacob and that’s our sound. I had one guy say we sounded like Metallica mixed with Poison, and I was like okay…. I’m glad you like it! Lol. I don’t hear it but SURE!

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Thomas: The songwriting process… hands down. I absolutely love the creative process of creating a song with different people with different influences, recording it putting it out there and hearing people sing it back to you at a show. There are songs that I wrote very dark lyrics for, because life was very dark for me, that served as a way to channel a lot of negative energy in a healthy location. We have another single out called ‘Sour’ that talks about a lot of dark depression, but the music itself is actually kind of “Jumpy”. It’s just the direction I like to go, make a happy sounding song about mental hell lol.

8. When the band is all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Thomas: So, I’m def the hippie out of the group so I would def break out the acoustic guitar for some tunes. Country, 90’s and all that. I also love to cook (when I’m not hungry that is lol). Grilling steaks or a long cook with some meat on a smoker is right up my ally.

9. When was the last the time you were star struck and who was it?

Thomas: There are a few moments but for me personally, we opened for and hang out with Decyfer Down in the green room. They loved our sound and really encouraged us to keep pushing and don’t stop because we had something people needed to hear. Decyfer Down was a huge influence on my like as a teen when life really didn’t make a lot of sense for me. So to sit with them and talk with them like a regular hangout was something I will never forget.

Taylor: When I saw Starset in Raleigh when they played at the Ritz. Just the atmosphere they put off and the emotions behind their music along with the Syfy theme blew me away.

Jacob: I got to see Tesla in Charlotte NC a month ago. I’ve always been a massive Tesla fan. When Frank Hannon comes out on stage… he kills it every time. I was immediately star-struck and being 5 ft away from the stage just adds to it! The emotion that he plays with every single night is amazing! Every solo he has is amazing. He’s incredibly underrated to me and he will always be one of my favorite guitarists.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Taylor: Intelligence Analyst. I actually went to school for national security so def will be pursuing that if the musician thing doesn’t work out.

Thomas: I would probably get back into firefighting. It used to be a passion of mine and is what I went to school for. Right not its def something I can’t balance with the pursuits with the band at the moment, but I loved every second of it.

Jacob: To be a writer or an analyst for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’ve always loved sports. Being a musician is number one but being an analyst for the Steelers or any team would be amazing. In the end, playing on stage is the ultimate dream job.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do-over”,  even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Thomas: You know as of right now there isn’t. It’s not that I don’t look back and think we could have done this or that better, but we must move forward no matter what. So we refuse to live in a what-if mindset, it just slows you down. Live life with no regrets. That means making both good decisions and understand that mistakes are where you learn. If you don’t learn from a mistake, then feel free to regret all you want. In my opinion, things happen at their appointed time, and if I regret too much then my mind isn’t in the now.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose –and what does that record mean to you?

Thomas: Skillet’s Comatose was so profound over my life. I am a very simple thinker. I pay attention to what has affected me and my current situation. So If I had to choose an album that would be something I would want to be apart of, it would be that one. It literally gave me hope. It literally defined my life at that time. I found out who I was in Christ in that era and that album was my life’s soundtrack.

Jacob: That’s a tough one. It would be between 2 records. Van Halen’s debut or Van Halen 5150. Van Halen just because it’s how the mighty Van Halen started their journey. That’s why it’s so special. It’s how my all-time favorite band began. To see how they come up with the song ideas in person and to see Eddie come up with Eruption would be incredible. Plus Van Halen in the 70’s is about as entertaining as it gets. The reason I say 5150 is because it was the first album I ever bought. My Dad bought Van Halen Live Without a Net and I bought Van Halen 5150. Any Van Halen fan knows they go hand in hand. It’s just a very special record for me. Plus it was a massive time of change for Van Halen. I would’ve loved to have seen them with Sammy and how they all meshed in a studio for the first time. I could easily go with either record.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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