Silence is not something one would normally associate with Struck By Lightning. Yet up until this past September, the local metal quartet hadn't performed live in more than two years, lying dormant like a massive, inactive volcano.
Silence is not something one would normally associate with Struck By Lightning. Yet up until this past September, the local metal quartet hadn’t performed live in more than two years, lying dormant like a massive, inactive volcano.
“I had some changes in my personal life that kept me from playing as full-time as I would have liked,” said singer/guitarist Gregory Lahm, seated in a downtown coffee shop for a late October interview. “Then on top of that we had some personnel changes, and … I didn’t have the free time to find replacements and work on teaching them the new material. So it just took a while to get that ball rolling. I never intended to take two years off.”
Now returned to full-strength — the group is rounded out by bassist/vocalist Thomas Owens, guitarist Jason Han and drummer Ronnie Miller — Struck By Lightning is looking to pick up where it left off with its 2012 album True Predation, a bleak, corrosive recording awash in black metal, crust-punk and an overwhelming disgust with mankind. On “Funereal,” for one, Lahm growled about “putrid existence” as bunker-busting drums and thrashing guitars combined to scorch the earth.
“That [disgust] has always been fuel for me, and there’s definitely a lot to be angry about,” the frontman said. “To this day, music is my most essential outlet for negative energy. I’ve found over the years the times I haven’t been playing music full-time have been the lowest points in my life. It’s something I’ve come to accept about my personality.”
The last couple years, in turn, have been an exceedingly difficult stretch, though Lahm said the burden was significantly lessened by the hours he spent immersed in a tattoo apprenticeship (he’s currently employed with the Long Street Collective), an outlet that offered a similar sense of creative release. Even so, he’s excited the band has started to ramp up its live presence, and he’s heartened by the early returns on new songs the musicians have only recently started to flesh out.
“I think [True Predation] should be somewhat of an indication of the direction the band’s going,” said Lahm, who has continued to distance himself from the more melodic, polished approach the apocalyptic crew adopted on its debut album Serpents, released in 2009. “The intent was never to have that super-clean production; we’ve never sounded like that, other than when we were in the studio recording that first album. We’ve always been a bit grimier.”