DREW COPLAND of DEATH TOLL RISING: “Follow Your Dreams? Nah, Fuck That.” [Interview]

Alberta Canada’s Death Toll Rising have been getting a fair amount of attention since releasing their most recent full-length Infection Legacy. The band’s guitarist Drew Copland took the time to answer some questions about the band for us. If you haven’t heard the album yet, pick it up!

Death Toll Rising

Curt: Thanks for taking the time to do the interview! Can you first start off by giving a brief history of the band for those unfamiliar with you?

Drew: In a very brief version of our history…. we formed in 2003 in Stony Plain, AB and have been rocking western Canada ever since! Released our first EP Spontaneous Decapitation in 2008, our first full length, Defecation Suffocation in 2010, and most recently our latest album, Infection Legacy.

Curt: Recently you completed a tour of Western Canada with Kataklysm, Aborted and Archspire. How did that go? Anything memorable happen on the tour?

Drew: That tour went great! The whole trip was pretty incident free, and a shit ton of fun. Probably the most memorable things were simply watching the other bands destroy and give us more motivation for the following night.

Curt: For Infection Legacy it seems like you’ve toned the graphic imagery down a bit in comparison to Defecation Suffocation, specifically in the song titles. Was that intentional or just a natural progression?

Drew: It would seem that way haha. There certainly is a great deal of that on Infection Legacy, however we did not want it to be as much the focus for it. This album is a journey through our styles and we did not want it to hinge on one concept that people might have a hard time accepting.

Curt: Do you feel like the metal scene in Alberta is flourishing right now? It seems like there are a lot of great bands coming out of the province recently.

Drew: The past 5 or 6 years have seen incredible success from Alberta bands! Kobra and the Lotus, The Order of Chaos, Striker, Wake, Begrime Exemious, for example, have all stepped out of the country (and some, the continent) to do successful tours. And every time that happens, more attention is brought back to the province and its various parts of the scene.

Curt: Recently there’s been some controversy in metal in regard to certain bands having connections to individuals and labels with racist backgrounds. Some people seem to be of mind that these bands should be shunned due to their past while others feel that only the music matters. What’s your opinion on this?

Drew: No opinion really. We don’t subscribe to any ideologies one way or another. Just don’t be a cunt, and don’t harm others.

Curt: How did you get into metal yourself? Any band or album in particular that inspired you to become a metal musician?

Drew: My path into metal was set by Nirvana, The Offspring, Green Day, and other 90s alternative when I was about 12 years old. The first metal I really got into was, like many others, Metallica. I can credit them as well for really making me want to play guitar. Master of Puppets has and will always be my favorite album of all time.

Curt: How do you juggle your personal and work lives with being a metal musician? 

Drew: Well, since being an indie metal musician is certainly not a career, it is not the most difficult juggling act. Yes, sometimes music/relationship/job clash, but if you can set yourself up to have support from all 3 then you’re golden.

Curt: Any advice to those who are looking to get into playing metal?

Drew: Follow your dreams? Nah, fuck that. Have fun, try new things, learn from your mistakes, and realize that nobody owes you shit.

Curt: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Anything else you would like to say?

Drew: If you are in western Canada, keep an eye out for us at festivals this summer!

Death Toll Rising are:
Jesse Berube – vocals
Drew Copland – guitars
Tylor Dory – guitars
Mike Puff – bass
Bryan Newbury – drums

More Death Toll Rising:

About Curtis Dewar (45 Articles)
Curt is a 38 year old Canadian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. As he has been listening to metal since he was about 8 years old he has a fairly broad knowledge of metal and hard rock. The first "metal" album he ever really got into was Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet", followed by bands like Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Skid Row and the like. By 1991 he discovered the "Big 4" and gradually went onto heavier bands like Sepultura, Carcass and Morbid Angel.

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