Becoming the Archetype guitarist Seth Hecox took some time to talk about their band member changes, and the new Christmas single, Oh Holy Night.
I’ve heard some rumors that Jason is no longer with BTA. If this is true, who is replacing him and what is their background? What will all this mean for BTA going
The rumors are true. Jason and his wife are expecting their first child, who is due on December 26. Because of this, Jason couldn’t manage being on the road for 7 straight weeks this summer and then nearly 4 weeks in Europe this fall. So our friend Chris McCane filled in and he did a great job.
Jason feels that he can’t tour in the future and without being able to tour, we both felt it was time to move on. Especially with Chris being ready to step in and doing such a great job.
Jason will always be remembered and I still consult him from time to time about the band. He’s one of my best friends and probably always will be.
Can you go into any more details/specifics on Chris McCane’s resume?
Chris McCane was in Daniel’s other band, Thaddeus. He’s been a friend of the band for years and runs a venue near where we live. Oh Holy Night is the first song Chris recorded on for BTA, but he recorded some demo tracks with Thaddeus that gave us an idea of his vocal style.
Chris mainly won me over for the job based on his incredible live energy and stage persona as well as his great personality. When you’re on a long tour and sharing a van with the same guys for weeks, an annoying personality can ruin the experience for everyone, no matter how good they are at their instrument (or vocals, in this case). Chris’s personality fits well with Daniel and me. That, coupled with his extremely entertaining stage performance, makes him perfect for us moving forward.
Will you guys be touring more frequently with the new lineup?
We certainly hope so. Our plan is to up the touring schedule a bit and hit some places we haven’t in awhile.
Is it too early to ask about a new full length? Are you guys at least kicking around the idea?
You must be clairvoyant, haha. I actually talked to Solid State a couple weeks ago about recording our next full length. Daniel and I have begun writing already and we may be in the studio as early as March. You’ll see a lot of similarities to Dichotomy and Celestial Completion on our next album. We’ll still have a progressive and experimental sound, but this time around, the experimentation is gonna come mostly from within our normal instruments, such as guitar and keys. I loved how the horns and sitar worked out on CC and was proud to have orchestrated such a wide-ranging sound but I have no interest in going down that road again. Yet…
So what made you guys choose Oh Holy Night to cover? Were there any others you guys were thinking about?
That’s a Christmas song I’ve loved for a long time. It’s the most epic sounding Christmas Carol since it’s in a minor key. So it took awhile but I was finally able to get the ok from the label and get everything worked out. And man, it worked out great. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it!
Staying with “covers,” I’m sure you guys over the years have messed around and done some covers in your practice space, any interesting songs you guys played?
Honestly, we haven’t done much of that. We’ve talked about covering a Garth Brooks song. After much discussion, we settled on “The Thunder Rolls” only to have it shut down by a previous member. We have covered certain riffs as intros to our live sets. In ’09, we frequently started our set with “Sad But True” by Metallica. This year, we started quite a few shows with “Stand up and Shout” by Steel Dragon, from the movie Rock Star.
Do you guys have any special or interesting Christmas stories that you guys have had as a band?
Well, we spend most of our Christmas time dressing up Clifton as Santa, so there’s not much time for stories, haha. We usually try to be home with family instead of on the road for Christmas. Other than the fistfight I got into with my uncle a couple Christmases ago, there’s not too much to tell…
How did your last two tours go (your CD release with Day of Vengeance and then your longer tour with To Speak of Wolves and Inhale Exhale)? How has Celestial Completion been received by the metal world? Has it been as successful as you guys imagined/prayed for?
The tours went well, overall. There were some low turnouts, but it seems like everyone is experiencing that now. With the music scene (and especially the heavy music scene) being oversaturated, there are too many shows to compete with now. In the US, everyone is in a band and everyone expects their band to open for the bands they look up to. So you’re really stuck with the very difficult task of promoting an event that isn’t all that unique, considering all the other heavy music tours going on at the same time. But overall, it was fun. We had a blast and the guys in the other bands were really fun. It’s always good to be on the open road.
Celestial Completion seems to have caught on with most of our fans. And I think it helped us start to gain more traction in the mainstream metal world. I don’t know if this is the best way to judge that or not, but we seem to be mentioned in articles and then defended more often in the comments on sites like metalsucks.net and lambgoat.
What is your take on the current metal world? Everyone talks/complains about how stale the metal world is and that every album/band sound the same. How have you guys tried to keep things fresh and new yet still keeping it METAL?
Just like most members of heavy bands, I don’t listen to a whole lot of heavy music. And what heavy music I do listen to is bigger bands for the most part. Bands like Mastodon, Opeth, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, System of a Down and Strapping Young Lad are my most frequent listens in heavy music. But mostly I listen to other things, so I feel unqualified to speak about the current metal world and its homogeneity or lack thereof. I will reiterate that there’s a definite oversaturation in the heavy music world and it’s making it even more difficult for bands like us to stay afloat. Kids love certain bands and for some reason, their natural reaction is to start a band that sounds like the band they look up to. Ironically, they’re killing the band they look up to because they give metal fans band number 1,357,983 to listen to and pretend to care about.
To keep things fresh, we utilize our music education and incorporate world instruments, a la Invisible Creature and Cardiac Rebellion. What is metal is really just being aggressive and rebellious and musical. All the members of BTA have those elements within them so it basically comes down to looking within and seeing what dark things the soul has to speak in the language of music.
What’s the most embarrassing that has happened to any of you guys while on stage?
Well, we had a blast on stage in Europe. Daniel tripped and nearly fell on his face, which was hilarious but probably a little embarrassing at the time. I ripped my pants stepping onto stage for our show in London so I think all the lovely British metal heads got to peak at parts of my body that probably should’ve been kept in a closet somewhere. In South Africa, I forgot to start a riff of a song that I intro, but luckily we were able to smoothly play it off. Otherwise, that would’ve been really embarrassing!