Rob Purnell, Trigger the Bloodshed's guitarist, gets down to nitty-gritties

I had the privilege of talking to Rob P. from Trigger the Bloodshed about their new release 'the Great Depression', and about their experiences with touring and success.


The UK is like an endless bath of music, with an array of bands floating around. Most will sink to the bottom, but the bands that truly deserve to be heard will rise and ride the waves to success. This includes bands like Trigger the Bloodshed.


Hailing from the appropriately named English tourist town of Bath, Trigger the Bloodshed has firmly secured a spot on the new wave of British Brutal Death Metal. I had the chance to talk to their guitarist Rob Purnell about what it's like being in the band, as well as their new release The Great Depression.


Oh, and before I go any further… What do get when you cross Bath with Trigger the Bloodshed? A bloodbath. Hehe.


Forming in 2006, the band came together out of a yearning for something heavy, something that couldn’t easily be found in the UK at the time. As Purnell described it, few others in their area were pushing death metal.


'There isn't anyone else who have really been pushing Death Metal in our area other than Amputated and Flayed Disciple… (So) myself and Martyn Evans deciding to get together and write some music more in tune with our influences… some heavy as fuck music,' he said.


Despite the nearly dormant scene, after Trigger started gigging, a solid fan base began to emerge.


'The metal crowd in Bath are fucking crazy and very devoted to the cause,' Rob stated, going on to recognise bands like Nile, Rotten Sound, Napalm Death, Regurgitate, and Necrophagist as playing pivotal roles, as influences, in developing their uniquely brutal sound.


The band’s success has seen them touring with some world class acts, including Suffocation, Dying Fetus, and Meshuggah. Rob acknowledged the advantages of being able to share the stage with such world-class professionals.


'Those guys were unbelievable and definitely inspired us to step up our game in every aspect of the band, it was truly inspirational watching them every night destroying everyone in the venue!'


These bands' professionalism awakened an understanding in Trigger of the finer details of their music. It enabled them to articulate their sound in way that would create a cohesive, well rounded and brutal new album.


'Well, with the new album we really wanted the focus to be on the song writing,' Purnell explained. 'With the last album we were very hung up with being the heaviest, fastest etc band and therefore the song writing suffered somewhat, so with this album we really took our time to put together clear, focused songs with solid structuring and good hooks, and I think we achieved that!'


The primary theme behind this album is your average run-of-the-mill blood and gore that the genre seems to be obsessed with. But the band were keen to opt for a little more relevance.


'It wouldn't be natural for us to have gory lyrics about mutilation/rape etc, cos none of us are particularly into gore, so we chose a subject which we can relate to and can really vent some anger on,' Rob told me.  Additionally, Jonny Burgan’s lyrical styling offered a contemporary observational critique on 'the shitty situation the world is in at the moment and all the contributing factors that lead towards this'. The evocative and powerful album artwork definitely hints at this.


The band knows how to write kick-arse songs, but their precise work ethic extends even further. They also recorded, produced and mastered this record themselves. They had an almost clinical approach to creating the various dynamics of their sound. As Purnell explained, they had a definite view of the sound they wanted to achieve.


'We chose to record it ourselves as we had a definite view of how we wanted the record to sound, so who better to record it than us! I really think it paid off, because we have an album sound which reflects exactly how we pictured each song,' he reflected. 'And [it] sounds heavy as fuck while maintaining the clarity which is often lost in Death Metal production.'


The guitar’s tonal qualities are awesome. Despite the large amount of distortion, practically each note could be heard with immense clarity. Apparently this came down to the gear that Rob and Martyn used, most notably their amp ‘the Krankenstein plus’ (Dimebag Darrel’s signature amp).


During the recording process, the bass input stayed clean, so that it could be revisited using distortion plug-ins. The bass basically followed the guitar, but would make some interesting variations to add some layers to the sound, with a few sweet licks here and there. ‘The bass tended not to be right there in front of you,' explained bassist Dave Purnell. 'It rather added to the music in general.'


The drumming struck me as being fast but varied, something which was confirmed by their drummer Max Blunos in their Myspace studio diary: 'Its not just straight forward blast beats all the way through, there’s a lot of new drum beat ideas going around and there’s a general more of a groove to the album. We’re definitely still playing fast'. The gear he uses, such as a hybrid snare that is made out of Kevlar also reflects this versatility: 'You can really crank up the snare really tight,' he wrote, 'and get a really nice bobby sound from it”.


Trigger the Bloodshed’s latest release the Great Depression has received rave reviews from an array of sources. They are currently on tour with Ingested, and will be moving on to Europe and perhaps the US in September. And in regards to a tour in Australia?


'If there is any way for us to get over to Australia then we will be there this year too!'


Trigger the Bloodshed's The Great Depression is out now on Metal Blade/Riot.